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EPCOT Food & Wine Festival 2024 Dates | Activities

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Every fall, Walt Disney World transforms Epcot into a global foodie’s paradise with the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This beloved event has become a staple for Disney fans and culinary enthusiasts alike, offering a tantalizing journey around the world through an array of delectable dishes, refreshing beverages, and immersive experiences.

As you step into Epcot during the festival, the aromas of diverse cuisines waft through the air, beckoning you to embark on a gastronomic adventure. The heart of the celebration lies in the World Showcase, where over 25 global marketplaces line the promenade, each representing a different country or region. From the savory flavors of Mexico to the sweet delights of Belgium, these kiosks serve up tapas-sized portions, allowing you to sample a multitude of culinary delights without committing to a full meal.

Beyond the tantalizing bites, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival offers a plethora of experiences to delight your senses. Nightly concerts at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series feature popular musical acts, providing the perfect soundtrack to your culinary escapades. Immersive seminars and demonstrations led by renowned chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists offer a chance to deepen your knowledge and appreciation for the art of food and beverage. With the recent announcement of the Epcot Food and Wine dates and details, it’s time to start planning your culinary adventure at Epcot.

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A Brief History of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Before we dive into all the incredible food and activities the festival has to offer, let’s go over the history of the the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot!

Origins and Early Years

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival traces its origins back to 1995, when it began as a small event called the Walt Disney World Village Wine Festival held at the Disney Village (now Disney Springs). In 1996, the festival was moved to Epcot and rebranded as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The first year at Epcot featured just 25 global marketplace kiosks around the World Showcase promenade. 

It ran for 30 days from September 28 to October 27, bridging the gap between the summer and holiday seasons to boost park attendance. Some popular food items that debuted in 1996 and have remained festival staples include Canada’s cheddar cheese soup, Poland’s pierogies, and Germany’s apple strudel.

Gaining Popularity (1997-2001)

The festival started gaining major popularity in its early years at Epcot:

  • In 1997, a benefit gala was added featuring celebrity chef Julia Child to raise money for hunger relief organizations.
  • The Art of Winemaking seminar series debuted in 1998, hosted by master sommeliers.
  • Educational wine exhibits were added around World Showcase in 1999, as well as the first Disney Classic 10K race.
  • The Millennium Village exhibit celebrated global cultures in 2000.
  • The Robert Mondavi winery showcased the winemaking process in 2001.

Signature Events Introduced (2002-2006)

Several signature events were introduced during this period that became annual staples:

  • Party for the Senses and the Eat to the Beat Concert Series both debuted in 2002.
  • Kitchen Karnival for kids was added in 2003.
  • Sparkling wines in cans with straws were introduced in 2004 for sipping while strolling.
  • The Odyssey cooking school launched in 2005, along with the Food & Wine Race for the Taste 10K.
  • 2006 marked the festival’s 10th anniversary with special celebrations.

Continued Growth and Innovation (2007-Present)

As the festival’s popularity exploded, Disney continued expanding and adding new elements:

  • New marketplaces like Twinings Tea Bar and Celebrate Oklahoma debuted in 2007.
  • The festival duration was extended each year, reaching a record 129 days in 2022.
  • More special events, seminars, celebrity chef appearances, and musical acts were added.
  • In 2024, a new Festival Center area called CommuniCore Hall will open as a dedicated home base.

What started as a small 30-day event has transformed into a major 129-day festival featuring over 25 global marketplaces, nightly concerts, seminars, culinary demos, and other immersive experiences celebrating food, beverage and culture from around the world. The Festival Epcot Food and Wine has become one of Disney World’s most popular annual events!

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Food and Wine Festival Dates and Duration

The 2024 Epcot Food and Wine Festival takes place at Walt Disney World, August 29th through November 23, 2024 spanning an impressive 3 months! This extended duration allows guests ample time to savor the diverse offerings and immerse themselves in the festival’s vibrant atmosphere. The Food and Wine Festival Epcot is one of the best times to expand your culinary palette! They have so many different offerings, it makes it easy to stay longer so you can try each marketplace! Epcot Food and Wine festival dates can sneak up on you, so make sure and mark them in your calendar!

