It’s time! The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ,which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, opened September 25, 2015! The festival at Walt Disney World’s Epcot park in Orlando, Florida, will run daily until November 16. This gives you 53 days to explore, taste, and experience a global selection of food, drinks, and unparalleled events only Disney can offer. This is not any ordinary festival and the food is something you won’t experience anywhere else.
5 Tips to Make the Most of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival
I walked around Epcot Food & Wine Festival three years ago with my four children, including a three month old, and I was in awe of all there was to see. I had no idea this type of upscale event could happen at Disney World, but it does. And it is awesome! Whether you are a self-proclaimed food snob, someone who aspires to be a foodie, or just a mom with kids strapped to her who likes some good eats, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is for you!
Go here to see what’s new for 2015 from Road Trip TravelingMom, Karen Locke.
With this being a milestone anniversary celebration for this festival, expect it to be bigger and better than ever. There will be more global marketplaces, more food and drink options, and more concerts with big name groups. For those heading to the fun and festivities, here are five tips you must know to make the most out of your 2015 Epcot Food & Wine Festival experience.
The Festival is Free.
Though Epcot admission is required, there is not an extra fee for most of the Food & Wine Festival activities. You can partake of all the attractions Epcot has to offer as well as the extra experiences (and food and beverages) that are offered during this special time of year. The premium experiences, classes, special meals and the food and beverage samplings available during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be extra though. A one-day ticket to Epcot starts at $97/person.
Be on TV!
ABC’s Emmy-Award winning TV series, The Chew, will even tape several shows LIVE from the festival. Hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz will be on hand to tape the episodes The shows will tape on October 7-9, 2015 at Epcot and will air October 12-16, 2015. Coming to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival those dates? Get information on ticket availability to be in the live studio audience at TheChew.com.
Plan Your Tastes Ahead of Time.
Sure you can just walk around and see what catches your eye (or your nose), but with so much to see and eat, you might miss what would have been your favorite taste! Spend a big of time mapping out your tastes before you hit the park so you know which ones are on your “must eat” list. You might want to try out the 20th Festival Tasting Sampler which is new this year. This program gives guests exclusive credentials and a collectible pin that will give you your choice of eight food or beverages from the marketplaces, plus you’ll get priority seating at the Eat to the Beat concert that day.
Don’t Forget about the Music!
While the food is definitely the showcase at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, the music is a close second. Throughout the festival, Disney will bring in 20 fantastic musical acts. These concerts are all free to anyone who paid the price of admission. The nightly Eat to the Beat concerts kicked off opening weekend with singer-songwriter David Cook. In 2015 they have four new acts in the popular concert series lineup. The new additions include Tiffany, Everclear, Maxi Priest and Chaka Khan! They will all be belting out the chart-topping tunes we all know and love. There are tons of other popular acts also making an appreance at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival including Wilson Phillips, Smash Mouth, The Pointer Sisters, Jo Dee Messina, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. All these concerts will be held at the America Gardens Theatre stage. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series will take place daily at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM. Are you ready to rock?
Kids are Welcome.
Unlike many food and wine festivals throughout the country, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is child-friendly. It is at Disney World after all! Use this as an opportunity to expand your child’s palette beyond hot dogs and chicken fingers! Kirsten Maxwell, Teaching TravelingMom, offers great tips on how to use Epcot as a learning experience. The extra music, shopping, and cultural experiences during the festival are fantastic learning tools too. Though kids are welcome at the festival, there are some premium experiences such as the mixology classes and the Beverage Bootcamp that are strictly for adults. Children will be allowed to stay with their parents but alcohol will only be served to adults 21 years of age and older (of course!). Many of the seminars offer coloring stations for restless kids. And be sure to look for the child-friendly “Kidcot” stations throughout the festival for some foodie fun geared toward the younger set.