We all love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival over here at WDW Travels. But today I’ll take you through all that’s new at the festival this year in terms of entertainment, activities and of course the food dishes. This year on the weekends, Radio Disney artists will come and perform some mini-concerts.
Entertainment will be a huge part of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year! Not only are we getting a whopping 249 concerts at eat to the beat, but fans will sadly say farewell to illuminations forever on September 30th, 2019. This is to make way for a new limited-time show Epcot forever which will premiere on October 1st.
- When is Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
- Map Of Epcot Food and Wine Festival
- New Festival Marketplace Food Booths
- Booths Not Returning To Epcot Food and Wine Festival
- What Booths are Staying The Same?
- Eat To The Beat Concert Series
- Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Weekend
- Special Events at The Epcot Food and Wine Festival
- Epcot Food and Wine Festival Experiences For Kids
- Specialty Dining & Pairings
- What’s Cookin Series With Celebrity Chefs
- What’s New For 2019?
When is Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year will run for a record-breaking 87 days starting on August 29th and ending on November 23rd.
New Festival Marketplace Food Booths
As always there are a ton of new food dishes coming to the festival this year at the 30 global marketplace booths around world showcase and future world. Let me start by talking about three new booths for 2019.
Our first new booth for this year at Epcot Food and Wine Festival will be located over in Canada and called the Appleseed Orchard. this will be located adjacent to LaSalle yay but I believe it will be outside. To call it a new booth is a little bit of a stretch because this location will serve up craft beers, ciders, and wines as we’ve seen at the Festival Center. We will see some returning labels here like the MIA beer company but the selection of products will focus on apple flavors of course.
There also be the new apple blossom sky which is a cocktail mixed with apple-flavored Fanta with ginger beer and two different Brandy’s. If you remember the frozen apple pie from the festival center last year this will also be offered at the apple seed orchard as will a charcuterie board and some caramel apple popcorn.
It’s also worth noting that Disney has stated that since the O-Canada film closed back in August to make way for a newly updated circle vision screen and movie. The inside of the theater will serve as a resting spot for guests during the festival. This sounds like a great idea since it can get very hot walking around World Showcase at food and wine.
The Alps Marketplace Booth
The Alps Marketplace Booth is located near the Norway pavilion. I think this is great because this pavilion hasn’t hosted a booth for a very long time due to all the foot traffic at frozen ever after. The Alps will feature a warm swiss cheese dish with baby potatoes. There also be a venison stew here and a blueberry and almond frangipane tart.
The Donut Box
Opening October 1st, the donut box will be enjoyed by those with a sweet tooth for sure. It’ll feature a black and white coffee cocktail, garnished with a fresh yeast donut, and sprinkled with chocolate espresso bean crumbles. There will be a few other donuts here and some donut holes and smoothies as well.
Booths Not Returning To Epcot Food and Wine Festival
With every fun new addition, there always are some things we will be losing. In 2019 there’ll be three booths that won’t return to the festival.
The Greece Booth
The Greece booth which was one of my personal favorites and one of the booths that featured a lot of vegetarian and vegan options so it was little surprising to find out that this was closing.
The New Zealand Booth
New Zealand will also not be coming back which had one of my all-time favorite dishes, the lamb meatball so that’s a big disappointment for me.
The Light Lab
To our surprise, the light lab is not coming back. This is because of some huge construction work that will soon be underway in future world West as part of that major Epcot overhaul. The light lab was located behind Club Cool in previous years and was a great place for young ones to enjoy some colorful drinks. It’s a shame this one is closing because the kids loved it.
The Almond Orchard
Another booth not returning to the festival is the almond orchard. But the banana soft-serve sundae they had is moving to another location, just like the champagne offerings that were once offered here so it’s not really going away it’s kind of just being moved to a new location at Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
What Booths are Staying The Same?
To help you ease the pain a bit of the booths and dishes not coming back this year to Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I want to quickly recap what global marketplace booths are returning for 2019 but will pretty much serve up the same menu as they have in previous years.
Active Eats booth is returning with the same menu and I love the loaded mac and cheese here. Another favorite of mine here is the active eats energy bar which is a mixture of nuts chocolate and dates.
Flavors from Fire
Flavors from Fire is coming back with almost the same menu. This is a great booth from top to bottom! They offer beautiful dishes like the chocolate picante’ and others. Sadly they’ve removed the piggy wings this year and replaced them with the steakhouse blended burger from earth eats.
