We just got back from our fall Walt Disney World vacation and we were there during the time of the annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Your Mouse Expert (Authorized Disney Vacation Planner) visited Epcot several times during our stay there and I can tell you it is more popular than ever. If you are a foodie and enjoy wine tasting this is the place to be!
As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I often help my clients make plans to attend this event. It is a lot of fun and is one of Epcot’s premier events and is held annually. This year, as always. each time Your Mouse Expert was in the park it was crowded, which is a testament to how much people love this event. Since the Food and Wine Festival is such a big attraction I thought it would be a good idea to offer few Mouse Expert tips that will help guests navigate through the event.
Find out How it All Works
Your admission to the park is all you will need to partake in the festival. So when your Disney Vacation Planner purchases your tickets, you are all set to enjoy the event. This year the International Food and Wine Festival is held August 31 – November 13, 2017.
All around the World Showcase at Epcot, there are kiosks situated with various food and wine offerings. The appetizer-sized portions available at each kiosk usually range in price from $4.00 – $8.00. These dishes provide the perfect opportunity to try the traditional cuisine from around the world. If guests are using the Disney Dining Plans, they will note that many of the offerings can be purchased with a snack credit. Your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner can help you purchase one of the Disney Dining Plans available and will explain how to use them.
If you love to cook as well as eat, make sure you visit the Festival Center. At the Festival Center workshops are offered and guests will have the opportunity to learn culinary skills from chefs and bakers such as; Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss”, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Robert Irvine Cat Cora and the cast of ABC’s “The Chew”. There will be many new chefs appearing this year as well, so make sure you check out when your favorites will be appearing.
Purchase a Gift Card for the Event
If you are going to be at Epcot for a few days and want to spend a few relaxing afternoons or evenings wondering around the showcase, consider purchasing a Food and Wine Festival gift card to pay for your purchases. Remember you are carrying food and drinks around so anything you can do to make things easier, will make the event more enjoyable. Not having to search around for a wallet or purse for money will make things more convenient with each purchase. With a $200 activation, you’ll receive a specially themed lanyard and sleeve.
Your Disney Vacation Planner Recommends – Get a Map
Whether guests know the park or not, a map will just make it easier to plan the right amount of time needed for each kiosk. Utilize the map to help determine the locations and culinary delights to make sure to try. Knowing where everything is and what is coming next will help guests to ensure not to fill up at the first few kiosks.
As mentioned earlier, guests will be carrying food and drinks from place to place, and it can get crowded. Although there are tables set up all along the World Showcase route, carrying bags, jackets, merchandise bags, and hats, will make the event much less enjoyable. Another option, if you are concerned about the weather or have purchased items to carry, is to rent a locker and store items you don’t need to carry with you until you are done with the event.
We all know that drinking adult beverages can be dehydrating so make sure that you drink water along the way as well. To add to that, when we were there it was very hot and humid. Since it really doesn’t cool off much in Florida, this Authorized Disney Vacation planner suggests you make frequent stops to drink and take your time going around the World Showcase. The heat will make dehydration happen even faster. No point ruining the fun for want of a little water.
Avoid Crowds by Timing Your Visit
We were in the area for an entire week and were at Epcot several times during that time and we took note of when it was super busy. We noticed that, although still pretty busy, the middle of the week was better. Keep in mind that Florida residents love the festival too and they visit on weekends. The very busiest times are the weekend evenings, and if you enjoy the festive atmosphere of crowds you will be fine. But if you prefer a little less action avoid weekends, and try for early afternoon to make your way around the showcase.
Try to Go More than Once
Although this may not always be possible with the time you have for the parks, if at all possible go more than once, and for only a few hours at a time. There is so much to take in and in the opinion of this Mouse Expert, if you break the event up into smaller time frames, you will enjoy it much more and feel less pressure to hurry. If you can only do one day, pick your top 5 or 6 cuisines and thoroughly enjoy them. Remember, there is always next year.
The International Food and Wine Festival is a much loved and well-attended event. Expect it to be busy and expect to take your time going around to each kiosk. Don’t plan to rush through the event and you will enjoy this truly exceptional Disney event.