Spain festival pavilion

Food and Wine Global Marketplaces

The global marketplaces are a highlight of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, offering tapas-sized portions of regional specialties from around the world. Here are more details about these popular food booths:

Global Marketplace Overview

  • Over 25 different global marketplace booths are set up around the World Showcase promenade during the festival
  • Each booth represents a different country, region or cuisine theme
  • They offer small plates, drinks, and desserts inspired by traditional dishes from that area
  • Portion sizes are tapas-style or appetizer-sized to allow guests to sample multiple items
  • Prices typically range from $4-$8 per dish/drink

Returning Favorite Marketplaces

Some of the marketplaces that return year after year include:

  • Mexico: Taco al Pastor, sweet corn cake, margaritas
  • Belgium: Belgian waffles, beer flights, chocolate treats
  • Greece: Spanakopita, Greek salads, wines
  • Germany: Crispy pork shanks, apple streudel, beers
  • Canada: Cheddar cheese soup, ice wines
  • France: Boeuf bourguignon, cheese plates, slushie cocktails
  • Hawaii: Kalua pork sliders, tuna poke

New and Rotating Marketplaces

Disney adds new booths or rotates different countries each year to keep things fresh:

  • 2023 New: Flavors of America, Char & Chop, Wine & Wedge, Bubbles & Brine, Swirled Showcase
  • 2022 New: Brew-Wing at the Odyssey pavilion
  • Past Booths: Chocolate Studio (2016), Candy Sushi (2011), Cheese Studio (2019)

Sample Past Menu Items

  • Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Alpine ham and baby potatoes (The Alps)
  • Grilled Chermoula Chicken or Moroccan lamb kebabs (Morocco)
  • Crispy pork belly with black bean arancini (Brazil)
  • Beef brisket burgerwich (Flavors from Fire)
  • Impossible Moussaka (Greece)
  • Beef brisket poutine (Brew-Wing)

The global marketplaces offer an incredible diversity of flavors and cuisines to explore during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. With new booths and menu items added each year, there’s always something new for returning guests to discover.

One of the festival’s main attractions is the array of over 25 global marketplaces scattered around the World Showcase and beyond. These kiosks offer a tantalizing selection of traditional dishes, desserts, and beverages from various countries and regions. Prepare your taste buds for a journey around the world as you sample flavors from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Be sure to pace yourself during the Food and Wine festival in Epcot so you don’t over do it! 

Japan pavilion signage

Popular Marketplace Highlights

While the complete Epcot Food and Wine 2024 menu has yet to be revealed, some fan-favorite marketplaces are expected to return!

Some highlighted food items from various marketplaces include:

The Alps

  • Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with alpine ham, baby potatoes, cornichons, and baguette
  • Dark Chocolate Fondue with Berries, Pound Cake and Meringues (plant-based)

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Australia

  • Grilled Sweet-and-Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with pineapple, pepper, onion, and snap peas
  • Roasted Lamb Chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies
  • Lamington: Yellow cake with raspberry filling dipped in chocolate and coconut

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Belgium

  • Beer-braised Beef served with smoked gouda mashed potatoes
  • Belgian Waffle with warm chocolate ganache
  • Belgian Waffle with berry compote and whipped cream

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Brazil

  • Crispy Pork Belly with Black Bean Arancini and Cilantro Aioli
  • Mango Mousse with Condensed Milk Crunchies

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Greece

  • Spanakopita (Greek spinach and feta pie)
  • Plant-Based Impossible™ Moussaka

 

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Hawai’i

  • Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour DOLE® Pineapple Rings and Spicy Mayonnaise
  • Tuna Poke with Avocado and Tomato
  • DOLE Whip

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Mexico

  • Taco al Pastor: Marinated Pork with Pineapple, Onions, and Cilantro
  • Sweet Corn Cake with Maple Crema

Morocco (Tangierine Café)

    • Grilled Chermoula Chicken or Moroccan-spiced Lamb Kebabs with carrot-chickpea salad
    • Fried Falafel Pita with tahini sauce (plant-based)
    • Pistachio Cake with cinnamon pastry cream and candied walnuts

While we don’t know the entire Epcot Food and Wine menu yet, we know the offerings will be incredible! We’ve never been let down yet!

