Food & Wine: Delicious Festival at Epcot

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Written By Carlos Braga

Disney has invested heavily in Epcot's seasonal festivals, the first one they created was Food & Wine, where in the already famous park of the countries there is the union of cultures and gastronomy in a great festival.

Food & Wine doesn't just reveal typical food and drinks from the countries that are there with their trailers, stalls or bikes, there are a series of activities with chefs, for example.

This event is tastings, dinners and seminars exclusive to the event, but rest assured, that unlike some extra events such as Halloween and Natal do Magic Kingdom, there is no need for a separate ticket to participate in Food & Wine.

Food portions range between $4 and $9 dollars and drinks between 3$ and 7$. We recommend that on the day you go to the park to explore Food & Wine, you do not book a meal to enjoy the event and taste portions from various countries.

It is possible to buy several because the size is small, as if it were a tasting, being possible for visitors to enjoy a chicken here, a churros there and so on.

What's in Epcot's Food & Wine

  • Seminars and workshops with chefs, with free and some paid classes;
  • around 30 kiosks from different countries with many gastronomic options;
  • Show with several bands and singers

Alcoholic Drinks at Food & Wine!

In the United States, only people over 21 can consume alcohol, so it's normal to ask anyone, even the elderly, for proof of age. So if you want to drink, don't forget to bring some original ID!

They may accept a photo of your passport or any other document as proof, but it is best to take it with you so as not to take any risk.

Event Map and Times Guide

As much as you already know the Epcot, it is very important to have the event map. As there are trailers, kiosks and exclusive photo spots for the event, visitors end up getting lost and not finding that kiosk they really want to visit and don't participate in Epcot's fixed list of countries.

Then the map it is essential for you to locate yourself.

Not to mention the schedule of seminars that take place during the Food & Wine season and have different times according to the day of the week, so have the Times Guide at hand of the event it is necessary for you to be able to plan your route in the park in the best way.

Epcot Food & Wine Passport

In the same place where you will get the map and the Times Guide, you will have the Food & Wine Passport. In it there is a list with all the food and drinks of each kiosk and where they are located.

Throughout the day with consumption, you get a stamp at each kiosk you buy, as if it were a stamp to stick in your passport and fill it out.

The coolest thing is that it ends up becoming a gift and it's free. People usually have a lot of fun collecting stamped passports.

Food at Epcot Food & Wine

As there are many food options (after all, it is a food festival) and not everything will always fit in your stomach, we suggest analyzing the most interesting options so that you don’t run out of space for that part of the country you want to try food so much.

There are sweet and savory options divided into more than 80 options and more than 300 types of drinks.

In Future World there is something more focused on gastronomy in general, with kiosks focused on general sweets such as chocolates.

The Festival Center also takes place with demonstrations, lectures and a workshop.

but no World ShowCase you will also find wonderful delights.

Some of our favorites are:

Costine di Maiale

italy-ribs-epcot-food-and-wine-costine-di-maiale
Italy Ribs no Epcot Food and Wine

It's a pork chop with balsamic vinegar and baked in the oven.

It costs US $ 8.00 and is an eligible snack for the Disney Dining Plan.

They are found in Italy pavilion. Each order comes with three HUGE ribs! They are packed with flavor, thanks to the balsamic glaze.

If you're part of the Disney meal plan, it's a great deal to use a snack credit!

Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous

review_africa_epcot_food_wine_Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous
review_africa_epcot_food_wine_Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous

It's a Shrimp on a skewer with citrus couscous.
It costs US $ 6.75 and is an eligible snack for the Disney Dining Plan.

At the Africa stand, we fell head over heels for the Shrimp on Espeto Piri Piri served on a huge bed of couscous! The portion comes with five shrimp!

That's WAY MORE shrimp than you'll be served with other festival shrimp offerings like the Sweet and Spicy Grilled Shrimp in Australia or the Shrimp and Cold Noodle Salad in Thailand.

However, because of the odd number, you may have rock, paper, scissors for your friend, whoever gets the last one!

Beef Brisket Poutine

beef_brisket_poutine_epcot_food_wine_festival
beef_brisket_poutine_epcot_food_wine_festival

It costs US $ 8.99.

The menu at Refreshment Port is our daily reminder that most of life's problems can be solved with a huge pile of chips!

If you need something stickier on your ribs to help you get through the day, get these smoked brisket soaked fries with beer cheese sauce.

Unfortunately, this snack is not accepted on the Disney Dining Plan, but this festival delight is worth a try!

Shows at Food & Wine

Every year Food & Wine brings to Epcot several bands to party Epcot nights with lots of music and fun. Remembering that the event is free, so everyone can enjoy the show, but there is a reserved seating area for people who buy the Eat to the Beat Dinner Package, which provides a meal at one of Epcot's restaurants and VIP seats for the show. .

music-at-festival-food-and-wine
music-at-festival-food-and-wine

The shows are usually very popular, so if you don't buy the VIP package.

It is interesting to arrive early to stay in a nice place to watch the show. They usually take place at 3 different times: 17:30, 18:45 and 20:00.

If you don't want to take the risk of missing the show, it's worth booking the Eat to the Beat Dinner Package, where you get a meal at one of the participating restaurants and get a reserved seat to watch the show.

