I cannot wait to be in Disney World again. Not only because I need my fix, but also because I will be able to participate in the Food and Wine Festival for the first time.

This year’s theme is Taste Your Way Around the World, where each country in Epcot’s world showcase will feature food and wine from their particular region. Although there aren’t details on the dishes to be served as of yet, I do know that there will be at least 12 new plates offered throughout. Considering I’ve never been, that’s 12 more I get to try out!

As always, Disney takes care of their guests with allergies. In 2011 alone, the Food and Wine festival had at least 13 gluten free options in various booths. This is only set to grow in 2012! Highlights last year included Argentina’s Grilled Beef Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce and Ireland’s Flourless Warm Lava Cake.

In 2012 there will be a Dessert and Champagne booth where I know I’ll be having a glass of bubbly, and an entire booth simply devoted to one of the great loves of my life – Cheese.

Here are some details:

17th Annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

September 28 – November 12, 2012

Registration for Food & Wine Festival Events Begins on August 14 at 7 a.m. EST

New for 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

New Marketplace Kiosks & Offerings:

  • TERRA Marketplace – For the first time, a vegan kiosk will be introduced for 2012, featuring vegan dishes such as Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice, Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese, and a new Dairy-free, Lactose-free Berry smoothie.
  • FLORIDA Marketplace – will introduce guests to fresh twists on regional flavors such as White Corn Arepa with Mangalitsa Pork and Sweet Corn, Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Veggies and Crispy Plantains, and Key Lime Wine. L
  • Look for new kid-friendly dirnks at kiosks throughout the World Showcase, such as non-alcoholic smoothies and “Honest Kids” organic juices.

New Marketplace Chef Tours:

This walking-and-tasting tour around the World Showcase will offer VIP access to several international marketplaces and will take place each Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Hosted by festival chefs, guests will learn culinary secrets while sampling five dishes and five beverage items such as beer, wine, and cocktails. Cost is $90 plus tax.

New Regional Lunches:

  • Due to renovations taking place at France’s Bistro de Paris restaurant, the French Regional Lunches will not be available in 2012, but will return in 2013.
  • Italy will continue its popular series of festival events at Via Napoli, as well as the exquisite White Truffle Lunch on November 4 at Tutto Italia Ristorante. The Italy Pavilion will be adding a new Italian Regional Food & Wine Luncheon in the recently opened Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, pairing wines with casual, authentic dishes. Tutto Gusto luncheons will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Cost is $75 plus tax.

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Highlights

Marketplaces & Promenade
Over 25 international marketplace kiosks will serve up tapas-sized portions of regional specialties. Guests will get the chance to explore the World Showcase countries through their most mouthwatering foods and beverages!

Eat to the Beat! Concert Series
Nightly musical entertainment during the nightly Eat to the Beat! Concert Series. Enjoy a varied lineup of classic rock, soul, R&B, jazz and funk, including Boyz II Men, Smash Mouth, Gin Blossoms, Sister Hazel, 38 Special, Blues Traveler, and more.

Seminars and Demonstrations
Learn from the masters with the festival’s schedule of seminars and demonstrations featuring the fresh ingredients and secret techniques that go into some of the world’s most extraordinary dishes and drinks. Chef appearances by Robert Irvine, Rock Harper, Jamie Deen, Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, Andrew Zimmern, Erika Davis (from Top Chef Just Desserts) and others will share their talents during culinary demos.

Special Festival Experiences

  • Party for the Senses: October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, from 7:30 – 10 p.m.
    guests may book any of 3 tiers for this event. Gratuity in included in the pricing. Both of the reserved seating options also include a specialty cocktail and early admission at 7:15 p.m.
    • A reserved table on the main floor is $170 plus tax
    • A reserved table in the premium Wine View Lounge is $270 plus tax
    • General admission is $145 plus tax
  • 3D Dessert Discovery: Features “3D” viewing of Illuminations while enjoying a variety of desserts. A selection of vegan and gluten-free desserts by Babycakes NYC Bakery will also be provided! Parties take place on select Fridays throughout the festival.
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