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Walt Disney World guests in Florida can sip new wines, beers and cocktails, taste flavors from around the globe and eat to the beat of live entertainment at the 18th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase from Sept. 27 – Nov. 11, 2013.

Griddled Lobster Tail with Garlic Herb Butter is paired perfectly with La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay at the Hops & Barley Marketplace outside the American Adventure pavilion during the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11 at Walt Disney World Resort. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Griddled Lobster Tail with Garlic Herb Butter is paired perfectly with La Crema Sonoma Coast chardonnay at the Hops & Barley Marketplace outside the American Adventure pavilion during the 18th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 27-Nov. 11 at Walt Disney World Resort. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

The 46-day festival at Disney’s Epcot theme park serves up authentic cuisine from six continents; wine, beer and inventive new cocktails; nightly Eat to the Beat! concerts with entertainment ranging from rock and soul to funk and blues; cultural exhibits of more than 25 international regions; and regularly scheduled performances by acrobats, musicians, dancers and comedy troupes. Exotic marketplaces from Scotland to Brazil offer exciting taste treats.

The festival is believed to be the largest food and wine event of its kind in the world, beginning at the Festival Welcome Center in Future World and fanning around the promenade encircling World Showcase Lagoon.

Guests have a little fun while enjoying great food and wine at the France marketplace during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort.  Featuring more than 25 international marketplaces surrounding the park's World Showcase Lagoon, the 18th annual event takes place Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Guests have a little fun while enjoying great food and wine at the France marketplace during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. Featuring more than 25 international marketplaces surrounding the park’s World Showcase Lagoon, the 18th annual event takes place Sept. 27-Nov. 11, 2013. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Here are some fabulous facts about the 18th annual event:

    • More than 300 national and international wines
    • A record 46 days long, the festival began in 1996 with a first run of 30 days
    • More than 220 food-and-beverage menu items, each tapas-sized portion or drink priced $3-$8
    • 100-plus celebrity chefs and 160 Walt Disney World chefs
    • More than 300 wine and beer seminars take place during the 46-day festival
    • More than 1,200 fireworks exploding each night over World Showcase Lagoon in “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”
    • 138 Eat to the Beat! concerts performed; 6 bands appearing for the first time at this year’s festival
    • The festival’s Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog is refilled three times during the course of the 46-day event, using a total of 910,000 cranberries or more than 3,000 pounds of the sweet-tart fruit
    • 1.5 million sumptuous samplings throughout the festival
    • 300,000 wine servings — if laid end-to-end the number of wine glasses used would reach from Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista to the Disney Cruise Line terminal at Port Canaveral, Fla.
    • 360,000 beer servings, enough to fill the aquariums 5 times over at Rainforest Café at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
    • 100,000 dessert servings including the dessert trio of Cherry Pistachio Mousse, Orange Cupcake and Hazelnut Cheesecake. More than 500 pounds of watermelon is expected to be tasted at the “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery parties
    • More than 80,000 servings dished up of the most popular savory item at the 2012 international marketplaces: the “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce from Canada
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With a Southern Twist is all about good living in today's South. A true Southerner, the author's passions include food, home design, travel, restaurants, shopping, and entertaining. It is a fun blog about one of her most beloved regions of the country, shared through personal experiences.