The liquid nitro chocolate-almond truffle is absolutely to die for and comes highly recommended. They also offer a dark chocolate raspberry tart that my husband absolutely loves!
The Cheese Studio
The cheese studio brings a few different succulent offerings. A braised beef stroganoff which seems very heavy, but every review I have heard about this so far says that it’s fantastic and that the pickle that is in it gives it a very unique tangy flavor. They also offer a black pepper Boursin souffle and a maple bourbon cheesecake.
Wine and Dine Studio
Great food and great wine to pair it with, what more could you ask for?! The Butternut Squash Ravioli is absolutely delicious!
My husband loves the roast bratwurst here. I’m not as big of a fan because the food here seems rather “heavy” to me….but maybe it’s just me.
This booth is always interesting and the Spanish-style Paella with Botifarra and Roasted Chicken is always a favorite for me.
Islands Of The Caribbean
Smells like Hawaiian barbeque to me! I know Hawaii has there own booth, but that’s what this smells like. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is amazing! It’s definitely a must-try and worth the money.
On the front of World Showcase Lagoon, you’ll find the Hawaii food booth and it’s as good as ever with the kalua pork slider. It’s a bite that will have you coming back year after year.
Thailand is another favorite booth of mine and I love that Thai curry beef here.
Located by the China Pavillion the India Food Booth is returning with its same menu. If you like exotic flavors both India and Thailand are must-stops.
Hops and Barley
Located at the American Adventure pavilion, Hops and Barley is another great stop with the New Brunswick slider another favorite of mine from last year.
The Belgium booth will once again serve delicious golden malted waffles either with chocolate or fruit toppings.
Another fan favorite coming back is, of course, Brazil. I tried the moqueca last year, which is a seafood stew and I actually really enjoyed it.t I’m a big seafood person, living in New England, so my expectations weren’t that high. But this included a beautiful coconut lime sauce on top of scallops and rice it was really good. They also offer a crispy pork belly that is to die for!
Ireland is another food booth returning with the same menu and in particular, I’m a big fan of the Irish cheddar cheese stout dip.
Canada is on the must-do list here. The Le Cellier filet mignon is divine and I always must stop here and get the Canadian cheddar cheese soup as well. If all else fails the Canada booth always delivers. If this is your first time at the festival you have to give it a try.
The shimmering sips mimosa bar is a great stop inside the festival center and it featured all sorts of mimosa flavors, I personally love the Key Lime mimosa the most. Like I said, since the festival center is absent this year this will be located inside the showplace plaza pavilion.
While it’s still serving up plenty of mimosas for you to enjoy; it’ll also feature this year some food items like the shimmering strawberry soft-serve cone as well as a cheesecake trio. This booth is the one that’s going to serve that banana soft-serve sundae that was previously seen at the almond orchard.
Shimmering Sips is also where guests can pick up their complimentary dessert if they participate in a meals fromage montage. This is new for the festival this year and similar to the cookie stroll which we saw last year at festival of the holidays. If guests purchased all five cheese dishes that are part of the fromage montage, they will get their passport stamp each time and get a free cheesecake at shimmering sips. The five booths that will participate in this are earth eats, the cheese studio, the Alps, Germany, and Brazil.
Meanwhile, new this year in France is a fondue of imported cheese and Chardonnay served with a side of croutons.
Just next door in Morocco we finally get an update at this booth, because this one hasn’t changed for a really long time. New for this year is a New York strip steak flatbread with fresh radish and tomato salsa. Doesn’t sound very Moroccan to me….but whatever!
The Japan Pavilion will have frothy ramen this year which is chilled noodles and dashi broth with a light foam topping. I’ve heard mixed things about this particular item. Some people throw it away after the first bite and others eat it, but say they wouldn’t order it again… go figure!
The Italy Pavillion is known for having an entirely new menu and this happens every year. Italy revamped everything and it’s always a hit and miss. The new dishes this year include a ravioli carbonara, balsamic glazed oven-roasted pork ribs, crispy chicken in marinara sauce, a traditional Sicilian cannoli, and a chocolate hazelnut mascarpone cream dipped in chocolate… now that one sounds yummy.
