Summer is upon us, but in no time, pumpkin-flavored everything will carry us away to a sea of autumn. Before that happens, though, Florida's true herald of fall, Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival, returns — for 62 days.
Disney's quite proud of adding and extra nine days this year, and it should be. The festival, now in its 21st year, began as a way to draw locals during historically slow times. This, of course, was when the Walt Disney World Resort actually had slow times. In the two decades since, the festival has grown so popular that heading to Epcot on a weekend during the Food & Wine Festival can test even the calmest person's tolerance.
Nevertheless, I'll head there again this year between Sept. 14 and Nov. 14 — most likely more than once. Why?
• The Farm Fresh marketplace, serving Florida food, will be back, because apparently I'm not the only one who would sell my mom into servitude for a chance to have more of the watermelon feta salad with pickled red onions.
• Wang Chung will play as part of the Eat to the Beat concert series. While perhaps some of the younger members of our readership won't appreciate the beauty that is this '80s sensation, those of us who missed seeing them live in our teens now have the chance. Hey, everybody? Have fun tonight, OK?
• Food demos, tasting events by reservation and, essentially, all the food. Disney's typical meals — from their quick service to their signature dining — give you a lot of grub. Smaller portions of the festival foods let me eat a wider variety, and if I want to chase the duck (France) with a shrimp dish (Farm Fresh), well, now, that's my business, isn't it?
(Note to self: Epcot sells antacids in Future World.)