EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

The EPCOT International Food and Wine festival is a great non-kid outing. My wife and I come down to Orlando every year for this annual event.  

The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival runs a little over seven weeks (2015) and is an event that features food, wine and drink in 30 booths including local fares from Florida. The food selections are in small appetizer sizes with each booth / country featuring 3 - 4 specialties. The booths are set up around the Seven Seas Lagoon allowing you to eat and drink "around the world".

 

They also have concerts each night with some well known bands from the past that are free with your admission at the American Gardens Theatre at the American Adventure. In addition to the food and bands there are food and wine related seminars and VIP events. If you are a Disney VISA card holder there are also events exclusively for you. All in all a great event and highly recommended.

Disney knows how to market for increased attendance. The timing of the event is well planned as typically parents are not going to take their kids out of school in the Fall to vacation at Disney so this festival allows Disney to promote attendance in an otherwise slow period. Similar to the Disney Marathon being the first weekend in January after the Holiday rush. I think EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is a great way to try new foods and wine at a relatively inexpensive price (at least by Disney standards).

What we like to do is try and go over at use this as dinner during the week days and lunch on the weekends. The weekends tend to get crowded and the lines at each booth can be long. I would say picking up a "guide book" is essential. As there are only two ways to go around the World Showcase and you tend to start eating and drinking from that end and are quickly full before making it all the way. What we do is alternate by day as to which Country / side we start with. This year we came down on Thursday morning and enjoyed relatively light crowds Thursday and Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were busy as this was the last weekend of the Festival. Also this year the attendance was high as people came down to hit the last weekend of Food & Wine and the first week of the Osborne Light show at the Studios. This being the last year of the Osborne lights that won’t be an issue going forward.

We also fly down and back mid week so you can get pretty good deals on airfare. We stay on property and take advantage of Disney transportation both from the airport and while at Walt Disney World. This also eliminates any issues with drinking and driving if you do enjoy the drink a little too much.

That section of Epcot (World Showcase) opens everyday at 11:00 am so a great way to have lunch as well. The early hours are typically much less crowded and easier to navigate.

I would also recommend coming early to middle of the Food and Wine Festival run. We are here on the last weekend and while the lines were short and managable on Thursday and Friday, the lines were extremely long on Saturady and Sunday.

There are other events surrpounding the festival outside of just the food and wine. This year annual Passholders can get a limited edition commerative port wine glass on your third visit to the park. There are also limited events avaiable to Disney VISA cardholders as well.

If you want to really be efficient I would book the Boardwalk or Yacht and Beach Club resorts for your stay. These access EPCOT through the back International Gateway entrance. Not only is this entrance much less crowded but it brings you into the park between France and England; right in the heart of Food and Wine. Also don't forget to get your fastpasses for your favorite EPCOT attractions. The Futureworld section of EPCOT opens early depending on if there are extra magic hours but generally no latter tan 9:00 am. You can come enjoy future world and then at 11:00 head over to World Showcase. A great way to spend a day. I highly recommend the EPCOT International Food & Wine festival.

Picture of Guide Book Picture of some of the food Pictures of some of the food booths