Top Tips for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival kicks off soon! Get ready for 75 days of food and fun, starting this August 31!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

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 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!

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

Will the Mushroom Filet at the Canada Marketplace Be Part of Your Plan?

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. This year, they’ve published ahead of time a full listing of gluten-free items. 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!

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Passport

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Passport

Worried about your budget? You may want to pick up a Food and Wine Festival Gift Card and have it pre-loaded for convenience.

Reloadable Gift Cards

Reloadable Gift Cards

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.

Plan to Hit the Booths When They Open to Avoid Lines

Plan to Hit the Booths When They Open to Avoid Lines

3. Be Adventurous

Looking to expand your palate? The festival is a great place to work on that goal. With 35 kiosks 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!

Flavors from Fire Smoked Corned Beef

Flavors from Fire Smoked Corned Beef

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.

Seating and Presentation Area

Seating and Presentation Area During a Beverage Seminar

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.

Lobster Creole with 2016 Festival Chardonnay

Lobster Creole with at a Culinary Demonstration

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 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!

Enjoy Dishes Like the Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise at the Hawai'i Booth -- for a Snack Credit!

Enjoy Dishes Like the Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise at the Hawai’i Booth — for a Snack Credit!

Where else can you get lobster or steak for a snack credit?

Start Your Planning NOW!

News! The DFB Guide to the 2017 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available to order!

This 250+-page guide to the Festival offers insider tips and advice as well as all of the details you need to know to plan your best Festival visit ever.

food-and-wine-guide-cover-2017

Your purchase includes several bonus items as well — including a full daily schedule of events at the Festival and a printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist to carry with you as you Eat around the World!

Use code Chefs at check-out for a 20% discount!

Be sure to stay tuned to Disney Food Blog for all of the latest coverage about the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We’ll have the details FIRST!

 

And now, we’d love to hear from you! Share your top tips for enjoying the Epcot Food and Wine Festival with us below!

Comments

  1. Rach says

    AJ, I am shocked that you didn’t mention your tray in this article somewhere. ;-)

    BTW thanks for adding the non-dated version of the bumper sticker to the Zazzle shop. I’ll be ordering one for my tray (It folds flat for transportation!) in the near future.

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