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Changes Announced For 2009 version of Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival

The 2009 International Food & Wine Festival returns to Epcot on September 25th and runs through November 8th.

This year will mark the 14th annual occurrence of this very popular fall festival at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Amongst the outline of events that were announced for this year's festival were some significant changes versus prior years.

The very popular Wine Tasting Seminars that are held several times a day, featuring different wine varieties and wineries will no longer be FREE. These 45 minute events that typically included 2-3 tasting sized portions of the wines that were being discussed will now cost $8 per person per event.

Similarly, the Culinary demonstrations that were held in similar fashion to the wine seminars, where you watched a dish or dishes be prepared and received a tasting sized portion will now also cost $8 per person per event to attend.

Although $8 per person is not an exorbitant amount to be charged, these seminars and demonstrations were one of the highlights and strengths of this festival and they had always been free until this year.

Fortunately there are still several events left at the Food & Wine Festival that do not cost extra to enjoy. They include: Eat To The Beat Concerts, History of Beer In America sponsored by Samuel Adams, Authors Without Borders seminars, & Authentic Taste Seminars.

Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival can be broken down into 3 components: International Food Kiosks, Wine & Culinary Seminars, & Special Events (Celebrity Author sessions, Party for the Senses, Advanced Wine or Food Tasting Sessions).

Each of these contributes to what makes this a great festival. The Wine & Culinary Seminars allow the visitor to learn more and experiment with something that they had previously not tried or understood. The fact that it was free in years past encouraged the willingness to try something different and take the step to learn more. It is unknown if the changes made this year will dampen that spirit or not.

Here is a breakdown of the Seminars and Demonstrations to be offered at this year's Festival:

Authentic Taste Seminars - Each of these 30-minute seminars celebrates the origins, properties and history of some of the world's purest ingredients. Enjoy a lively and informative presentation by subject authorities.
Friday — Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Price: Included with Epcot admission.

Authors without Borders - Listen to renowned authors from the food and wine industries speak about popular topics in these informative and enlightening 30-minute conversations.
Friday — Sunday at 12:00 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Price: Included with Epcot admission.

Wine & Beverage Seminars - A 45-minute seminar allows you to meet the featured winery principal, learn a few useful wine tips, and sample the specially selected vintages or beverages.
Daily 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Price: $8.00 per person, tax included. Theme Park Admission is required.

Daily Culinary Demonstrations - Learn from the pros at these 45-minute culinary sessions. Meet the featured chef and wine presenter, pick up cooking tips and best of all, taste the demonstrated dish and wine pairing!
Daily: 1:00p.m., 2:45 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
Price: $8.00 per person, tax included. Theme Park Admission is required.

History of Beer in America - Learn the history of beer in the New World and the awesome art and science behind brewing the beverage. This seminar is hosted by the Boston Beer Company, brewers of Samuel Adams Beer®.
Daily seminars at 11:50 a.m., 12:35 p.m., 2:05 p.m., 3:35 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. in the Epcot American Adventure Pavilion.
Price: Included with Epcot admission.

Taste of Puglia — Hosted by Taste of PugliaComune di Andria-QocoPuglian chefs and wine experts bring the regional flair and flavors of southern Italy to the Festival. On the Promenade, learn about the history of olive oil and pasta from epicureans, observe traditional techniques used in preparing gourmet Puglian foods and have the opportunity to purchase food products native to the region. Specialty programming that celebrates the flavors and products of Puglia will also be available.
Seminars Daily in the Epcot Italy Pavilion.
Price: Included with Epcot admission.

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