The Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off soon! Get ready for 75 days of food and fun, starting this August 30!
We know that you are just as excited as we are! But it’s a pretty big undertaking. With Special Events, Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars, and of course, International Marketplace Food Booths, it can quickly become overwhelming.
Today, we thought we’d lend a hand by giving you a few of our tried-and-true Top Tips from our DFB Guide to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book. We’ll help you make this the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival yet!
1. Plan Ahead
If you don’t read or heed any other tip in this post, pay attention to this one: it pays to plan ahead when mapping out your visit to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
It’s a good idea to check out all of the Marketplaces and their Menus before you ever set foot inside of Epcot. After all, the portions may be appetizer-sized, but visits to just a couple of spots could mean you’re stuffed before you’re finished exploring!
If you have an idea about what’s offered at the kiosks and how much things cost, then you’ll be better equipped to make decisions and stick to a budget. Be sure to keep an eye on DFB’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival main page for links to booths, menus, prices, and more.
Disney also gives you some great tools to plan ahead. In 2017, they published ahead of time a full listing of gluten-free items — and we expect they’ll provide this service again in 2018. We also expect that vegetarian dishes will be marked on the menus. And don’t forget to pick up a Festival Passport at the Festival Center! It’s a fun way to keep track of the dishes you’ve tried!
Worried about your budget? You may want to pick up a Food and Wine Festival Gift Card and have it pre-loaded for convenience.
Not only is this a quick way to pay at the booths, but it also makes easy work of tracking how much you’ve spent.
2. Know How to Beat the Crowds
There’s a reason that the festival is celebrated every year — it’s kind of a big deal! So don’t be surprised when you encounter larger crowds than you might expect during the Fall at Disney World.
But there are ways to deal with the crowds. First, know that the weekends are prime time to stroll the promenade. Not only are out of town guests checking out the festival, but lots of locals plan day visits or even overnight stays on the weekends as well. If you’d like to avoid the crowds, plan to hit your favorite Marketplace stops during weekdays — and earlier in the day if possible. Crowds swell in the evening as Eat to the Beat Concerts get underway.
3. Be Adventurous
Looking to expand your palate? The festival is a great place to work on that goal. With dozens of food booths offering authentic flavors from around the globe, you’re sure to run into something new. Be sure to take advantage of this easy way to try new things. You may just find a favorite dish!
And while you’re at it, why not get the kiddos in on the fun? We all know that getting kids to try new things isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But can you think of any place better to attempt the feat than at a Disney park (it’s Mickey-approved, after all)? Getting them involved in the selection process just may pique their interest. And appetizer portions are the perfect size for smaller appetites.
4. Take Advantage of Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars
Experiencing all of the great food and drink at the festival is awesome, but it’s Epcot, and you’ve got to make room for learning. And that’s why the Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars are such a fun aspect of this event.
For $17 per person, you can choose from culinary demonstrations or beverage seminars. The events offer up-close learning, as experts in each field talk you through through making a dish, or tasting beer, wine, or spirits.
And best of all — you get to taste the final product! It’s a fun way to learn, and with the cost of premium events continuing to climb, it’s a fairly inexpensive way to enhance your festival experience.
5. Use Those Snack Credits Wisely!
But we’ve saved the best tip for last! If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, remember that many of the Marketplace food booth menu items are available for a snack credit. So while it may be tempting to snag that krispie treat or Mickey Bar to tide you over between meals, we LOVE to hoard our snack credits this time of year to Dine Our Way Around the World!
Where else can you get lobster or steak for a snack credit?
And now, we’d love to hear from you! Share your top tips for enjoying the Epcot Food and Wine Festival with us below!