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2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Passport To A World Of Flavors

The 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicked off on September 30th and Only WDWorld was there to check it out.  The 16th rendition of this much anticipated Disney World Special Event did not disappoint.  There are many sights, sounds, and certainly tastes to enjoy at the F&W Festival and it starts the moment that you walk through the entrance to Epcot.

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Sights
As soon as you enter Epcot you get your first view of the Food & Wine Festival.  The theme this year is Passport To A World Of Flavor and it is reflected in the travel oriented display you find at the entrance framed by the iconic Spaceship Earth for the pictures.

The colorful banners for the festival adorn the park everywhere you look.

You will also find the above pictured display at the entrance to the World Showcase to "kick-off" your journey around the world to experience a wide variety culinary experiences.

New this year is the sponsorship of OceanSpray Craisins and the Festival Cranberry Bog prominently found along the walkway connecting Future World to the World Showcase.  Definitely not something you see every day!

Duffy leads the merchandising effort with an adorable version of Duffy in Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Chef's outfit.  A must have for the Duffy fans or something to get the  kids that didn't get to come along during your Adults Only Getaway..

There is a wide variety of Festival Themed merchandise available.  Remember that once the Festival is over, you will not be able to obtain these special items which range from shirts to aprons, wine glasses, and other kitchen related items.

The Disney Pin Collector is not left out with special limited edition Pins to mark the 2011 Festival.

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Sounds
Once again this year the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival features a FREE concert series called "Eat To The Beat."  Each night there are 3 approximately half hour concerts that take place in the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase.

For 2011 Taylor Dayne kicked off the series by performing the first 3 nights of the Festival.  The outdoor theatre is small enough that everyone gets a great view of the musical acts that are performing.  Taylor sounded great and put on a crowd pleasing show including old favorites that the crowd recognized along with a couple of new songs.

This year, in addition to Taylor Dayne you may catch other nationally known acts such as: Night Ranger, Gin Blossoms, .38 Special, Billy Ocean, Sugar Ray, Howard Jones, Boyz II Men, The Pointer Sisters, Air Supply, and more!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Tastes

Let's face it, most people come to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for the Tastes!  There are no shortages of flavors to experience, whether you are looking for dinner, a snack, or dessert, there are over 60 tapas sized portioned items to choose from at the 27 marketplace kiosks that surround the 1.3 mile World Showcase promenade.

Among the new additions for 2011 are the Hawaii and the Portugal kiosks providing dishes that reflect the flavors and cultures of the regions.

At the Portugal Marketplace kiosk you can select the Calamari Salad with Fennel and Olives for $2.75.  This cold salad was very good and would be recommended if you enjoy calamari.

Passport To A World Of Flavors
One nice feature that is available to Festival Guests is a real Passport that you can obtain for FREE at any of the Festival Merchandise Retail locations or the DVC Booths.

The Festival Passport is about the size of a real passport and is designed to help you keep track of which kiosks you have visited and what food items you tried.

As you visit each kiosk you can get you passport stamped and if you wish you can check off the food and drink items that you sampled.  As most people end up spending more than one day at the Festival, it comes in handy to remember which you have visited and which you have yet to visit.  It also makes a nice FREE souvenir and memento of your trip.

2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Through November 13, 2011 the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be open for all Epcot visitors to enjoy at no extra charge. 

There are additional special events that can be enjoyed for an extra fee, but the main festival and access to all of the Marketplace kiosks, and Eat To The Beat! Concert Series is included with your admission to Epcot.

So what are you waiting for?  Make your plans to visit the "King" of Disney World Special Events.

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