There are packages for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with buffet or starter options + main course and dessert, varying from restaurant to restaurant.

No, you won't find current major artists like Rihanna or what children are listening these days, but it's a free show at Epcot.

You can find the full schedule and performance dates on the Disney Eat to the Beat schedule.

Packages range from $45 to $75 per adult depending on the meal location. Book your package directly on the website of Disney or by the reservations phone.

In addition to the 'Eat to the Beat' concert series, there are authentic performers throughout World Showcase, added to help entertain the large crowds the Food & Wine Festival draws.

Gift card to consume at the Food & Wine Festival

As the portions of food and drinks are served in a smaller amount, the values are low and demand change, so to facilitate consumption without the stress of having to keep getting change, it is interesting to buy a gift card at any store, for being a prepaid card, you load it with an amount of dollars and go through the kiosks you are going to buy.

Control can be done through the receipt issued with each purchase, with the remaining balance and as it comes with a strap like a bracelet, it stays on your arm without the danger of losing it.

Strategies to Better Enjoy Food & Wine at Epcot

While the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a fun way to sample (mostly) great food, it's also incredibly popular and expensive (I'd say very expensive, but "popular and very expensive" seems a bit of a contradiction).

At noon, some booths at the Food & Wine Festival have long lines for ordering and picking up.

epcot-food-wine-festival

In the late afternoon, World Showcase is a sea of sweaty humanity, with some rows of booths with longer wait times than attractions.

Add to that little shade and a few slightly tipsy guests, and it can be a nasty mix.

At night, some areas of World Showcase feel like a light frat party, with very long lines, especially on weekends.

So, below are some tips to make your festival experience more enjoyable?

Leave the shrimp, get salmon and scallops – With rare exceptions, as we’ve shown above, shrimp at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is overpriced, rubbery, and generally unappealing.

In all our years of running the event, we've found that one thing is that cooking teams always fail.

On the other hand, salmon and scallop dishes are almost always good – better than you'd expect for their price and being prepared in small kitchens.

Epcot Food and Wine
Epcot Food and Wine

Avoid the hot and the heavy – For an event that starts in August and continues into September and October – two months that are still pretty hot and humid in Florida, there are typically a lot of hot and heavy fare at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

While many of them are good and worth trying, you might want to space them out so you don't get sick. The ideal is to have them in the beginning of the day or in the end of the afternoon, when the sun goes down.

Visit during the week – Because it is a Festival that many locals like to go to, it ends up being much more crowded on weekends, so to enjoy it with more tranquility, it is interesting to reserve a day of the week to visit the festival. Epcot.

Take a break from the air conditioning – During the hottest part of the day, taking a break from World Showcase activities and watching air-conditioned movies at the door (like Impressions de France, which we love!) and other attractions is a good idea.

Who follows us on Instagram saw on one of our trips when we were exhausted and took a long break from china pavilion in the temple where Mulan's Meet & Greet is located.

You can even get free glasses of water at any quick service restaurant, so you drink water and sit in the air conditioning. So you can catch your breath while eating and drinking.

go early – Just before the start of Food and Wine, you must queue for your first kiosk.

The lines are much shorter early in the day, but more importantly, it's not as hot at 11am as it is at 2pm.

There is very little shade in the stands.

If you've ever waited in line for 30 minutes for some wine and creme brulee in France while sweating your shirt, you know what I'm talking about.

Stay late (or arrive late) – Queues for Global Marketplaces typically peak during main meals and subside around 8pm, when people tend to look for somewhere to watch the Epcot fireworks show.

While it's recommended that you do the same and grab a viewing spot, sending a person to pick up some of the heavier dishes you've skipped before to enjoy after the sun has gone down is also a great idea!

… There's probably more to strategy than that, like a scientific approach to which World Showcase direction you should go, the ideal time to buy items with the most freshness, etc., but this is a solid plan that will guarantee you one day much nicer.

Food-Wine-Festival-Food
Food-Wine-Festival-Food

Conclusion

If you like food, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival it will be a lot of fun for you.

You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy it, though, as there really is something for everyone.

The biggest downside to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is that it's mostly outdoors, and in August, September, and sometimes October, the heat and humidity make it difficult.

Try to balance your day with lots of alternating current breaks so it doesn't go too bad. November is generally much nicer.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival can be a great event and you don't have to spend a lot, but it can also be expensive, crowded, hot and unpleasant.

mexico-booth-food Food and Wine
mexico-booth-food Food and Wine

Planning makes all the difference in the experience you have. If you don't take anything else from this post, remember that.

Also, there's a lot to do. Even if you went to Epcot every day of the Food & Wine Festival, you wouldn't be able to try everything (it really is a lot).

Beware of the amount of food and drink: you can spend a ridiculous amount of money without really putting in much effort. Just stopping by the various booths for an afternoon can cost a lot of money.

But be sure to go if you have the chance. It can be a lot of fun if you plan ahead, avoid the crowds of people on the weekend, and get lucky with the mild weather.

It's the second best time of year at Epcot, after the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, in my opinion.

World Showcase feels like a truly living and breathing World Showcase during the festival, with a focus on cuisine.

Ahhhh what a delight, we love this festival. And you, what did you think?

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