Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival-Proof Disney is not just for kids
It never fails, we announce our plans for our Disney World vacation, and it's always the same response-"Again? Don't you get tired of rides and characters?". Well first of all-no, we don't, next I launch into my "There's more to Disney then just kids activities." speech. Disney, being the geniuses in marketing that they are, have created experiences and events that cater to a broad spectrum of travelers. The Epcot Food & Wine Festival is one of my favorite examples of this.
The Epcot International Food & Wine festival runs from September 30th to November 13th, 2011. While it is open to all guests (with a park ticket of course), it can really be an opportunity for adults to have some grown-up fun at Disney. It can also be a great adults only trip option. I will admit I am a bit obsessed with this event. No really-if you offered me a free trip to Disney for one week, during anytime of the year-I would always choose to go during Food& Wine. It's so bad that when we are at Epcot and the festival isn't going on-we grumble that Epcot looks bare lol.
So what is the Food & Wine festival? In addition to the 11 countries already represented in the World Showcase, additional booths are added offering sample-sized portions of foods & wines from around the world. This years festival will include 29 extra booths offering everything from savory & sweet foods, wines, beers and other beverages from each of the represented countries. Prices usually range from $2-$4 with some items like a lobster roll costing upwards to $7. There are special dining events like The Party for the Senses, cooking demonstrations, book signings and meals with famous chefs and other food personalities, tastings, free concerts and more. Some of these events are free & included in your park admission, others are an additional cost. There are shops and markets set up throughout the park where you can buy specialty foods, cook books, wines, housewares and other food & wine related items. It's like Eat-a-palooza people! If you are a home chef, if you are a foodie, IF YOU LIKE TO EAT & DRINK-this is the event for you.
Here are some of the events you can look forward to experiencing during the Food & Wine Festival:
Eat to the Beat Concert Series: Scheduled throughout the festival, a variety of special musical guests entertain festival goers with free concerts. This is this years line up includes: Taylor Dane, 38 Special, Jon Secada, Roger Hodson, Billy Ocean, Starship, Sugar Ray, The Orchestra, Howard Jones, Boyz II Men, Gin Blossoms, Sister Hazel, Hanson, Pointer Sisters, Night Ranger, Air Supply, Richard Marx, & Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Special Festival Experiences:
*Cranberry Bog Display hosted by Ocean Spray Craisins
*Home Entertaining seminars hosted by HGTV
*Book Signings and Meet & Greets
*Bottle Signings by winemakers
*Seasons of the Wine: a intro to wine growing
Premium Festival Event & Experiences:
*Party for the Senses: Think a food rave with Cirque de Soliel preforming above your head
*The Magic of Healthy Living Dinner with celebrity chef dads
*Kitchen Memories with celebrity chefs like Cat Cora & John Stewart of Zazu to name a few
*First Bites Opening Reception
*Vertical Wine Tasting
*Epcot Wine School
*Food & Wine Pairings
*Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining
Sweet Events & Experiences:
*The Discovery of Chocolate: (*Swoon*)
*3-D Dessert Discovery
Premium Mexican Events:
* Mexico Tequila Lunch (Hmmm..)
Premium Italian Events:
*Italy Food & Beer Pairing
*Italy Dessert & Wine Pairing
*Italian White Truffle Lunch-this sounds amazing!
*Italy Food & Wine Pairing
Premium French Events:
*French Regional Lunches
*Best of Bocuse Dinner
*Taste, Shake & Indulge Like the French tasting event hosted by Grand Marnier
View the full festival PDF map here and the full list of visitors and sponsors here
As you can see-this event is definitely geared more toward adults. Kids of course can enjoy many of the festivals food offerings, and if you have a food nerd like we do-it could also be one of their favorite times to visit too, but in my opinion the Food &Wine festival is to adults what Easter is to kids. For all those folks who think Disney is JUST for kids-I say take a good look into the Epcot Food & Wine festival and see another side of Disney.
**Currently Pixie is have some really great deals on Food & Wine packages, including stays at the Boardwalk Inn resort which is in walking Distance to Epcot. Contact me for a quote!