Walt Disney World Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
For those of you who love trying a variety of different foods and drinks from different countries, but can’t afford the pricy plane tickets to be deemed a “World Traveler”, I suggest you READ THIS ARTICLE!!
Every year beginning in late September through mid-November, the Epcot’s World Showcase hosts its annual International Food and Wine Festival! So you’re probably asking, “How is this different than any other day at Epcot?” For starters, this Festival features kiosks for as many as 30 new regions IN ADDITION to the 11 countries that already surround World Showcase Lagoon (12 if you count the outpost between the China and Germany Pavilions)!
Epcot has introduced something called the “Marketplace Discovery Passport”.
For those of you who enjoy fine wines and international beers, there is a little game that has started to catch on among groups visiting Epcot during this time. Many people refer to it as “Drinking Around the World”.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that different groups have created unique ways of keeping tally during this game (from creating T-shirts with checked boxes, to having a scavenger hunt in each country). Be creative with this!!
My group purchases the little kid’s passport kits that are sold for about $12 in all of the shops around Epcot to keep track of where we’ve been (as this can get harder as the night goes on, wink wink!)
The ultimate goal? To try at least 1 of the drinks from each country! Once we get our “beverage” from a country, the Cast Member from that country has to sign our passport (for PROOF!!!)! Simple concept, isn’t it? This game is better spread out over the course of a few days though (for obvious reasons)!
This game also works for “Eating Around the World”. Another neat thing about this game is that 9 times out of 10, the Cast Member signing your passport will write a little message in their native language (China=Chinese, Japan=Japanese, Germany=German…well you get the idea)!
We try to go every year to this Festival and each year is a different experience! But I must say that the portions of food/drink that they serve at the kiosks aren’t very big (more like a sample with prices ranging from $3-$7). So instead of making a dinner reservation at one of the sit-down restaurants, just make the 1.2 mile loop around World Showcase and sample foods from the different countries (BONUS: you are walking off the calories at the same time so it evens out…right??).
Want to know another cool thing about this Festival? For an additional price, you can attend parties, seminars, and demonstrations such as “Party for the Senses” and “Food and Wine Pairings” (with appearances from a few celebrity chefs, if you time it right).
And if you want to kick it up a notch, they have “Mexico Tequila Tastings” at La Cava del Tequila at the Mexico Pavilion! There is also something called the “Eat to the Beat” concert series, which features nightly performances from some big name entertainers (for example, Hansen (shown in the photo) who performed at the 2011 Festival as well as Sugar Ray and The Pointer Sisters).
So whether you are having a late breakfast craving for that warm Belgian waffle or the shrimp cake with noodles from Singapore for a late afternoon snack, with such a wide variety of different foods, there is something for everyone’s taste buds!
Disney has officially announced this year’s International Food and Wine Festival dates: September 28th through November 11th, 2012! Oh and one more thing, did I mention that this Festival is FREE with your theme park admission? (stop re-reading this. Free and Disney were in the same sentence).
Happy eating (and drinking)!
- Dixie Diva