The Africa booth gets extremely overlooked and it’s a big shame because I love the food here during Epcot Food and Wine Festival! For 2019 they revamped the entire menu and it sounds very interesting and is still a good stop for the vegans. There’s the Kenyan coffee beef tenderloin, a spicy Kenyan vegan githeri and finally, a peri-peri skewered shrimp with citrus-scented couscous, this one sounds like it’ll really hit the spot.
China will debut a new spareribs dish and this is covered in a thick red sauce cooked with rock sugar so it should have that sort of spicy and sweet combo. Sadly China has removed the duck Bao bun from the menu to replace it with this.
Just like Italy, the Mexico booth always completely changes up the menu as well. For 2019 there will be a Taco de Puerco, which is a pork taco and a new chocolate bread pudding. The desserts in Mexico are always really good so this one hopefully will live up to the reputation.
Australia which hasn’t seen any changes for a long time either the savory dishes here are returning but there will be a new dessert, the deconstructive pavlova which sounds fantastic.
Located in Future World, this seafood booth will feature a bass tostada with slaw and fire-roasted tomatillo sauce.
Also in Future World, Earth Eats is a great booth for the vegetarians because it’s sponsored by impossible foods and create some delicious plant-based products. They will bring back the impossible burger slider again but new for 2019 will be the impossible cottage pie.
Eat To The Beat Concert Series
Rounding out entertainment let’s talk about Eat To The Beat concert series at Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This is a free musical concert series that takes place every night of the festival at the American Gardens Theater. New acts for 2019 include Sawyer Brown, Grace Kelly, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
This year the performance times are changing depending on the day of the week. From Sunday to Thursday performance times are going to be at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 PM. However on Fridays and Saturdays it’s going to be at 6:30, 7:45, and 9 PM. These concerts don’t cost you anything extra but make sure to get there early to grab a seat.
Eat To The Beat Concert Dining Package
If you have someone that you’re really keen on seeing remember that there’s the eat to the beat concert dining package. Pretty much all the table service restaurants in Epcot offer this during Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and it basically includes reserved seating for the concert included in your meal.
In previous years restaurants in the nearby resort area offered this too but this year it’s only at restaurants within Epcot.
The pricing will change depending on where you go and if you’re doing breakfast lunch and dinner.
The cheapest option of the bunch is breakfast at Garden grill which is $49 dollars for adults and thirty dollars for kids. The most expensive is actually dinner at La Hacienda at $82 for adults and just $23 dollars kids.
If you’re planning to do a character breakfast at Garden grill or at Akershus in Norway then this is a pretty good deal if you’re paying out of pocket. The only downside to this is that the dining package counts as two table service meal credits on the dining plan so keep that in mind.
Eat To The Beat Showtimes
Sundays to Thursdays: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM
Fridays & Saturdays: 6:30 PM, 7:45 PM and 9:00 PM
- August 29-31 – Plain White T’s
- September 1 & 2 – Sawyer Brown – NEW!
- September 3 & 4 – MercyMe
- September 5 & 6 – Grace Kelly – NEW!
- September 7 & 8 – Zach Williams – NEW!
- September 9 & 10 – Lauren Daigle – NEW!
- September 11 & 12 – Jimmie Allen – NEW!
- September 13-15 – Tiffany
- September 16 & 17 – The Allman Betts Band
- September 18 & 19 – Everclear
- September 20-22 – STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
- September 23 & 24 – Post Modern Jukebox (PMJ)
- September 25 & 26 – Blue October
- September 27-29 – Mark Wills
- September 30-October 2 – Sugar Ray
- October 3-4 – Taylor Dayne
- October 5-6 – India
- October 7-9 – 98°
- October 10 & 11 – Boyce Avenue – NEW!
- October 12 & 13 – Southern Avenue – NEW!
- October 14 & 15 – Kenny G
- October 16 & 17 – 38 Special
- October 18-20 – Baha Men
- October 21 & 22 – Billy Ocean
- October 23-25 – Sheila E
- October 26 & 27 – High Valley
- October 28-30 – Hanson
- October 31 & November 1 – Sheena Easton
- November 2 & 3 – Kris Allen –NEW!
- November 4-6 – Boyz II Men
- November 7 & 8 – The Hooters
- November 9-11 – Big Bad VooDoo Daddy
- November 12-14 – TBD
- November 15&16 – BBMAK – NEW!
