Foodies of all ages can explore the world at Walt Disney World at Epcot’s annual fall celebration, the International Food and Wine Festival. This year, the festival continues through Nov. 12.
While Epcot’s World Showcase always includes international restaurants and authentic cuisine, the Food and Wine Festival brings out some unique offerings at 29 marketplaces.
Start the culinary journey at the Festival Center located between Mission Space and Ellen’s Energy Adventure in Epcot’s Future World East. The center is home to special events, including wine tastings and seminars – including many hosted by celebrity chefs and HGTV stars – as well as a must-stop location: Ghirardelli’s From the Bean to the Bar. Learn about chocolate and taste some samples, too.
While at the Festival Center, pick up a free Marketplace Discovery Passport, which serves as both a menu of the festival marketplaces and a souvenir that can be stamped at each location.
Marketplace food options are smaller-than-entree portions, allowing visitors to taste their way around the world. Plan for two or three choices per person, as well as dessert and beverages.
New this year is Terra, a vegan marketplace that features dishes with Gardein meatless products. The Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese ($3.75) is full of flavor with a rich, spicy kick.
In Australia, check out Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze ($4.75). It’s a full skewer of lightly glazed, grilled shrimp with just a hint of sweetness.
In China, Pork Pot Stickers ($3.75) offer a substantial, meaty snack. Around the bend, France’s Escargots Persillade en Brioche ($5.25) are a rich, savory addition to the meal.
For the meat lovers, Canada’s “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce ($6.50) is a hearty portion of fork tender beef topped with a rich mushroom sauce.
Desserts abound at virtually every turn. Cannoli, custards, mousse, cakes and more are available. Craft beers and international wines (served to ages 21 and over only) come in seemingly endless varieties. One marketplace is devoted entirely to desserts and champagne. For those unsure about wine choices, wine and beverage seminars ($14.99 each) offer tips from vineyard experts.
A wide variety of parties and signature dining experiences are offered, many of which sell out well in advance. Options include a dinner hosted by Chef Cat Cora, an Italian white truffle lunch, a Moroccan food and wine pairing and much more. Reservations and details are online at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/.