Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival will be starting before you know it (August 30 to November 12, to be exact!), and with 75 (!!!) days of incredible food booths, demonstrations, music, and special events on tap, you’re going to want to start your planning ASAP!
Luckily for you, the DFB has been playing the Food and Wine game for decades, and we’ve gathered everything you need to know into one handy source: the 2018 DFB Guide to Epcot Food and Wine. We’ve packed this 250+ page eBook with details and tips galore! It’ll be your go-to resource during the festival.
And today, we’re talking about one of the most challenging aspects of planning your visit to Food and Wine: how many days do you need to budget in order to really experience this fun but complex festival?
Because the Food and Wine Festival might be all about that food and wine life, but with dozens of booths expected, plus all those special events, demonstrations, seminars, and displays (many free or low-cost!), there’s way more to do than simply wander World Showcase for a bite and a beverage here and there.
We always recommend planning to spend at least two days exploring the Festival, particularly if you want to fully experience the special offerings like 2018’s brand new Food and Beverage Pairings and Junior Chef Kitchen, or returning favorites like The Chocolate Experience and Back to Basics Seminars.
How you plan out these 2 days is key. Even though the portion sizes at the Food and Wine food booths are generally appetizer-sized, many dishes are heavy and rich. So it doesn’t take a whole lot of noshing to feel uncomfortably full.
You might want to consider spacing our your food booth visits by interspersing some of the Festival’s other events — and throwing in a few must-do Fastpass+ reservations.
Planning out those attractions not only helps to balance out all that Food and Wine fun, it also gives you a break from the crowds in World Showcase, provides you some much-needed downtime in the air conditioning, and ensures you’re not wasting valuable Festival time in line for rides!
Another important aspect of Food and Wine to consider when planning your visits is the crowd level at Epcot during this time. Like many of you, we don’t love being elbow-to-elbow with sweaty strangers all day long — but Food and Wine is crazy popular and will be crowded a lot of the time.
If you’re super crowd-averse, we recommend visiting the Festival first thing in the morning — that’s 9AM for the Festival Center and 11AM for the food booths — and to avoid visiting on the weekends. What this means for your overall planning is that you might need to consider adding another morning or two to your schedule (perhaps bringing your total visits to Epcot up to 3-4 half-days) and investing in a Park Hopper so you can escape to other parks in the afternoons.
But what if you really can’t afford to spend more than a day at Epcot, no matter how awesome it is? We’ve got you covered there, too, with a recommended one-day Festival strategy that’s straight out of the DFB guide.
The other can’t-skip advice we offer: familiarize yourself with the food booths and their menus before you arrive. We’ve been updating our food booth pages just about the second info drops, and we’ll continue to do so until we’ve nailed down every single offering. So use us!
Review the options, then make a list of the things you need to try and the things you want to try. Plug them into your plans, and enjoy!
And of course, the most important advice of all: go to the Festival with an open palate and a positive attitude. Trust us: when you’ve stood in a dozen food booth lines and don’t think you can go on, that can-do attitude will take you a long way!
What’s your favorite part of Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival? Tell us in the comments!