Just as we wrap the final weeks of the fabulous 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, we’re already getting excited about the debut of the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, opening on Sept. 14 and continuing a record 62 days, through Nov. 14.

We’ve already been tasting the dishes for the 30-plus global marketplaces, from a new beef brisket and pimento cheese sandwich for Hops & Barley to surprisingly delicious vegan Greek nachos. And anyone for a hard soda ice-cream float?

Look for new hands-on experiences with chefs, bakers and mixologists in the Festival Center, and a new cooking school (details to come).

Celebrity chefs are back, already on this year’s roster are Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, Masaharu Morimoto, Elizabeth Faulkner, Norman Van Aken and Cat Cora.

2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Now 62 Days of Great Eats, Trend-Setting Beverages, Live Entertainment 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Now 62 Days of Great Eats, Trend-Setting Beverages, Live Entertainment

And once you’re happily sated, the free Eat to the Beat concerts at America Gardens Theatre are the perfect way to end the day – Wang Chung opens the concert series Sept. 14-15. Eight new acts will join the lineup, and favorites are back, including Wilson Phillips and Boyz II Men.

A few things you might like to know:

  • The Festival Private Label California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are back, available by the bottle or glass.
  • Chef Remy of “Ratatouille” returns with his fun-for-the-family culinary scavenger hunt.
  • Chase debit and credit card members attending the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase – including Disney Visa card members — will find complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments, a charging station and comfortable seating to relax at the Chase Lounge at American Adventure.
  • Included with Epcot admission are the Back to Basics series, special book signings, Eat to the Beat concerts, cultural adventures, Festival Passport and all attractions and entertainment.
  • Party for the Senses grand tasting events with a new theme each week, Rockin’ Burger Block Parties, signature dinners and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission. When a reservation booking date is announced this summer, guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) and get details at epcotfoodfestival.com.

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