In prior years approximately 30 marketplaces lined the world showcase at Epcot offering various culinary delights and beverages. Renowned chefs will offer signature experiences during this festival and there will always be demonstrations and wine seminars and classes for the wine enthusiast. To compliment the experience, Disney offers the Eat to the Beat concert series. With three shows each night, at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00, the 2013 Eat to the Beat concert series includes the following lineup (subject to change):
· Sept 19-21 – Jo Dee Messina
· Sept. 22-23 – The Pointer Sisters
· Sept. 24-25 – Rick Springfield
· Sept. 26-27 – Christopher Cross
· Sept. 28-29 – Hanson
· Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
· Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
· Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
· Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
· Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
· Oct. 13-14 – TBD
· Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
· Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
· Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
· Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
· Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
· Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
· Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
· Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
· Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
· Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
· Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
While individual events may eclipse the entertainment value of Food and Wine Festival at Disney, nothing else compares to the Food and Wine Festival for adult entertainment during a week long stay at Disney World. For a wealth of information on the food events check out http://www.disneyfoodblog.com.
Disney offers few experiences that cater to adults, especially since the demise of Pleasure Island. The Food and Wine festival, while not reminiscent of Pleasure Island, is a suitable family experience but caters to adults more than children. Historically, this has always been a slow time for Disney and the Food and Wine Festival seems to help a bit. It is unquestionably one of the best times to go to Disney World if you can manage to plan a vacation at this time of year. The crowds are among the lowest of the year and the hotel and rental home prices are rock bottom. Disney's advertised rates are among the lowest of the year and the dining package is usually offered free with a full price room. For larger groups, rental homes are often priced 25% below peak times and can accommodate large families or groups for the same price as a room at a moderate Disney resort.
One concern for travelers during this time frame is hurricane season in Florida. While hurricane season runs until November 30, the busiest time is August into September. Odds of a hurricane disruption are slim and you can protect your trip with travel insurance. The weather during the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival should be pleasant with temperatures in late September averaging about 88 degrees Fahrenheit and by early November averaging about 79 degrees. September is the fourth rainiest month in Orlando while October and November are very dry.
If traveling as a couple you can stay within walking distance of Epcot by booking at the Boardwalk, Yacht Club or Beach Club. All are pricey but fun if you can afford them. You can also try the Swan or Dolphin which, while not Disney hotels, are in the park and adjacent to the Boardwalk area sharing the same boat service to the back entrance to Epcot. For larger groups, a rental home is your best bet and the entire home with pool, spa and games room will be considerably cheaper than the Disney deluxe resorts.
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