There are few things we are looking forward to this year as much as the 2020 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Epcot is often seen as the “adult park” in comparison to the other Disney parks, so some families struggle with the idea of bringing children along.
Not only is Epcot an excellent park for the whole family, but the Food and Wine Festival itself is a great place to take kids! If you’re having doubts, or if your kids scoff at the idea of a “Food and Wine Festival,” we know of some pretty enticing kid-friendly activities so they can enjoy the festival WITH you this year!
Look for the “kid-approved” menu items
Many booths will feature “kid-approved” food and beverages! These menu items are typically more mild in flavor and are more likely to appeal to a wider variety of palettes. Essentially, these menu items were designed with kids in mind! You’ll know if an item is kid-approved by the strawberry icon next to the item’s name.
Tracking down kid-approved items can double as a scavenger hunt AND an opportunity to let THEM decide what they want to eat! Of course, if your kids are more adventurous eaters, then there are even more options for them to choose from, but many booths will only have one or two things with those strawberry icons.
If you’re on a food and wine crawl of your own, maybe you can offer an incentive to keep your kid happy while momma gets her Beef Bourguignon and yet ANOTHER wine flight. Kids can be put ‘in charge’ of the passport book — which is very serious business.
They are FULL of stickers and kids will love the challenge of filling in the book as you travel around World Showcase.
Your kids can also practice their social skills and interact with the World Showcase Cast Members (if they aren’t busy, of course!).
Maybe have your kids ask the Cast Members to draw Mickey or write something in the language of their home countries!
Join in kid-friendly activities
The Food and Wine Festival doesn’t have to be ALL about eating and drinking! There are lots of fun classes and activities the whole family can enjoy including Remy’s “Hide and Squeak” Scavenger Hunt. Remy, our favorite master chef from Ratatouille, is hiding throughout the festival in the different pavilions and food booths. It gives kids a fun challenge to look for him, and you get a prize when you find him at each location! It’s an added expense, but it may be #worthit to keep your child smiling.
Kids can also participate in DuckTales World Showcase Adventure! This game, based out of the Play Disney Parks Mobile App, replaced the Agent P game that brought players around World Showcase in search of hidden games and challenges. The Play Disney Parks Mobile App in general is full of engaging activities for younger Disney fans to keep them engaged while exploring the parks (at no additional cost to you!).
The Flower and Garden Festival may have Frushi, but the Food and Wine Festival has Candy Sushi! The Candy Sushi class is typically offered daily throughout the Festival season in The Land Pavilion. This is an awesome class since the kids get to construct their own sushi rolls made entirely of candy and other sweet treats. We’ll keep you posted when we know more about booking, because these classes can fill up QUICKLY.
The Food and Wine Festival also hosts the Disney du Jour Dance Party in Future World! This lets kids burn off some energy (which they should have plenty of after eating all of those Candy Sushi rolls…). A DJ plays some favorite hits while Remy, Emile, and other Disney characters join in the dancing fun!
If you’re looking for ways for kids to dance around in World Showcase, trot on over to the Eat to the Beat Concert Series! Kids may enjoy jumping around to the music and adults may recognize many of the headliner acts!
And if your kids STILL have copious amounts of energy after all of that dancing, there are a few playground areas to spend some time in. These are typically beside food booths or by main festival areas and are designated spaces for kids to run around.
Use what already exists in World Showcase to get kids excited
Like we mentioned before, Epcot is ALREADY a great park for kids! The World Showcase has kid-friendly rides, attractions, shows, characters — you could easily spend an entire day in the “back half” of Epcot. For starters, there are currently two rides in World Showcase: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion and Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion.
And this summer, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is slated to open in the France Pavilion. Rides can be a good way to add “breaks” into your day and give your kids something to look forward to in between trips to the food booths.
Over the years, the Food and Wine Festival has grown beyond World Showcase. Now, you can find food booths in Future World. This means that all the other rides in the “front half” of Epcot can be used as incentive for kids in between trips to the food booths. Soarin’, anyone?
Since the festival is all about trying food from around the world, you can help your kids make the correlation of the international cuisine with some of their favorite international characters! So after you ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, get in line for the France food booth and talk to your kids about how Remy might cook up some of this food at his restaurant in France!
You can also employ this strategy with character meet-and-greets. You can meet lots of characters in World Showcase in their home countries, like Belle in France or Mulan in China. As with the rides, talk to your kids about the food from those countries and how the character they just met would probably eat a dish similar to the food they’re trying!
World Showcase is full of delicious food all year round, so look beyond the booths for snacks your kids may enjoy. For example, if they try something new at the France booth, they can get an ice cream cone at L’Artsian des Glaces. Or, if they try some food at the Japan booth, they can buy one fun candy item at Mitsukoshi in the Japan Pavilion.
And finally, no trip around World Showcase is complete without taking in a spectacular fireworks show at the end of the night! You can scope out a good spot to watch the show and take turns grabbing items at the different food booths. This could even be a good alternative plan for dinner if you don’t want to spend a ton of time at a table service restaurant.
The Food and Wine Festival is a highly anticipated annual event at Epcot. Although there is plenty for adults to enjoy, there are just as many activities and food items for kids to LOVE. We hope this gives you a few ideas on how to get your kids excited for a fun-filled day at Epcot!
What are your kids’ favorite things to do at the Food and Wine Festival? Let us know in the comments!