The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World is a great festival all on its own. You’ll have a great time if you just stroll from kiosk to kiosk around World Showcase, grazing on whatever catches your eye or following a carefully laid out plan on what you want to taste.
However, there’s another whole side to the festival with which you might not be familiar. In addition to the kiosks, there’s a full slate of special events that go on through the entire festival run. You can find the full list, and instructions for making reservations, on the official website.
The events cover everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to desserts and drinks. Some are cooking demonstrations with a taste of the dish, paired with wine, at the end. Others are full-blown multi-course meals and parties with entertainment.
Check out the list accompanying this article for more information on these events. For my insider tips on visiting the festival, jump to this article.
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Learn to cook dishes and watch talented chefs prepare them right before your eyes. Your mouth will water as you watch the cooking process (the pros make it look so easy), and you get to taste the dish and a paired wine. This photo was taken at the Grand Marnier tasting at Monsieur Paul, but the cooking demos are held in the Festival Center.
No matter what your alcoholic beverage of choice, you’ll find a seminar for you. There are wine classes, of course, and you can learn about other beverages and try your own hand at creating them. I loved learning to muddle and creating my own drink after tasting several kinds of Grand Marnier.
Some of the seminars and demonstrations even include fun takeaways. Now I’m all ready to put what I learned about mixology to the test at home. The Grand Marnier classes happen every week at Monsieur Paul and include flambeed crepes for dessert.
If you want to go for a full-blown experience, book one of the special events. Some have a specific theme, like ScotLAND of Food & Drink, while others have a more eclectic selection of food stations. The Scottish dinner was amazing, but it’s over for the year (you can still enjoy Scottish dishes at their World Showcase kiosk). There are still many upcoming special events, including the incredible Party for the Senses, which runs several nights throughout the festival.
Try a Cross-Section of Dishes
One of the things I love about events like Party for the Senses is the opportunity to try a wide variety of dishes. There are stations all around the room, each with its own cuisine or beverages, and you graze all evening. The Scotland dinner worked the same way, and I even got to try real haggis for the first time (it’s remarkably good, but I say that as someone who likes things like liver and black pudding). Even if you’re not adventurous, you’ll find plenty to eat.
You might even have special events at your event, like some Disney friends who love to pose for photos. Fittingly, at the Scotland dinner Merida and her mother stopped by to greet the guests as they enjoyed dishes from the family’s home land.
Entertainment is another special event bonus. Of course the Scottish dinner had appropriately themed performers, and Party for the Senses guests are dazzled by the acrobatics of Cirque de Soleil. It’s always a lively night.
Everything From DInner to Dessert
You can book a special experience that focuses on just one thing, like wine, cheese, or dessert, or a full blown meal. The dessert in this photo is actually from one of the weekly lunches at Monsieur Paul, which include a full range of courses paired with themed wines.
Yes, this is the food and WINE festival, so the wine classes and wine pairing events are always very popular. This was the selection from the Bordeaux lunch at Monsieur Paul. with a special pairing to complement each course. You also learn about wine tasting in general and the particular wines you’re enjoying during the meal.