LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A hip new food-and-wine-tasting party, an outdoor concert series with name entertainment, an elegant Signature Dinner series and the prestigious Bordeaux Wine School program join the popular lineup of events Oct. 19-Nov. 17 at the seventh annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Returning by popular demand around the park’s World Showcase are more than 20 international food-and-wine-tasting marketplaces, culinary demonstrations at The Terrace and “History of Beer in America” tastings and seminars by the Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams beer.
Dozens of performers ranging from acrobats to musicians add street-festival energy to the daily fun of this seasonal culinary celebration. Walt Disney World Resort guests can toast the festival with champagne and gather information at the new Festival Welcome Center across from the Future World Fountain and Innoventions Plaza. An exciting new “Discover Andalucia, Spain” cultural experience celebrates the region’s olives and olive oils, famous tapas, fine sherries, skilled craftsmen and dazzling Flamenco dancers.
The food and wine festival around the World Showcase Lagoon is one of the world’s largest and expands with new offerings each year. More than 100 wineries offer tastings, and cuisine is featured from more than 20 countries and regions of the world at international marketplaces. In addition to the 11 World Showcase countries, festival marketplaces will serve up samplings from South Africa, Scandinavia and other regions, with appetizer-sized tastings from $1-$4.50.
Scheduled events in addition to daily experiences include:
“Eat to the Beat!” Concert Series with performances by popular entertainers on the America Gardens stage, daily at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.
Bordeaux Wine School, a one-day wine education program with lunch and wine school certificate presented upon completion, Nov. 7-10, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for $100 at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion.
Party for the Senses, a hip, hot celebration of the senses featuring more than 30 wines with flavorful foods every Saturday, 6-9 p.m., for $79 in World Showplace.
Food & Wine Pairings, featuring wine principals pairing great food and wines, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 4-5:30 p.m., for $30 at the Coral Reef Restaurant in The Living Seas pavilion.
Reserve Dinners, for an elite dining experience that marries great wines and food and includes VIP viewing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” Thursdays and Fridays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., for $150 at the Wonders of Life pavilion VIP Dining Room.
Additional events in celebration of the festival are:
Signature Dinner Series, with five courses and wine pairings from up to three selected wineries, Sundays, 6-9 p.m., starting at $100 to be held at a different venue each week including California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Jiko-The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Bistro de Paris at the Epcot France pavilion.
Vertical Tastings, a rare opportunity for wine lovers to sample 10 vintages from stellar producers and hear VIP wine speakers, Saturdays, 2-3:30 p.m., starting at $75 at Ariel’s at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.
This year, dozens of wineries will conduct free seminars in tents alongside World Showcase, and talented chefs will explore culinary customs and food trends at the complimentary Lifestyle Culinary Demonstrations at The Terrace, an alfresco-like setting between the Morocco and France pavilions. Also at The Terrace, guests can explore the Festival Wine Shop and see Artisans Among the Arbors -- an eclectic array of artists.
Entrance to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, including The Robert Mondavi Family of Wines tour, wine and beer seminars and cooking demonstrations, is free with regular Epcot admission of $50 ages 10 and up, $40 ages 3-9.
The festival takes place during 100 Years of Magic, Disney’s celebration honoring founder Walt Disney on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Guests are treated to new parades, live shows and attractions in a four-park celebration.
Guests can call 407/WDW-DINE for information or reservations for special events and programs during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, or visit the Web site: www.disneyworld.com and link to Epcot for festival details.