Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival begins NEXT WEEK, and it continues until November 12, 2018. That’s 75 days of food, wine, demonstrations, celebrity chefs, special events, seminars, etc., etc.
Yeah, it’s a lot. And whether you’re a Food and Wine pro or a newbie, navigating this massive (and massively popular!) Festival can be a little overwhelming. That’s where your old pals at the DFB come in! We’ve accumulated a lot of experience in our LOOONG relationship with Food and Wine — and we’ve assembled all of that experience in one place: the DFB Guide to the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!
Here are some of the most popular FAQs from DFB readers and Food and Wine visitors — with answers direct from the DFB Guide!
(But rest assured: there’s a lot more where these come from — over 250 pages more!!)
1. What’s included with admission to the park?
Admission to Epcot is required for the Food and Wine Festival, even if all you want to do is purchase eats from the food booths. But the good news is: admission to Epcot during the Festival season gets you a lot more than the attractions you’re used to!
Admission to the park includes access to the food booths in World Showcase, where you can then purchase Festival bites and beverages! There are also free exhibits and demonstrations where you can enjoy everything from chocolate to cooking seminars!
In addition to these included-with-admission experiences, there are several low-cost events from which to choose as well! And don’t forget to book your Fastpass+ because you’ve still got rides and attractions to enjoy in addition to all the awesome Festival activities!
2. When are the food booths open?
Good on ya for thinking ahead! The food booths around World Showcase open at 11AM each day of the Festival, while the Festival Center (INCLUDING MIMOSAS!!) opens at 9AM everyday.
Some things to note: Food and Wine Festival food booths stay open even if it rains (as long as the inclement weather doesn’t endanger cast members)! So if there’s rain in the forecast on your Food and Wine day, pack an umbrella, and jump in line for your favorite eats! You can even scoot into a counter service restaurant to enjoy your eats sans sprinkle. And bonus: when it rains, you often find shorter lines!
The one time you can expect booths to close even when the park is open is during Extra Magic Hours. That’s because the Festival food booths don’t stay open for this block of time, which is set aside for Disney World Resort guests to enjoy the park for an extra hour or more. If you’re looking to supplement your regular-hours Festival time, the Festival is often open for an extra hour on Friday and Saturday nights — until 10PM.
3. Can I use Disney Dining Plan credits at the food booths?
Good news: you can! Save up your snack credits, and use them to Eat Your Way Around the World! Also an option: trading a quick service meal credit to pick up three snack items at a single booth!
Keep in mind that you need to apply the meal credit (which translates into three snack credits) in one transaction, so use this trick at a booth where you know you need to try three items.
4. How can I see/meet my favorite chef?
If your favorite chef is making an appearance at Food and Wine, you’ll want to know how to see him/her — and maybe score a meet and greet! If you’re attending some of the more popular special events, you might find that the event offers a meet-and-greet component.
Your best chance to score a wristband for this is to visit the Festival Center early in the day (it opens at 9AM) to ask about autograph opportunities and book signings. You can also check with cast members at the event you’re attending.
Not attending a special event? That’s okay! In the past, meet-and-greets have been possible even if guests didn’t attend an event. Check the Festival calendar, and inquire at the information desk in the Festival Center!
5. Should I bring kids to the Festival?
Yes! Food and Wine offers plenty of opportunities for kids to have some fun and learn something new! Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt engages littles in a fun hunt around the World Showcase — and ends with a small prize!
And in 2018, there are a few new kid-friendly events! On Friday and Saturday nights, kids can participate in a character dance party! And on select Sundays, Krusteaz presents Junior Chef Kitchen! Plus, there will be a cool, themed playground for maximum energy-consumption! Kids are also able to attend low-cost seminars and demonstrations — but they’ll need a ticket for the seminar or demo in question, so don’t forget to get theirs, too!
And be sure to pick up a Food and Wine Passport so the kiddos can keep track of all the neat (and tasty!) foods they get to try — including any adventurous eats they try for the first time!
Check out the DFB Guide to the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for kid-friendly booth crawls and a kid-friendly festival strategy!
6. How many days should I plan to attend the Festival?
We recommend planning at least two days for Food and Wine if you really want to be sure to enjoy the booths and events. This gives you time to space out those rich, decadent eats (and drinks!) and to book some special events!
But if you’ve only got one day to spend at Epcot? The Festival is still doable, but you’ll have to narrow your focus and concentrate on the highlights. Planning is your friend, so check out our food booth menus (with pics!), and schedule any must-do events or demos ahead of time.
7. What are the best things to try?
From year to year, we try everything the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival has to offer, and we compile our lists of must-eats and most popular items — including the Best of the Fest! Plus we have reviews of the previous year’s items so you’ll know when you see a returning favorite!
Watch this space — our Food and Wine main page! — to see what we love (and what we don’t love so much…).
What’s your favorite tip for enjoying Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival? Let us know in the comments!