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The 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival opens September 19 and for a total of fifty-three days food lovers can eat their way through World Showcase. While food should be your main priority when visiting during that time of the year there is more to the festival than sampling the mouthwatering delicacies dished out by celebrity chefs.
One of the highlights each year is the Eat to the Beat concerts held at the American Gardens Theater in the American Adventure Pavilion. If grooving to the music of the Pointers Sisters or rocking with the Los Lonely Boys is your thing make sure to check out the lineup and plan your visit accordingly.
This year’s opening act (September 19-21) is new to the concert series and the American Gardens Theater is going to be packed with fans when country music star Jo Dee Marie Messina takes the stage. Also new this year is Fuel an alternative rock and post grunge band formed in 1993 while playing the club circuit in and around Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They will be rocking the stage October 9-10.
Next, October 11 and 12, my favorite band Sister Hazel takes the stage. The band is from Gainesville, FL and their music blends pop, folk, classic and southern rock. They are named after the Gainesville nun Sister Hazel Williams, a local missionary who run homeless shelters. The band is deeply committed to charitable work. Among their many involvements is Lyrics For Life, a charity they started. Lyrics For Life raises money for pediatric cancer.
The concerts are held three times a day at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and are a great way to end your day at Epcot. They are popular so come early. If you are a Chase credit card holder head to the Chase Cardholder’s lounge as soon as it opens at 11 a.m. for a wristband that gives cardholders access to special seating for the concerts. Quantities each day are limited so get there early! Throughout the day the Chase Cardholder lounge is a great place to relax, cool off, recharge your cell phone and enjoy complimentary soft drinks.
If you are not a Chase cardholder make sure you arrive early at the theater. I recommend you come 45 minutes prior to the show, grab a drink and some food samples and standing in line won’t be that bad.
November 8th through 10th Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Southern California contemporary swing revival band will be the closing act of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Check out the complete line up hereunder:
Sept 19-21 – Jo Dee Messina
Sept. 22-23 – The Pointer Sisters
Sept. 24-25 – Rick Springfield
Sept. 26-27 – Christopher Cross
Sept. 28-29 – Hanson
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 – Air Supply
Oct. 3-5 – STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas
Oct. 6-8 – Sugar Ray
Oct. 9-10 – Fuel
Oct. 11-12 – Sister Hazel
Oct. 13-14 – TBD
Oct. 15-16 – Billy Ocean
Oct. 17-19 – Night Ranger
Oct. 20-22 – Smash Mouth
Oct. 23-24 – Jim Brickman
Oct. 25-26 – Los Lonely Boys
Oct. 27-28 – Wilson Phillips
Oct. 29-31 – Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX
Nov. 1-2 – 38 Special
Nov. 3-5 – Boyz II Men
Nov. 6-7 – David Cook
Nov. 8-10 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs September 19 through November 10 and admission is included in your park ticket and there is no charge for the Eat to the Beat concerts. Food at the booths is priced between $2.50 to $4.25 (2013 prices).
Liliane Opsomer is the coauthor of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and a freelance writer.
She is passionate about travel, Disney, fairies, hobbits and all things magical. Some of her favorite destinations are Orlando, Anaheim, Middle Earth, Belgium, Sydney, Dresden, Patagonia and Hawaii. Liliane lives in Birmingham, Alabama and visits the parks several times a year.