Walt Disney World’s International Food & Wine Festival has been held at Epcot since 1995. Starting as a relatively small event nearly 25 years ago, it’s now grown into a 10-week affair that includes exclusive food and beverage-related events, culinary classes, the Eat To The Beat concert series, special souvenirs galore and, of course, dozens of booths around World Showcase, highlighting samples of food and drink from around the world. It’s become a very popular event over time and one of the highlights of the year for hundreds of thousands of Disney and food fans.
However in the midst of all this, there’s another food and wine event held on Disney property that many less people know about…
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (that’s its whole name. I’m gonna call it the F&WC from here on in) has been an annual event at the Starwood-owned WDW Swan and Dolphin hotels since 2010. Held on Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28 this year, this 3-day event offers food and beverage tastings, educational seminars and a Sunday Brunch. Take a look:
Main Event: The Causeway
The main event is much like Disney F&W’s Party of the Senses. “Stroll the causeway where you will be tempted with a diverse selection of delectable delights prepared by our award-winning chefs.” From 5:30pm to 9pm, booths will line the causeway with over 50 food and drink samples to try from just about all of the two hotels’ restaurants and eateries:
Award-winning chefs Todd English, Robert Ciborowski and Laurent Branlard (the only two-time winner of the World Pastry Team Championship), as we as several others of the world’s top chefs will be on hand to explain the food they’ve prepared for the event, as well as answer any questions.
An optional addition to the main event is the Beer Garden. Housed on the tree-shaded Crescent Terrace, you’ll have access to over a dozen different beers, including seasonal and local favorites. There will also be exclusive house made “bar snacks” to pair with the picks.
The event will be held indoors in the case of inclement weather (so far it’s happened twice in its 9-year history).
Food and Beverage Seminars
The F&WC also includes eleven different seminars to choose from, that focus on food, wine, spirits, sake, beer, cheese and pasta. Maybe learn about wine pairing. Or the complexities and nuances of cheese. Perhaps breaking down the components of a great cocktail is more to your liking. Seminar instructions include Executive Chefs, Master Sommeliers, Certified Sommeliers and Certified Sake Professionals.
Finally, The Sunday Bubbles Brunch will be held at Il Mulino New York Trattoria and will run on October 28, 2018, from 9:30am to 1:30pm. Menu options will include a charcuterie, sliced fruit board, parfait, omelet and waffle stations, fresh salads, sushi, hot items such as Lobster Benedict and steak and egg, and a selection of LB mini pastries. Click here for a PDF of the (pretty amazing) full menu.
Costs and Packages
The event organizers give attendees various options for attending:
Package One: One Night Room & Event
Includes 1-night room accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes at check in to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastings and entertainment offered on the causeway.
Rates at the Dolphin starting at $445*
Rates at the Swan starting at $455*
Package Two: Two Nights Room & Event
Includes 2-night room accommodations for 2 adults and 2 causeway event passes for 2 nights at check in to enjoy unlimited food and wine tastings and entertainment offered on the causeway.
Rates at the Dolphin starting at $865*
Rates at the Swan starting at $885*
For both packages, seminar tickets, Beer Garden tickets and Sunday Bubbles Brunch can be added for an additional fee. Call 888-828-8850 to make your reservation.
The F&WC event is open to the public so even if you’re not staying at the Swan or Dolphin, you can still buy tickets for the various events:
- Causeway Event: $119.55 (Friday or Saturday) Click here to purchase
- Causeway and Beer Garden: $145.90 (Friday or Saturday) Click here to purchase
- Causeway a la carte ticket book containing 25 tickets will be available at the event for purchase, at a cost of $50. I LOVE THIS IDEA! These tickets are perfect for those with a lighter appetite and for young children. Offerings range from two to six tickets per item.
- Seminars vary in terms of day, time and cost. Click here for more information.
- Sunday Bubble Brunch: $88.50 for 9:30am, 11am or 12:30pm seating. Click here for more information and to purchase.
- An exclusive Saturday afternoon “Grand Tasting Experience” event is already sold out 🙁
I’ll be honest – as a WDW Food & Wine attendee since the late 1990s (anybody remember the precursor of Party for the Senses that they used to hold in the Odyssey?) and an Orlando resident since 2002, I somehow never heard of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic. But now that I have, I’m actually kinds of interested in attending some of their events!
Here’s a video from The Disney Blog from last year’s event.
Click here for more information about the entire event weekend. Who knows…maybe we’ll see you there?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary