WHAT: Now in its ninth year, the festival has expanded to six weeks (from four) in celebration of the world's great food, wine and beer. Featured daily: culinary demonstrations and samplings; wine and beer seminars and tastings; live entertainment; children's activities; Eat to the Beat! concerts. More than 20 international food and wine marketplaces around World Showcase Lagoon represent different regions of the world, with appetizer-sized portions from $1-$4.50. Ticketed events scheduled throughout the festival: prestigious wine schools; elegant grand tastings and dinners; celebrity lunches; vertical tastings; food and wine pairings.
WHAT'S NEW: Valencia, Spain, marketplace and cultural experience; The New England Fair salute to the best of the region; Napa Valley Wine School; Festival Welcome Center Champagne and Sparkling Wine Bar; Exquisite Evenings at Epcot dinner series; Brewers' Dinners; Sweet Sundays dessert celebrations; Di-Vine Dinner at Cítricos; Celebrate the Harvest family exhibit with Eat Your Colors! and The Beautiful Bounty experiences.
RETURNING FAVORITES: Australia, Discover Down Under cultural experience; the prestigious Bordeaux Wine School USA, Italy Wine School and Australian Wine School; Eat to the Beat! concert series; Party for the Senses food and wine grand tastings; Food and Wine Pairings at popular Epcot restaurants; Lunch and Learn celebrity chef lunches; Oktoberfest celebration at Germany pavilion; Great Beers of the World seminars; Epcot Junior Chef Program.
Festival Welcome Center at Innoventions Plaza features new Champagne and Sparkling Wine Bar, a wine shop, merchandise and information kiosks, KitchenAid home accessories.
Eat to the Beat! concert series with three evening performances by popular entertainers on the America Gardens Theatre stage:
Oct. 1-5 - Kool and the Gang
Oct. 6-10 - Starship
Oct. 11-12 - Beach Boys
Oct. 13-15 - Temptations Review
Oct. 16-20 - Taylor Dayne
Oct. 21-25 - Commodores
Oct. 26-28 - Three Dog Night
Oct. 29-30 - Survivor
Oct. 31-Nov. 4 - Blake Shelton
Nov. 5-9 - Eddie Money
Nov. 10-14 - Chubby Checker & the Wildcats
Forty-five-minute wine seminars and tastings at The Terrace between France and Morocco in World Showcase and at the Festival Welcome Center in Future World.
More than 20 international food and wine marketplaces around World Showcase, with wine and appetizer-sized portions from $1-$4.50. A new cultural experience this year showcases the traditions of Valencia, Spain, complete with fiestas, folklore and cuisine including wines, oranges and the famous Paella Valenciana.
For beer lovers, there will be more than 30 national and international beers available around World Showcase and a Specialty Beer Garden near The American Adventure. Returning to The American Adventure courtyard is The History of Beer in America presented by the Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams beer, with seminars and tastings. Next door at the United Kingdom pavilion, guests can sample Old World brews in daily seminars.
Interactive culinary demonstrations daily at The Odyssey Culinary Center. Walt Disney World and celebrity chefs reveal their tips and tricks.
A festive Oktoberfest celebration at the Germany courtyard with food, beer and collectible steins.
Celebrate the Harvest on the Rose Walkway with Eat Your Colors! -- an interactive experience that celebrates fruits and vegetables, and The Beautiful Bounty -- with the focus on honey and peanuts.
Pumpkins & Melons Mania! Colorful fall harvest showcased in The Land greenhouses and experienced during the Living With the Land boat tour.
The prestigious Bordeaux Wine School USA, Napa Valley Wine School, Italy Wine School and Australian Wine School are respected one-day wine education programs with lunch and certification; $125 each program. The Italian school is Oct. 16 and 17 at L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante in the Italy pavilion; the Bordeaux school is Oct. 23 and 24 at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion; the Napa school is Oct. 30 and 31 and the Australian school is Nov. 6 and 7, both in the Wonders of Life VIP Lounge.
Party for the Senses food and wine tastings are grand-scale events in World Showplace between the United Kingdom and Canada pavilions, with 20 eminent chefs and featuring more than 50 international wines and beers; $95. Includes VIP seating for the Eat to the Beat! concert series and viewing for "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth." 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 6 and 13. (Epcot admission required.)
Signature Dinner Series features themed evenings reflecting the world's great wines and food. Five-course dinner with Walt Disney World chefs, with wines paired by vintners' selected wineries; $125. Hosted at premier Disney resort restaurants 6-9 p.m. Oct. 10, 17 and Nov. 14.
Exquisite Evenings at Epcot. Stellar five-course dinners with celebrity and Walt Disney World chefs, at World ShowPlace. Wines chosen by vintners who share their passion and knowledge throughout the meal; $185. 6-9 p.m. Fridays and select Sundays. Includes live entertainment and private viewing area for "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth." Jackets requested for men. (Epcot admission not required.)
Food and Wine Pairings at seven Epcot restaurants featuring varietal wines paired with food by a wine expert; $35. Times vary daily. (Epcot admission required.)
Vertical Wine Tastings. Wine aficionados can taste at least 10 vintages from exceptional vineyards and hear VIP wine speakers at Martha's Vineyard, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Saturdays; $95-$150.
