Walt Disney World Resort officials announced Thursday the 24th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival would run 87 days between August 29 and November 23, making it the longest food festival at the theme park.
With 12 extra days to enjoy the festivities, visitors to Epcot will be able to enjoy 30 festive global food and wine marketplaces that extend from Future World to encircle the World Showcase promenade.
In addition to special tastings, pairings and premium dining events, guests will be able to witness chef personalities in action, including Maneet Chauhan, Rick Bayless, Rock Harper and Art Smith.
Reservations for special programming and premium festival events open May 15.
The 2019 edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will see the return of the Disney du Jour Dance Party in Future World, which will expand to seven days a week due to popular demand.
Guests can also get their gourmet groove on during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series that runs three times nightly between August 29 and November 19. Eat to the Beat Dining Packages, available at select table-service locations, will include guaranteed concert seating.
Disney World also revealed other highlights to look forward to at the festival:
—30 Global Marketplaces, plus additional locations across the festival, will present fresh flavors at a variety of marketplaces such as Africa, where the new Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap with Kachumbari slaw will tempt guests to return for seconds. At Earth Eats marketplace guests can dig into the new plant-based Cottage Pie with carrots, mushrooms and peas topped with mashed cauliflower and white beans.
—The back-by-demand Sunday Brunch with the Chef series in World Showplace Events Pavilion will kick off Sept. 1 with celebrity Chef Jamie Deen and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 17. The chef lineup includes Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Richard Blais, Robert Irvine, David Burtka, Graham Elliot and Aarti Sequeira.
—Three times nightly, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series – 249 concerts in all – will rev up fans at the America Gardens Theatre stage through Nov. 19 with the biggest musical menu of top talent in the festival’s history, including new acts Lauren Daigle (contemporary Christian), Kris Allen (pop, alt-rock), Sawyer Brown (country) and Boyce Avenue (rock, pop). Returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres include Plain White T’s, Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E. and Boyz II Men. Showtimes Sundays through Thursdays will be 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday shows are slated for 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.
—Eat to the Beat Dining Packages will let guests choose their favorite restaurant for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner plus guaranteed concert seating that evening.
—The grandest of the festival’s hot-ticket tasting events, Party for the Senses at World Showplace Events Pavilion will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 21, Oct. 5, 12 and 19 (All Disney Chef Night!) and Nov. 9. This event showcases creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment featuring Femmes of Rock, who wowed guests last year with their blistering solos and innovative arrangements.
—“Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops on select Mondays and Thursdays through Nov. 14 will offer new opportunities for guests to work side-by-side with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.
—Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates on select dates at festival seminars and other events. Some of the big names on tap are Bryan Voltaggio, Kenny Gilbert, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
—Book & Bottle Signings by some of the world’s top vintners and chefs will return on select dates this year, in addition to the popular The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, offering guests samples.
—Culinary Demonstrations (available through 16) and Beverage Seminars (available through Nov. 17) will offer learning and tasting sessions select days throughout the festival.
—And don’t forget about the exciting new merchandise to commemorate the Festival! Chef Minnie will join Chef Mickey this year to bring a “sprinkle” of fun to the festival. This new merchandise line depicts them busily making cupcakes and other delectable desserts with ingredients that include rose-gold accents and a little sparkle. Chef Minnie will also bring her sense of style to a new cupcake headband and other festival apparel. Guests can also celebrate the Festival with returning favorites including the Taste Your Way Around the World, Brews, Figment, and Remy collections.
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