The 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off on Aug. 30 and runs for 75 days this year, through Nov. 12. This year’s festival features more than 30 marketplace booths in addition to the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, special events, low-cost seminars and demonstrations and more.
Let’s check out what this year’s festival has to offer!
Marketplace booths featuring international cuisine served in small plate fashion are at the heart of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This year’s festival includes new marketplace booths to tempt your taste buds.
You’ll want to stop by the Festival Center in Epcot’s Future World and check out the new Festival Center Wine Shop. This booth features a Charcuterie Plate, a Cheese Plate and an intriguing Bloody Mary Seafood Cocktail. You’ll also find an extensive wine menu with wines by the glass and wine flights.
If mimosas are your preferred morning cocktail, then you can’t miss the new Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar, which features a variety of mimosas, a fromosa (frozen mimosa), and the popular Frozen Apple Pie which was available at the Poland Booth in years past. Eats at this booth include pastries like croissants and a cheese danish to start your festival day.
Both the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar and the Wine Shop will be located within the Festival Center, and here’s a tip: the Festival Center will open at 9 AM daily throughout the run of the Festival, so you can try these new offerings before the majority of the booths open in World Showcase at 11 AM.
Rounding out the new booths for 2018 is Taste Track. This seasonal kiosk located in Future World by the popular Test Track attraction officially joins the festival this year with a kid-friendly menu of croissant donuts with various toppings and a unique pancake milkshake.
Festival Eats and Sips We Can’t Wait To Try
This year’s festival will feature some exciting new dishes along with several returning favorites.
The new Guinness Baileys Shake at the Ireland Booth tops our list of items we’re most excited about so far. We had a chance to sample it at a festival preview, and quickly realized two things: first, the shake will create long lines at the already popular booth. And second, the wait will be worth it!
The Mexico booth has an entirely new menu this year. This booth rarely disappoints, so we are especially excited to try the new Short Rib Tostada. The Mexico booth will also continue its tradition of serving up some fantastic margaritas. The Mariachi Loco will present a refreshing mango flavor profile while the smoky Ay Caramba will bring the heat with Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur.
Poutine is a hot dish all over Disney World right now. And this year the Refreshment Port is offering up two new Poutines for the Festival: a Beef Brisket Poutine and an ideal-for-the-fall Sweet Potato Poutine.
A can’t-miss dessert, in my opinion, is the new Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake, which you’ll find at The Cheese Studio.
You’ll want to look outside of the Global Marketplace Booths for festival offerings as well. For instance, the Funnel Cake Stand in the American Adventure Pavilion will serve a new Maple Bacon Funnel Cake just for the Festival.
And this is just the start of our list! With more than thirty different Marketplace Booths to visit, it definitely pays to take some time to check out the menus and photos of all the food and drinks at the festival prior to your visit.
Special Events and More at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
As always, the festival fun goes beyond the Marketplace Booths! The Eat to the Beat Concert Series is, as always, included with admission to Epcot. This year’s lineup includes Blue October, Tiffany, Sheila E, Living Color, Everclear, Air Supply, and more. Be sure to check the Eat to the Beat concert schedule to find out who is performing during your festival dates.
Low-cost culinary demonstrations and beverage seminars will take place each day at the Festival Center, and offer terrific information (along with a small bite to eat) for at-home chefs. And brand new this year are Food and Beverage Pairings.
While you’re in the Festival Center, you should also take some time to enjoy several of the offerings that are included with your admission to Epcot including The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to Bar, Back to Basics Seminars, and book signings by celebrity chefs. (Pick up a Times Guide at the park’s entrance to learn more.)
The Festival is focusing on Family Friendly offerings this year with plenty of new activities keeping little foodies in mind! Among these offerings is the Junior Chef Kitchen Presented by Krusteaz. “Junior Chefs” will make, decorate, and sample their own pancake creations in this family-friendly, complimentary experience. Participants will also receive their very own chef hat, apron and certificate of completion. Junior Chef Kitchen sessions are held at the Festival Center Spotlight Stage on select Sundays at 11 AM.
New for 2018 is Sunday Brunch with the Chef. This event is a a 2-hour session which includes a breakfast buffet (with a sparkling wine toast), and a Q & A session with a celebrity guest — including a photo opportunity with the guest and attendees! Featured Chefs include Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Chef Art Smith, Tiffani Thiessen, and more.
As you can tell, there is MUCH more to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival than simply eating your way around World Showcase (although that’s certainly a major part of the fun, too)! My advice? Be sure check out all of the many options beforehand and come prepared with a plan… AND a big appetite!
AJ Wolfe is the owner and executive editor of The Disney Food Blog, a website covering all things food and drink in Walt Disney theme parks, resorts, and cruise ships. Check out the updated edition of her best-selling e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2018 — for in-depth advice on Disney World dining! The Disney Food Blog is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company.