Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Walt Disney World
9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, Sept. 30-Nov. 13
price included with park admission
The lakeside World Show Place at Disney’s Epcot theme park kicks it up a notch with the arrival of the annual International Food & Wine Fest. Spanning just over six weeks and representing nearly 30 countries and cultural cuisines, the festival offers tapas-sized samples ($3-$8 per serving) with wine and beer pairings at an assortment of International Marketplaces set up throughout the park.
This year’s event sees four new kiosks: Caribbean jerk chicken and ropa vieja, calamari salad from Portugal, sweet and savory Hawaiian flavors and a craft beer booth serving up the likes of Full Sail Brewing, Moosehead and Redhook Ale. Old favorites return with traditional dishes like Polish golabki (pork-stuffed cabbage), South African bunny chow (vegetable curry in a bread bowl), Argentine chimichurri beef skewers and French escargots persillade en brioche. For an additional cost, visitors can attend cooking demos, mixology seminars and pastry parties including the “3D: Disney Dessert Discovery,” a sweets-centric selection including liqueurs. A pack of more than 200 globally recognized culinary artists and TV chef-lebrities, a combination of Disney natives and guest chefs – among them Elizabeth Falkner (of San Francisco’s Citizen Cake and also a contestant on Top Chef Masters), Efisio Farris (of Dallas’ Arcodoro & Pomodoro), Rock Harper (winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 3) and Buddy Valastro (TV’s Cake Boss) – will be present.
Lines tend to build up during the afternoon hours, so visit the event website for menus and map out your tasting trail beforehand to ensure optimal noshing. As always, bring cash, sunscreen and patience.