LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney guests will sample wines from renowned vintners and boutique wineries, taste creative cuisine of many regions and soak up non-stop entertainment during the eighth annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Oct. 18-Nov. 16 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
One of the world's largest food and wine experiences with more than 100 wineries represented, the festival expands each year with new offerings and events. The park's 11 World Showcase countries and special festival marketplaces, including this year's "Australia, Discover Down Under" experience, will serve up food and wine samplings from exotic regions around the globe, with appetizer-sized tastings ranging from $1-$4.50. Chocolate lovers can explore the history and production of chocolate at the new "Piedmont, Italy: The Land of Chocolate" exhibit. For the second year, the Eat to the Beat! concert series promises nightly performances by artists including Sister Sledge, the Spinners, Three Dog Night, The 5th Dimension, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, and Chubby Checker & the Wildcats. In addition, the prestigious Bordeaux Wine School USA returns for a second year, and the Banfi Italian and Australian wine schools make their festival debuts.
Guests also can enjoy scheduled culinary demonstrations, wine seminars and multi-cultural performances at no additional cost. For beer aficionados, there are the "History of Beer in America" tastings and seminars by the Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams beer.
The Party for the Senses food-and-wine-tasting weekly events each feature the creations of 18 eminent chefs and choices of more than 50 wines and beers. In addition, guest opportunities to reserve the more intimate Food and Wine Pairings have increased by 60 percent, with pairings now scheduled at Coral Reef Restaurant, Le Cellier restaurant and Restaurant Marrakesh.
Dozens of performers ranging from acrobats to musicians add street-festival energy to this seasonal culinary celebration. Walt Disney World guests can toast the festival with champagne and get information at the park's Festival Welcome Center across from Future World Fountain and Innoventions Plaza.
Scheduled events in addition to daily wine seminars and culinary demonstrations include:
Eat to the Beat! concert series with evening performances by popular entertainers on the America Gardens stage at no additional cost.
Party for the Senses, a hip, hot celebration of the senses featuring more than 30 wines with flavorful foods Oct. 18 and 24, and Nov. 1, 8 and 15, for $85 in World Showplace.
Bordeaux Wine School, a one-day wine education program with lunch and wine school certificates presented upon completion, at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 for $125.
Banfi Italian Wine School, a one-day wine education program with lunch and wine school certificates presented upon completion, at L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante in the Italy pavilion Nov. 6 through 8 for $125.
Australian Wine School, a one-day wine education program with lunch and wine school certificates, Nov. 14 through 16, at Spaceship Earth VIP Lounge for $125.
Food and Wine Pairings, featuring wine experts pairing great food and wines Mondays at Restaurant Marrakesh ($35); Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Coral Reef Restaurant ($35) and Le Cellier ($35).
Reserve Dinners, for an elite dining experience that marries great wines and food and includes VIP viewing of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" at the Wonders of Life pavilion VIP Dining Room Oct. 19, 23, 25, 30 and 31, and Nov. 6, 7, 13 and 14 for $175.
Additional events in celebration of the festival are:
Signature Dinner Series, with five courses and wine pairings from featured vintners, to be held at a different Disney signature resort restaurant each Sunday for $110.
Vertical Tastings, a rare opportunity for wine lovers to sample 10 vintages from stellar producers and hear VIP wine speakers, Saturdays for $125.
Riedel Crystal Wine Glass Tastings, where wine aficionados can explore the science and artistry behind the design of the world-renowned Riedel crystal wine glasses for $125.
Talented chefs will explore culinary customs and food trends during demonstrations at The Terrace, an alfresco 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, plus wine and beer seminars and cooking demonstrations, is included with regular Epcot admission.