What’s New at This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
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We’ve (hopefully) already established that Disney World is not just for kids — and along those lines, we’re nearing the return of a much-loved annual tradition that has won over the taste buds of Disney fans aged 21 and up for decades. The 24th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off later this month on Aug. 29. The festival is comprised of dozens of booths and offerings set up all around Epcot. There’s no separate admission fee for the festival beyond your Epcot ticket, though food and drinks do cost extra. TPG recently chatted with the folks at Disney who are heavily involved in making the festival happen to see what was going to be new for 2019.
Longest Ever Food & Wine Festival
This year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be the longest-running one ever — beating last year by an extra 12 days. Running from Aug. 29 to Nov. 23, you’ll have 87 days to eat and drink your way around Epcot.
What’s particularly cool about those dates is that they coincide with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios, the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates and the first portion of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates. Basically, you can tack on some food and wine fun to three months of Disney visits that cross close to three seasons.
Two New Marketplaces
While there are always 11 country pavilions to visit around Epcot’s World Showcase, during this particular festival there are even more destinations represented in the park. In total, 2019 will bring 30 marketplaces to Epcot, with a couple of brand new arrivals joining the traditional line-up.
Joining marketplaces such as Belgium, Australia, Africa and Coastal Eats is a new option that isn’t exactly country specific, but is seasonally on-target. The Appleseed Orchard Marketplace, located in Canada, will feature apple-inspired beers, ciders and cocktails. The wines, brews and ciders can be enjoyed as a one-off or as part of a flight. If you’re hungry, this is where you can also find charcuterie and cheese boards.
The second new marketplace is an Alps Marketplace, where you will find offerings such as raclette swiss cheese with baby potatoes, venison stew and even frozen rosé — which is probably the perfect match to August heat in Orlando.
Yes, There’s Air Conditioning — at One Marketplace
If there’s a complaint about Epcot, it’s that things are spread out, there’s a lot of concrete and there’s not a ton of shade. (Which isn’t the best mix with filling your belly.)
However, the new Appleseed Orchard marketplace is actually indoors, located near the Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada. This indoor location is noteworthy, as you can enjoy a drink (or two), while also partaking in the magic of air-conditioning. This will also make this location a great choice for respite during late summer Orlando thunderstorms.
Of course, many of the permanent themed restaurants throughout Epcot are also indoors with air-conditioning, and make for great opportunities to sit down and relax for a bit.
Arrive By Sky(liner)
While not a festival attraction per se, a new way to arrive to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival will begin on Sept. 29 when the Disney Skyliners will begin flying passengers to the International Gateway entrance of Epcot from four different resorts. That entrance is located near the UK and France in the Epcot country line-up, meaning you’ll be able to waltz off Skyliner, virtually right into the Ireland festival marketplace and up order a Bailey’s milkshake.
When the Skyliner opens, it will be even easier to get to and from Epcot if you are staying at Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the forthcoming Disney’s Riviera Resort, all of which are on its path.
If you want to stay as close to Epcot as possible, you can also consider the Disney Swan or Dolphin (bookable with Marriott points), Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club and the Boardwalk.
The annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is always a fall favorite with grown-up Disney visitors. That said, there are family-friendly offerings, too, so don’t feel like you have to leave the kiddos at home. They can enjoy a daily Disney Junior Dance Party, candy sushi-making and Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt — while you keep the frozen rosé all to yourself.
Featured image courtesy of Disney.
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