A larger and longer Epcot Food & Wine Festival is underway at the Disney World theme park and will continue until just before Thanksgiving -- Nov. 23, to be exact.
The 87-day run is the longest in the event's history.
There are two new marketplaces, or food kiosks, this year, bringing the total to 30, including the 11 country pavilions in the World Showcase. The Appleseed Orchard Marketplace is located in the Canada section of the park and features apple-inspired beer, ciders and cocktails (which go perfectly with the caramel corn popped fresh from the kiosk right next door) as well as charcuterie and cheese boards. The second new marketplace is "The Alps," which is located across from the Norway pavilion. The melted raclette with baby potatoes and cornichons is the highlight here, alongside venison stew and 2019's ubiquitous frozen rose wine.
The merchandise is particularly good this year. My favorite Disney film is "Ratatouille," and I was thrilled to see the film's main character, the little rat chef Remy, get his time to shine at the Food & Wine Festival in some adorable apparel and souvenirs. I coveted the adult-size chef coat printed with an elegant illustrated rendition of Remy on the front and the phrase "Ici, Je Suis Le Chef" on the back -- "Here, I am the chef."
The "Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt" is back this year, and the prize for finding the Remys holding the ingredients for the ratatouille scattered throughout the park is a very nice insulated coffee tumbler. The scavenger hunt isn't easy by any means, so that tumbler will be well-earned. Just take your scavenger hunt map to the gift shop at the front of the park to claim your tumbler at the end of your visit.
The World Showplace Pavilion, between the U.K. and Canada pavilions, will host ESPN's "Tailgate Tasting" on Sundays at 6:30 p.m through Nov. 17. The 45-minute event will feature a flight of three sample-size food items, served with a complimentary beverage tasting, inspired by the cities playing in the Monday night NFL game the following evening. Epcot's chefs will also provide a demonstration on how guests can re-create the dishes at home. Reservations are recommended for this program.