Disney’s 17th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is the Place to Be this Fall

September 13, 2012 Leigh Powell Hines

It’s fun to be at Walt Disney World any time of the year, but from Sept. 28 through Nov. 12, food and wine lovers have a little something else to savor. For 46 days, guests can taste their way around the world at the 17th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

I’m pea green with envy if you are heading to Walt Disney World this fall for this festival. Truthfully, Epcot is my favorite resort in Walt Disney World. I love strolling around the World Showcase and could spend most of my days at Epcot. Surprisingly, I think my “mini-me” enjoyed the park as much as I did and is already planning what country we will dine in when we take his sister. Right now, Mexico is in the lead.

This year’s festival is the longest ever, and it seems to get better and better. This year’s foodie celebration introduces a new chocolate tasting experience, fresh Florida local flavors and the first marketplace featuring vegan cuisine, TERRA.  The festival also introduces its first Watermelon Patch and brings back for a second year the popular “Discover the Cranberry” Bog experience and weekend HGTV celebrity home-design seminars.

What I Would Not Miss

Super Festival Sips Cocktails are hot this year. At the Hawaii tasting marketplace, guests can pair the Seven Tiki Mai Tai with a Kalua Pork Slider. At the Scandinavia marketplace, the Xante Sunshine cocktail will refresh palates.

Newly crafted beverages are geared toward family dining this festival. Children of all ages can try inventive new sips like the Silk Berry Smoothie and Nesquik Chocolate or Strawberry Foam during the family’s marketplace dine-around. Child-friendly bites to pair will include beef empanadas and cheese fondue.

Sweet Treats at Desserts & Champagne Marketplace — Three new standout sweet tastes are on the menu at the Desserts & Champagne marketplace during the 17th Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: dark chocolate mousse with chili and salted caramel; yogurt panna cotta with orange cake, raspberries and pomegranate; and lemon custard verrine with blueberry compote. (photo above)

When in Italy, sip Italian. An Italian margarita is on the menu at the Italy marketplace.

All I can say is bring your fat pants and don’t step on a scale for quite a long time. Yum! Yum! There is so much to see. For a complete list of things to eat, see, and do while at Epcot, visit this special International Food and Wine Festival web page.

Eat, Drink, and “Beach It”

If you’re thinking of attending the 17th Annual Epcot Food and Wine Festival, then I think Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resorts would make the perfect base for your stay. The hotels are less than a ten-minute walk to the World Showcase entrance at Epcot.

The weather is great in Lake Buena Vista in the fall, and these resorts share a fantastic pool. Stormalong Bay features three lagoon areas and a thrilling water slide. We loved the Beach Club during our family stay, and if you are going to spend a lot of time at Epcot for the festival then I think you would be happy checking into the Beach and Yacht Club. Skip the resort restaurants, though, unless it’s a signature dining restaurant, and eat your meals at Epcot while staying there. The Beach Club character breakfast at Cape May was enjoyable, but I felt that the Captain’s Grill restaurant was average. With delicious food being served at Epcot, that’s where I would indulge.

October is considered a peak month at Walt Disney World. Weekend rates for a standard room at the Beach and the Yacht Club begin at $400 for weeknights and $430 for weekends. In the past, I’ve worked with Small World Vacations to book my WDW trips and found great deals.

Photos: Courtesy of Walt Disney World ( Matt Stroshane, photographer)

WDW Beach Club Resort Photos: Leigh Hines

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Leigh Powell Hines

Leigh Powell Hines, a former TV Journalist/Communications Executive, combined motherhood and her journalism experience and started The Hines-Sight Blog to inspire parents to pack their bags for family travels in and around North Carolina, where she resides. Leigh knows the best in family travel, but as a parent in her mid-forties, she seeks out restaurants and hotels that adults can enjoy, too. Luxury hotels are Leigh’s passion, and she is ready to travel the world, one luxury hotel at a time. Connect with Leigh on Twitter @Hinessightblog, Facebook and check out Hines-Sight Blog on Pinterest.

Comments (5)

  1. Michelle Westfall

    My hubby, our best friends and i just booked our first ever vacation without kids since our last graduates in June we booked for next year and we couldnt be more excited!!!!

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