Oh, how I love a good food and wine festival! And oh, how my family loves a trip to Disney! The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of the best of the bunch, but will your kids love it too? Or will you vow to leave them at home next time? Can you just imagine going to Disney without them? Well, we’ve survived a trip to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and we are all ready to go back! We loved the perogies and kielbasa in Poland, the lasagna from Italy, the baguettes from France, and the fish and chips in England! We tried so many different things and discovered so many new flavors! I think your family is ready to taste the world too! Here are our secrets and tips that will have everyone in your family having a blast at the event and maybe you’ll create a few foodies along the way.
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Tips for Before Your Trip to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- The ultimate place to stay is on property, and within walking distance to Epcot. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs are just minutes away, either by walking or boat. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, and the Dolphin or Swan Resorts are other close options.
- Consider purchasing a park hopper ticket to Disney. This is a great option because you can spend a little time in Epcot before or after visiting another park. Dinner every night at the Festival? Yes, please!
- Check out the Disney Crowd Calendar to help plan your time at Epcot. Most evenings are busy at Epcot during the Food & Wine Festival, but they may not be quite as bad if Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party happens to be going on at Magic Kingdom.
- There is a lot of information on the Disney website about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival events, menus, nightly concerts, event locations, and reservations. Read thru the info so you don’t miss out on something!
- The food and beverage offerings are listed on the website. Read thru all of the deliciousness and plan your meals around the world. The menu also indicates gluten free items, kid friendly foods, and vegan options.
- Wonder how your family will ever eat all the food they’re dreaming about trying? The portions are small, just a few bites, so try all you want!
- Take a picture of your food guide, or your families top menu choices, so you can refer to it while you’re at the festival. One less thing to carry that day.
- When I have a Disney trip in the works, and even when I don’t, I listen to the podcasts at The Dis Unplugged to hear about all things Disney.
- Those 21 and over need to bring their id to buy any alcoholic drinks. Everyone 21 and over, so that means you get to be flattered for a few days by constantly being carded.
- If your family has a Disney dining plan, it will be accepted at some of the festival locations.
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Tips for While You Are at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- The Festival takes place in the World Showcase at Epcot and opens at 11:00 a.m every day. Closing times vary.
- The Food & Wine Festival information center is located in Future World East, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to park closing. This where your family will want to go to get menu guides, maps, scavenger hunt info, and buy any Festival merchandise.
- There is a Festival passport that you can pick up at the information center. Every time you visit a country, get a stamp! Your kids will love filling up their passports. If you miss stopping at the info center, you can find the passport at various locations throughout World Showcase.
- Try to limit all of the stuff that everyone has to carry. There aren’t a lot of places to sit and eat, so you’ll need free hands to hold your food. Carrying a small backpack would be the best, or even a cross-body bag. Here is the perfect Disney bag for your day.
- Don’t expect every country to have a building or even a seating area to enjoy it’s food and beverage offerings. Some country’s are just serving their delicacies out of a food cart, quick and easy.
- The menu boards for each country are located by where the line starts. Make your selections before getting in line, or snap a picture for future reference.
- Have one person stand in line for the food. Send everyone else to look for a table or bench.
- You will order and pay first, then proceed to pick up your food. Keep your receipt out so they can check it when you pick up your goodies.
- The crowds grow throughout the day. Start making your way around the world right at 11:00 a.m. to avoid the masses.
- Eat lunch at the Festival and then head back to Future World for the rides. Schedule a later fastpass for after lunch, or go on the less popular rides.
- If your resort has an awesome pool (like the Yacht and Beach Clubs), swim after breakfast and then wander over to Epcot and start your day there with lunch. This is easy since you enter Epcot near France, in World Showcase, when you walk to the park from the nearby resorts.
- If your family needs a break from the Festival fun, stop into one of the countries for a show or film. There are shows at Canada, France, and the US.
Quick Links to Info for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:
- Nightly music schedule for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series
- Line-up of celebrity chefs at the festival
- Reservation info for Food & Wine Pairings events. $25 per person for the 45 minute session.
- Reservation info for Culinary Seminars. $17 per person for the 45 minute demonstration.
- What’s new for 2018, including family events
Our Top Picks for This Year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
We love to eat, and to try new things! Here are the food and drinks that are our top picks for this year’s festival:
- Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas offered in Australia
- Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream offered in Belgium
- Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Onions and Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) in Brazil
- Maple Bourbon Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch sold at the Cheese Studio
- The Steakhouse Blended Burger: Blended Beef and Wild Mushroom Slider with Brie Cheese Fondue, Arugula, Truffle and Blue Cheese Potato Chip on a Brioche Bun at Earth Eats
- Bougatsa (Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup and Cinnamon) sold in Greece
- Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread from Ireland (we love cheese!)
- Spanish-style Paella with Chorizo and Roasted Chicken from Spain
- Maple Bacon Funnel Cake topped with Candied Bacon – a special funnel cake flavor for the Festival
- Sweet Potato Poutine: Sweet Potato Fries with Caramel Sauce, Mini Marshmallows and Pecans and Pineapple Soft-Serve Ice Cream at the Refreshment Port
- Pancake Milkshake (a what?!) served at Taste Track
Wow! Now we are starving! This year’s festival runs from August 30 through November 12, 2018. There are some benefits to visiting Disney during the Fall season, such as, fewer crowds since school is in session and better weather.
Not at Epcot during the fall? There’s always the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays during the Christmas season. We attended this last December and it was delicious! Another major festival that is featuring more and more food is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring. Your family will love all of the tasty treats along with all of those gorgeous gardens.
If you visit the Festival this year, please let us know in the comments your favorite foods!
Here are more tips for planning your trip:
- Visiting Southwest Florida too? Here’s where your family will want to eat.
- We recommend Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Here are the current reviews and photos from TripAdvisor.
Wowza! That event looks like something I would love, food! LOL!
Oh yeah, the food is fantastic!