There are many special numbers to celebrate as we announce the 22nd annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, opening Aug. 31 and running through Nov. 13 – that’s 75 days to sip, savor and enjoy one of America’s top food festivals (13 more than last year).

And to celebrate the park’s opening 35 years ago in 1982, there will be a record number of Marketplaces – 35 in all – stretching around World Showcase and into Future World.

While the Marketplaces play a starring role, we recommend planning ahead so you don’t miss your favorite celebrity chefs, hands-on culinary workshops and demonstrations at the Festival Center, Party for the Senses, or your favorite artists at one of the nightly Eat to the Beat concerts. Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when schedules are in place and bookings for specialty festival events open this summer.

Chefs are busy at work on new dishes for the Marketplaces, paired with wines, beers and ciders. We got a taste of the new crispy chicken with griddled cornbread and red-eye gravy for the Farm Fresh Marketplace and the spicy Korma Chicken with cucumber-tomato salad, almonds, cashews and warm naan bread from the India Marketplace– just two of the intriguing and delectable new tastes that will be in the 2017 cookbook. Another favorite was the charcuterie in a cone from the Spain Marketplace, perfect for strolling and tasting. For a favorite sweet, it’s back to India with the pistachio cardamom cake with a dollop of chocolate coconut mousse. And these are just a sampling of dozens of new tastes.

This year there are more family favorites, too, with the Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt back for another year as well as culinary demos and dishes geared toward kids’ palates.

Along with Party for the Senses, the festival includes specialty dining and pairing events at World Showcase restaurants and events at the resort hotels such as Brunch with a Twist at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Keep an eye out for details this summer at epcotfoodfestival.com.

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