We wait all year for the start of it. Yep — the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is underway!
If you haven’t been, be sure to put the event on your Disney Bucket List. At this time of year, Epcot is transformed into a food lover’s paradise. With Festival Marketplace Booths throughout both Future World and World Showcase, the opportunity to Eat Your Way Around the World(s) is even more exciting!
But there are also some choices if you’d like to splurge a little. Party for the Senses draws big crowds every year, as do pairing events and signature dining options at restaurants throughout the resort.
It’s a lot to plan for! So we’d love to offer you advice on a few Dos and Don’ts for navigating the Epcot Food and Wine Festival like a pro. Consider these pointers as you make plans to attend this year’s event.
DO Consider Attending a Special Event.
Special Events take place throughout the festival and offer guests opportunities to get up close and personal with chefs, sample a multitude of dishes and sips, or learn more about food and beverage pairings. While they can be pricey, they represent some of the most wonderful opportunities to enjoy yourself at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
While many of the events take place at Epcot, there are several that are held at resorts throughout Walt Disney World. One of our favorites is Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Get a peek behind the curtain of all the curious magic that makes Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto one of the most intriguing spots in all of Disney. And with samples of both dishes and drinks along the way, you get a great idea of fun food options here, too.
But if tikis aren’t your thing, consider a Cheese Seminar and learn to pair the world’s best cheeses with beverages like an expert. Fancy a trip to France? Indulge in the Parisian Breakfast, one of the festival’s best events (and a terrific bargain as well!), or take in a leisurely lunch during French Family Traditions.
If grand tastings + partying the night away are more your style, then check out Party for the Senses, held select Saturdays throughout the festival.
FOOD AND WINE BOOTHS AND MENUS
DO Eat Good Stuff.
I mean, after all, this is why we’re here, right? You must seek out old favorites, and try some delicious new drinks and dishes. This year, we’re psysched to see some really inventive and fun new items at the booths — 35 in all! Wait until you get the chance to try the Teriyaki-glazed SPAM® Hash with Potatoes, Peppers and Onions, and Spicy Mayonnaise from Hawai’i.
And there’s so much goodness coming! Returning favorites like the Escondidinho de Carne in Brazil and the Loaded Mac and Cheese at Active Eats are both on our short list, too. Be sure to check out all 12 of the things that you must eat (and drink) at this year’s festival for even more recommendations.
DO Go at the Right Time.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival has grown like crazy, and that means that it can be quite busy at times. You’ll want to plan ahead to miss the biggest crowds. Because I don’t know about you, but standing in long lines for food doesn’t rate among my favorite things to do.
Crowds swell especially on the weeekends and in the evenings so, if at all possible, plan your visit for a weekday, and try to get there earlier in the day. Also, avoid the beginning and ending weekends of the festival, which are both typically very busy times as well.
For some other suggestions on how to make the most of your visit, check out our Top Tips for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
On the other hand, here are a few definite DON’Ts…
Don’t wait until the last minute. Special Events, Demonstrations, and Seminars tend to sell out quickly. You don’t want to wait until you arrive for the festival to make your arrangements. Be sure to check out our dedicated Epcot Food and Wine Festival pages in order to make your arrangements now. We loved this Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Workshop learning about wine, chocolate, and cheese pairing. You should check it out! Find links for schedules of ALL the culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, and hands-on workshops on our Low-Cost Event main page.
Likewise, you want to review those Booth Menus and Photos before you arrive. Trust me when I say that trying to tackle 35 booths without a plan isn’t going to work well for you. Research your options ahead and time, and know what you would like to try the most before you hit the turnstiles.
Also, don’t skip the festival because you’re short on time or you have kids in tow. Even if you have only one day, with our tips and strategies, you can still see and do a lot at the festival! As for the kiddos, getting them involved by choosing dishes to try is the perfect way to engage them. Also, check out Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt, a fun experience for kids of all ages!
For even more Don’ts, be sure to check out our post, What NOT to Do at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
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Now we wanna here from you! What are your tried and true Dos and Don’ts for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave a comment and share your tips with us!