Each fall, many guests head to Walt Disney World to enjoy an amazing event which features delicious food, drinks, and experiences. The 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs from September 14 to November 14 and features countless amazing experiences for guests to enjoy. Those who spend time at the festival can enjoy sampling food and drinks from many places around the world, unique meet and greets, seminars, and demonstrations, special meals and behind the scenes experiences, and much more. With so many amazing things to enjoy, guests might be a little overwhelmed when trying to figure out what are the absolute must dos at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. With plenty of delicious things to try and amazing experiences to enjoy, there are definitely some that simply can’t be missed! Here are ten things that guests must try at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
10. The Booths
The highlight of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival are the dozens of booths scattered around World Showcase! Each booth focuses on a specific country or area in the world and offers up several food and drink options for guests to enjoy. With so many options to choose from, guests definitely will want to spend plenty of time in Epcot to try all of the incredible options from locations like Ireland, Greece, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Desserts and Champagne, Scotland, Poland, and Patagonia!
9. Getting a Passport Stamped
A great free souvenir that guests can use to remember their time at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the World Passport. This free booklet can be picked up at the Festival Center in Epcot’s Future World and features a page for each booth accompanied by a small spot for a stamp. Each time a guest eats or drinks at a booth, they can ask the Cast Member helping them to stamp their passport with a unique stamp for that specific booth. Once home, guests can browse through their passport to remember all the amazing things they ordered from the delicious booths!
8. Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
New this year to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto experience. The two hour special event is being held on September 21 and 28 and October 5 and 12 and costs $99 per person. While the price may seem high, guests are treated to a special tour of the bar found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and can then learn how to mix their very own drinks like the bartenders there before chowing down on a special lunch!
7. Mexican Tequila Lunch
Fans of tequila will love the special Mexican Tequila Lunch being featured at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The special event is being offered on many dates in September, October, and November and lasts for an hour and a half at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion. For a price of $85 per guest, the Mexican Tequila Lunch includes a regional Mexican meal accompanied by different types of tequilas which guests learn all about while trying.
6. What’s Cooking With…
Guests who have a favorite chef or foodie will love checking out the What’s Cooking With… series at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The series runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the festival and features a different culinary guest each time. Guests who want to enjoy the experience pay $129 for a plated brunch, toast, culinary demonstration, and question and answer session with the chef. Some of the esteemed guests this year include Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, Andrew Zimmern, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli.
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5. The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar
A free experience that no guest should miss at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival can be found in the rear of the Festival Center. The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar is hosted by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and includes free chocolate samples, information about how chocolate is made, and breathtaking chocolate creations which feature Disney characters and memorable movie moments.
4. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
Also found in the Festival Center is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt features Remy the rat from the Disney animated film Ratatouille. Guests can purchase a special map in the Festival Center and then explore all around the festival to find Remy hiding in lots of unique places. Guests who find all of Remy’s hiding locations can then return to the Festival Center to collect a special gift for their efforts!
3. Parisian Breakfast
Fans of French cooking will absolutely love the Parisian Brunch experience offered at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The special experience is offered on September 24, October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, and November 5 and 12 and costs $40 per person. Guests who reserve a spot for the Parisian Brunch can dine in Chefs de France where they are offered a mimosa upon arrival followed by a spread of decadent pastries, coffee, and other refreshments. The delicious and authentic French meal spans an hour and a half and allows guests to truly feel like they are enjoying a brunch in Paris!
2. Eat to the Beat Concert Series
Throughout the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the American Gardens Theater in the America Pavilion is home to a series of concerts that guests are sure to love rocking out to! The Eat to the Beat Concert Series is free for Epcot guests to enjoy and run three times per evening. Some of the acts are very popular, so guests are advised to get there early for a seat or simply enjoy the music while exploring the American Pavilion. Artists featured in the Eat to the Beat Concert Series this year include Starship, Sugar Ray, Wilson Phillips, Blues Traveler, Hanson, Boys II Men, and Tiffany.
1. Cheese Seminar
Guests who love cheese simply can’t miss an amazing experience offered at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Cheese Seminars are presented in the Festival Center throughout the festival and offer guests the opportunity to sample offerings from around the world with beverage pairings. For $89 a person, guests can enjoy an hour and a half learning all about cheese in special sessions that include topics like Mediterranean Cheese and Wines, Italian Cheese and Wines, and Fabulous Old World Cheese and Wines.