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Eat to the Beat Concert Series

The Eat to the Beat Concert Series is a popular offering during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. Here are the key details about this amazing concert series:

Concert Overview

  • Features popular musical acts performing nightly concerts at the America Gardens Theatre in the America pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase
  • Concerts are included with regular Epcot admission
  • Typically 3 concert showtimes per night around 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm
  • Runs the entire duration of the Food & Wine Festival, from late summer through late fall
  • Check back here for 2024 dates and showtimes

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Concert Lineup

  • The lineup features a mix of nationally recognized bands/artists and local Orlando acts
  • Big name bands typically perform Friday through Monday nights
  • Local bands take the stage Tuesday through Thursday when crowds are lighter
  • Past performers have included Boyz II Men, Hanson, Billy Ocean, Sugar Ray, Starship, Smash Mouth, Air Supply, Everclear, Baha Men, Taylor Dayne, and many more
  • The 2023 lineup included acts like Boyz II Men, Hanson, Sheila E., Hoobastank, Sugar Ray, Tiffany, MercyMe, and more

Eat to the Beat Dining Packages

  • Guests can purchase an Eat to the Beat Dining Package to guarantee seating for a concert
  • The package includes a meal at select Epcot restaurants and a concert badge for reserved seating
  • Pricing has varied, but typically around $35-$95 per person depending on restaurant

The Eat to the Beat Concert Series has become a staple of the Epcot International Food Wine Festival, allowing guests to enjoy live music from popular bands while sampling global cuisine and beverages around World Showcase. The diverse lineups over the years have catered to a wide range of musical tastes. The Epcot Food and Wine 2024 concerts are sure to be amazing! Be sure to make room in your schedule for them! Click here for tickets!

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Family-Friendly Activities

Festival Food and Wine Epcot offers several kid-friendly activities and experiences to keep children entertained while parents explore the global marketplaces. Here are some of the popular kids’ activities during the festival:

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt

One of the most popular activities is the Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt. Children can purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise locations to help Remy find ingredients for ratatouille hidden around the World Showcase.

  • Kids get a map highlighting the locations to search for Remy statuettes.
  • When they find a statuette, they can add the corresponding sticker to their map.
  • After finding all the locations, they return the map for a prize (past prizes included a Remy shoulder plush).
  • The cost is typically $6.99-$9.99 plus tax.

Kidcot Fun Stops

The Kidcot Fun Stops allow children to collect free souvenirs at stations located in each World Showcase pavilion.

  • Kids receive a cardstock character or Duffy the Bear to decorate and color.
  • Cast members will stamp or sign the souvenirs at each pavilion.
  • After collecting stamps from every country, kids can return for a bonus lithograph.

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Candy Sushi Roll

In past years, the Candy Sushi Roll experience allowed kids to create their own candy sushi roll at the Sunshine Seasons restaurant.

  • Cost was around $4.25 per person.
  • Kids learned how to roll candy like a sushi chef using fruit by the foot, airheads, and rice crispy treats.

Junior Chef Kitchen

The Junior Chef Kitchen offered free 30-minute cooking demonstrations on Sundays during the festival. Kids could learn to prepare kid-friendly dishes. 1

Disney Du Jour Dance Party

While not specifically for kids, the Disney Du Jour Dance Party featured Radio Disney performers and offered an opportunity for kids to dance along. It was held on weekend nights. Other potential activities have included Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit scavenger hunt, Chip & Dale’s Harvest Campfire with s’mores, and the Disney Pixar Pals Scavenger Hunt. Disney often rotates the kid activities each year, so new ones may be introduced. The Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2024 provides fun, educational activities to engage kids while allowing parents to enjoy the global food and beverage offerings around World Showcase.

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Emile’s Fromage Montage at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Returning this year to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is Emile’s Fromage Montage, a cheese-themed experience that promises to delight cheese lovers! Details on this exciting offering are yet to be revealed, but it’s certain to be a highlight for those with a penchant for artisanal cheeses.

