Starting earlier than ever, EPCOT is currently hosting the 22nd Annual Food and Wine Festival, a favorite event for any adult Disney fan and foodie. This year’s dates run from August 31 – November 13th. Special food, special events, celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and special packages will be available to expand your knowledge (and waistline) of food and wine from around the world. Follow the tips below to get the most out of this unique Disney experience.
1. If you haven’t already, book your dining and special event reservations NOW! As with any Disney vacation, the earlier you book the better the selection of dining experiences. Click here to schedule your meals.
Or, rather than eat a sit down meal, try the appetizer size “meals” around World Showcase…
2. There are more than 2 dozen food booths scattered along World Showcase. By day, this is a great opportunity to introduce your children to unusual and exotic foods their palate may not be familiar with. At night, it’s a romantic opportunity for couples to stroll under the stars, sipping a cocktail and nibbling their way “around the World.”
…After you’ve eaten, take in a concert. Free!
3. Scheduled concert performers for the 2017 season include: David Cook, Boys II Men, Plain White T’s, Air Supply, Sister Hazel, 10,000 Maniacs, Kenny G, Blue October, just to name a few.
4. Take in a special event: Culinary “Boot Camps,” special regional wine and food pairing meals, mixology sessions and intimate celebrity chef symposiums. You can meet celebrity chefs: Art Smith, Cat Cora, Geoffrey Zakarian and many more. Click here for more information and to make your reservations.
5. EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival is a popular event. Expect large crowds on the weekend when many locals visit the park. If you can work it into your schedule, visit EPCOT early in the work week and save the other parks for the weekend.
6. Pace yourself. World Showcase doesn’t open until 11am. You’ll be there through lunch and possibly dinner. There are a lot of tempting bites offered. Share when possible to maximize the taste testing factor and minimize the cost. And on extra warm days, drink plenty of water to off-set the effects of the adult beverages.
And speaking of alcohol….
7. If it’s late afternoon to early evening, leave the kids at “home.” Disney offers plenty of babysitting options and from personal experience, this festival seems to attract a more adult crowd, displaying adult behavior. And sometimes, not so attractive adult behavior. We made the mistake one time with a woman sloshing a margarita over our 3-year-old’s head and our impressionable 12 year-old counting how many “inebriated” (my word, not hers) she could find. Never again.
8. Stop by the Festival Information center located between Mission Space and Universe of Energy. There you can meet cookbook authors, have a bottle of wine signed, purchase unique merchandise and pick up a FREE special passport to document your journey.
Have fun and happy eating!