Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival features new cuisines.
Now is the time to go large, food-wise. The 19th Epcot International Food and Wine Festival breaks records this year by stretching to 53 days, Sept. 19-Nov. 10, making it the longest food fest in the country.
From free meet-and-greets with winemakers and cookbook authors to the extravagant Party for the Senses (priciest ticket is $299 for a seat in the private wine lounge), there's a special event for every Epcot ticket holder (park admission extra). But the real attraction drawing 1 million-plus foodies a year is the world-spanning bites.
Ranging from $4 to $8, the mini-serving Marketplaces arranged around the World Showcase lagoon allow visitors to sample items from a dazzling array of nearly 30 countries. This year, new entry Patagonia, showcasing the flavors of Chile and Argentina, presents sustainable Verlasso salmon with peppery arugula chimichurri; the Puerto Rico Marketplace is cooking ensalada de carrucho conch salad and slow-braised carne Guisada; and the refreshed menu at France spotlights a savory escargot tart and classic boeuf Bourguignon.
Celebrity chefs love the festival, with Food Network stars Warren Brown and Gale Gand, South Florida celebs Allen Susser, Paula DaSilva and Dean Max, and Hell's Kitchen winner Rock Harper joining the more than 270 Disney and guest chefs cooking at the fest.
New this year is an after-hours "Late Nights Live!" street party on Thursdays that costs $79 and includes park entry for the event, six food samples, musical performances and a romantic view of Epcot's World Showcase after dark.