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2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Top Tips

The 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will be here before you know it, and we’ve got some AWESOME insider tips for you today so that your visit can be your best one ever!

Mark your calendars for September 27 – November 11, 2013!

If you’d like to be in-the-know, follow along by bookmarking our 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival page here, joining our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Fans facebook page, and subscribing to our Disney Food Blog Newsletter for the latest updates.

The festival has become one of the most popular events at Walt Disney World — and it grows a little more every year. You can take advantage of special events, as well as food and beverage demonstrations throughout the festival. Or you can just stroll through World Showcase and sample food, wine, and other beverages from around the world at the myriad of Food and Wine Festival booths.

To help you make the most of this year’s festival, we’ll take a closer look at our very best tips for making the most of your Epcot Food and Wine Festival Visit!

1. Have a Plan in Place

Over its history, the Food and Wine Festival has continued to grow in scope and popularity. That’s why our top tip is to have a plan in place before you arrive for your visit.

Mushroom Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce at the Canada Food and Wine Booth is Back for 2013!

In the past, we’ve heard from our readers that the best way to be prepared for the marketplace booths is to know the menus ahead of time. You can even print out a copy of the menus, and prioritize your “must have” choices. Stay tuned to Disney Food Blog, and you’ll have no problem knowing all about the menus. We’ll have them here in plenty of time for all of your pre planning!

You may also want to consider spending more than one day at the Food and Wine Festival, especially if there are special events that you’d like to attend. With more booths than ever, you’ll need to pace yourself to try all of the delicious food and beverages.

The Brazil Booth is Back in 2013 -- Be Sure to Save Room For It!

This is also the one time that we suggest that you don’t make advance dining reservations — if you’re anything like me, eating your way around the world will easily replace meals.

2. Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations Are a Great VALUE!

One of my favorite events during the Food and Wine Festival are the Low-Cost Seminars and Demonstrations that take place every year. This year, these will include culinary demonstrations using specific ingredients as well as wine tastings and mixology seminars.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demo with Jacques Torres

Dates and times for these are usually the last pieces of information we get on the festival, but we do know that Culinary Demos ($14), Mixology Seminars ($15), and Beverage Seminars ($14) will again be offered this year. Stay tuned for more information on our 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page!

The demos are fun, laid back, and usually very informative. In addition to learning something, you also get to sample food or drink — always the best way to learn, in my opinion.

The result of Jacques Torres' delicious demo!

 

If you are interested in knowing all about the seminars and demonstrations for the 2013 Food and Wine Festival, be sure to check in with us daily! Making this information available to you is our top priority.

Once you have an idea of which events you’d like to attend, take note of the date and time that the phone lines open to book the demos. The most popular ones can go pretty fast. But all is not lost; normally, you can purchase tickets for at least some of the events right up to the start time of the demonstrations by visiting Guest Services in the Festival Center.

3. Escape the Crowds

There are LOTS OF PEOPLE in Epcot during the festival. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. If crowds aren’t your thing, plan your visit to the Food and Wine Festival for a weekday. Locals tend to flock to the park on the weekends, especially during the evening.

Plan to Hit the Booths When They Open to Avoid Lines

Also, take advantage of the festival’s earliest hours. World Showcase typically opens at 11am, as do the booths. Get there at opening time and you’ll enjoy many of the most popular booths before the crowds begin to swell.

4. Be Savvy with Your Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

One of the greatest perks for the event is that many of the marketplace booth items are available for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. If you are using the DDP, save your snack credits for your visit to the festival!

Yep -- Lobster can be a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan!

This is a great strategy, because many of the items available in the past for snack credits have been terrific bargains.

5. Bring the Kids Along

Make it fun for the whole family by bringing the kids with you.

Last year’s festival included lots of additions for the smaller members of your family, like smoothies and Honest Kids juices. And many of the foods from past menus are kid-friendly as well, like the Beef Empanada at the Argentina Booth.