- November 17&18 – Spanish Harlem Orchestra – NEW!
- November 19 – D’Capella – NEW!
The concerts all take place at the American Gardens Theater in the World Showcase, which is the theater right across from The American Adventure.
While you are there, you can take part in the Eat to the Beat Concert Series Dinner Package. Essentially, this allows you to pick one of several places to dine before the concert, and then get an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink (or 1 buffet) as your meal. This guarantees you a seat for the Eat to the Beat concert that night as well.
You can book one of these packages by calling (407) WDW-FEST or online at the Disney World website.
Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Weekend
Every year Disney holds a popular series of runDisney races which take runners on a very fun run through Epcot and the surrounding areas. The races usually start toward the end of Epcot Food and Wine Festival and this year they will begin on October 31st and go through November 3rd.
Special Events at The Epcot Food and Wine Festival
There are a few premium offerings that will cost you a little extra if you would like to partake during Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Some of these events book up fast because of their popularity, but if you’re interested in attending any of them, you can call (407) WDW-FEST or book online.
- $359/person (Category 1: Wine View Lounge) or $229/person (Category 2: Reserved Seating)
- September 21, October 5, October 12, October 19, November 9
- Sophisticated event highlighting the “sensory arts”
- September 1: Jamie Deen (co-owner of The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Georgia)
- September 8: Carla Hall (Celebrity Chef & author of Carla Hall’s Soul Food)
- September 15: Fabio Viviani (Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group, Celebrity Chef & Restauranteur)
- September 22: Richard Blais (Chef & Entrepreneur)
- September 29: Robert Irvine (Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible)
- October 6: Buddy Valastro (Celebrity Chef)
- October 13: David Burtka (Celebrity Chef & author of Life is a Party)
- October 20: Andrew Zimmern (Chef, Writer & TV Personality)
- October 27: Cat Cora (Corlich Enterprises & Cat Cora, INC.)
- November 10: Graham Elliot (Coast restaurant at MGM Cotai in Macau)
- November 17: Aarti Sequeria (Cookbook Author & Food Network Personality)
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Experiences For Kids
Disney Du Jour Dance Party
The Disney Du Jour dance party is coming back for 2019, and the kids love it. This debuted last year in 2018 but this year it’ll be extended to all seven days of the week. This is a typical Disney DJ dance party that will be located in Future World. Last year it featured a rotating set of characters dancing around like Remmy. This year on Fridays and Saturdays Radio Disney artists will have a small concert tied into the party, artists include favorites like Meg Donnelly from Disney Channel’s zombies. Disney hasn’t confirmed exact performance times but last year this party started around sundown.
Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt
Speaking of Remy don’t forget that little ones can participate in the hide and squeak scavenger hunt. You can pick up a map at the Port of Entry store or Disney Traders at the front of the lagoon. Then as you travel the day in World Showcase keep your eyes open for hidden Remy’s around the park. Once you complete the scavenger hunt you can return to select merchandise locations to redeem a special prize.
- Festival playground (located in Future World)
- Disney Du Jour Dance Party (Sundays – Thursday)
- Takes place on the Fountain View Stage in Future World
- Each dance party will feature a different character duo and could include Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde, Lilo and Stitch, Chip and Dale, or many others
- Junior Chef Kitchen presented by Krusteaz (Sundays in the Festival Center)
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide ‘n’ Squeak Scavenger Hunt
- Candy Sushi presented by Skittles and Adventures by Disney (located at Sunshine Seasons)
If you think the marketplace booths are all there is to see and do at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival then you would be greatly mistaken because there are tons of other activities and entertainment offerings to enjoy. Like I said before these are still happening this year at the showplace events pavilion. For 2019 there’s still a decent range of seminars but it does feel a little bit scaled back.
New for this year is the tailgate tasting hosted by ESPN’s Monday Night Football which is a 45-minute long session and it’s both a seminar and food tasting. Guests will enjoy three sample size dishes paired with a drink inspired by the city that is playing on that week’s Monday night game. This will take place every Sunday from September 8th to November 17 and it will take place only once at 6:30 p.m. and cost $19 per person.
