When Epcot's 24th annual International Food & Wine Festival launches on Thursday, August 29, expect to see a lot of cheese. "Cheese has been the big theme," Rick DeCicco, proprietor of festivals, told The Daily Meal via telephone.
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And the theme of cheese extends beyond one of the festival's new marketplace booths, The Alps, which features warm raclette Swiss cheese that is scooped straight from the half wheel onto your plate of baby potatoes, cornichons and baguette. While that's the forthcoming dish that's getting the most buzz, Epcot is going all in on everyone's favorite dairy product for 2019 with a cheese-themed food crawl.
New for this year, Chelsea Florig, project manager of food and beverage at Epcot, told us all about the new Emile's Fromage Montage. Named for the pudgy, lovable rat Emile from the hit Pixar film "Ratatouille," the Fromage Montage is a new way to eat around the world. Guests will buy and try five different dishes throughout Food & Wine Festival that feature cheese, get their passport stamped and get rewarded withâ€¦ more cheese! When you buy those ooey, gooey, delicious dishes, you will get a stamp for each of them. Then, after you buy five dishes, you can take your stamped Food & Wine passport to Shimmering Sips to get a complimentary cheesecake that is exclusive to the Fromage Montage.
In addition to the warm raclette Swiss cheese dish, there is plenty of cheese from around the world to load up on at Epcot this fall. There's the Impossible Cottage Pie (starring mozzarella) at Earth Eats, a black pepper souffle at The Cheese Studio, pasta gratin with ham, onions and cheese in Germany's booth and Brazilian cheese bread at the Brazil booth. Those are just the dishes included in the Fromage Montage; there's plenty of more cheese to go around after that.
In addition to Emile's Fromage Montage, Disney is continuing to make Food & Wine more family-friendly with the return of three popular, albeit lesser known, things to do. There's another "Ratatouille"-themed activity, Remy's Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt, where participants will purchase a map with stickers, look for the lovable, gray rat posing with various ingredients around the World Showcase, complete the hunt and win a prize. The interactive "candy sushi" station, where kids roll puffed rice together with gummy candies, is also making a return to Sunshine Seasons in The Land. Finally, Future World is going to get hyped up with the Disney du Jour Dance Party, featuring DJs and Radio Disney artists.
The 2019 edition of Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival starts on August 29 and stretches for a record 87 days, ending on November 23. And if that isn't enough eating around the world for you, consider checking out one of the best restaurants at Epcot.