Northern California Wine
The Wine Life of Northern Cali!

The Food & Wine Festival - Not just anything on your plate, but a worldwide experience.

  • Oct 25, 2010
Rating:
+5

Mary Ann and I are really looking forward to our upcoming trip to the "World" so we can visit for the first time, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Although now celebrating it's 15th year, our trips have never coincided with this event. There has been much written on this event, since it is a major gathering place for the entire Disney fan and blogger community. My purpose today is to provide a summary of what to expect, for who haven't yet made their way there for this event that started October 1 and will end November 14.

 


There is so much scheduled during this special event that is it impossible to do it all, and from what I have read, it is best not to try. The locals make this a regular visit the entire month, but for us annuals or less frequent visitors, it's best to plan over the long term. The main event are 27 sampling stations to enjoy appetisers, entries, desserts, wines, beers and liquors. There are special programs, demonstrations and presentations as well as the reserved programming and the musical acts featured in Eat to the Beat.
 

 
You can download the entire Festival Guide by clicking here. And here is the Festival Guidemap. One of the best ideas to manage your spending is to purchase one of the Festival theme cards (gift cards) with $30 to $50 deposited. You can always refill it (and then save as souvenir), but it makes paying for your purchase convenient and on a budget. In addition to the marketplace stops, you'll find a variety of entertainment on your stroll around the world such as musicians and performers, great to stop, watch and digest your food so you can make room for more.
 
Let's start with the International Marketplaces, the centerpiece of the Festival. These are the 27 booth areas. New this year are Belgium and South Korea, plus Charcuterie & Cheese. Also new are 15 Beers for 15 Years. And even though I am very loyal for the local beer in my community, Saranac, I'm looking forward to choosing my three pack of 6 oz selections from the list that include: Fischer Amber, Full Sail Amber, Key West Sunset Ale, La Fin Du Monde, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Smithwick’s, Windmer Drifter Pale Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen, Abita Amber, Abita Purple Haze, B.B. Burgerbrau, Banks Beer, Florida Lager, Sessions Lager and Viru Pilsner.
The new market offering by Belgium will include: Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream, Freshly Baked Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream, Stella Artois, Godiva Chocolate Iced Coffee, Leffe and Hoegaarden (beers). South Korea will offer these items: Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw, Barbecue Short Rib with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi, Honey Ginger Tea, Jinro Chamisul Soju and Bohae Bokbunjajoo (Black Raspberry Rice Wine).
 
Also new this year is the Charcuterie & Cheese booth. Included will be: Cheese Fondue with Croutons and Roasted Potatoes, Applewood Smoked Beef, Duck; and Ham, MARTINI® Prosecco, Ace Joker Hard Cider and MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
 
The pricing for these sample items can be anywhere from $3 to $6 each, more or less. However, I'm told the portion are fair, and it doesn't take long to fill up. [I want to that The Disney Food Blog for listing all of these and the marketplace items from all nations.] You should visit the Disney Food Blog, particularly if you want to see pictures of what's offered at each marketplace, with pricing on all the items.

One of the complementary features of this year's event is the opening of three new foodie locations around the World Showcase. There is the Via Napoli restaurant, featuring what is touted as being the best Pizza in Florida (and this will be tested during our visit as we have an ADR already set). Another new restaurant is La Hacienda de San Angel, opposite the Mexico pavilion and along the Lagoon. A third new shop just opening in the Germany pavilion called Karmalle-Kuche, which will feature caramel covered treats made just for you such as caramel corn, apples, strawberries, marshmallows, cookies, cakes and more.

For those who are looking to keep track of their experience traversing the World Showcase there is the Marketplace Discovery Passport, covering your journey with stamped art from each marketplace of your food and drink journey. This will also be a wonderful souvenir from our trip. 

A featured special event, for which ADRs are also definitely needed is the Party for the Senses. This event, on Saturdays from 6:30 to 9:00 pm will cost $135 per person, or $225 per person if you add Wine View Lounge Privileges for a reserved table, early admission, an artisanal cheese station and more. The event begins with a reserved seat at Eat to the Beat in the American Gardens Theatre and your own personal tasting stations. The entertainment are an up close Cirque du Soleil performance right at the party.

There will be a host of Culinary Demonstrations, featuring professional chefs, many who are well known to Disney fans and in their fields, that feature food and wine pairings. These are not too expensive so reserving admission for one or two sounds like a good idea. They are $9 or $13 each and run three times a day at 1, 3 and 5 pm. In addition there will be Wine & Beverage Seminars, like the Culinary programs are 45-minutes each, but whose cost is only $8 or $12 each. They will feature products of selected wineries for learning a few tips of the trade and sampling their wares. These run at 2, 4 and 6 pm. By the way, the Festival Welcome Center will be open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm each day.

There are also several different free activities that feature culinary-related topics. Authors Without Borders runs from Friday to Sunday at 12:15 pm and 4:00 pm. Here you can listen to authors from the food and beverage industry for 30-minute topic conversations. During Authentic Taste Seminars, also Friday to Sunday but at 2:00 and 6:00 pm, the origins, properties and history of pure ingredients will be the subject presented by experts.

