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New Festival Attractions and Fantastic Food Marketplaces at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival  is bigger and better than ever — with gorgeous new gardens and whimsical new Disney character topiaries, plus new Garden Marketplaces serving up tasty culinary creations. And this year, look for topiaries and select gardens to be lit up at night! All this and more gets underway starting March 6, 2013.

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot's World Showcase.

From the bounty of the garden to your table

Twelve new Garden Marketplace locations will sprout up around the promenade, offering culinary creations and special libations inspired by the gardens at Epcot’s World Showcase.

“Our horticulture team recognizes that our guests are curious about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” says Michael Jenner, Park Event Content Development Operations Manager. Garden Marketplaces are a great opportunity for discovery, as guests are able to sample some amazing dishes and learn how to incorporate their own garden harvests into their meals at home.”

“We had been planning to do something like this for many years, and the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is the perfect opportunity,” Michael explains. It became a reality thanks to Walt Disney World Resort  guests like you. Last year, just one experimental marketplace was so overwhelmingly popular, it “grew” this year to a dozen different areas with a wide variety of offerings.

It looks good enough to eat!

Each new marketplace will have two small gardens in front of them filled with plantings to match the host of food and beverage (many nonalcoholic) selections. For instance, the garden at the front of World Showcase Plaza will have blueberries growing to tie in with the Blueberry Wine. The garden near the Canada Pavilion will feature pineapples to match the Pineapple Upside Down Cake that you can purchase.

“I don’t think many guests have actually seen pineapples growing, and that should be a treat,” adds Michael. “We will also have ‘TRYit’ opportunities  at these marketplaces to encourage children and adults to sample some out-of-the-ordinary delights like Watermelon Salad with Pickled Red Onions, BW Farms Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction.”

Many of these creative menu selections were developed by Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann, who made sure they would be “tapas-size” items, so that you will be able to explore multiple choices.

Don’t forget the new garden passport!

“We will offer guests a special passport with one page per Marketplace,” said Michael. “It will list the plants and other information so that guests can check off what they tasted, write notes and even get it stamped for free, like a field journal.”

One of the most popular marketplaces is sure to be at The American Adventure Pavilion. A huge smoker will be rolled onto the stage to barbeque brisket and pork. Guests can top off that meal sample with a glass of Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar River Blues in Lyons, CO (Czech-style Pilsner), or Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA (India Pale Ale), or just a delicious Rocky Road brownie.

Oz, monsters and lights into the night

You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful .”

There’s so much to see, do and taste during the 75-day garden party! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival surprises are around almost every corner.

There will be new topiary creations, including a salute to Disney•Pixar “Monsters University.” You’ll find whimsical children’s play areas, the newest being The Land of Oz Garden , inspired by Walt Disney Pictures’ “Oz The Great and Powerful.” Look for a butterfly bounty, HGTV celebrity designers , hands-on gardening seminars and more. On weekends, rock to performances by top Flower Power Concert Series rockers of the 1960s and ’70s.

And the fun won’t end when the sun goes down — almost all the gardens will now be gorgeously illuminated for the first time, making the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival a complete delight, day and night.

For more information, visit EpcotInSpring.com.

*Entertainment subject to change without notice.

Savor Global Tastes, First Vegan Marketplace, Florida Flavors at 17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 28-Nov. 12

Festival Planners Add Extra Day of Tasting Fun

For a record 46 days beginning Sept. 28, Disney guests can taste their way around the world during the 17th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort.  The culinary event, just named one of the Best Food and Wine Festivals by the Travel Channel, includes daily Eat to the Beat! pop concerts and one extra day of festival fun as the foodie celebration continues through Nov. 12.

Savory Bites from New Terra Marketplace -- Gardein Beefless Tips

Savory Bites from New Terra Marketplace — Gardein Beefless Tips offer a savory kick created for vegans but appreciated by meat lovers, too, in the new Chili Colorado dish with house-made chips and cashew cheese dreamed up by Disney chefs for the 17th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 28-Nov. 12, 2012

Festival chefs are firing on all burners with menus designed for every palate and a new Marketplace VIP Access Chef Tour geared toward the foodie who wants the inside culinary scoop.

Fresh from festival planners:

New festival marketplaces debut – TERRA Marketplace will offer all vegan menu items including Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-Made Chips and Cashew Cheese; FLORIDA LOCAL Marketplace will introduce fresh twists on regional flavor samplings.  More than 25 ethnic and regional marketplaces with tantalizing new aromas and flavors will tempt guests in the World Showcase.

Marketplace Chef Tours give VIP access – Each Wednesday, festival chefs will host a walking-and-tasting tour around World Showcase with stops at several international marketplaces.  Guests will taste five marketplace dishes and five beverage items to include beer, wine and cocktails while learning chefs’ culinary secrets.

Newly crafted beverages are geared toward family dining – Children of all ages can try inventive new sips during the family’s marketplace dine-around.  Child-friendly bites to pair will include beef empanadas and cheese fondue.

Fan favorites debut at Eat to the Beat! Concerts – Pop acts like Smash Mouth (Oct. 11-12) and Javier Colon, winner of “The Voice” (Oct. 13-14) will sizzle during their first Epcot nightly concerts included with other festival activities in admission.  Eighteen Eat to the Beat! acts are slated, including other new bands Blues Traveler (Nov. 5-6) and Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX (Nov. 7-8).  Night Ranger kicks off the concert series Sept. 28-30, and other returning fan favorites include Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Hazel and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

HGTV sets the table – Superstar HGTV designers host home entertaining seminars every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Celebrity chefs bring it – Renowned chefs like Robert Irvine and Rock Harper share their talents during culinary demos.

Festival Welcome Center buzzes with extras – Guests can make the most of complimentary Authentic Taste seminars.  Culinary demonstrations and wine seminars feature new tastes and sips for a nominal fee.

Reserved culinary events kick tastings up a notch — Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.

Other festival highlights include:

  • More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting dinners and tasting events.
  • A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
  • Party for the Senses grand tasting events Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3 featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment.
  • “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery on select Fridays.
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What’s Included with Epcot Admission:

Authentic Taste seminars, HGTV seminars, special book signings, Eat to the Beat! concerts, cultural adventures, Marketplace Discovery Passport and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.

Special Programming by Reservation:

The Party for the Senses grand tasting events and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) beginning August 14 to make reservations.

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