The holidays is my family’s favourite time to visit Disney World and Epcot’s seasonal festivals are our second favourite time to vacation with Mickey Mouse.
We haven’t been able to plan a trip yet to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival but my friend Cheryl from Moms and Munchkins spent a few days last year in the WDW area eating and soaking up the sun.
This year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs until November 14, 2016 so if you’re headed that way this year, here are some of Cheryl’s best tips.
Foodies from all over the world count down the days to this annual festival and I can see why!
From all the delicious food & wine to the live entertainment and everything in between – there are many reasons why you’ll want to mark this event on your must-see list!
What Is The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?
This event runs for several weeks (close to two months) each fall and includes food, wine & entertainment from around the world. There isn’t a special admission for this event – it’s included in the cost of your regular Epcot admission.
When you arrive, be sure to grab a Festival Passport. In that book you’ll find all the information you need to plan your visit like:
- A listing of destinations “Marketplaces” and the food & drinks being served at each
- A listing of live concerts, demonstrations and seminars including performers or hosts, locations and times
- Special offers & tips
My Foodie Adventures
This was my first time visiting the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The first stop I made was the Desserts & Champagne Marketplace for a Frozen S’mores & I was hooked after that!
All of the portion sizes are quite small because they know you’ll want to visit multiple marketplaces during your visit.
I could have hopped from marketplace to marketplace all day but we paced ourselves & visited many of the attractions & gift shops along the way. It was quite hot the day we went so I didn’t need any convincing to go inside one of the many stores or attractions.
Tips For Planning Your Visit
Read through all the marketplaces in your festival passport first and look at each menu to decide where you want to eat. There are so many delicious options but you do pay for all the food & drinks so you want to make sure you budget where you want to spend your money.
Since you’ll be buying a lot of food & drinks throughout the day, consider buying a pre-paid gift card once you get into the park. You can buy this gift card on a little bracelet & load whatever dollar amount you want onto it. Not only does it help you stay on budget but it saves you from having to keep reaching for your wallet.
You’ll want to make sure you save room in your belly for all the tasty options so don’t indulge too much at the beginning or you may not have room for the marketplaces near the end of your tour. By marking your favourites in your passport, you’ll know which ones you’ll want to save room for.
All of the marketplaces are outdoors and seating areas are limited so wear comfortable shoes & dress for the weather. Since there aren’t a lot of places to sit & eat your food, you’ll want to make sure your hands are free to hold your food. Make sure you have a lot of pockets or bring a bag to carry things like your camera, phone, wallet, water bottles, etc.
If there are live events that you want to see, make your way to them early so that you get good seats.
You’ll find that the crowds pick up in the evening and on the weekends so you may want to plan your visit during the day Monday through Friday.
There are plenty of photo opportunities around the park so have your camera easily accessible.
There are several seated dining options in the park as well so you could plan your main meal in one of the restaurants to give your feet a rest & to cool off in the air conditioning.
If you love good food (who doesn’t?!) then keep an eye on the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival website for information on next year’s event.
Samantha at Our Traveling Blog says
Great list of tips. I have never been to this event, but I know someone who goes as often as she can. Sounds like fun. Hopefully I can make it someday. Thanks again for a great list.