The schedule for the 2009 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival was recently released, and reservations for the special events open on August 11, 2009. From September 25 to November 8 this year, it’s a great time to visit Walt Disney World.
Nonetheless, it remains a challenge for anyone hoping to do some advanced planning. Fourteen years after its inception, it continues to be a seat-of-the-pants endeavor. There’s always an aura of disorganization surrounding this event despite so many years of practice. The announcement of the schedule barely six weeks before the opening date, as usual, leaves guests little time or flexibility to make their arrangements. With hotel bookings strong due to numerous special offers and reduced rates, anyone hoping to see the schedule before making reservations risks disappointment. Reduced air capacity often translates to high ticket costs for those making last-minute bookings. There are also frequent issues with cancellations and changes after the schedule is published, upsetting many a well-laid plan.
Consequently, savvy Festival veterans have learned to decide on their dates first and make their arrangements well in advance, then choose from the available events offered during their trip.
This season features a number of interesting additions to the Festival line-up including offerings from Rio de Janeiro, Thailand, and Puglia. Everyone will enjoy the Edy’s Ice Cream Experience, and those guests who embrace the tradition of “drinking around the world” will appreciate the tequila tastings Friday through Sunday at Cava del Tequila, and the new champagne and dessert kiosk at the entrance to the World Showcase.
While the previously complimentary tasting seminars at the Festival Welcome Center will now cost $8.00 per person, visitors will still discover a great many events and presentations each day that are included in the regular park admission.
Returning visitors will find many old favorites on the roster including the Party for the Senses, Eat to the Beat Concerts, Wine Schools, Signature Dining, and the Food and Wine Pairings. There are dozens of demonstrations, book and bottle signings, seminars, and, of course, the wonderful kiosks showcasing the foods and beverages from countries around the globe.
A special Disney Gift Card has been designed for the Festival to make purchases fast and convenient and is available at a number of locations throughout the park.
EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
September 25 to November 8, 2009
Park admission required
Reserved events available at additional cost