It’s time to think about planning for Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, and if you’re like a lot of Walt Disney World guests, you’re trying to decide if you want to brave the crowds in order to graze the grub. We get it: Food and Wine isn’t for everyone.
Here is some food for thought about Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival to help you decide if it’s right for you!
1. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival draws big crowds.
If you love swimming upstream (both ways) in a sea of human beings, we have good news! Food and Wine draws huge crowds to Epcot’s World Showcase (in particular) and the rest of the park. This can create an energetic and festive atmosphere that’s tailor made for those who thrive on being around other like-minded foodies and celebrants.
But if you’re like some of us and the idea of being elbow-to-elbow with every Tom, Dick, and Harry in Epcot makes your stomach turn, Food and Wine might seem, let’s say, uncomfortable.
And the truth is, even the quiet times at Food and Wine are busier than the quiet times just about any other season of the year (save for the holidays).
But if you’re jonesing to try Food and Wine despite your crowd aversion, we’ve got a couple of tips for ya. First, avoid the weekends. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are especially busy at Food and Wine, with locals and visitors mingling at the food booths and jockeying for position all over the park.
You also want to try to hit the food booths as soon as they open at 11AM. This way you can beat the crowds to your favorite booths. And that brings us to tip #3: plan ahead. Know which booths you want to visit, which foods you want to eat, and where to find them. This way you can avoid any excessive wandering and keep your Food and Wine visit efficient (and your contact with the crowds minimal!).
2. There are loads of demonstrations and experiences to add to your Food and Wine visit!
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival isn’t just about the food and wine booths. There are tons of extra experiences to enjoy — and some are even free! Low cost and free seminars and demonstrations include such fun opportunities as the Mix It! Make It! Celebrate It! Hands-On Workshops where guests can roll up their sleeves and learn from a professional chef! We checked it out, and it was loads of fun!
Seminars and experiences that have been included with park admission in the past include The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to Bar; Back to Basics Seminars; Book Signings; Meet and Greets with celebrity chefs; Bottle Signings; Seasons of Vine wine making documentary; and the Marketplace Discovery Passport, in which you can check off all the food and drink you’ve enjoyed!
In addition to the low cost and no cost options, Food and Wine offers several add-on seminars and demonstrations that can seriously amp up your overall experience of the Festival.
Beverage seminars cover everything from craft beers to fine wines, while cheese seminars tantalize the taste buds. What’s Cooking With… is a demo and conversation with a celebrity chef.
So whether you’re totally into the food booths and want to learn more about what goes into the eats or you’re not into the food booths but like to learn a new thing or two, there’s something for everyone!
Check out the DFB Guide to the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for more on how to book these fun experiences!
3. Food and Wine celebrates some spectacular food and wine!
This one seems like a no-brainer. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of food and wine (really beverages) from around the world — which can be exciting for guests who want to try some fantastic eats and drinks! Adventurous eaters and non-adventurous alike can find something interesting and expertly crafted.
We give you the low-down on all the food booths, including menus and pics as soon as they’re released!
That said, not every dish or glass served up at Food and Wine will excite every guest, so it’s key to read reviews and menus before you head to the World Showcase. That’s why we hit the booths hard on day one to make sure we can give you informed reviews.
But even with countless reviews, it’s important to keep in mind that food and wine can be totally subjective; what’s appealing to one guest might repulse another. So unless you’re one of the lucky few with an unlimited food budget (ahem, can we travel with you or no?), we recommend being cautiously adventurous.
Sometimes foods that we thought would be a little dicey have turned out to be some of our favorites (and vice versa…). So we say: if it sounds good, try it! If you’re not really sure, read the DFB review to see if it sounds good! If it sounds terrible, we’ll leave it up to you!
4. Food and Wine can be expensive.
This might be the biggest factor in your decision whether or not to attend Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival — and we understand. With dishes coming in anywhere from $3 to $8 (and drinks sometimes chiming in for even more!), sampling a ton of stuff can break the bank.
But with a little advance planning and preparation, you can still make the most of your visit and try everything on your wish list! For starters, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, know that you can apply snack credits (or a quick service meal credit for three snack credits) at the food booths. You can also use your Target RedCard to buy Disney gift cards at Target for 5% off — thus saving 5% on everything you buy with them at the Festival!
The DFB Guide to the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival has lots more tips to save you money on your visit!
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a really fun way to experience the worlds of food and drink, including some unique eats and learning opportunities. Even those who think it might not be their cup of tea can find ways to enjoy the Festival — whether it’s by using our tips for saving time and money and avoiding the crowds or by taking advantage of some awesome demonstrations and seminars, Food and Wine is a big festival with the benefit of diverse offerings and fun for everyone!
Will you be joining the fun at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this year? Tell us about your favorite part of the festival in the comments below!