Have you ever been to Epcot and decided you wanted to snack around the world? The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is one of the best ways to eat around the world without ever leaving Central Florida!
Each year, foodies of all ages, tourists, and locals descend on Epcot and eat and drink their way through this food and wine Festival.
If you thought you’d done everything at Walt Disney World, I invite you to stretch your tastebuds by attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year!
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What is Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival began in 1996 as a 30 days food and wine festival to get guests to visit Epcot. Since then, this culinary event has extended longer each year. In 2022, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival will last from July 14th – November 19th. There is plenty of time for your family to go to the festival booths and grab delicious eats.
Disney Reservation Pass
New, as of 2020, the Disney Reservation Pass is the only way to guarantee you will have a spot in the Park. You will not only need to purchase Epcot admission tickets, but you will also need to reserve a spot in the Park on the day that you want to attend. The Disney Reservation Pass was not required in previous years, so ensure you can get into the Park during this popular time!
Epcot Food and Wine Dates
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival happens every year from the end of the Summer through the Fall, right before the holiday season. Each year the Festival gets a little bit longer and introduces new sweet treats and delicious food. If you haven’t planned a vacation at Walt Disney World yet, check out this complete Walt Disney World Resort for Beginners guide.
The Festival began in 1996 to get locals and tourists to visit Epcot during a slow season for the parks. Even though Walt Disney World still has a few quiet periods, I do not see how the Epcot International Food Wine Festival is not one of the busiest times for Epcot!
Epcot Hours Food and Wine
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival does not officially open until 11 am, when World Showcase opens, but some spots like the Festival Center open earlier. It’s best to get to Epcot as soon as possible the day you want to go to the Food and Wine Festival so you can ride a few before pigging out!
Tickets for Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is not a ticketed event like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas.
You need to purchase your regular one-day or multi-day tickets, and you are in for the Festival! Please make sure you also book your Park’s reservation pass, so you are not left with an admission ticket but no festival to attend!
Since the International Food and Wine Festival is not a ticketed event, you will need to buy each food item individually. That can quickly add up.
Most food prices cost between $4-$9, and beverages (including alcohol) vary from $3-11.
You can purchase some other premium events and seminars while at Epcot or schedule ahead of time. We did some great Seminars on a Disney Cruise, and I’m sure Epcot is just as great!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Center
The International Food and Wine Festival Center is the perfect place to start your day.
At the Festival Center will get your Passport, sign up for any seminars that are still open, and find some of the best merchandise years after year.
Eat to the Beat – Epcot Food and Wine Concert Series
For the past few years, I’ve wanted to go to the Food and Wine Festival, and I finally convinced my family because Boyz II Men was playing. Seriously!
One of the most entertaining parts of the International Food and Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series by Florida Blue Medicare at the America Gardens Theatre Stage.
Your local bands and some of your favorite 90s and 2000 bands come out of retirement, and you can catch a free concert.
You can even see some internationally recognized artists.
If you do not want to sit and watch the concert in the American Gardens Theatre, you can always hang around that area and catch a song or two from the bands.
Are the rides open during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival?
Even though the Festival is going on and all the food areas will be busy, the rides are still open! During the International Food and Wine Festival, you can catch some of the shortest lines ever seen in Epcot!
As long as you are ok with big crowds but low wait times for rides, you will have a great time riding as many rides as possible during the Epcot Food Wine Festival. We had so much fun running through the empty rides at night.
The only ride that had a long wait was, of course, Frozen After Ever.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips
There are so many tips and tricks circulating on the internet already. The Tips below are the ones I used while making my way through the Festival. Even with tips, your family is having fun and trying all the new foods!
1. Download the My Disney Experience App
Yes – download the My Disney Experience App before getting to the theme park. Using the App ensures that you have access to any reservations and check times for any rides you may want to go on.
2. Budget Accordingly by buying Discounted Gift Cards
Buying discounted gift cards can stretch your budget. I recently saved 13% on my Disney Cruise and Disney Vacation. It is super easy to combine your gift cards and stick to that budget for all snacks and drinks.
