For some people, fall means pumpkin spice lattes, breaking out sweaters and boots, football games, or a colorful change of scenery. For me, fall means Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. You can always eat at 11 countries in Epcot’s World Showcase, but the International Food and Wine Festival brings the total number of countries that you can sample food, dessert, and drinks from to 35.
Having attended the Food and Wine Festival for a few years now, I have learned some tricks of the trade. Some things are worth splurging for while others should just be skipped. Here are some of my favorite hacks and tips for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
Study the Food and Wine Festival menu
Look at the festival offerings online before you visit so that you will not be full and broke halfway around the World Showcase.
Buy your park tickets in advance
The lines are generally long and you will not want to stand in the Florida sun any longer than you have to.
Make use of the Marketplace Discovery Passport
Every food purchase lands you a stamp in your passport. Pick one up at Epcot’s entrance and make use of all that it has to offer. The Passport is generally laid out in the order that you will walk around the park.
Visit on a weekday
Crowds for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival are much thinner during the week. Try to arrive around 11 AM as people start pouring in around 2 PM and the lines get quite long. Practice patience; everybody is just as excited as you are!
Use a Fast Pass to secure a better seat at the Eat to the Beat concert
If you have already met your Fast Pass limit for the day, line up for the concert’s leftover seats 10 minutes prior to showtime. The concert lasts 30-minutes and is completely free. Some artists I have seen at Eat to the Beat are Smash Mouth, Christopher Cross, Pablo Cruise, ELO the Orchestra, and En Vogue.
Buy a $200 Gift Card if you will be visiting the Festival more than once
You will receive a limited edition International Food and Wine Festival lanyard and plastic carrying case. The gift card will help you save time when paying throughout the park.
Do not miss the American Adventure
Have a mouthwatering carrot cake from the Hops & Barley kiosk. The American Adventure is also home to the best bathrooms in the park.
Score a free water
Ask for a cup of water from one of the World Showcase’s 11 staple countries; it is free.
Purchase a limited edition Lucite Epcot tray
You will need some help holding all of your food while you walk around the World Showcase and eat.
Download Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival App
Available on your mobile phone, a quick and convenient way to look up food and drink offerings throughout the Festival.
Have your passport stamped inside of Innovations West on each visit? Your photo ID and Annual Passholder card are required.
Tips For Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival
Skip the pierogis in Poland; they are bland and dry.
Children will enjoy Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Seek Scavenger Hunt, available for purchase throughout the park.
Pick up your limited edition logo pin commemorating the International Food and Wine Festival.
Practice your wine and cheese etiquette at the Cheese Studio.
Pick up a free Ghirardelli sample inside of the Festival Center.
The Festival has several celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, culinary seminars, and mixology/beverage, classes. ABC’s The CHEW tapes during the Food and Wine Festival, offering pro food and wellness tips.
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Check out our other Epcot posts:
5 Awesome Things To Do At Epcot
5 More Things To Do At Epcot
What To Expect At The Flower & Garden Festival
Tasting The World At Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival