My favorite Epcot festival will have lots of new (and some returning) fun this year! The Eat to the Beat Concert line-up is finalized and has added some new headliners too! I like to visit Epcot at least 2 or 3 times during the festival and can’t wait for this year’s to get going!
The aromas and flavors of more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, plus a full menu of new offerings such as “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series, will welcome guests to Epcot during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12, 2018.
Throughout the celebrated 75-day event, guests will have a chance to meet their favorite celebrity chefs, try a new Food & Beverage Pairing in the Festival Center each Friday through Sunday, and get their gourmet groove on at nightly Eat to the Beat Concert Series shows. The first of five popular Party for the Senses events will kick off Sept. 22 in the park’s World ShowPlace Events pavilion.
One of America’s top food festivals since 1996, the Epcot dine-around extravaganza will surprise guests with new and inspiring sips and bites throughout the park’s World Showcase and on into several Future World venues.
Here’s the latest festival buzz:
- The NEW Taste Track global marketplace featuring specialty croissant doughnuts (add gelato for an extra-sweet treat) joins dozens of popular returning marketplaces. For a fourth year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds at The Wine & Dine Studio; Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak with smoked corn cake, pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aïoli at Flavors from Fire; and New Brunswick Slider, slow-braised beef brisket “pot roast-style” on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and pickled vegetables on the side at the Hops & Barley
- The NEW “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series in World ShowPlace will kick off Sept. 2 with Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 11 with a lineup that includes Jamie Deen, Tiffani Thiessen, Masaharu Morimoto, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Geoffrey Zakarian, Carla Hall and Alex Guarnaschelli.
- Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 shows in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times each night with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, MercyMe and Glass Tiger, along with returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues. Here’s the full line-up:
- August 30 to 31: Blue October
- September 1 to 3: Tiffany
- September 4 to 5: NEW! MercyMe
- September 6 to 7: NEW! Glass Tiger
- September 8 to 9: NEW! Tauren Wells
- September 10 to 11: Postmodern Jukebox
- September 12 to 13: NEW! Vertical Horizon
- September 14 to 16: Baha Men
- September 17 to 19: Plain White T’s
- September 20 to 21: Living Colour
- September 22 to 23: NEW! Sheila E
- September 24 to 26: Sugar Ray
- September 27 to 28: David Cook
- September 29 to 30: Jeffrey Osborne
- October 1 to 2: NEW! Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts
- October 3 to 4: Everclear
- October 5 to 7: Mark Wills
- October 8 to 10: Air Supply
- October 11 to 12: NEW! Anderson East
- October 13 to 14: Smash Mouth
- October 15 to 16: NEW! 98 Degrees
- October 17 to 18: 38 Special
- October 19 to 21: The Devon Allman Project
- October 22 to 23: Kenny G
- October 24 to 25: Billy Ocean
- October 26 to 28: Starship featuring Mickey Thomas
- October 29 to 31: Hanson
- November 1 to 2: NEW! High Valley
- November 3 to 4: Taylor Dayne
- November 5 to 7: Boyz II Men
- November 8 to 9: The Hooters
- November 10 to 12: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses at World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10 to showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays will offer new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced this summer.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates at festival seminars and other events. Just a few of the big names on tap are Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
Throughout the festival, park guests can pair wines, beers and cocktails with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the park and let their complimentary festival passports be their guide. As guests explore, they’ll find something for everyone in the family:
- A “Ratatouille”-inspired adventure is back as Chef Remy encourages families to play together during Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt. This year Remy is hiding in all new locations!
Other returning favorites include:
- The complimentary Back to Basics weekend series offered in the Festival Center will share epicurean tips and tricks from the pros. Book and bottle signings by some of the world’s top vintners will be available, and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, will offer guest samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars will offer daily learning and tasting sessions at the Festival Center. On select Saturdays, Cheese Seminars will be a fromage fan’s delight.
- Eat to the Beat Dining Packages and other Specialty Dining and Pairing events will be on tap at a number of Epcot participating restaurants. Bookings for special programming and premium festival events is open now.
Included with Epcot Admission
Back to Basics series, book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, Festival Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation
Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) to make reservations and find more details at TasteEpcot.com.