The Kalua Pork Slider from the Hawaii Booth is a Family Favorite

Already, we know that the family favorite Kalua Pork Slider is returning to the Hawaii Booth. And we’re betting that the brand new Florida Grass Fed Beef Slider with White Cheddar and Sweet & Hot Pickles at the Florida Fresh Booth will be an awesome addition as well!

Kids' coloring areas are often set up during Festival Seminars and Demonstrations

Involving the kiddos in your eating around the world adventure is a great way to pique their interest in new flavors without worrying about wasting a whole meal.

Want More Details About the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

We work hard to keep you in the know about everything Food and Wine Festival related! Be sure to join our Disney Food Blog Newsletter for the latest information and details. And keep an eye on our 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Page for updates.

News! The DFB Guide to the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available for pre-order!

The best part? By pre-ordering, you automatically get our 2012 Food and Wine Festival Guide for FREE, instantly! That means you can start planning NOW for your trip!

Use code prefoodwine at check-out for a $3 discount!

Are you headed to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year? What are YOUR top tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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18 Comments

  1. Mark D. says:

    Soaking up as much as I can for our first F&W festival so articles like this are great! We are arriving the day the festival starts so I won’t have a lot of time to read up on other’s reviews.

    One question for you. The whole family is going and I plan to get the kids involved in all of the fun of picking out which booths we want to go to. I would like to go to a beverage seminar or something like that, but what would the kids (13 and 9) do during that time?

  2. Mike Venere says:

    HAHA…..Have them wait in line for Soarin!!!!

  3. Ann G says:

    I wish my kids would be happy with the cheaper empanada, my kids want the filet and scallops. (my little foodies) :)

  4. Grace says:

    I disagree about TS ADRs. We always do one TS meal a day even during F&W. Perhaps for those that eat something at every booth, and eat their own portions of everything, you’d be too full. But my husband and I split the items we get at the booths, and we don’t get every single thing (every item doesn’t appeal to us). So just eating bascially what amounts to “appetizers” all day just doesn’t do it for me, particularly when we walk about 10 miles a day. I need at least one real “meal” per day. So just throwing that out there for others who may be more like us.

    CAN.NOT.WAIT!!!! 102 days….. (but who’s counting?? :D ).

  5. Aimee says:

    GO EARLY. It is far less crowded early in the day, and you can find places to sit with your food. Also, the food booths close (far too) early, making it difficult to grab a bunch of snacks in advance of Illuminations, along with securing seating for it.

  6. Jeff says:

    As far as planning, what I did during the Flower & Garden Festival, which I suppose would also work for the Food & Wine Festival, was just start on one side of the World and work my way through to the other side. It’s nice that this area is set up as a giant semi-circle, making only two possible routes through the area. If you feel that everyone else might do the same, how about starting at the middle and working your way towards one end? After eating half the booths, come back the next day and do the same, just working back the other direction. I understand the F&GF is less popular, but it only took me five and a half hours to get through the whole thing, and that was including photographing every item multiple times and with the break in the middle so my wife could get lunch at Sunshine Seasons.

  7. Lisa says:

    Mark D. …depending on the maturity of the kids, you could have them hang out in Innovations…there are lots of things to do there, build and ride a virtual coaster, video games….ck out both east and west to see which has more that they might like. Or the land (where Soarin is located) there is living with the land- a pretty cool boat ride, Soarin, and a show. They could also grab a little snack here. All without having to leave this building. Disney is such a huge place, I definitely suggest them being somewhere where they can do lots of things but still be contained to where you can find them. Plus both of these places are close by to where you will be having the demo.

  8. Rach says:

    AJ, I am SHOCKED that your “bring a tray” is not one of these tips! ;-) I bought the little “Checklist” tray the festival was selling & was disappointed that the “cup holder” only worked with wine glasses. After juggling all the little paper boats of food I heartily agree that bringing your own tray that can double as a table is soooo worth any strange looks one might get.
    I’m also planning on bringing a couple “picnic plates” which are built to rest on a cup so you can can hold drink & food in one hand leaving the other free.

