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35 To Epcot 35: Day 7 – Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

International Food & Wine Festival

Park attendance was historically low during the fall and the former Vice President of Operations at Epcot, George Kalogridis, was looking for a way to boost park attendance during these months. He took inspiration from Aspen, Colorado’s “Food & Wine Classic” when developing the International Food and Wine Festival. Mr. Kalogridis knew that the World Showcase provided an excellent forum for a similar food and wine event due to the variety of counties represented. Park guests could sample the finest cuisine from around the world.

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The original event was held on a much smaller scale than it is today.  In 2000, the event lasted for 30 days (this year it will be 75 days) and included only small food and wine samples. They wanted to control the consumption of alcohol as well as avoid illness from overeating. Today, the appetizer-sized portions usually run between $4.00-$8.00.

In order to generate even more interest, Disney has hired celebrity chefs to make appearances and provide seminars and training to park guests. Bobby Flay, Robert Irvine, Rick Bayless, and  Elizabeth Faulker have all made celebrity guest appearances at the event.

Yet another way Disney generated interest was to begin the “Eat to the Beat” concert series –named after the song by the same title by Blondie.  Musicians perform three, 30-60 minute shows per evening.  The musical artists invited are not currently popular artists, but are mostly well-known older musicians with a few up-and-coming artists thrown in.  Previous musical guests included: Chubby Checker, Boyz II Men, Kenny G., Styx, and Blake Shelton.

2017 Events

  • This year, the festival events will also take place at the Grand Floridan, Contemporary and Polynesian Village Resorts.
  • Celebrity chefs include Robert Irvine, Cat Cora, Buddy Valastro (The “Cake Boss”), Jamie Deen, and Art Smith.
  • Guests can participate in the “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” workshops to learn from skilled chefs, mixologists, and bakers.
  • Children can take part in “Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt.” For this scavenger hunt, kids use maps to find 15 Remy’s to get prizes.
  • The “Eat to the Beat” concert series will feature: The Hooters, 10,000 Maniacs, Tiffany, Baja Men, Jeffrey Osbourne and Boyz II Men.

Examples of Food Offerings

Flavors from Fire: Piggy Wings: Pork wings with Korean BBQ $4.50, Chocolate Picante $3.25, Ravenswood Zinfandel $6.50

Earth Eats: Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli $4.75, Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Mousse $3.50, Redstone Meadery Black Raspberry Mead $7.00

Active Eats: Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese $4.75, Sweet Avocado Crema $3.75, Evolution by Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir $6.00

Coastal Eats: Lump Crab Cake $5.00, Baked Shrimp Scampi $5.50, Erath Pinot Gris $6.00

The Chocolate Studio: Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Torte $4.25, Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle $4.25, RL Buller Fine Muscat $6.00

The Cheese Studio: Savory Caramelized Onion Boursin® Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Tart $4.50, Cheese Trio $5.50, Leth Steinagrund, Austria $5.00.

The Wine & Dine Studio: Seared Scallops $5.75, Pulled Duck Confit with Cannellini $5.50, Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc $6.00

Islands of the Caribbean: Jamaican Beef Patty with Mango Salsa $5.00, Quesito $3.75, Frozen Mojito $10.00

Africa: Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew $4.50, Simonsig Pinotage $6.00, Wine flight $6.50

New Zealand: Lamb Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Chutney $5.25, Seared Venison Loin $6.50, Frozen Wine Cocktail $6.50

Australia: Grilled Lamb T-bone $7.50, Cooper’s Brewery Original Pale Ale $4.25

Patagonia: Beef Empanada $5.00, Verum Pinot Noir $6.00, Grilled Beef Skewer $5.75

India: Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower $5.00, Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake $3.50, Kingfisher Lager $4.00

Spain: Spanish Paella $5.25, Sweet Olive Oil Cake $3.75, Casa Castillo Monastrell $5.00

Italy: Crispy Calamari $8.00, Cannoli al Cioccolato $4.25, Moscato $9.00

Hawai’i: Kalua Pork Slider $4.75, Passion Fruit Cheesecake $4.00, Mai Tai $9.00

Mexico: Tequila Chipotle Shrimp $6.50, Spicy Apple Margarita $10.75, Mexican Mule $9.25

Greece: Loaded Greek Nachos $4.50, Spanakopita $4.25, Argyros Atlantis Red Blend, Santorini $7.00

Japan: Salmon BLT Sushi Roll $7.95, Pom Pineapple Sake Cocktail $7.50, Sapporo Lager $4.25

Morocco: Kefta Pocket $5.00, Spicy Hummus Fries $5.00, Casa Pale Lager $4.00

Germany: Schinkennudeln $4.00, Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce $4.00, Selbach Riesling $5.00

Thailand: Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake $5.00, Thai Curry Beef $5.50, Singha Lager $4.00

China: Spicy Chicken Bao Bun $5.25, Tsingtao Lager $3.50, BaiJoe Punch $10.50

France: Croissant aux Escargots $5.75, La Passion Martini Slush $10.75, Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 Pale Lager $4.25

Belgium: Belgian Waffle $4.00, Leffe Blonde Belgian Pale Ale $4.00, Chilled Coffee with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur $10.00

Canada: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup $5.00, Moosehead Radler $4.00, Fielding Estate Red Conception $7.00

Scotland: Fresh Potato Pancake $5.25, Traditional Scottish Lamb Stew $4.75, Belhaven Brewery Scottish Ale $4.00

Ireland: Roasted Irish Sausage $5.50, Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard $4.00, Guinness Blonde American Lager $4.00

Brazil: Crispy Pork Belly $5.75, M.I.A. Beer Company Barbosa Black Beer $4.25, Frozen Caipirinha $11.00

 

Sources: WDWInfo, DVC Resale Market, Disney Parks

Image Sources: WDWinfo, Disney Parks, Disney Tourist Blog, Inside the Magic,


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