EPCOT gets a reputation as a more “adult” park. It was designed this way, to a certain extent, with more attractions that adults would enjoy (and it was the only park that sold adult beverages from the start). Because Disney is great for all ages, it’s definitely fun to go to the parks without kids, but I would argue that you’ll have even more fun taking your kids with you to the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT.
Here are some tips for how to do it and ensure that all of you have a great time! Some of these tips even came from EPCOT’s Culinary Director, Chef Gregg Hannon, and the Festival Content Development Manager, Marianne Hunnell. I’ve noted their initials next to tips they suggested!
- Know when to go. If you’re visiting on a Saturday night when the weather is nice, you’re going to see much bigger crowds than any other night. If you can, I’d recommend either going on a night Sunday through Thursday, or going during the day on Saturday. The crowds like to be there for the evening hours, but the food is just as tasty in the early afternoon!
- Avoid taking a stroller if you can. Navigating the lines for food will be that much easier. If you can’t avoid it, have one person in your group get the food while the person with the stroller scopes out a place to eat.
- Check out page 6 in the Passport! (GH) It has recommendations for kid-friendly foods, locations of Kidcot Fun Stops, and information about Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak (which brings me to tip #4…)!
- Play Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak! (MH) It’s a fun little scavenger hunt that the kids will love. They look for Remy all around the park and complete their little sticker map. When they turn it in, they get a special, limited edition pin! Pretty cool! You can pick up the map and stickers for just $8.99 from one of the Festival merchandise locations throughout the park.
- Try searching for Hidden Mickeys! It’s free and I’ve got a post with a free printable checklist here!
- Know where to chill. Since the Festival is so popular, it’s going to be crowded. Take a look at this post to find my favorite quiet places to hang out in the park!
- Encourage kids to try new foods. (GH) The small plates are perfect for tasting and you can always buy another if the kids love it!
- Make your visit a learning experience. (GH) There are always opportunities for kids to learn about other cultures at EPCOT because the cast members who work in each country are actually from that country. On top of talking to cast members, kids can learn about how food is grown at a really cool little garden that takes them through the process from planting to dining, located behind Innoventions East.
You might also want to check out my tips for how to do Disney like a pro and the five must-try dishes from this year’s Festival!
Have you taken your kids with you to the Food and Wine Festival or do you prefer to keep it a special date night just for adults? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!