Thrifty Thursday: Planning for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Each fall, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival brings outdoor marketplaces to World Showcase serving small plates and drinks from around the world. The festival also features premium events such as cooking demonstrations and food and wine pairings. The Food and Wine Festival marketplaces are open daily throughout the festival. Access to these marketplaces to purchase food and drinks and access to some events or demonstrations is included in regular park admission (most premium events charge a separate fee).

As with nearly everything on a Disney vacation, making the most of your visit to the Food and Wine Festival involves some planning ahead. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

If you can, try to visit the festival on a week day – the weekends will be more crowded with local visitors, and you will find more manageable lines for the marketplaces during the week. If you really want to experience most of the marketplaces and perhaps a premium event, consider devoting more than one day of your trip to the festival – there is a lot to try!

As with any other daily Walt Disney World plan, do some research before you go as to the food that will be offered. Food and Wine Festival menus are easy to find online, so browse the festival’s offerings before you go and decide which marketplaces you want to visit. With nearly three dozen marketplaces, you’ll want to narrow your focus, especially if you’re only visiting for one day. Also note that you may not want to make any Advanced Dining Reservations on days you plan to visit the festival. You will be trying lots of delicious dishes throughout the day – you’ll be full at dinnertime!

Keep in mind that World Showcase, and thus the festival marketplaces, do not open until 11 am. Either spend the early morning visiting attractions in Future World, or if you’ve already seen Future World, sleep in and arrive later. Even though the official opening is 11 am, plan to arrive early to get a head start!

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I’m Elizabeth, and I’m a planner, a vacation enthusiast, and quite the nerd. Even better, I’m dedicated to helping you plan an unforgettable vacation without all the stress. I like to say that I specialize in nerd travel – to me, being a nerd has always meant being unashamedly passionate about the stories I love. This is why I love planning for my favorite destinations – these are places that can take you right into the world of your imagination and make it real. If you’re just a grown-up kid like me, you’ll love these destinations, too. Whether you’re imagining fairytale castles or adventures with wizards and dragons, I can help you make it happen! I’m putting all that I’ve learned about vacation planning and my nerdy love of fantasy to work for you, so that you can write your amazing vacation story. Visit my blogNerdTravelPro.com to learn more about how you can get help planning your next adventure, and come visit me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for even more vacation fun and tips. Contact me at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com to start planning.

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