Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Magical Moments: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

 Starting on Sept. 28th and running thru Nov 12 of this year is the 17th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, one of WDW's most popular events.  During this fesival you can sample delicious food and wine from around the world, see some of your favorite singers from the 80's and 90's in concert and attend special events throughout the park.
 Located in Future World is the 2012 Food and Wine Festival Welcome Center.  It is here where you can plan your day by picking up your Marketplace Discovery Passport which identifies the food and wine kiosks or "marketplaces" set up around World Showcase.  The Welcome Center is also home to a variety of events including book signings and cooking demonstrations.
 The theme of this years festival is Taste Your Way Around the World.  There will be 29 marketplaces set up througout World Showcase where you can purchase sample sized portions of food.  You will be able to try food from places as diverse as South Africa, Ireland, Greece and China.  New this year are the Terra and Florida marketplaces.  Terra is the first ever vegan marketplace while the Florida marketplace will put new twists on local cuisine.  The samples range in price from about 3 to 8 dollars.
There are a number of Special and Premium Events that take place during the Food and Wine Festival. Special Events include book signings, bottle signings and seminars.  One seminar is the Home Entertaining Seminar hosted by your favorite personalities from HGTV.  Premium Events, in which there is a separate admission, include: Mixology Seminars, Culinary Demonstrations and Wine and Beverage Seminars.

A favorite Premium event of mine is the Party for the Senses.  With the Party for the Senses you get a reserved seat at the Eat to the Beat concert playing that night as well as a beautiful dinning experiece featuring international cuisine.  Entertainment is provided by Cirque de Soleil.  This event is pricey (60 dollars per person) but it is worth it.  You won't be disappointed.

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a great event, but because it is one of the most popular events at WDW the crowds will be large.  Start your day early as it tends to get busier as the day goes on.  If you plan on attending one of the Eat to the Beat Concerts plan on getting a spot in line at least 30-40 minutes before the show so your sure to get a seat.  If you do attend the festival we hope you have a great time!

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