The 23rd annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World kicks off August 30th and will run through November 12th for 2018. This massive 75-day event is one of the top food festivals in America, and is the biggest festival hosted each year in Walt Disney World. This year will see all new delicious food and drink options, new special events, more musical acts than ever before and so much more. Here are 5 new things at this year's Food & Wine Festival!
All-New Food Dishes
The star of the festival is, of course, the food. This year's new standouts to look for include the "New Brunswick Slider" from Hops & Barley, made with slow-braised beef brisket (prepared pot roast-style) on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and served with pickled veggies on the side. The Wine & Dine Studio is serving up an all-new "Butternut Squash Ravioli." Earth Eats is offering the vegetarian "Impossible Burger Slider" topped with Asian slaw and spicy wasabi cream. And for dessert, you must try the "Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake" from The Cheese Studio. It's covered in maple bourbon cream, melted caramel sauce and a pecan crunch topping.
New Global Marketplaces
Continuing the new tradition, global marketplaces will extend all the way into Future World for the fourth year in a row. An all-new marketplace called "Taste Track" will be found near the Test Track ride. It will feature specialty croissant doughnuts with outrageous toppings like chocolate, marshmallows, hazelnut cream and sprinkles. Add a scoop of gelato on top for an extra-sweet treat! Other new and updated marketplaces include an expanded Festival Center Wine Shop featuring new dishes like the "Chef's Charcuterie Plate," as well as the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar featuring fizzy juice drinks available with and without alcohol.
Sunday Brunch with the Chef
Now's your chance to dine with a famous TV chef and discover the secret ingredient to their success! Kick off your Food & Wine adventure with this relaxing 2-hour brunch featuring an amazing assortment of fantastic dishes, a wine toast and, of course, the celebrity. Everyone will have the chance to meet and get a photo with the event's guest of honor. Just some of the celebrities that will appear include Food Network's own Alex Guarnaschelli, restaurateur Art Smith, actress Tiffani Thiessen and Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro. Advanced reservation is required for this event, and space is limited.
New Musicians for Eat to the Beat
One of the best parts of the Food & Wine Festival are the free Eat to the Beat concerts every night of the event! Everyone visiting Epcot is welcome to enjoy a show, and there are three performances each evening. This year will see several new bands and musicians take the America Gardens Theatre stage, including Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, Glass Tiger and Christian music artists MercyMe and Tauren Wells. Returning favorites spanning several decades of music who will also be performing include Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, Air Supply and so much more. With 225 concerts in all over the course of the 75-day event, there are plenty of chances to catch a show while you're here!
New Scavenger Hunt Locations & More Fun
Returning to the event this year is Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak scavenger hunt, which is fun for the whole family. Kids can pick up their scavenger hunt map from select locations, and then help Remy the rat find all of his lost ingredients hidden around Epcot. This year, all of the hiding locations will be new and more challenging than ever before, so keep your eyes peeled! Kids will also love The Chocolate Experience hosted by Ghirardelli, where everyone can score free chocolate samples. While traveling around World Showcase, look for the all-new Kidcot card hunt presented by Ziploc. Kids can collect a different trading card from each nation and even color on the back. It's something fun to do between all the food and wine sampling for which mom and dad are so excited.