3. Dress up with your krewe and have fun
4. Check For Free Seminars Before Your Visit
Yes! There are free seminars for the Disney Food and Wine Festival! Shocking right? During these seminars, you can learn about specific cooking techniques or other fun culinary demonstrations to bring home to your kitchen.
5. Sign up for special events ahead of time online
Even though you do not need to sign up for special events for your first (or even second!) time at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, make sure you sign up if you want to pay extra for these special events ahead of time online.
Special events include meeting celebrity chefs, culinary demonstrations, cheese seminars, and beverage seminars!
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6. Avoid the Crowds & Weekends
Easier said than done, but the Epcot Food and Wine Festival was created to bring crowds to the parks during a slow time. If you can, avoid Epcot on the Weekends because that is when locals and other tourists come in droves.
5. Get a Festival Passport
Make sure you grab a 2022 Epcot International Food and Wine festival passport on the first day of the Festival! This stamped festival passport will help you decide which menu items you want to try.
You can keep track of which food booths and dishes you tried while exploring the Global Marketplaces for the season. The Passport makes a great keepsake to remember this year’s festival foods!
6. Try to Visit over a Couple of Half Days
Spending all day eating can cause a stomach ache! Instead, try to visit the Food and Wine Festival over a couple of half days.
You can get to Epcot early and beat the lines or spend the morning at another park and eat your dinner by hopping from booth to booth.
7. Run the Half Marathon
I haven’t personally participated in any Disney Run events, but I have run a couple of half marathons and one marathon in my time. The best way to beat the crowd, and burn a ton of calories, is to run the 2022 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Half Marathon.
8. Check out Emile’s Fromage Montage
Use your Passport as a guide to purchasing five delicious cheese dishes from select Global Marketplaces that qualify for Emile’s Fromage Montage.
Once you collect and eat all five cheese dishes and stamps, bring your Festival Passport to the Shimmering Sips Marketplace for a specialty prize!
9. Sunday Brunch with the Chef
If you are already a pro at Epcot Food and Wine festival, book yourself a specialty brunch with the Chef! Start your Festival with a sparkling wine toast and learn culinary skills from Top Chefs.
10. Party for the Senses
Are you looking for premium events? On select Saturdays, Party for the Sense is one of the best treats you can attend at the Food Wine Festival. You can sample delicious food from over 20 tasting stations during the party.
11. Annual Passholders: Get Your Goods!
Annual pass holders get a special gift! If you are a pass holder, do not forget to pick up your gift!
12. Don’t Limit Yourself to World Showcase
There are so many restaurants to try during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival that you do not want to limit yourself to the World Showcase. Make sure to branch out and try all the booths throughout the theme park.
13. Stay Cool and Hydrate
Probably easier said than done, but make sure you drink plenty of water! It is scorching in Orlando – even at the end of the Festival in November, the weather is so hot.
Pro Tip: You can bring your water bottles into the Park. Make sure to freeze a few bottles, which will melt throughout the day.
14. Grabs Spots in the Shade
One of the best tactics was finding shade throughout the Park. We would generally leave mom in the shade, and then sis and I would figure out what we wanted to eat. We would then be the runners to and from the different booths to grab the snacks and drinks.
15. Drink Everything Frozen
Frozen drinks are for people who drink alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages! When sweltering outside, it is much easier to drink a frozen mojito than delicious red wine. While making the rounds, I drank plenty of frozen drinks.
16. Wine and Beer Pours Give You the Most Booze
But, if you want to get a buzz at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, wine and beer give you the booziest bang for your buck.
17. Go with a Group to Maximize the Adventure and Bites
As long as your group of friends is small and is willing to share snacks, this is a great way to try a whole bunch of different foods. My group consisted of me, mom, and sis, and we split everything into thirds (except for a few key bites we bought for ourselves).
18. Make a Plan – Pick Out Some “Can’t-Miss” Items Before You Visit
Speaking of Key bites, there are some Can’t-Miss items at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival each year, plan and make sure you map out when you will eat these items.
19. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Something Made Fresh
The beauty of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is that the food is made fresh, and the lines go super quickly. You might get a bite hanging around under the heat lamps now and then.
Ask the staff member to make you a fresh bite! That way, you know you aren’t eating something that’s been sitting for 10 minutes.
20. Use Those Snack Credits – if you have Them
Many people take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan Programs – fantastic! But did you know that you can use snack credits at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
Don’t let any free food go to waste – especially when you plan on eating around the world.
21. Keep your Eyes Open for Instagrammable Moments
I love Instagrammable moments in New Orleans that I search for wherever I go! There are so many Instagrammable moments when it comes to Walt Disney World Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
From the super cute Disney walls to the delicious and creative eats, make sure you snap photos to keep your memories lasting.
22. Go to the Eat to the Beat concerts
Did you know that one of the main reasons I went to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival was to see Boyz II Men? Yup, that’s right!
Almost every night, some of your favorite bands and performers make their way to Orlando to perform in Free Concerts – three times in one night!
Make sure to plan to go to the first concert, because the line for the second and third concerts can get mighty lengthy. Also – once you are in, you can send one or two people from your group to grab food and drinks to enjoy while you wait for the concert.
23. Eat to the Beat Dining Package
Check out the Eat to the Beat Dining Package if there is a band that you have to see – or you want to have a great meal while listening to some fun tunes. The participating restaurants include Coral Reef Restaurant, Garden Grill Restaurant, Le Cellier Steakhouse, Regal Eagle Smokehouse, and Spice Road Table.
24. Be Adventurous & Try New Foods
Trying new foods was one of our favorite things at the 2022 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. You can try exotic (to you!) foods, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg. I tried Escargot (well, wrapped in a croissant) in France, and I liked it! Who would have thought I would have enjoyed one of the world’s best-loved food!
25. Check For Free Seminars Before Your Visit
Yes! There are free seminars for the Walt Disney World Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Shocking right? During these seminars, you can learn about specific cooking techniques or other fun culinary experiences to bring home to your kitchen.
26. Don’t Forget Dessert
After running around the Park eating delicious savory meals all day long, don’t forget that there are plenty of desserts to try!
27. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
Even though this is technically a kid’s activity, I do not see why adults could not participate in Remy’s Ratatouille hid and squeak scavenger hunt! You can purchase the map and stickers from select locations while participating in this activity!
28. Book with a Trusted Disney Travel Professional
If booking your own trip to Walt Disney World to visit the Epcot Food and Wine Festival sounds overwhelming, call the Travel Professionals at Sunset Chasers to help plan, book, and organize your entire vacation.
That way you just have to show up and plan to eat!
Best Snacks at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Plenty of blogs will go booth by the booth and describe everything you can get at the Festival. I found that super overwhelming.
Instead, I’m just going to tell you my favorite eats (and their prices) that I had while visiting and what you can expect for the 2022 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
You will see that unless you are splitting dishes, the prices will add up pretty quickly!
1. Flavors from Fire – Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak $7
One of the first items we had as we entered the Festival was the Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak from the Flavors from Fire Booth.
You can tell from this list that I love red meat, and the skirt steak did not disappoint! For $7, this dish is a little on the expensive side.
2. Active Eats – Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese $5.25
A self-made connoisseur of Mac’ n Cheese, I enjoyed the loaded Mac’ n’ Cheese from Active Eats.
This Mac and Cheese comes with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar, and Leeks and is a significant portion for $5.25.
The Mac ‘n’ Cheese was one of the dishes I wish I didn’t’ have to share with the family!
3. Refreshment Port – Beef Brisket Poutine $8.99
Coming in at a whopping $9, the Beef Brisket Poutine is pricey, but you are getting a lot of bang for your buck!
Any of the Poutines will make you happy (I mean, who isn’t delighted when eating Poutine?), but make sure to split – this snack can quickly fill you up, and you have barely entered into the World Showcase!
