Planning a trip to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival this year? Here are a few top Tips For Visiting The Epcot Food And Wine Festival at Walt Disney World.
Who is ready for a culinary cabaret of delicious food and wine? It’s time to raise your wine glasses! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is coming. Foodies unite! This year’s festival kicks off on August 29th and will run through November 23, 2019. This year, the celebrated summer-into-fall festival at Walt Disney World Resort will add a dozen extra days, expanding the foodie celebration to a delicious 87 days.
The aromas and flavors of more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces, plus a full menu of new offerings will entice food and wine lovers.Some new offerings this year include the Appleseed Orchard Marketplace, where guests can pair apple-inspired beers, ciders and cocktails like the Apple Blossom Sky while nibbling on Charcuterie and Cheese. Brews, ciders and wines will be offered individually or as flights, and kids of all ages can enjoy a deliciously sweet Frozen Apple Pie drink.
More sweet and savory treats will debut at The Alps Marketplace, a tasty new spot where guests can conjure a snow-capped setting while dipping into a dish of Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons and Baguette, or Venison Stew with Crushed Potatoes paired with refreshing Frozen Rosé.
Guests can also enjoy special tastings and pairings, plus premium dining events featuring chef personalities such as Maneet Chauhan, Rick Bayless, Rock Harper and Florida darling Art Smith. Reservations for special programming and premium festival events can be made by calling (407) WDW-FEST.
It’s always good to have a plan when visiting any food festival, especially this one. So grab a map, and follow these other useful tips for a successful day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Bring a tray
Everyone says to bring a tray. It’s probably the number one piece of advice for how to do the Food and Wine Festival. This is actually really sound advice. If you are getting more than two items at one of the food kiosks, especially if you’ve ordered a drink, you need a small tray. Put it in your backpack. You will use it.
Make Use of the Festival Center
The Festival Center is the heart of the festival. It’s a wide open indoor venue in Future World where seminars and formal discussions take place. There is food, and merchandise, and AC. I highly recommend at least stopping by. If you can, take advantage of one of the many classes, or demonstrations.
Plot your map
Maximize your time and your value by finding the marketplaces that interest you most on the guide map. Circle the places you want to go and group them into clusters you can fit into your day as scheduled stops.
Table service tips
As you mull over options, consider your budget and how many of these marketplaces are feasible. You might skip the restaurants and just eat small plates all day; But if you have reservations for a table service meal, see if they have anything special happening for the Festival.
Divide and conquer
Do what you can to reduce the number of lines you wait in. Waiting in line can really eat up time while you should be eating up food. Split up your party whenever possible, so everyone gets what they want from multiple locations in less time. And remember, use your tray.
Here’s more of what’s on tap for this year’s Epcot Food And Wine Festival:
- 30 Global Marketplaces, plus additional locations across the festival, will present fresh flavors at a variety of marketplaces such as Africa, featuring the new Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap with Kachumbari slaw. At the Earth Eats marketplace, guests can dig into the new plant-based Cottage Pie with carrots, mushrooms and peas topped with mashed cauliflower and white beans.
- The back-by-demand Sunday Brunch with the Chef series in World Showplace Events Pavilion will kick off Sept. 1 with Chef Jamie Deen and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 17. The chef lineup includes Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Richard Blais, Robert Irvine, David Burtka, Graham Elliot and Aarti Sequeira.
- Tailgate Tasting hosted by ESPN’s Monday Night Football will be available select Sundays Sept. 8-Nov. 17. The 45-minute program will pair gridiron grub with a beverage tasting inspired by the cities of pro teams playing each Monday night. Guests will also learn how to prepare the dishes for their next tailgate party.
- Three times nightly, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series – 249 concerts in all – will rev up fans at the America Gardens Theatre stage through Nov. 19 with the biggest musical menu of top talent in the festival’s history, including new acts Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Lauren Daigle (contemporary Christian), Kris Allen (pop, alt-rock), Sawyer Brown (country) and Boyce Avenue (rock, pop). Returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres include Plain White T’s, Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E. and Boyz II Men. Showtimes Sundays through Thursdays will be 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday shows are slated for 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.
- Eat to the Beat Dining Packages will let guests choose their favorite restaurant for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus guaranteed concert seating that evening.
- The grandest of the festival’s hot-ticket tasting events, Party for the Senses at World Showplace Events Pavilion, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 21, Oct. 5, 12 and Oct. 19 (All Disney Chef Night!). This event showcases creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment featuring Femmes of Rock, who wowed guests last year with their blistering solos and innovative arrangements. (Note: The Nov. 9 event is sold out.)
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops on select Mondays and Thursdays through Nov. 14 will offer new opportunities for guests to work side-by-side with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates on select dates at festival seminars and other events. Big names on tap include Bryan Voltaggio, Kenny Gilbert, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
- Book & Bottle Signings by some of the world’s top vintners and chefs will return on select dates this year, in addition to the popular The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, offering guests samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations (available through Nov. 16) and Beverage Seminars (available through Nov. 17) will offer learning and tasting sessions select days throughout the festival.
- And don’t forget about the exciting new merchandise to commemorate the festival, as Chef Minnie will join Chef Mickey this year to bring a “sprinkle” of fun. This new merchandise line depicts those true originals busily making cupcakes and other delectable desserts with ingredients that include rose-gold accents and a little sparkle. Chef Minnie will also bring her sense of style to a new cupcake headband and other festival apparel. Guests can also celebrate the festival with returning favorites including the Taste Your Way Around the World, Brews, Figment, and Remy collections.
Throughout the festival, park guests can pair wines, beers, and cocktails with savory and sweet dishes as they stroll the park and let their complimentary festival passports be their guide. Sip and enjoy, my friends. The Epcot Food And Wine Festival is a food lovers paradise.