Are you looking for Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips and tricks? Find where to stay, how to plan, and what to enjoy for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is pretty much a fusion of two things I’m obsessed with: drinking around the world and pretending that I don’t have to grow up! Imagine snapping photos with your favorite characters and soaking in the magic of Disney, all with a glass of French wine in hand. Pure heaven!
What is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is an annual Disney food and drink event. It from the end of August through the end of November.
In addition to the eleven country themed pavilions in Epcot’s World Showcase, kiosks featuring food and drink from around the world are set up throughout the park. Guests can sample small plates and booze from different countries and regions. In years past, there have been featured booths for vegan food, gourmet cheeses, food gastronomy, and wine.
In addition, you can attend other affiliated events, such as wine seminars and cooking demos. The festival itself is included with park admission, though you pay for your food/drink and any additional events.
Your game plan goes beyond traveling the world showcase, though. These are my top tips for visiting Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival.
When to Go to the Food and Wine Festival
Best Time to Go
The Food and Wine Festival is one of Disney’s most popular events, but it falls during one of Disney’s slower times. If you book your trip during October or November, accommodations are cheaper, the weather is cooler, and crowds are fewer. School’s back in session, too, if you’re looking for an adults-only trip.
Weekends to Avoid
Crowds and prices during Columbus Day Weekend and Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Consider Timing the Festival with Other Disney Events
If you’re looking to see other parks, you can time your visit with both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Very Merry Christmas Party. The transition from Halloween to Christmas at the Magic Kingdom happens overnight, usually during the first weekend of November, making it entirely possible to attend both! The Wine and Dine Half Marathon can sometimes fall on this weekend, as well, so prioritize and book in advance.
Where to Stay
The Boardwalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan and Dolphin Resorts are all walkable to the World Showcase side of Epcot. Disney’s Boat Launch provides transportation from these resorts to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, as well. Though accommodations here are not cheap, the convenience is worth it, especially if you’re into the midday Disney breaks.
Old Key West and the Port Orleans Resorts are slightly less expensive options with convenient locations. Since they’re centrally located, no single park is an extremely far ride via Disney’s complementary service. Disney Springs is also a short water boat ride away from these resorts.
Where to Find Accommodations
Booking through Disney’s website is obvious, but often times, the same resorts are available through third parties at a lesser cost. Did you know that you can rent vacation points from someone not using theirs through a broker!? It was a game changer for us and made out expensive stay at The Beach Club a little over half price!
Tips to Make the Most of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Spend Two Full Days at Epcot
You ABSOLUTELY need two full days at Epcot if you plan on tackling that passport and enjoying the rides! The ride lines are shortest in the morning, so get there for opening, especially during Extra Magic Hours. Stay for dinner, fireworks, and a nightcap since Epcot is open until at least 9:00 pm daily.
Obsess on the Disney App
Seasoned Disney goers know that Disney vacations are all about obsessive planning. With the “My Disney Experience” App, you are able to reserve fast passes, dining, and event seminars and edit them in real time. Plan your Food and Wine Festival stops around these reservations, making sure to be smart about how much you’re eating before going on a ride and saving space for dinner if you’re dining at a restaurant.
Share, Share, Share
With about 40 countries to check off your list, sampling everything can become addicting. SHARE EVERYTHING. When I go with my mom, it’s very rare that we’ll sample more than one item at the same stand, including drinks. Even though samples are small, the food is heavy and you’ll get full fast.
Try Cultural Fare
Half of the fun at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is trying new foods. It’s my pet peeve to see guests at the International Food and Wine Festival sampling the same old foods you get at home, like ravioli and mac and cheese. Some of the most exciting dishes I’ve tried have been African butter chicken, Belgian potato leek wa
ffles, Brazilian escondidinho, Chinese green tea ice cream, Dominican yucca souffle, Moroccan kefta, Patagonian beef skewers, South Korean lettuce wraps…I’m getting carried away.
Pace Yourself with Alcohol
When it comes to alcohol, it can add up quickly if you’re not careful, especially in the Florida heat. Make sure you drink lots of water, as well. Buy a water bottle at one of the kiosks, and refill it throughout the day at the water fountains. Enjoy one or two drinks throughout your sampling. Save some of the heavier stuff for later, after the sun’s gone down and you’ve finished going on rides. At the end of the night, my mom and I love to share a brewer’s sample collection and a glass of Prosecco during the fireworks!
Attend a Wine Seminar
For about $15, per person, you can attend an hour long seminar and wine tasting. They’re held in the Festival Center (with air conditioning) about three times a day. As far as wine education is concerned, they’re decently comprehensive. I’ve done seminars on Chilean and California wines that I still buy now.
Don’t Miss Eat to the Beat Concert Series
The Eat to the Beat concert series is free, and always has an exciting line-up. There are about three shows a day, usually at 5:30, 6:45, and 8pm. Lines can get pretty long, though, so if you’re planning on attending, factor in your wait time. Or skip sitting down and grab some kiosk fare while you listen to a free concert in the background!
Since so much about the event changes each year, it never gets old. Also, how could you tire of eating and boozing your way through the world while sporting fancy Mickey ears? It’s impossible not to enjoy Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. But with these tips, you’ll be expertly prepared with no stress.
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Have you ever been to Epcot’s Food and Wine Fest? What are your tips for making the most of the festival? What are your favorite boozy treats and snackable eats?