If you didn’t know, Poutine is delicious crispy french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
4. Spain – Charcuterie in a cone $6.50
I know what you are thinking – why would you want to eat Charcuterie when you can get that anywhere?
Well, this snack, along with some wine, is what I brought to the Eat to the Beat concert series while we waited for Boyz II Men to start!
It is easiest to bring in and snack on while you wait.
5. France – Croissant Au Escargots $5.75
I am surprised that this made my list and that I ate it, but Escargot is not bad!
Especially when it is wrapped up in a buttery, delicious croissant.
This dish was my sister’s choice, and even though I protested, I loved it! Escargot for less than $6? I’m all in.
6. Canada – Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon $8.25
Last but not least is the Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon!
A small piece of meat for a little over $8 doesn’t’ seem like that great of a buy until you eat it!
This buttery Filet melted in my mouth. I was shocked to eat something so good at a festival packed with people.
Pro tip: You probably don’t want to share this with your friends because it is that good! If you see a ton of filets waiting for customers to buy, ask for the Filet to be medium or medium-rare – the cast will cook it to your order!
Drinking Around the World Epcot
Drinking around the world is no foreign concept to Epcot, but Drinking around the world during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is for the pros!
There are so many options, from Beers to Wines to mixed drinks – it’s hard to make an educated decision!
The rule of thumb is you will get the most bang for your buck for the wine and beers around the Theme Park, but unless you are super into wine or craft beer, it all ends up tasting the same.
I like trying different cocktails throughout the Park.
Most of the time, we split the cocktails three ways, except for the few cocktails listed below.
1. Festival Center – Mimosa Bar and Craft Beers
We had to start the day with a mimosa Bar and American Craft beer when we got our passports at the Festival Center.
My favorite way to try any alcoholic beverage is with a flight. They might be expensive, but you get to try three drinks instead of just one!
2. Mexico – Ay Caramba very similar to Smokey Margarita $11.25
The Ay Caramba margarita was a hit – but it is no longer on the menu, but the margarita is very similar to the Smokey Margarita.
No matter what, this pricey margarita is pretty boozy. And will get you ready to ride on the Gran Fiesta Ride to cool off in the Air Conditioning.
3. Island of the Caribbean – Frozen Mojito $10.50
The Frozen Mojito was the perfect drink to cool us down before tackling the World Showcase.
I’m not sure if it is very strong, but it was refreshing. Grab a Mojito and a spot in the shade, and you will feel like you are on vacation from your Walt Disney World Vacation!
Don’t forget Desserts
It’s easy to forget to eat dessert when you’ve been eating and drinking all day (let’s be honest…I did!) but if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to save some room to try a dessert or two during your time at the Festival.
1. Flavors from the Fire – Chocolate Picante $4
Funny story – I told you you needed dessert, but I kept forgetting to get dessert.
Luckily, I got dessert from the first booth I stopped at, Flavors from the Fire, and it was, well, Fire!
The Chocolate Picante was the perfect size and price for what a festival surrounded by food should be. Do Not skip out on this delicious dessert, or you will be sad!
2. Ireland – Guinness Baileys Shake $11
So this Shake could fall under the boozy drinks category, but I broke my rule and forgot to taste many of the desserts.
The Guinness Baileys Shake is excellent, except it was a little hard to drink such a heavy, milky drink in the hot sun.
That being said, I do not regret any of my choices. At $11 each, we got two shakes to split among the three of us.
3. Japan – Kaki Gori
Ok, ok, ok, this one isn’t technically a part of The Epcot Food and Wine festival, but I loved it so much!
As a New Orleans native, I know something about Snowballs. The Kaki Gori treat is very close to a snowball.
With delicious flavors, condensed milk, and ice, there is nothing I wanted more than to finish out my day at the Food and Wine Festival.
Have fun at the Festival
If you decide to go to the 2022 Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year (or in the future), I hope you have fun! Make sure you go with a plan, but also know that you can throw that plan out of the window often!
Please let me know in the comments below if you have any favorite tips and tricks for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
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