The 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will take place at Walt Disney World August 30 – November 12, 2018. This annual festival celebrates culinary flavors from around the world. The 2018 festival will feature 30 global food and beverage marketplaces. A full menu of new experiences including the “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series will delight guests during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
This highly anticipated 75-day festival will give guests a chance to meet their favorite celebrity chefs, try a new Food & Beverage Pairing in the Festival Center each Friday through Sunday, as well as, enjoy nightly music at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. The first of five popular Party for the Senses events will kick off September 22 in the park’s World ShowPlace Events pavilion.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Highlights
Highlights of this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will include:
- The NEW Taste Track global marketplace featuring specialty croissant doughnuts joins dozens of popular returning marketplaces. For a fourth year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World, offering brand new taste sensations. New recipes featured this year will include Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds at The Wine & Dine Studio; Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak with smoked corn cake, pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aïoli at Flavors from Fire; and New Brunswick Slider, slow-braised beef brisket “pot roast-style” on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and pickled vegetables on the side at the Hops & Barley.
- The new “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series in World ShowPlace will kick off September 2 with Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais and continue on select Sundays through November 11 with a lineup that includes Jamie Deen, Tiffani Thiessen, Masaharu Morimoto, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Geoffrey Zakarian, Carla Hall and Alex Guarnaschelli.
- Eat to the Beat concerts, 225 shows in all, will fill the America Gardens Theatre with music three times each night. New musical acts for the 2018 festival include Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, MercyMe and Glass Tiger. Returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues will also delight music fans visiting the festival.
- The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses at World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners September 22, October 6, 13, 20 and November 10 to showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays will create new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced later this summer.
- Guests will have the opportunity to see popular TV chefs and other culinary icons at festival seminars and other events. A few of the big names on tap are Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
- One of my personal favorites, the “Ratatouille”-inspired adventure is back at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Families will play together as they search for Chef Remy during Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt. This year Remy is hiding in all new locations!
- The complimentary Back to Basics weekend series offered in the Festival Center will share tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be available. The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest delicious samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer learning and tasting sessions each day at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage fan’s delight.
- Eat to the Beat Dining Packages and other Specialty Dining and Pairing events will be on tap at a number of Epcot participating restaurants. Bookings for special programming and premium festival events are open now.
Included with regular Epcot admission are Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment. Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations and find more details at TasteEpcot.com.
Have you experienced an Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Which parts of the festival are your favorite? Let us know what you’re most looking forward to for this year’s festival in the comments below.