We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a must do at least once in your Disney life. The food is fine, the drinks are tasty, and the celebration is energetic.
But we also understand that the Festival can be a little overwhelming. The crowds are the biggest deterrent to guests, and we’ve heard some horror stories about bad guest behavior. So here are some travel hacks from your pals at the DFB, designed to mitigate some of the challenges presented by the Festival and to maximize your good times!
1. Bring a tray.
What, you don’t ordinarily pack a tray for your Disney Parks visits? But seriously, when you’re planning to eat (and drink) your way through the Festival, you’re going to need something sturdy to carry all of those flimsy cardboard dishes.
Trays of all kinds and sizes can be found online (Amazon is a solid go-to for purchasing one), so you can find one that you like (or buy the cheapest one and jazz it up!). You’ll thank us later when you don’t have to juggle three plates and two cups at every food booth!
Oh, and if you want one of these fancy DFB Food and Wine Tray stickers — here you go!!
2. Buy Disney gift cards at Target with your 5% off Red Card.
If you’re like us, you’re already at Target 23 times a week, so this hack shouldn’t be an inconvenience. Put that Target Red Card to good use, and pick up Disney gift cards at a 5% discount. This way, everything you eat and drink at the festival will essentially be 5% off! Makes that Mac and Cheese taste even better.
3. Bring a refillable water bottle.
If you’re going to be a Festival commando, you’ll want to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle from home to refill throughout the day with free ice water (ask for a big cup!) at counter service locations. (Heck, get a glass of water at table service locales, too!) This way you can save your pennies for the specialty eats and drinks and not spend them on bottles of overpriced water!
4. Buy the DFB Guide to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Seriously. The DFB Guide to Epcot International Food and Wine is a valuable purchase, providing you with all the information you need to plan your visit. From special events to culinary demonstrations, mixology seminars to World Showcase booth grazing, we’ve done it all — and we can help you sort it all out.
Don’t miss any of the action! Pre-Order your copy NOW!
5. Make a plan of attack before you go.
Wrap your head around this massive Festival before you leave home! Get familiar with the layout of the Festival before you arrive — and remember that the booths close to the front of the Park will be busiest first. Consider starting in the middle of the Showcase and working your way out.
And if you want to avoid crazy lines (or any mayhem or foolishness from guests who’ve enjoyed the “Wine” part of the Festival a little too much)? Try visiting in the earlier hours of the day — even spanning your Festival visit over a couple of early afternoons rather than one full afternoon/evening if necessary.
6. Check the menus, and go in with a list.
We update our DFB Epcot International Food and Wine pages as soon as information becomes available — and that includes the menus! Hack your visit to the Festival by limiting how much time you have to spend browsing (and fighting the crowds!), and instead make a beeline for the items you definitely want to try. Gotta have that Handwich? Make it happen!
Of course, the biggest travel hack of all is to try and relax. This Festival has grown to enormous proportions (35 food booths in 2017!), and that’s part of the challenge and part of the fun. Try to focus on the fun — and the food! — and it’ll all be good!
Happy eating, friends!
What’s your favorite part of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival? What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered at the Festival? Tell us in the comments!