In season three of Gilmore Girls, Lorelei and Rory eat four Thanksgiving dinners in one day, and then go snack on dinner rolls. Why do I bring this up? Because the Gilmores, in this episode, are my Food and Wine Festival spirit animal. If you’ve never attend a Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, the entire point is gluttony, disguised as cultural appreciation (because I like to appreciate culture by tasting their foods). The festival runs in Epcot in World Showcase through September 14th through November 14th, 2016, and is a must hit for any Disney fan, and any food and adult beverage fan. We love attending Walt Disney World during special events – even though you end up spending money (and sometimes a lot of it on delicious food and beverage), we feel like attending during an event offers even more for your Disney ticket value. We’re putting together our guide to Food and Wine Festival today the way we like it (simply) to help make your time at the Festival easier to Navigate.
This is a VERY popular event. Because of it’s popularity, please try not to go on a Saturday. We went twice – once on a weekday, and once on a Saturday, and it was two completely different experiences. Saturday was a zoo. People everywhere, tripping over each other, lines out the wazoo. Being there on a weekday was a much more pleasant time – shorter lines, space to walk, places to sit down. If at ALL POSSIBLE, hit up the festival on a weekday, and go over to one of the other parks on a Saturday, which will be less crowded.
When you get into Epcot, pick up your booth guide which will show you what food and drinks all the different booths have. There are so many different booths to try, that you need to have some kind of plan (or you’re going to gain a billion pounds and spend a billion dollars). There are booths from countries all around the world – some of our favorites include the France Booth, The Caribbean Booth, The China Booth, The Japan Booth, The Canada Booth, and the Hawaii Booth.
Free concerts (well, with a Disney ticket), are a big draw to the Festival. Popular bands (or bands that were popular back in the day – MMMBOP anyone?), play the festival on select nights, three times a night. I think we’re all just thrilled that we live in a world where we can go to Disney World, and listen to Hanson, Boyz II Men, and Air Supply, am I right? I think it’s everyone’s dream to eat festival food while listening to ‘End of The Road’.
There are different ‘hard ticket’ events that you can purchase to enhance your Food and Wine Festival. Some of those events this year include the ‘Rockin Burger Block Party’, ‘The Parisian Breakfast’ at Le Chefs De France, ‘French Family Meal Traditions’ at Monsieur Paul, and ‘The Mexican Tequila Lunch’.
Some people really care about Celebrity Chefs. David and I are not those people. However, if you are (and you totally have the right to be – heck, I’ve fangirled over the most random people before), there are Celebrity Chefs appearing at the festival. So far, the Celebrity Chefs slated to appear are Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Masaharu Morimoto, Elizabeth Falkner, Buddy Valastro, and Jamie Deen.
Let’s be honest – is there ever an event that’s not going to have merchandise? We think the best, and most practical, is the Food and Wine Exclusive bottles of wine. When you’re going through Disney trips withdrawal, we think it’s the perfect souvenir.
We LOVE Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, and highly recommend it as a great time of year to visit Walt Disney World. We hope our guide makes it a little easier to figure out where to spend your time (and your money), as there’s so many things to see, do, and especially eat.