It is the most wonderful time of year — The 21st annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is here! Great eats, festive drinks and special foodie events, the festival takes place now through Nov. 14, 2016.
If you are making plans to go this year, don’t miss my helpful tips of visiting the festival. Here’s a look at some pretty incredible facts (and numbers) surrounding this year’s festival.
This year’s festivals is a record 62 days long – the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival began in 1996.
The festival has become a mainstay for locals and visitors alike. You’ll find the largest crowds on the weekends – especially Saturday late afternoon and evening.
My advice — get a head start as soon as the booths open at 11 a.m. Grab a passport and go with a plan, knowing which booths are on your ‘must eat’ list.
More than 50 wineries and more than 35 breweries from around the world, including Florida craft beer operations, are represented at the festival marketplaces.
Don’t miss visiting the Craft Beers marketplace in the Odyssey building just outside of the World Showcase near Mexico.
The Wine & Dine Studio is new this year showcasing wine pairings with great eats like the Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms.
This year’s festival features 32 new marketplace dishes and 49 new cocktails, beers, wines and ciders.
One of my top picks for ‘must eat’ at this year’s festival is the new smoked beef brisket with pimento cheese served on griddled garlic toast. You’ll find it at the the Hops & Barley marketplace.
When it comes to craft beer, I’m a big fan of the St. Pete- based 3 Daughters Brewing. This year, they are featuring their Bimini Twist IPA at the festival — you’ll find their great beer at the Craft Beer marketplace. It is also available as part of the craft beer flights too. Give it a try!
More than 375 hours of scheduled seminars will take place at the Festival Center including culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, book signings and more.
To check out the entire lineup for the festival, hop over to the official Festival Center page. Reservations are highly encouraged for special events, so take a look at the schedule and plan ahead.
More than 225,000,000 festival dishes were served during last year’s 53-day festival and 100,000-plus desserts.
The amount of food available for tasting is just incredible — and delicious too. If you aren’t prepared, it can be overwhelming. I always recommend grabbing a passport when you arrive at the park (or scope out the marketplace lineup online)and discover what places you want to visit.
As much as you think you’ll be able to visit each marketplace in one visit — it isn’t likely to happen. The food is just that great! Go into it with a plan and you’ll enjoy more of the festival.
Get Ready for Great Eats at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The 21st Epcot International Food & Wine Festival takes place September 14 through November 14. Stay tuned to the hashtag #EpcotFoodFestival for the latest information.
The official website (www.EpcotFoodFestival.com) has all of the latest news and information. There you’ll also find detailed information on all of the demos, classes and unique experiences offered as part of this year’s festival.