A schedule of Meet and Greets with Book Signings by a celebrated author of the day will be held, as well as Bottle Signings. By the way, with everything happening for the Festival, Epcot Admission is required in addition to any other fees charged. Another free event is the Seasons of the Vine, a 7-minute movie that introduces wine growing. This will be run continuously during the day.

 

And it wouldn't be Disney World without shops to browse and buy. There is the Intermissions Cafe for snacks, wine and cheese, The Stockpot Shop features Festival-related commemorative items, The Cellar for choosing your own bottle from among the 300 wines showcased during the Festival, and the Tasteful Chapters book store. Shopping, by the way, offers great opportunities for building a collection of Festival-related memorabilia. There will be the cookbook, but also a really entertaining poster, bags and cooking items and clothing. This year's poster artist is Tim Rogerson. He will appear from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm at the Festival Gift Shop located near the Canada boat dock. This will happen on October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 and November 6, 7, 13, and 14.
 
One of the activities that we are looking forward to is one of the special culinary/beverage programs which in addition to park tickets also involved an admission cost. We booked the 3D Disney's Dessert Discovery for $45 per person. This will be held on selected Thursdays and Fridays from 7:00 to 8:30 pm and includes V.I.P. viewing of IllumiNations. The event offers sampling of desserts and cordials.
 
Sweet Sundays feature a noted pastry chef or baker to demonstrate three signature desserts, a breakfast buffet and sparking wines. The remaining dates of October 17, 24, 31 and Nov. 7 and 14. Personalities from NYS, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Ontario Canada and Valencia California each have a featured day. This is $85 per period and held on Sundays from 10:00 am to Noon. Celebrating Family & Friends in the Kitchen are three-course lunches demonstrating how to prepare an appetizer, main course and dessert alone with wine pairing. This will be on Fridays, from 10:00 am to Noon and are $110 a person except for the featured event with Iron Chef and Kouzzina host Cat Cora for $140 each. Some other hosts include Robin Miller from the Food Network, Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel and Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert's.
 
The Epcot Wine Schools will teach you how to taste several regional wines and concludes with a reception and certificate. The cost is $125 per person, and will be held on selected Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Remaining dates are Oct. 16, 23 and Nov. 13. Featured wineries include Conundrum Wines California and Fairview Wines of South Africa among others. Cheese Seminars feature expert "fromagers" pairing wine and beverages with the cheese selections. Upcoming dates are Oct. 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6 and 13. Cheese selections are made by representatives of the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center in New York City.
 
On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at La Cava Del Tequila in Mexico there will be Mexico Tequila Tastings for $45 a person along with samples of tostadas. This will be from Noon to 1:00 pm. And also for connoisseurs of French liqueur its Taste, Shake and Indulge Like the French with Cognac tasting plus Crepes Suzette and Souffles Glaces au Grand Marnier made by the chefs at this location, the Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion. This will be held Oct. 16, 23 and 30, Saturdays from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.
 
Another alcoholic tasting focus are the Food and Wine Pairings at Tutto Italia Ristorante, Italy (Saturdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm), Tokyo Dining, Japan (Mondays, 3:30 to 5:00 pm) and Restaurant Marrakesh, Morocco (Tuesday, 3:30 to 5:00 pm). These are $65 per person pairing three regional wines with three tasting size portions of regional cuisines at the listed Epcot restaurants.

The highest individual cost events range from $125 per person to $225 per person, plus one at $450 each. The latter is the Culinary Adventure in Signature Dining offered at Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. For $125 you can select Portobello Italian Trattoria and Bongo's Cuban Cafe, both in Downtown Disney and for $140 select from Kouzzina on the BoardWalk and Fulton's Crab House at Downtown. There are a total of 12 restaurants with days remaining at special signature dining at 6:30 pm, paired with wines and featuring what is described as a "glorious culinary experience".

 
The final major event of Food & Wine are the Eat to the Beat Concert Series with shows in the America Gardens Theatre at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 pm. Every two or three days a new performer appears, and for the period remaining until November 14, here are some: Howard Jones, Expose, 38 Special, Night Ranger, Billy Ocean, Starship starring Mickey Thomas, Boyz II Men, Roger Hodgson, Jon Secada, Hanson, Rick Springfield and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
 
So, that is the summary, and not previously attending, I'm sure we'll discover even more will be going not announced in time for the printing of the Festival Guide. As much as Disney is a family activity, I've always believed that Walt Disney World is for adults as much if not more than for children. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is an example of this theme. So, are you going this year?
 
BruceWDW
A WORLD VIEW
http://brucewdw.blogspot.com

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
15
Thought-Provoking
12
Fun to Read
15
Well-Organized
15
Post a Comment
November 01, 2010
This sounds like an amazing experience! I'm DEFINITELY doing this when I can!
 
November 01, 2010
Wish I could go, sounds fun and delicious!
 
1
About the reviewer
Bruce Brodsky ()
Hi folks. My blog is A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World. I actually think it was watching a True-Life Adventure called the Living Desert that started my enthusiastic love of Disney. I must have … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
brucewdw
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this book

Wiki

Tags

Details

© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
Northern California Wine is part of the Lunch.com Network - Get this on your site
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists