Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival: Tips and Tricks from a Veteran

The summer is over so its time to head into fall activities, and Walt Disney World is no different.  Fall brings the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (F&W).  This will be my 3rd year attending both of these events.  Last week Nancy brought you the story of her first time to the Food and Wine Festival.  So now, I’ll share some of my thoughts about F & W from a veteran traveler.

For those of you’ve never been to the festival, Epcot brings in 25+ countries from Australia to South Korea to share a couple of traditional dishes along with some signature beverages (alcoholic and non) that are all located in booths in World Showcase. The dishes are sample size, but definitely able to be shared between people.  The costs vary on each plate, but if you are doing the Disney Dining Plan, the dishes count towards snacks!  Like Nancy said, you can purchase a F & W gift card that comes with a wrist band to pay for your extras/adult beverage; however, you can also use regular Disney gift cards, cash, or credit cards.  The festival runs from the end of September until mid-November.  After going at the end of October and the end of September, I’m glad we are going at the end of October this year.  It was just too hot to enjoy the food and drinks in September. 

 So some things I’ve learned over the years:

    1. Make sure you plan several days to visit the festival if you want to try everything.  There is A LOT of food and drinks to try!  The booths keep the same hours at World Showcase, so it’s typically 11 am-9 pm.
    2. Make sure to drink water, etc between all the adult beverages- you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your family if you have 1 too many.  We’ve all seen those people, especially on the weekends.  However, it does make for some interesting people watching. (Hint, look for the groups of people in matching shirts with a checklist of food/drink items)
    3. If you are a Chase Bank Card member, take advantage of their member’s lounge. Last year it was tucked away in a small room at the Festival Center.  This year, I hear it will be located in the America Pavilion.  It was a great place to rehydrate, relax in the air conditioning and recharge phones
    4. Make sure you have your method of payment handy. It makes the line go so much faster for everyone behind you. 
    5. Be prepared to wait.  Weekends and evenings are more crowded than during the week.  Once you place your order, you will need to wait on your food by the window.  Sometime it’s a good idea to split up, leave someone to wait on the food while your partner goes to get napkins, go to the next booth, etc
    6. Spend time in the Festival Center.  They have cookbooks with recipes from the   festival, unique items to purchase, and the Ghiradelli chocolate exhibit. Plus its air conditioned!
    7. Most importantly, take your time and have fun!  Have a Magical Day!!

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Adrienne is originally from the Chicago area but lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. She went to Disneyland when she was 7, which started her love of Disney. She even named one of her dogs after her favorite princess, Aurora. She and her husband celebrated their honeymoon at Walt Disney World in 2007 and have returned for every anniversary. They have stayed at variety of resorts on property and traveled with friends and family. Adrienne and her husband bought into DVC in May 2011 and rewarded themselves with their first fall trip for some of the special events. Adrienne and her husband consider WDW their “second home” and have become the go-to people for any Disney related questions and advice from friends, families, and acquaintances.

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