The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot has become SO popular over the years that it’s expanded, both in the length of the festival and the offerings. Disney knows what we want and they deliver. The only problem with that is there’s more to see, do, and EAT than you could ever possibly cover in one visit. So, how do you make the most of the time (and money) that you have? I’ve got you covered!
Know when to go. If you’ve got a flexible schedule, try to go on a weekday because crowds will be smaller. If weekends are your only option, shoot for Sunday morning. You should also know where to hang out to get away from the crowds for a minute, and I wrote a post about a couple of my favorite “hidden” spots in Epcot!
Gift card, gift card, gift card! My number one tip to anyone who asks is to buy a gift card (with a handy little cord to keep it on your wrist). Just put whatever amount you’re willing to spend on the card and use that instead of your credit card for every transaction. Not only does it keep you from having to pull out your wallet on every visit, it keeps you from overspending. When Jon and I are going with the intent of eating dinner, we usually put $50-75 on the card, but you could definitely go for less. Which brings me to my next point…
If you’re on a tight budget, eat first. Sunshine Seasons (located in The Land pavilion) has some delicious, fresh food and will fill you up. I also recommend grabbing a slice of pizza from the window outside Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion). The slices are huge and will definitely fill you up. Once you’ve got some food in you, you can concentrate on which dishes you’d really like to try and…
Make a game plan. The Festival Passport is really helpful when trying to figure out what you want to eat most. Take a minute to flip through and mark which dishes you want to be sure to try. You can use the little stickers included with the passport or bring a pen.
Don’t skip the concert, but skip the seat. You can easily hear the concert from anywhere in the America Pavilion so, unless it’s your favorite band of all time, just arrive in the area a couple minutes before the show, grab something to eat or drink, and hang out.
Have fun! Even if you’re not going with kids, try out the “Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak”. It’s fun to search for Remy throughout World Showcase and getting a pin when you’re done is an added bonus. You can also search for the many Hidden Mickeys at Epcot and if you’re going to the Food and Wine Festival with kids, make sure you check out my tips!
Make friends! There are high-top tables located throughout World Showcase and usually there are one or two other people standing around them. It’s ok to share! Some of our most fun conversations (and best food suggestions!) have come from strangers we’ve shared a table with!
This one might be controversial, but… skip the booze. I know, I know. “But Gina! How am I going to get the full experience if I don’t drink at the Food and WINE Festival?!?!” Here’s the thing: the beverage portions at the Festival Marketplaces are TIIIIIIINY for what you pay. I have two tips if you want to drink while you walk around. 1. Grab a beer from one of the permanent stands (like the Fife and Drum Tavern in the America Pavilion) because it will a) be full-sized and b) be much cheaper, per ounce. 2. Go for a flight if you’re going to buy from one of the Festival Marketplaces. And if you absolutely have to have wine, do what I suggested earlier and ask people you see drinking wine where they got it and if they love it before you actually make your purchase.
What tips would you add to this list for someone visiting Food and Wine? Share them in the comments!