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9 Top Tips for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booths

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is now less than a month away! And we asked Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans on facebook to share their personal tips for navigating the festival!

We received some valuable information that has been Festival-tested! For example, Michelle O. shared a personal experience warning of the dangers of sipping around the world before attending a seminar on The World’s Sharpest Knife. Learn from her experience. Bring first-aid or sip AFTER the knife session!

Here are a few more tried and tested tips…

Tip #1: Share

Facebook Fans Michelle J. and Susan S. advise Festival-goers to share their eats with family and friends. Joline S. agrees: “Share what you buy so you have enough room to try more things.”

Heather P. likes to share too! “If you want to try more than one item at each booth have everyone that is with you order something different so that you all can have a taste.”

Sharing is Caring at the Ireland Booth: Lava Cake, Fisherman's Pie, and Meade

Tip #2: Meal Planning and Touring Strategies

Sometimes planning ahead and taking your time while at the festival are the best ways to make sure you’ll be able to sample everything that you want. (Psst… taking a look at our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus and Food Photos will help with the planning ahead!)

Christopher N. has mastered a dining (and grazing!) technique: “We plan a day where our lunch and dinner dining is at the festival booths. We start at one end of World Showcase with a preplanned idea of what items we want to try. We take our time and by the time we get to the end, we turn around and go back to get things we really enjoyed or may have missed.”

Summer T. advises “Split it up into more than one day. This year we’re devoting at least 2 days to the festival during our trip…half of World Showcase on one day and half on the other…so we can really enjoy all the tastings without being so full and miserable trying to cram it all in on one visit.”

Plan, plan, and plan again!

Some fans offered touring tips to help aid digestion! “Take your time when going around the World Showcase. Go on rides in between countries. It will give your stomach time to digest. It takes us almost the whole day to make it all the way around.” says Fan Suzanne V.

Michelle B. has perfected a Food and Wine plan! “If going over multiple days, alternate booths on day 1 to not get as full, and then hit the booths you skipped on day 2. Then go back for your favorites on days 3-7!”

Tip #3: Avoid the Crowds

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. It…gets…crowded at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Fan Theresa S. advises touring midweek “Go during the week because the weekend gets very busy (long lines)!!” and Darkfire W. suggests “Schedule your F&W days for M-Thurs as the weekends get incredibly full.”

One of the Better Weekend Lines at the Festival

Tip #4: Try New-to-You Food

There’s no better place to sample new and interesting food than the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Low risk, high reward! (This is also a great tip for those with kids at the Festival…)

Joline S. advises “be adventurous in your eating/drinking!”. Fan Michelle J. agrees “It’s a great place to try new things. I’m a true lover of escargot now, thanks to the F&W Festival!”

Escargot at the France Booth

Tip #5: Use Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

Yep — you should be able to use your Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits again this year to purchase many of the World Showcase Booth Items!

Dana G. has the scoop on snack credits: “If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, save your snack credits for the Festival. Many/most of the items can be purchased by using one snack credit. That’ll save you money when having to purchase the more expensive Festival items like alcohol, etc…”

2010 Belgium Booth Menu -- Note the Purple and White Snack Credit Logo

Tip #5: Register for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon

No better way to assure more space for food than to burn off some energy! Summer T. suggests a way to battle the extra calories: “Go during the weekend of the Wine & Dine 1/2 marathon and register for one of the events…5k, relay or half marathon…then you don’t have to feel guilty about a multi-day indulgence!”

Tip #6: Get a Food and Wine Festival Passport

This little booklet that lists the menu items from the different booths is a great way to tally up what you’ve eaten and what booths you still want to master. Theresa S. explains: “Last year they gave out the passports to get stamped at each booth. That was a lot of fun!”

Passports are free and are available at the Festival Center!

2011 Festival Passport Front

Tip #7: Stay Hydrated

It’s hot in Florida and you’ve got quite a job to do getting around to all of those booths! Lynsie P. shares her hydration tips: “Drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated from the heat and the alcohol; and instead of always ordering festival drinks, which are really tiny and expensive, get a full-sized beverage at each main country. I love a good food & wine pairing, but it definitely gets pricey ordering a tiny little cup of wine at each booth.”

Cheddar Cheese Soup and Ice Wine at the Canada Booth

Tip #8: Use a Convenient Form of Payment

Visiting 30 booths can be a daunting task when carrying two plates, a wine glass, and your credit card. The Food and Wine Festival planners have dreamed up a fun way to pay!

Michelle B. explains: “Get a wristcard gift card at the guest services, ticket booth, or many merchandise locations so you don’t have to whip out your wallet each time [you purchase a menu item].”

These are also available at the Festival Center and at Festival Merchandise locations.

Click for Larger Image

Tip #9: Take Notes

Turn the festival into a learning experience! Cookie W. has a great research tip: “Use your F&W Passport or print out the list of foods at the food booths. Then mark as you eat and drink. Rate them as to whether or not you would eat/drink them again. This way you have a record of what you ate and drank and whether or not you loved, liked, or disliked them. If you stay long enough or have the opportunity to go back, you then partake of those you especially liked again. This also helps remind you from year to year of those booths that are staples and that do not change menu items from year to year.”

We’d like to thank the Food & Wine Festival Facebook Fans for sharing their Food and Wine Festival Tips. If you have a tip to share — or would like to expound on a tip shared above — please leave us a comment below!

For comprehensive information on the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, see our fully-updated index page, check out our 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book, or click on any of the links below!

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7 Comments

  1. Diane_N says:

    Great list of tips! I made a list of Food & Wine Fest tips on my blog last year, and I think you’ve captured nearly all of them here. The only other advice I have to a first-time festival-goer is that the prices of the tiny tasting-size portions does add up over time, so you’ll want to either 1) relax and chalk it up to a splurge weekend–we all need those from time to time–or, 2) if you’re on a strict budget, pick up a Disney gift card for the amount you want to spend and when the card is empty, it’s time to head home (or you could do the same with cash, if you prefer).

    All these Food and Wine Festival posts are getting me pumped for this year’s festival. Can’t wait! :-)

  2. JoAnn says:

    “Tip #1: Share” – JoAnn doesn’t share. LOL

    I can’t wait for the festival. I bought a journal to take with me to take notes during the Italy Food and Wine Pairing for my review.

  3. AJ says:

    Diane and JoAnn — Thanks for the comments! Great tips!!

  4. Tasel says:

    You can post the spreadsheet(s) I made over here for people to use to plan. Or even modify it if you see fit. I made it so people can make use of it. Don’t care how they get it, ao long as it’s useful. ;)

  5. Emma says:

    great article! I have bookmarked it ready to read again for my October 2012 trip during the festival :)

    I like the idea of alternating booths – we plan to do two days at F&W so that way we’d get to see what else was on offer as we made our way around!

  6. Tracey Hartley says:

    Looking forward to our 1st time going to the F&W festival. We’ll be there on Columbus Day…has anyone been there on that day in the past and if so how crowded should we expect it to be? We plan to head over to WS as soon as they open at 11am!

  7. Cookie says:

    We have also asked the chefs at each country’s booth as we sampled to sign our Passport. If it’s not too crowded, we like to engage them in conversation, find out a little about them, and tell them we want their signatures so when they’re famous, we can boast that we knew them when! Most seem to enjoy a little interaction instead of just making their serving an assembly line and appreciate our remarks and thanks.

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