  9. Dave says:

    My wife and I have a plan similar to what Jeff said. Start at one end and eat your way to the other. When you finish, go back and hit your favorites. Usually takes us 3-4 days to do the fest because sometimes we get more than one item at certain booths, more food equals more eating, so we fill up faster and it takes alittle longer to do. But thats the fun of it. :)

  10. Jeff says:

    Dave, I have never been to the Food & Wine Festival, but for the Flower & Garden Festival I picked up every food item at every booth. It ended up being about 31 plates. I have taken a peek at the Food & Wine Festival booth list for this year, and it looks like there’s more than double the kiosks. I agree, it would probably take close to three days for me to try all that. Of course, skipping the double breakfast and a dessert both before and after the World Showcase run would probably help me have some additional room to spare :)

  11. Tricia says:

    Sorry must whine… I have to stop reading these, our trip ends on Sept 22. Gonna be tortured watching the booths go up, and not able to see them open.

  12. Jan says:

    I absolutely agree about knowing the menus beforehand. Our first trip we filled up on whatever we encountered first, only to find things we would’ve loved to try a few booths away. More recently, we hit the “must-haves” first and save the rest for later.

    And we also never need an ADR during an Epcot festival day. There’s just too, too much in those booths that we want to sample. Even when we hit Epcot several days during a week, we can’t try everything that appeals to us.

  13. Dave says:

    Jeff-skip the double breakfast, just have alittle something in the morning and start your journey at lunch time. You’ll have plenty of room. Have a good time.

    Rach-A helpful tip to you and everyone else who plan on getting 2 or more items at one stand. Next to Le Cellier and across from Greece is a refreshment stand that have cardboard trays that are capable of holding 3-4 F&W plates or paper boats comfortably. We used to get one all the time until we got a plastic tray from a fast food restaurant (won’t mention the name but it starts with a W,end’s in S and has “endy” in the middle. Fits perfectly in our backpack). You can ask them just for a tray and they have no problem handing them out. And when your done with it, you know it’s going to be recycled. By the way, don’t worry about the strange looks you may get carrying the tray. They are not as bad as the ones I get when I carry my 100 oz (yes,100) mug around, filled with iced tea, no booze.

  14. John says:

    I agree with most, but #5 made me cringe. Food & Wine is a “mommy and daddy only” weekend at my house. Maybe when they are well past age 13. I would replace #5 with the far more critical “Hydrate Often”.

  15. Howie says:

    My wife and I have only been once, so take that into consideration. We stopped at every booth and got something only to feel rushed and stuffed before making it halfway around. Our plan this year is to stop at every 3rd booth. This will allow more time to enjoy the food an beverage, and require 3 laps around World Showcase to complete the tour. It will also help us walk it all off. :) 24 days!!

  16. Barbara J says:

    Mark D. I’ve been going to the F&WF for about 12 years now and go to wine seminars all the time. A lot of the seminars have non-alcohol drinks kids can have. The kids sit in the back at a table away from any alcohol. They also have coloring books and crayons for kids to play with, but I think yours may be too old for that. If you feel like you can let your kids go off by themselves while you’re at a seminar, they can go to Innoventions, mentioned at a previous reply, or any other ride that may appeal to them and you can designate a meeting place to meet after your seminar is over. Cell phones are great for this. If you have 2 cell phones, give them one and you can call them when you’re finished. Cell phones must be off at seminars and on rides. I don’t eat seafood, so when my party goes to a seafood demonstration, I usually go on Mission Space which is right next door to the Festival Center.
    Have fun at your first F&WF. I guarantee that it will not be your last!!

  17. Sandi says:

    We’ve gone every year for the last 13 years. What gets me are the lack of seating and table tops around. Drives me nuts!
    I might do what the PP said and bring my own try. Great idea!

  18. Mike A says:

    I’m just going for one day , Sunday Oct 27, before a 3 day business meeting starts. Is all the food and wine ala carte ,or are there plans so I can try many of the choices for one set price? I looked quickly at the site and didn’t see anything

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