The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is back for 2015 and celebrating its 20th anniversary! For 2015 you’ll see a number of signature offerings including dozens of Marketplace Kiosks with global cuisine and drink, a variety of low-cost food and beverage classes and demonstrations and plenty of great premium food and drink experiences, not to mention the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.
How does the old saying go? But wait…there’s more! While the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival (Epcot Food & Wine) will offer plenty of the familiar, you’ll also be able to find plenty of new things to spice up your time. An summary list of some of the more highly anticipated new events and offerings is below! Consider it a starter to whet your appetite for the coming festival, which starts September 25th!
What’s New for 2015
-“The Chew,” a lifestyle series airing on ABC, will tape five shows in front an Epcot audience on Oct. 7-9, with the shows hitting the airwaves Oct. 12-16. “The Chew” will also be featured in two kiosks in the Marketplace.
-Epcot Food and Wine adds several new premium events, most notably the “Rockin’ Burger Block Party,” featuring awesome burgers and beverages plus DJ’s playing a variety of music. Talent from “The Chew” will also host the party Oct. 8th. This year’s festival also introduces “French Family Meal Traditions” lunches on Fridays, plus the first “Yelloween Masquerade” party on Oct. 31. There are also new beverage events, including “Exploring Wines from 1996 to Now.”
-The Marketplace Kiosks move into Epcot’s Future World area, in addition to their presence around World Showcase and the Promenade areas. Next Eats, near the Epcot Characters Spot, will offer dishes inspired by “The Chew” co-hosts. Chew Lab will highlight food science and culinary-tech trends. The Artistry of Wine & Cheese area, located at the walkway to Future World West, will offer guests a Cheese Studio and a Wine Studio. The premium wines available on tap and cheeses served on an “artist’s palette” at these Studios will offer a potential wine-and-cheese pairing for those so inclined.
-Eat to the Beat concert series is now a FastPass+ reservations option. Guests select a spot for Eat to the Beat using FastPass+ (FP+) reservation as a Tier 1 selection. Guests who choose FP+ arrive at least 20 minutes early to their Eat to the Beat concert, held at American Gardens Theatre. There will be a separate seating area for FP+ reservations as well as a standby area for the concerts.
-Epcot Food and Wine continues to tweak the ways Disney guests can experience the event’s samples and sounds. A Tasting Sampler package ($59 per person, plus tax) provides guests with eight entitlementsfor Marketplace Kiosks, priority seating at the 6:45 p.m. Eat to the Beat concert and a limited-release 20th-year festival pin. A Premium Package, available Monday–Thursday, offers a festival-themed Magic Band, access to exclusive Marketplace Kiosk areas and 4 entitlements, a culinary demo or beverage seminar, an IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party, and other perks ($199 per person, plus tax). Call 407-939-3378 for reservations.
-Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt adds some family-friendly fun for kids of all ages. Guests can help the Pixar protagonist create his signature dish by searching for hidden Remy statuettes using maps and stickers. Guests may purchase a map and stickers from The Festival Center, Pin Central, Port of Entry or World Traveler at International Gateway ($9.95, plus tax). Completed (or incomplete) maps may be redeemed for a special prize, a limited-edition pin.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival also offers a number of other, somewhat smaller things that are new to the 2015 event and which are worth nothing as the keep the event feeling fresh. As a bonus, some other new things of which to be aware:
-Several Marketplace Kiosks will add new items. New menu items for 2015 include Pepper Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese at the Farm Fresh Marketplace; the Scottish Citrus Thistle at the Scotland Marketplace; Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout and Kumara Dumpling at the New Zealand Marketplace; and Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Peppers, Onions and Snap Peas at the Australia Marketplace.
-Epcot Food and Wine has introduced three events exclusive to Disney Chase Visa Cardholders in 2015.
-The Eat to the Beat concerts add four new acts to the schedule: Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest and Chaka Khan.
-Two 20th-year celebratory wines have been created for the festival: a Napa Valley Festival Chardonnay and a Paso Robles Festival Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs 53 days this fall, from Sept. 25– Nov 16. The event is included with theme-park admission, although many aspects to the event require a separate purchase. Check out the full menu and see more info on the Disney Epcot Food and Wine Festival web page.