To take part in the cheese crawl called Emile’s Fromage Montage, follow these steps:

  1. Pick up a free Festival Passport at the Epcot entrances. This will have the official list of qualifying global marketplace dishes.
  2. Purchase any 5 of the featured cheese dishes from the different global marketplaces around World Showcase.
  3. For each cheese dish purchased, ask the cast member to stamp your Festival Passport.
  4. Once you have collected 5 stamps in your passport by purchasing 5 different cheese dishes, proceed to the Shimmering Sips Marketplace hosted by Corkcicle.
  5. Redeem your stamped passport at Shimmering Sips to receive an exclusive, specialty prize item!

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The Chocolate Experience

The Chocolate Experience is a popular offering at the Food and Wine Festival that celebrates all things chocolate. It features intricate chocolate sculptures, decadent desserts, and opportunities to learn about the art of chocolate-making from expert chocolatiers.

Chocolate Sculptures and Desserts

One of the main highlights is the display of elaborate chocolate sculptures created by Disney’s talented pastry chefs and chocolatiers. In past years, these have included life-sized figures, Disney character sculptures, and intricate designs made entirely out of chocolate. Guests can also indulge in a variety of chocolate-based desserts and treats available for purchase. Some past offerings have included:

  • Chocolate Cake Sundaes
  • Chocolate Mousse
  • Chocolate-dipped fruits
  • Chocolate Crunch Bars
  • Chocolate Wines and Beers

Chocolate Seminars and Demonstrations

The Chocolate Experience often includes seminars and demonstrations led by renowned chocolatiers and pastry chefs. These provide insights into the chocolate-making process, tasting notes, wine/beer pairings, and hands-on experiences. In 2018, for example, there was a “Chocolate Dessert Party” that included a chocolate sculpture display, dessert samples, and a chocolate beverage seminar.

Location and Pricing

The Chocolate Experience is typically located in one of the Festival Marketplaces or pavilions around World Showcase. In recent years, it has been hosted at the Chocolate Studio marketplace.While admission to the Epcot International Food and Wine is included with park admission, The Chocolate Experience often requires a separate fee for seminars, demonstrations, and dessert parties. Pricing has varied from $45-$95 per person in past years based on the specific offering. Overall, The Chocolate Experience is a must-visit for chocolate lovers, providing a delectable and educational journey into the world of fine chocolates and desserts during the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.

Seminars and Tastings

The festival hosts a variety of culinary demonstrations and beverage seminars where guests can learn from renowned chefs, sommeliers, and beverage experts. These 45-minute sessions provide hands-on education and tasting opportunities.

Culinary Demonstrations

  • Receive step-by-step instructions for recipes, cooking techniques, or working with specific ingredients
  • Sample the completed dish at the end of the demo
  • Led by local Epcot chefs, visiting chefs, and Disney chefs
  • Topics range from cake decorating to garnishing to mixing cocktails
  • Held at the World Showplace Events Pavilion
  • Cost around $19 per person in previous years

Beverage Seminars

  • Learn about wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails from the pros
  • Sample beverages during the seminar
  • Led by sommeliers, brewmasters, mixologists, and winemakers
  • Topics cover wine regions, beer styles, spirit tastings, cocktail mixing
  • Held at the World Showplace Events Pavilion
  • Cost around $19 per person in previous years

Wine Tastings and Pairings

  • Dedicated to exploring fine wines from different regions
  • Guests learn directly from sommeliers and winemakers
  • Sample multiple wines paired with appetizers or small plates
  • Examples: Wine Pairing in Morocco, Beer and Food Pairing in Italy, Tequila Pairing in Mexico
  • Require separate event tickets and have higher costs than seminars

Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It

  • Hands-on experience to mix cocktails or make food items
  • Learn tips and tricks from Disney chefs and beverage experts
  • Sample the items you make during the session
  • Held at the World Showplace Events Pavilion
  • Cost $45 per guest in previous years

The seminars, demos, and tastings offer immersive educational experiences to deepen appreciation for cuisines, beverages, and culinary skills. Advance reservations are highly recommended as these events have limited capacity and sell out quickly

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Food and Wine Festival Merchandise

No Disney festival would be complete without exclusive merchandise and themed treats. Guests can expect a wide range of festival-themed apparel, souvenirs, and the return of the beloved Orange Bird treats, adding a touch of whimsy to the culinary celebration. Mickey Mouse, Remy from “Ratatouille”, and our favorite purple dragon, Figment will all have special merchandise! Wine Festival Epcot Food is amazing, but we also love the one of kind merchandise the Festival has to offer! Make sure and get yourself a souvenir during your visit!

