Fall is a good time to be in Florida. The days aren’t blazing hot like during the summer, but they are still nice and warm. Crowds decrease (unless you are talking about a holiday). And the Epcot Food And Wine Festival kicks into gear. This year, the festival will run for a record 46 days – starting on September 28 and going through to November 12. This is the 17th year for the popular event.

New Stuff for 2012

Each year Disney adds a few new things to the festival, which is primarily but not entirely focused around the World Showcase lagoon.

Terra Marketplace

In the past Disney has offered some Vegan offerings at different food kiosks, but now an entire kiosk is being dedicated to Vegan. It has some fascinating offerings, including curry with basmati rice and homemade chips with a cheese-like sauce made from cashew nuts (yes, that sounds strange but I heard good reviews of it).

Florida Marketplace

This kiosk will focus on local flavors, including shrimp with roasted vegetables and plantains. This is just a personal guess, but I would envision some citrus-inspired items too.

New this year is a kiosk featuring food local to Florida.

New this year is a kiosk featuring food local to Florida.

Each Wednesday a chef will provide a VIP tour around World Showcase, providing five stops with tastes of both food and wine, beer, or a cocktail at several of the kiosks. This will be a great way to learn some culinary secrets while and get answers directly from the people who know how to make these amazing dishes.

Concerts

Eighteen different concert acts are scheduled, including Night Ranger, Gin Blossoms, Smash Mouth, and (my personal favorite) Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in the Eat To The Beat Concern Series.

Special Events

While many people focus on the food kiosks, there are also other special events that are equally fun. There are many different events – we will just look at two of the bigger ones here.

If you love food (and who doesn't?), the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot is the place to be.

If you love food (and who doesn’t?), the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot is the place to be.

This foodie paradise takes places on Saturday evenings in October and the first Saturday in November. The prices start at $145 per person, but if you love food adventures you should consider checking it out. The event takes place in the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion, a building between the Canada Pavilion and the United Kingdom Pavilion that generally isn’t open to the public. Enjoy a wide range of food and wine choices while taking in the amazing showmanship of the Cirque du Soleil performers. This event often sells out – especially for the upgraded packages that provide a reserved table – so get your tickets early if you plan to go.

“3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery

On select Thursday and Friday evenings you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a huge array of deserts and cordials between 7:00 and 8:30pm.

Plenty Of Fun With Food

The Food & Wine Festival has become a popular fall tradition at Epcot.  As is normally the case, there are a few new experiences and plenty of good ones  from years gone by.