You have a while, but it’s never too early to start planning for Disney’s finest culinary extravaganza, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which kicks of September 19 and runs a record 53 days this year, through November 10.
Longtime fans will want to know what’s new, but for neophtyes, here are the basics: food fans love the stroll around World Showcase to nosh and sip from more than 25 ethnic and specialty marketplaces (get your free festival “passport” stamped along the way). But there’s so much more: three nightly Eat to the Beat concerts, the fantastic Party for the Senses on select Saturday nights, signature dinners, the remarkable Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, a new “Back to Basics” Festival Center series and a new Friday morning celebrity chefs cookbook event called “Food for Thought.” All in all, you can taste the creations of more than 270 chefs and culinary pros from Disney and across the U.S.
We’re excited to see our favorite Saturday morning Parisian Breakfast back this year, and a new Sunday morning event called “Sunday Mornings With …” that will be a plated brunch with a noted pastry chef or baker crafting three fabulous desserts for guests.
What else is new for 2014?
- Patagonia Marketplace will merge the flavors of Argentina and Chile in dishes like sustainable roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad drizzled with a kicky arugula chimichurri. You can pair that with a couple of great Chilean wines: Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier or Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé.
- Farm Fresh Market replaces last year’s Florida Local Marketplace, with a perfect “brinner” (breakfast for dinner) dish: “Bacon and Eggs,” with applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled jalapeños. Or try the griddled “yard bird” (chicken) with braised greens. Happy to see Orlando Brewing Company’s I-4IPA on the menu, as well as trendy Ba Ba Black Lager from Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing Company.
- Brazil Marketplace is back with that wildly popular crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro, but chefs also are adding mocequa de pescado (tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice), pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and cocadas (Brazilian coconut candy).
- The Poland Marketplace switches up the popular pierogi with a new sauerkraut pierogi and pork goulash.
That’s just a little taste of what’s to come; stay tuned for more details as the weeks sail by.
Free with Epcot admission: Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment. Festival hours extend to 10 p.m. each weekend.
You’ll need reservations/additional fee: Party for the Senses grand tasting events, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs. When a reservation booking date is announced this summer, guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378). Information and reservations for select programs will be at epcotfoodfestival.com.