As the weather starts to change, turning 100s to high 90’s in Florida, that can mean only one thing: the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Starting on September 21st and running for a record 62 days, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers guests 30 different global marketplaces through November 14, 2016.The perfect place to start any visit is the Festival Center.This is home to guest favorite The Chocolate Experience: From Bean To The Bar hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company with free samples and chocolate displays by pastry chefs from around Walt Disney World. Just across the walkway from that is the return of the Disney’s California Adventure 1.0 film about how the grapes are made for wine in Seasons of the Vine.
One of the highlights of the center are the different stages where guest chefs and Disney Chefs numbering 250 as they present culinary demonstrations along with Master Sommeliers and brewers of Craft Beers talking about what makes a good wine and beer in nearly 400 demos. Also, you never know when a celebrity chef may show up, much like Iron Chef Morimoto did at the media event.
Of course, the heart of the festival are the 30 global marketplaces that include 32 new dishes all around the World Showcase and have now expanded into Future World. This year with three new marketplaces, including The Chew Collective with a tasty Peanut Butter Mousse and the Greenhouse Guru which has a new Duck Confit, as part of the Future World’s Next Eats.
Near the Islands of the Caribbean marketplace is the Wine & Dine and Chocolate Studios, home of the new seared scallop along with a guest favorite liquid nitro chocolate almond truffle with warm whiskey caramel.
Along with the amazing food and wine options, there are beautiful displays sharing some of the secrets of chocolate and wine with guests. Some of the other new menu items include the loaded greek nachos from the Greece marketplace.
Another new dish located at the Hops & Barley marketplace in the American Adventure is the smoked beef brisket on riddled garlic toast.
One of my personal favorites is the pork belly with black beans and tomato in the Brazil marketplace
Even though this event is titled Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, it has now expanded out of Epcot to include a sold out behind the scenes tour of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian. For more information and booking visit the Walt Disney World site.Another major draw for guests into the Eat To The Beat concert series. With 26 bands performing 186 concerts over the 62 days, including eight new groups for this yearm the America Gardens Theater will be a great place to take an afternoon break and enjoy some classic and modern bands ranging from Air Supply to Plain White T’s.So you have under 60 days as of now to make it to this amazing time of the year at the parks so start planning your trip now!
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.