With 53 days of culinary excitement from September 25 through November 16, Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is a thrill for the senses. Now celebrating its 20th year, the festival boasts more than 30 global marketplaces around Epcot’s World Showcase and highlights the culinary talents of over 270 Disney chefs and culinary stars. If you’re a food lover, this festival is a dream come true.
But the foodie fun isn’t limited to the nosh taking center stage from Scotland to France. In fact, there are many culinary celebrations taking place beyond the World Showcase and even beyond Epcot’s gates. Here are a few to consider:
Festival Premium Events and Parties
There are 193 premium events happening during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival ranging from signature dinners to food & wine pairings to luncheons like the French Family Meal Traditions lunch at Monsieur Paul, a spectacular French feast served every Friday and Sunday at noon.
While tickets to many premium events have sold out, you can still snag a spot at several fabulous events, including the Mexican Tequila Lunch served at La Hacienda de San Angel (Thurs/Fri/Sat noon – 1:30pm) and the Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon (Mon/Wed/Fri noon – 2:30pm). Tickets to these events are in addition to park admission. More details here.
Looking for the ultimate souvenir from this year’s festival? Be sure to check out the new anniversary cookbook by Edible Orlando Managing Editor Pam Brandon and Disney Chefs. This delicious tome features 20 years of Food & Wine Festival recipes and stories.
Food & Wine Weekends
Epcot’s not the only venue hosting the foodie fetes; Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek have joined in the fun as well with their fifth annual Food & Wine Weekends, on now through Nov. 15, 2015. Featuring a slew of delectable events and special offerings spanning eight weekends, Food & Wine Weekends feature a diverse array of wine and culinary programs, including wine dinners at La Luce and Bull & Bear, craft beer pairings, and the legendary Bar du Chocolate.
Weekend rates at Waldorf Astoria Orlando start at $229 per night, and weekend rates at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek start at $189 per night. Overnight accommodations, which include, complimentary scheduled transportation to Epcot (and other Disney Theme Parks), are not required to participate in culinary programs.
Food & Wine Classic
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort will host its Food & Wine Classic October 30 and 31, 2015 when more than 40 food and wine stations plus 10 food and wine seminars will give attendees the chance to satisfy their culinary cravings and curiosities. The two-night festival, now in its 6th year, will showcase cuisine from the resorts’ own award-winning restaurants, including Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House and Todd English’s bluezoo. The event will also feature a beer garden and food truck area, a new addition to the event.
Learn about tickets packages for events, seminars and overnight options at swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.
Party of the Spirits
With a nod to Epcot Food & Wine Festival’s legendary Party of the Senses, this event will focus on epicurean adventures of the liquid variety. Organized by the Orlando Bartenders’ Guild, Party of the Spirits takes places on Monday, November 16, 2015 from 7-10pm at Orlando World Center Marriott. At this inaugural event, guests will get the chance to taste over 50 different spirits and learn from ambassadors, master distillers and brand owners. Tickets, which start at $50 each (until October 12), can be purchased here.