Brewers' Dinners. Brews from international and domestic brewers are paired with dinner menu. 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays at one of two World Showcase locations; $55. (Epcot admission required.)
Lunch and Learn. A celebrity chef prepares lunch, including appetizer, entrée and dessert, at The Odyssey Culinary Center. Ask questions of the experts and take home recipes. Wines served to complement dishes. 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; $75. (Epcot admission required.)
Sweet Sundays. Celebrity pastry chefs create three items plus a grand finale, with samplers presented with a dessert wine. 7-8:30 p.m. Sundays; $55. (Epcot admission required.)
Di-Vine Dinner. An Australian guest chef and a Cítricos culinary team led by Chef Gray Byrum prepare cuisine from Australia, with a winery principal artfully pairing select wines. Seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for Australia Now! at Cítricos, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Sunday, Oct. 3; $125.
REGIONS OF THE WORLD AND TOPICS REPRESENTED:
The New England Fair (new)
Tortilla Cocina (new)
Valencia, Spain (new)
American Backyard Barbeque
Australia, Discover Down Under
Fresh from Florida
Great Beers of the World
Morocco & Mediterranean
Piemonte Chocolate Café
Russia & Eastern Europe
Specialty Beer Garden
WEB SITE: disneyworld.com/foodandwine
FOR ALL RESERVATIONS: 407/WDW-FEST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Immerse yourself in a Valencia, Spain, cultural experience. Sip to learn at a Napa Valley wine school. Discover Australia "down under," and drop by the Specialty Beer Garden. World Showcase is your oyster, your Shiraz, and even your lager during the first-ever six-week-long Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Oct. 1 through Nov. 14.
After eight years of serving up millions of delectable food, wine and beer samplings during a month-long festival, Epcot launches the fest two weeks earlier with new festival marketplaces and an expanded lineup of guest chefs and featured dinners, wine schools, tastings and pairings.
"Each year, we host the largest, longest wine fest in the world, and as demand for our food and wine events increased, we knew it was time to grow even more for our guests," said Epcot Vice President Brad Rex.
In recent years, the festival around World Showcase Lagoon has grown dramatically, attracting a diverse audience of more than one million each year -- from wine connoisseurs and gourmands to droves of wine neophytes eager to boost their wine IQs. In addition, the fest's nightly Eat to the Beat! concert series will feature an even more varied lineup this year, including classic rock, oldies and country performers.
"The festival is our opportunity to showcase not only all the culinary and wine-related talent at Walt Disney World Resort, but also to introduce great celebrity chefs and wine connoisseurs in the industry," said Nora Carey, festival manager. "We strive to provide various levels of experiences that reflect the diverse interests of our guests, from simple marketplace tastings and seminars to extravagant dinners."
More than 100 wineries offer tastings, and guests can sample the cuisine of more than 20 international marketplaces in tasting portions ranging from $1 to $4.50. Other highlights include:
The Festival Welcome Center, with a new Champagne and Sparkling Wine Bar, commemorative posters and other festival keepsakes, the latest in KitchenAid accessories and programming updates.
Some 250 Disney chefs and guest chefs -- including Allen Susser, Eric Tanaka, Emily Luchetti and other notables -- conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting elegant dinners and tasting events.
Up to 1,200 wine and beer seminars providing complimentary samplings.
New cultural experiences including Valencia, Spain, and The New England Fair, and the return of favorites including Australia, Discover Down Under.
New festival marketplaces including Peru and India, and the return of favorites like Russia, Greece, New Zealand and Ireland.
A variety of grand-scale ticketed culinary events, including a festival kickoff dinner with Fess Parker Winery and the weekly Party for the Senses, a 20-chef, 20-winemaker extravaganza with special entertainment.
The prestigious Bordeaux Wine School USA returns, along with the Italy Wine School and the Australian Wine School. They are joined by the new Napa Valley Wine School presented by the elite Copia Food Arts Center.
And the popular Food and Wine Pairings have expanded to a daily (and sometimes twice-daily) schedule at seven World Showcase and Future World locations -- Morocco, Canada, Japan, China, France, Italy and The Living Seas pavilions. The $35 ticketed event features VIP winemakers presenting three wines paired with delectable food samplings.
The alfresco setting of The Terrace, located between the Morocco and France pavilions, is ideal for Meet the Winemaker sessions and complimentary wine seminars.
Along with the music, dance, acrobatics and avant-garde entertainment showcased at Epcot pavilions, festival guests can enjoy Eat to the Beat! concerts performed three times each evening at America Gardens Theatre. Headliners include Three Dog Night, Kool and the Gang, Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, Eddie Money and other pop favorites.
Kids and their parents won't want to miss the Pumpkins and Melons Mania! display or the Epcot Junior Chef Program hosted by Nestlé at The Land showcase. Along the Rose Walkway, there's more family fun at the Celebrate the Harvest exhibit.
Entrance to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, plus wine and beer seminars and cooking demonstrations, is included with regular Epcot admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST for information or reservations for special events and programs. Festival details will be posted on the Web site: disneyworld.com/foodandwine.