Walt Disney World does a lot of “Special Events”. And EPCOT has become the place of festivals. There seems to be a festival all year-round at EPCOT. There’s the Festival Of The Arts, Flower And Garden Festival and the Food And Wine Festival. My opinion is that the EPCOT Food And Wine Festival is the best festival.
So I must tell you that I LOVE EPCOT! It is one of my favorite places. Don’t get me wrong, I love the other parks too. But EPCOT does something special that no other place can duplicate.
Not only do I have great attractions to ride (I love Living With The Land). After I do all that in Future World (soon to be three sections), I get to go to World Showcase and visit different countries, eat different foods from those countries, and SHOP!! I mean, let’s be honest, the shopping alone is reason enough to go to EPCOT. I can get things there that I can’t get anywhere else. And I live in Chicago! We have some pretty amazing shopping!
But that is not what we are here to talk about. We are supposed to be talking about festivals, and specifically the Food And Wine Festival.
Well, actually I could be talking about the Food And Wine Festival. Everything that I love about EPCOT is everything that I also love about Food And Wine.
At the Food And Wine Festival, EPCOT sets up booths all around the World Showcase from different countries. At each booth, you can order sample sizes of different foods from that country. And I’m not talking about a salad here or a piece of fruit there. We are talking about great food!
And while we are at it, let’s not forget that Wine is in the name of the festival. Each booth has a wine or some form of adult beverage that you can try. Usually, there is more than one choice. There is also, usually, a non-alcoholic drink available.
The sad thing is that there is no way to eat everything at the festival in one go around. I’m not even sure that you could do it in two visits. There are so many options, that it just doesn’t seem possible to eat everything unless you make several visits. Since that is the case, there is some planning that you may want to do before you get to the festival, or right when you arrive. (Or you could be like me and wander around until something strikes your fancy and you go for it.)
The festival has actually grown so much that it spreads out beyond the World Showcase! It is beginning to creep into Future World. Believe me when I say that no one is complaining about that!
There are a couple of things to be aware of when going to the festival. You might say a few “Heads Up” about the festival.
The first is the expense. None of the food is free. Everything is usually below $10 (except for some of the drinks), and the expense can add up pretty fast. A lot of people set a budget, and then put the budgeted amount on a gift card to use at the festival. They even sell festival specific gift cards to help with that. It’s what I do, and it really does help you control spending. I also just plan to eat from the booths, so no need for a dinner reservation. I would be too full to eat a full meal anyway.
Another thing to be aware of is that it can get really crowded at the festival. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights. The festival is very popular with the locals, and they do show up in the evenings. Some of the lines can get pretty long. Just be aware and set your expectations accordingly.
The other thing to be aware of is that some people come to the festival to “Drink Around The World”. That is something that happens at EPCOT on a regular day, but there seems to be a lot more of it during the festival (for obvious reasons). People can get pretty loud and obnoxious. It’s not to say that you should avoid going with your family, just be prepared for questions that may arrive. (“What does f@#& mean?”) If that is going to be a problem, then maybe just plan to leave a little earlier in the day. You can always come back for the night time spectacular.
The other thing to think about is what kind of eaters do you have in your family. Or what kind of eater are you? Are you adventurous? Do you like new and different flavors? There are things that picky eaters can eat. However, there are a lot more things that are different and may have different ingredients and flavors. I personally love that! I love trying new stuff, and occasionally taking a risk. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t, but I love that! To like the Food And Wine Festival you don’t have to be that way, but it helps. And you might surprise yourself.
If you want more information about the Food And Wine Festival, a great website to go to is DisneyFoodBlog.com. They have all the menus and a ton of great images!
Have you been to the EPCOT Food And Wine Festival? What was your favorite thing? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. I would love to talk to you about it!
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