FOODIES AND WINE LOVERS, welcome to
gastronomic and grape paradise.
The Epcot International Food & Wine
Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in
Orlando is the ultimate pairing of food
An annual celebration of culinary
concepts, global cuisine, ;ine wines,
beers, cocktails and other beverages, the
62-day festival staged from mid-Septem-ber to mid-November immerses visitors
in a world of tastings, seminars, demonstrations, book signings, dinner events
and live concerts.
Best of all, you don’t have to be a food
a;icionado or wine connoisseur to enjoy
this multi-faceted and interactive celebration.
Now in its 21st year, the hugely popular festival ran from Sept. 14 to Nov. 14
Embedded for a full day at the festival, I was rewarded with sumptuous
food, well-executed activities, an orientation on the entertainment possibilities for meeting attendees and, well, a
not-too-surprising expanded waistline.
“Attendees participating in a meet-
ing or conference during the festival can
embark on an exciting culinary adventure
during their free time or with colleagues
after a day of meetings,” says Amy Pfeiffer
(MPI Greater Orlando Area Chapter), di-
rector, resort sales, for Disney Destina-
tions. “With interactive demonstrations
and seminars, live entertainment and 30
global marketplaces, the festival offers
attendees a unique way to experience
this popular theme park at Walt Disney
Selecting a speci;ic country’s native
cuisine to sample in the global market-
place is a thoroughly enjoyable task.
The kiosk-style buildings encompass
countries such as Japan, Poland, Greece
and Germany, and specialties such as
Desserts & Champagne, Farm Fresh and
My ;irst stop was the Greece kiosk, a
bright white structure trimmed in blue,
where I feasted on Loaded Greek “
Na-chos,” a sumptuous combination of pita
chips, meatless sausage crumbles and
vegan tzatziki sauce and a chicken gyro.
The servings at the various kiosks are
tapas-size, and most are in the US$4 to $7
After a 20-minute stroll past several other stops, I noticed several people
gleefully waltzing past me with small
plates loaded with roast bratwurst and
schinkennudeln, a dish with spatzle, ham
and cheese. I couldn’t resist, sauntering
up to the counter and ordering those
two items plus apple strudel with vanilla sauce.
Each year the festival adds to the
menu of food and drink choices at the
kiosks. This year there were 39 new or
re-imagined dishes and 47 new cocktails. A few of the new items that stood
out were the seared scallop with truf;led
root puree at the Wine & Dine Studio, the
chilled tomato gazpacho with lump crab
meat at the Greenhouse Guru and the
croissant doughnut with cinnamon and
sugar at the Refreshment Port.
For chocoholics, a must-stop is the
Chocolate Studio, where you’ll ;ind delectable choices such as a red wine chocolate
truf;le and liquid nitro chocolate-almond
truf;le with warm whiskey-caramel.
Wine lovers are in vino heaven at the
festival, which features more than 50 win-
For foodies and wine lovers, an annual festival at
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is nirvana.