The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 2010 will mark its 15th year at Walt Disney World, running this year from Oct. 1 through Nov. 14.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Delicious Discoveries.” During the six-week festival, Guests will find two new tasting marketplaces: Belgium and South Korea. New menu offerings will be available at several returning marketplaces, including Singapore, Argentina, Chile, Poland, South Africa, Australia, U.S.A., and Spain.
This year’s celebrity chef appearances include Cat Cora (Kouzzina, Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”), Robert Irvine (Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible”), Warren Brown, Todd English, Gale Gand, Art Smith, and Andrew Zimmern.
A Marketplace Discovery Passport will be available this year, allowing Guests eating around the World Showcase to keep track of what they’ve sampled by getting a stamp at each international marketplace visited.
New events this year include 3-D Disney’s Dessert Discovery and a festival preview night, First Bites Opening Reception, on Sept. 30.
Update: Here are a few more details about these two new events for 2010. The First Bites preview night costs $195 plus tax and theme park admission and will be held in the Festival Welcome Center. It’s essentially the entire Food, and Wine Festival condensed into one evening, including food, wine, and a look at the upcoming seminars, demos, celebrities, and entertainment. The 3-D Disney’s Dessert Discovery will take place each Friday during the festival and is essentially a nighttime dessert party that includes VIP viewing for the nightly EPCOT IllumiNations fireworks show. Tickets are $45 plus park admission.
Also included as part of the festival is the usual annual assortment of daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events, and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center, plus the Eat to the Beat! Concert series three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre. Appearing for the first time on the Eat to the Beat! Stage are Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Howard Jones, 38 Special, Roger Hodgson (formerly of Supertramp), Hanson, and Rick Springfield. Kicking off the festival Oct. 1 – 3 is Taylor Dayne, and wrapping the event Nov. 12 – 14 is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Not quite part of the festival but opening in time for it are two new EPCOT restaurants: Via Napoli at the Italy pavilion and La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion.
Access to the International Food and Wine Festival marketplaces is included with EPCOT park admission, but individual small food plate prices range from $3 to $8.
The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is one of my favorite annual events at any Orlando theme park, both due to the variety of food and the consistency in quality, and I personally look forward to digging in once again this year.