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.
Raise your wine glasses! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is coming. Foodies unite! This year’s festival kicks off on August 30th and will run through November 12, 2018. 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 New Brunswick Slider (Hops & Barley, American Pavilion), Butternut Squash Ravioli (Wine & Dine Studio, walkway from Imagination Pavilion to World Showcase), and Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak (Flavors From Fire, Future World behind Club Cool). They’re doing some interesting things with these dishes and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
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:
- The NEW Taste Track global marketplace featuring specialty croissant doughnuts (add gelato for an extra-sweet treat) joins dozens of popular returning marketplaces. For a fourth year, global marketplaces will extend into Future World to offer brand-new taste sensations. Disney chefs are in the kitchen whipping up delicious new bites like Butternut Squash Ravioli with brown butter vinaigrette, Parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds at The Wine & Dine Studio; Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak with smoked corn cake, pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aïoli at Flavors from Fire; and New Brunswick Slider, slow-braised beef brisket “pot roast-style” on a potato roll with horseradish cream, crispy fried onions and pickled vegetables on the side at the Hops & Barley
- The NEW “Sunday Brunch with the Chef” series in World ShowPlace will kick off Sept. 2 with Top Chef All-Star Richard Blais and continue on select Sundays through Nov. 11 with a lineup that includes Jamie Deen, Tiffani Thiessen, Masaharu Morimoto, Buddy Valastro, Art Smith, Geoffrey Zakarian, Carla Hall and Alex Guarnaschelli.
- Eat to the Beat concerts – 225 shows in all – will rev up the America Gardens Theatre stage three times each night with new musical acts including Vertical Horizon, Sheila E, 98 Degrees, MercyMe and Glass Tiger, along with returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres from rock and pop to rhythm and blues.
- The grandest of the festival’s don’t-miss tasting events, Party for the Senses at World ShowPlace, will welcome acclaimed chefs and vintners Sept. 22, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and Nov. 10 to showcase creative bites and palate-pleasing sips with sensational live entertainment.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops Wednesdays and Thursdays will offer new opportunities for guests to interact with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros. Event hosts and topics will be announced this summer.
- Popular TV chefs and other culinary icons will entertain guests and inspire their palates at festival seminars and other events. Just a few of the big names on tap are Robert Irvine, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
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.