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Planning Your Visit to the Food and Wine Festival

With so many offerings and experiences, planning your visit to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is crucial to make the most of your time. Here are some tips to help you navigate the festival:

1. Stay at a Disney Resort

Staying at a Disney Resort hotel offers convenient access to the festival and the ability to take advantage of early entry and extended park hours. Resorts like Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club are within walking distance of Epcot, while others like Disney’s Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort are just a short ride away on the Disney Skyliner.

2. Purchase a Festival Gift Card

To streamline your food and beverage purchases, consider purchasing a festival-specific gift card. This convenient option allows you to load funds onto the card and use it at all festival locations, eliminating the need to carry cash or credit cards.

3. Use Mobile Ordering

Disney’s mobile ordering system can be a lifesaver during the festival’s peak hours. By placing your orders through the My Disney Experience app, you can bypass long lines and pick up your food and beverages at a designated time, maximizing your time at the festival.

4. Attend During the Week

While the festival is popular throughout its duration, weekdays tend to be less crowded than weekends. If your schedule allows, consider visiting during the week to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and shorter wait times.

5. Pace Yourself

With so many tempting options, it’s easy to overindulge. Remember to pace yourself and take breaks between tastings to fully appreciate each dish and beverage. Hydrate regularly, and don’t hesitate to share portions with your travel companions.

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Epcot Food & Wine Festival Frequently Asked Questions

What are the festival dates?

The 2024 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run from August 29th through November 23, 2024, spanning 3 months.

Do I need a special ticket or admission for the festival?

No, the Food and Wine Festival is included with regular Epcot admission. You only need a valid ticket to enter Epcot during the festival dates.

What is a Festival Passport and should I get one?

The Festival Passport is a guide that lists all the global marketplaces and their menus. It’s highly recommended to get one as it helps you plan which dishes to try and allows you to collect stamps from each booth as a souvenir. The passports are free and available at Epcot’s entrances.

What are some must-have items to bring?

Useful items to pack include food trays or a DIY tray to carry multiple dishes, reusable utensils and straws, a festival gift card to stay on budget, a portable charger, and a Tide pen for spills.

When is the best time to visit to avoid crowds?

Weekdays (Monday-Thursday) tend to be less crowded than weekends. Avoid opening and closing weeks of the festival if possible, as those periods see higher attendance. Go earlier in the day when booths first open for shorter lines.

What are the Global Marketplaces?

These are over 25 food booths or kiosks around the World Showcase representing different countries and cultures. They offer tapas-sized portions of regional specialties, drinks, and desserts. New marketplaces are added each year.

What special events or activities are offered?

Popular festival activities include the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, cheese crawls like Emile’s Fromage Montage, chocolate dessert parties, culinary demos, beverage seminars, the Remy’s Ratatouille scavenger hunt for kids, and more.

How can I stay within a budget?

Strategies include purchasing a gift card just for the festival, sharing dishes, sticking to a plan, avoiding alcohol which increases costs quickly, and focusing on the free concerts and activities. Using a dining plan snack credits can also help offset costs.

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Conclusion

As the festival draws to a close each year, it leaves a lasting impression on all who attended, a testament to the power of food to bring people together and create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a casual Disney enthusiast, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the world’s flavors without ever leaving the magic of Walt Disney World.

Beyond the culinary delights, the festival serves as a reminder of the importance of embracing diversity and celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our global community. Each bite, each sip, and each experience is a window into the traditions, histories, and stories that shape the world around us. As you bid farewell to the festival, you’ll carry with you not only the memories of the flavors you savored but also a renewed appreciation for the art of gastronomy and the connections it fosters.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival is more than just a celebration of food and drink; it’s a celebration of life, a celebration of the human spirit, and a celebration of the boundless potential that lies in embracing the world’s diverse cultures. So mark your calendars for August 29th through November 23, 2024, gather your loved ones, and prepare to embark on a culinary odyssey like no other. The Epcot International Food and Wine awaits, ready to tantalize your taste buds and ignite your sense of wonder.