ORLANDO, Fla. – The 2021 edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is now underway at Disney World.
During the 129-day event, visitors can eat and sip their way around the park’s World Showcase, with dozens of global marketplaces serving up savory and sweet dishes. They can also take in some live entertainment or shop for a variety of festival merchandise.
And even though the festival has many familiar offerings this year, there are some new offerings, mostly in the form of new marketplaces and live entertainment.
Here are a few things to know for this year's festival.
NEW EATS, NEW SIPS
As previously mentioned, there are several marketplaces this year, including Brew-Wing at the Epcot Experience, The Noodle Exchange, Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina, Rotunda Bistro and The Swanky Saucy Swine—all of which are open now. A few other new marketplaces—Kenya, Lobster Landing, and Mac & Eats—will debut Oct. 1.
At Brew-Wing, visitors can try five different flavors of wings from the mild Garlic Parmesan to the spicy Mango Habanero. There’s also flatbreads and variety of brews and ciders on the menu. The Swanky Saucy Swine specializes in pork dishes. Menu items include crispy barbecue pork rinds and roasted porchetta. For the full festival menus, click here.
EAT TO THAT BEAT
While Disney hasn’t brought back the Eat to the Beat concert series, there’s plenty of live entertainment to be found at the festival. Visitors can jam along with the JaMMin’ Chefs over at The Mill Stage in the Canada pavilion. Or over at the America Gardens Theatre, Mariachi Cobre and the Voices of Liberty will perform at different times throughout the day.
Disney did add a new concert series called the America Gardens Bandstand, with concerts on Friday through Monday evenings. Local bands such as Epic! Live, Champagne Orchestra and The Hooligans are set to perform.
SPOTS TO RELAX AND COOL OFF
It’s Florida. It’s hot. And walking around the World Showcase with the sun beating will likely have many in search of somewhere to rest their feet or cool off. Disney has added some additional seating areas in the park.
And some of the marketplaces are located inside providing a nice break from the heat, including the Rotunda Bistro at the American Adventure Pavilion and the Appleseed Orchard in the Canada Far and Wide building.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
For now, park pass reservations are still required to visit the Disney World theme parks. The good news is park-hopping is allowed after 2 p.m. for annual passholders and those who have the option on their ticket. So you could start your day at say Magic Kingdom and end it at Epcot for a little Food & Wine action. Also if you’re going to be using Disney transportation to hop around the parks, just know that face masks are still required for the Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner.
And when you get to the park, don’t forget to pick up a Festival Passport, which includes menus, a list of the entertainment offerings and locations to buy festival merchandise.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs through Nov. 20.