I can’t stop talking about Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival! It is seriously the best time of year to go! This year, my family and I are going in late September to enjoy the Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and to top it off we got Free Dining!! (You can do this too, ask me how Summer@worldofmagictravel.com)
For most Walt Disney World guests, the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the booths. They are the little kiosks added throughout World Showcase with snack size portions and beverage tastings available for purchase. Each booth represents a different country or culture, including Scotland, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and Morocco, to name a few of my favorites.
If you have never been to F&W Fest, THIS is the year to go! Here are my Top 10 Tips to enjoy the Festival to the fullest!
1. Make a Game Plan– Find the menu’s on the Disney World Food and Wine Fest site, and pick some booths you really want to try. Develop a plan because lines at booths can be long, and with so many options, you might waste a lot of time reading menus. If you like to be spontaneous, at least decide which direction you will tour the World Showcase. To Canada or Mexico first?
2. Go during the week!- Weekends are much busier than weekdays. I like to go at night, skip dinner and just eat around the World instead. I think it’s easier to stand in line, drink, and tour the World Showcase when the sun goes down. The night life is great at the Fest. I love the look of everything all lit up aorund the World, it’s very romantic and low key.
3. Eat to the Beat! Concerts – The Eat to the Beat concert series is presented nightly at the American Gardens Theater across from the in Epcot’s World Showcase. These concerts are free, so grab a snack and a drink and head over to America. The concert lineup is found at the link above.
4. Avoid November 7-9 – The annual runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is being held this weekend, and the Finish Line Party will be at Epcot. This means that unless you are a runner, it’s smart to avoid going to Epcot this weekend at all. The race brings out an extra 20,000 people. If you ARE a runner and registered for the race, please join our Facebook Group HERE!
5. Wear Your Money- At the entrance to the F&W Fest/World Showcase there is a kiosk dedicated to F&W Souvenirs, wine glasses, t-shirts, etc. They also have wristlet gift cards! Not only are these reloadable, but they are a cute souvenir too! Wearing a gift card during F&W is genius!! Load it up with your desired spending amount, and don’t worry about getting your wallet out or setting your drink down at each stop. Most snacks and drinks are $3-$8 each.
6. Record Your Travels- Pick up a “World Passport” when you enter and have it stamped at each country you visit! You likely won’t remember everywhere you stopped, so keep track of it in your Passport. It also has menus and information in it too. I love my F&W t-shirt that says “Taste Your Way Around the World” and on the back you check off where you ate or drank.
7. Use Snack Credits- If you have the Disney Dining Plan you can use your snack credits at F&W Fest. I hoard my snack credits the rest of my vacation to save them for F&W night! It’s hard, but just tell yourself you could be trying handmade baklava or craft beer, instead of that popcorn! Look for the purple DDP logo at the booths to know where you can use them.
8.. Don’t Stop for Illuminations- When Illuminations starts, hit up those super busy booths that you couldn’t get to earlier, THEN take your treats to watch the show. I suggest watching it either in the Disney Visa Cardholders spot (if you have your card), by the boat dock, or near Mexico so you can beat the crowds out of the Park after. *Disney Visa Cardholders look for the Chase Lounge where there are free non-alcoholic drinks.
9. Know Your Limit- Don’t get (too) drunk! Eat before AND while you drink, stay hydrated by having water in between each drink, and stop while you’re ahead. Take a break half-way through the World to watch one of the shows in either Canada, America, or China or the Eat to the Beat Concerts, if you need to.
10. Take Treats To-Go- We love to stop by Werther’s Karamel Kuche in Germany before we go to pick up some handmade caramel to take back to the Resort with us. Stop by your favorite spot and grab something to-go. Or, take that treat with you that you didn’t have room for earlier.
What are some other tips you have for first timers? I’d love to hear them!
Are you ready to Taste Your Way Around The World? It’s the best free event Disney World offers all year, and by far my favorite. If you want to chat about your next magical Disney vacation, please contact me! I would love to help you plan a Fall getaway, Food and Wine Festival included (and maybe even Free Dining!) Just email me at Summer@WorldofMagicTravel.com or Follow me on Facebook HERE. Once you do Food & Wine Festival, you’ll want to come back every year!