Autumn is a special time at the Walt Disney World Resort: festive décor, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (click here for last week’s blog on that), and one of my favorite celebrations: Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. Today, we’re giving you an overview of Food & Wine, along with some tips for enjoying the festival to its fullest.
This year’s Food & Wine Festival runs from August 31-November 13 and will include dozens of
food and beverage kiosks that offer cuisine from around the world. A variety of tastings, classes, and demonstrations will also be available. And don’t forget about the festival’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series, featuring a wide range of both popular and up-and-coming musicians (click here for a full lineup).
Admission to the festival and the Eat to the Beat Concert Series is included with your Epcot park ticket, but most of the tastings and classes come with a nominal fee. All kiosk offerings also cost extra; however, you CAN use your snack credits for most items if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan.
Heading to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival this fall? Here are some of our favorite tips for making the most of your day:
Tip #1: Visit During The Week
The Food & Wine Festival is incredibly popular among both visitors AND locals, which means the weekends are significantly more crowded and rowdy. If you can swing a weekday visit (particularly a Monday or a Wednesday), you’ll enjoy lighter and calmer crowds.
Tip #2: Get There Early
This applies to both time of day AND month. If you can visit the Food & Wine Festival by mid-September, crowds will be lower. And definitely plan to arrive when World Showcase opens at 11am, as crowds tend to build dramatically by mid-afternoon.
Tip #3: Plan Ahead
Register for tastings, classes, and packages (including reserved seating for the Concert Series) in advance. You can do that through your My Disney Experience account (click here) or by calling Disney Dining at 407-939-1947. It’s also important to have a general idea of which kiosks you want to hit before you visit. When you arrive at Epcot, grab a Festival Map and circle your selections. This will allow you to prioritize your stops and avoid backtracking. Click here for a full list of this year’s kiosks and menus.
Tip #4: Get The Kids Involved
Younger kids will love the Kidcot Fun Stops (craft stations and stamp-collecting) in each pavilion. Older kids might even like to get in on the "tasting action", especially when given the chance to rate the items they try. Consider creating a simple rating system in a small notebook and bringing it with you. Then have each family member record their thoughts on the food they taste…and compare!
And there you have it: Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival in a nutshell. Need help planning your day at the festival? Looking for a no-obligation quote for your next trip? E-mail or call us today!
Meredith McCutcheon: Owner and Disney Vacation Specialist