Other small seminars this year include a food and beverage pairing, seminar culinary demonstrations, hands-on activities like the mix it, make it, celebrate it seminar, which is offered on select Monday’s and Thursdays, and more like the beverage and cheese seminars. These can range from as low as $19 per person to $45. One of the more expensive workshops is a cheese seminar and that one is going to run you $95 per person. I would highly recommend booking these ahead to plan out your day.
For the kids, 2019 will bring back the candy sushi seminar. This was extremely popular last year this is located inside the Lam Pavilion at Sun Shine seasons. It’s specifically designed for kids but anyone can do this.
You get to create some fun candy concoctions shaped like sushi bowls. Last year this was free, but this year it will be $10 per person. You can book this online, and again I would highly recommend doing that so you don’t miss out. This will take place twice a day, every day of the festival at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Specialty Dining & Pairings
Now if you’re interested in a special dining event but you’re not concerned with concert seating then remember that certain table service restaurants offer a unique dining experience only during the festival. These are located at restaurants within France, Italy, Morocco, Japan, and Mexico. One example is the Parisian breakfast in France which is quite unique because you get to start your day with breakfast inside the Chefs de France restaurant it’s priced at $45 and one of the cheaper options offered.
New for this year at Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the culinary tour of Japan, which is located inside Tokyo dining. This is a three-course meal that is paired with sake and other beverages; it’s a little steep at $160 per person. I’ve listed all of the options below and all of these are offered on very very select days so just keep that in mind and you must book ahead.
- French Family Meal Traditions
- Culinary Tour of Japan
- The Hibachi Experience: Year of Celebration
- Italian Regional Food and Wine Pairing Luncheon
- Italian Food, Wine vs. Beer Pairing
- Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing
- Mexican Tequila Lunch
- Moroccan Food and Wine Pairing
- Parisian Breakfast
- The Parisian Afternoon, Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles!
What’s Cookin Series With Celebrity Chefs
Throughout the festival, celebrity chefs will make appearances for demonstrations and special events. For 2019 we don’t have a complete list yet, but it’s coming! Here are the confirmed celebrity chefs that we know about so far.
- Bryan Voltaggio
- Kenny Gilbert
- Maneet Chauhan
- Jet Tila
- Shaun O’Neale
- Keegan Gerhard
- Dan Pashman
- Rock Harper
What’s New For 2019?
I’ve mentioned a lot of this previously, but to recap for 2019 there’ll be a total of 30 global marketplace booths, three of which are brand new. The apple seed orchard in Canada, the Alps booth by Norway, and the doughnut box. On top of these 30 booths, there’ll be additional food offerings at other dining locations around Epcot.
One big change for this year is that the festival center will be located at the showplace events pavilion. This is that large tent space behind the UK Pavillion. This is happening due to the fact that the previous wonders of life pavilion is currently being reimagined into the new play pavilion and part of a major multi-year transformation at Epcot.
Until a new permanent festival center is built in the future we’ll have to put up with this temporary change at Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year. But the seminars and workshops will still take place and new this year is the tailgate tasting hosted by ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Kids will enjoy the festival more than ever this year with the candy sushi workshop returning and the Disney dujour dance party stretching all seven days of the week.
The biggest change when it comes to entertainment during Epcot Food and Wine Festival is going to be the fireworks. Illuminations will have its final performance ever on September 30th and on October 1st the official dawn of a new age at this park begins with Epcot Forever. This will be a limited-time show running for about a year and it will celebrate Epcot’s past, present, and future. We can expect some flying kites, some new fountain displays, all synchronized to a soundtrack filled with classic Epcot tunes. If you miss Epcot of the 80s this show promises to be a very nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Freebies For Passholders
Let me do a little side note here before I close this up, because while I’m on the subject of merchandise I should remind pass holders about your freebies for food and wine this year. You can pick up a free Chef Minnie magnet from August 29th to October 14th and a Chef Remmy magnet when visiting between October 15th and November 23rd. The best place to get these is at the store across from Port of Entry at Disney Traders.
After visiting the festival four times you’ll get a wooden Chef Minnie coaster set, you can pick these up at Mouse gear and at Disney traders. When you go to pick them up just make sure you’ve got your ID with you and your annual pass card.
I think that pretty much covers everything for this year’s guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This festival has a really special place in our hearts because it was the first special event that my husband and I attended at Disney many many years ago. I loved touring world showcase to sample all of those dishes because it’s the ultimate foodie event at Disney World.