Howdy all! We just finished taping a WDW Today episode about the 2010 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but I thought it’d be fun to highlight the new additions for this year and remind you of a few key dates to help in your planning.
When: October 1-November 14, 2010
Where: All around Epcot
How Much?: Variable. You can drop a month’s pay at the festival or you can have fun for free.
- Free: Many events held in the Festival Center are free, including Authentic Taste Seminars and Authors Without Borders. You’ll also find several seminars set up throughout the World Showcase that are free. Find out more here.
- Low-Cost: Several culinary and beverage demonstrations are in the $8-$13 range. Tastes from the International Marketplace booths will run from $2-$8.
- Expensive: Dozens of special events from celebrity chef-studded signature dinners to chocolate seminars with renowned chocolatiers to the uber-popular Party for the Senses are again available this year. Costs range from $40-$450 and up.
Booking Details: Booking for the special (expensive) events opens on July 20th at 7am. Just call 407-WDW-FEST for details or to book. If you’d like tickets to the lower-cost seminars and demonstrations, booking opens August 26th for Tables in Wonderland and DVC members and Annual Passholders. Booking opens August 28th for the General Public. Again, 407-WDW-FEST is the number to call.
New Events and Attractions to Anticipate
In addition to some old favorites like the French Regional Lunches and Sweet Sundays, Disney is introducing several new events on the 2010 Food and Wine Festival docket:
Delicious Discoveries First Bites
This is basically a festival sneak peek. Disney is promising glimpses of celebrity chefs, tastes of new Food and Wine Festival dishes, and other exciting secrets to be revealed before the festival officially opens. The event will be held September 30th from 6:30-9pm and sounds pretty exciting, but the $195 price tag — not including tax — might make folks a little skittish.
Don’t forget, the Food and Wine Festival usually has a “soft opening” the day before the grand opening, so you might get a chance to try some of the World Showcase booth menus prior to the big day anyway.
3D: Disney Dessert Discoveries
This is being touted as a private Illuminations Dessert Party…and then some. Taking place on most Fridays (with one Thursday tucked in there on October 21st), the $45 ticket price will get you plenty of desserts, wines, and cordials along with reserved seating for Illuminations, Reflections of Earth — Epcot’s fireworks show.
Belgium, South Korea, and Charcuterie and Cheese Booths Come to the Festival
Every year Disney introduces a few new booths to its International Marketplace — a set-up of over 25 mini-kiosks offering small portions of food and drinks from different regions and countries around the world. These booths are set up around the World Showcase, and items can be purchased a la carte for around $2-$8.
This year, we get to try waffles from the Belgium booth, barbecue from the South Korea booth, and fondue from the Charcuterie and Cheese booth. Of course, there’s plenty more to sample. Check out all of the menus here.
Marketplace Discovery Passports
Another fun addition to the International Marketplace this year are the Marketplace Discovery Passports. These are free pamphlets that you (and your kids!) can use to keep track of which marketplace booths you’ve visited and which you’d still like to enjoy. At each booth, just ask a cast member to stamp your passport!
New Eat to the Beat! Concerts
Disney’s Eat to the Beat! Concert series is a free (with Epcot admission) group of concerts that take place three times per night throughout the festival. Every few days the band changes, but you’re bound to find a few of your favorites on stage. This year, new acts include Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Howard Jones, 38 Special, Roger Hodgson, Hanson, and Rick Springfield. To see the full line-up and dates for each band, go to our Eat to the Beat! page.
Taste Shake and Indulge: Grand Marnier Tastings
For those who love this orange-flavored liqueur, you now have the chance to immerse yourself in it. (OK, not literally — there won’t be any bathtubs of Grand Marnier sitting around Epcot.) On Saturdays from 2:30-4pm, $45 will buy you not only a tasting of a full range of liqueurs, but also a short class on shaking and muddling Grand Marnier cocktails as well as some sweet treats from Bistro de Paris where the event is held.
For those who just can’t get enough of the Food and Wine Festival, Disney is introducing a full vacation package this year — the Grape Getaway. While we don’t know pricing or booking date, yet, we do know that the package will include 4 days and 3 nights of exclusive Food and Wine Festival fun. The package is limited to 100 people and will run from October 24th-October 27th, 2010.
Those are just a few of the new events and attractions scheduled for this year’s festival, and you can believe me when I say you can have a great time no matter what your budget. As always, check out the Disney World Website for more information, and don’t forget to come see us over at the Disney Food Blog!