Mickey really knows how to party. That’s how I felt when visiting Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The 18th annual event started on Sept. 27 and lasts until Nov. 11.
I went for the first time last week, and to put it succinctly, I was impressed. Here’s a snapshot of what makes this 46-day festival so grand:
- There are more than 300 national and international wines
- More than 220 food-and-beverage menu items are served, each tapas-sized portion or drink priced $3 to $8.50
- 100-plus celebrity chefs and 160 Walt Disney World chefs work the multi-day event
- There are more than 300 wine and beer seminars take place during the 46-day festival
- More than 1,200 fireworks explode each night over World Showcase Lagoon in “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”
- 138 Eat to the Beat concerts performed at the Epcot amphitheater
- 300,000 wine servings; If laid end-to-end the number of wine glasses used would reach from Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista to the Disney Cruise Line terminal at Port Canaveral, Fla.
- There will be approximately 360,000 beer servings, enough to fill the aquariums five times over at Rainforest Café at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
What to expect:
- The wine and food fest is immersed in Epcot’s everyday activities. Food stations are located throughout the World of Nations.
- Once you pay for getting into the park, bring cash or preload a festival gift card with money to enjoy the food and drinks.
- If you are a Disney Premier VisaCard member, there are several perks just for you, including a private lounge where you can relax away from the heat, and enjoy a complimentary fountain drink.
- Be sure to catch the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, where national acts like Sugar Ray, Edwin McCain and Wilson Philips will perform.
- The aromas wafting through Epcot just hit you as you pass by the various food stations: “We cook in every food station fresh to order,” says Chef Jens Dalhmann, the festival’s five-time director.