It’s a foodie’s paradise! In the DVC Duo house, the kick-off of Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is our favorite time of year. Is there really anything better than fall in the Disney World parks? Well, maybe Christmas, but fall is definitely a close second for us. Whether it’s throwing on a costume to party with Mickey or enjoying great food and beverage around Epcot’s World Showcase, fall is a fantastic time of year. We better bring our appetites it’s time feast our way around the world at this years Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.
When Is The Festival?
The fall, or at least fall at Walt Disney World. When the kids start packing up their books and pencils to head back to school is when Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival begins. August 29, 2019, marks the start of this year’s festival which runs through November 23, 2019. Festivities are spread throughout Epcot with the majority of the booths located around the World Showcase. Keep an eye out for the Disney PhotoPass photographers, as they’ve been known to have a special magic shot for the event.
The name says it all, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Designed around small bites the festival is a fantastic way to try different food and beverage options. With over 30 food booths to sip, taste, and enjoy, the festival offers up flavors from all over with options for any palette. Over the years a couple of the tried and true DVC Duo favorites are Mexico, Hawai’i, Morocco, and Japan. Brand new this year is the Appleseed Orchard booth that celebrates autumn. For a full list of the booth options check out the following link.
For each of the booths, the Disney culinary wizards are crafting unique and fan favorites dishes. The festival is a great way to get a taste of a couple of Disney’s famous dishes like the cheddar cheese soup from Le Cellier in Canada or the bratwurst in Germany.
Passholder Insights: A great way to enjoy the festival while being cost-conscious is to purchase a Disney Gift Card and load money to it.
You have to wash all that great food down! This is Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, so wine is a big part of the event. But it’s so much more. All the booths offer a local variation of either wine, beer, cider, or mixed drink, or any combination of them. One of our go-to moves is to go with the flights when offered. We’ve found it’s a great way to try all the different options, especially when we’re torn. Making decisions on vacation is never easy!
Passholder Insights: Friday nights and weekends tend to be the busiest times at the festival. We like to enjoy everything midweek when possible.
We’re Here To…
Learn! Well, to enjoy great food and drink while learning. Sounds like our type of classroom. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a celebration food and beverage and it’s filled with seminars. From seminars where you sit back and enjoy, to ones where you slap on the gloves to get hands-on, and even the ability to meet a famous chef. The list of offerings falls into the following categories:
- Food & Beverage Pairings
- Beverage Seminars
- Cheese Seminars
- Culinary Demonstrations
- Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It – Mixology to Cake Decorating
- Sunday Brunch with the Chef
Within each of the categories are tons of options to choose from. Each one comes at an additional cost to cover the food and/or beverage you’ll enjoy as part of the seminar. Please note the Sunday Brunch is a full meal with the Chef preparing it in front of you.
Passholder Insights: On Monday Nights during the festival, ESPN puts on a tailgate prior to the game. It’s a good value at $19 per person and includes 3 food samples and beverages.
Can you call it a good meal if music not involved? Awkward silence. We agree music is a must, and Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festivals does as well. Similar to the Garden Rocks series during the Flower and Garden festivals, Eat to the Beat is a nightly concert series during the event. Seating is first come first served if you’re not doing the dining package. The standby line for the American Gardens Theater is directly across from the future location of the Regal Eagle Smokehouse.
Every day of the festival you’ll find musical 30-minute performance at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm (Sunday through Thursday) and 6:30 pm, 7:45 pm, and 9:00 pm (Friday and Saturday), from an impressive list of famous musicians. The full list of performers can be found here. Days and times of performers can change from time to time, we recommend checking the My Disney Experience App when heading to the park.
Passholder Insights: The more popular artist do fill up quickly and if you want to reserve a seat we recommend going with the Eat to the Beat Dining Package.
Eat To The Beat – Dining Package
There can only be one way to reserve a seat for specific Eat to the Beat and that’s with a dining package. All of the performances on all the dates offer a dining package that includes a three-course meal or full buffet, a non- alcoholic beverage, along with your reserved seat for one of the performances.
The dining package is offered at 14 different sitdown locations around Epcot. You’ll have the option to choose from breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For reservations, you’ll want to contact Walt Disney World Dining.
Passholder Insights: Breakfast at Garden Grill is a great option as the price is very similar to a regular meal while adding in the Eat to Beat Concert Series. Mickey and music, you can’t go wrong!
Ultimate Foodie Experience
Party for the Senses at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a foodies dream. On 5 select Saturday nights during the festival, 20 different Disney and famous chefs showcase their culinary prowess. From the moment you step inside your surround with aromas and sounds, as chefs create food that pairs oh so perfectly with the wine, all while opening up your palate to new flavors and textures.
The fun doesn’t end with the food and drink. During the 3-hour event, the electric artists’ knowns as Femmes of Rock perform unique arrangement that will have you marveling in their skill. Tickets for the event range from $229 to $359 per person plus tax and gratuity depending on which level of sitting works best for you, either the Wine View Lounge or Reserved Seating.
Passholder Insights: The Wine View Lounge tickets include an extra 30 minutes at the event, along with a welcome briefing from one of the chefs followed by a picture. And so much more.
Kids Like Food Too
It’s fun for the whole family! One of our favorite aspects of the Epcot festivals are scavenger hunts, and Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival has the best with its star Remy. Spread throughout Epcot’s World Showcase of sculptures of Remy, just waiting for you to find him. Find all of them and you’ll get a surprise from the chef. You can pick up your maps at Pin Central, Port of Entry and World Traveler at International Gateway.
After searching long and hard for Remy, it’s time for a sweet treat! Over in the Land Pavilion near Sunshine Seasons, Kids can partake in creating their very own candy sushi. Every day at 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm the little ones (and little ones at heart) can learn how to roll some tasty treats. It’s a great way to beat the afternoon shower during the festival. Cost is $10 per person.
Passholder Insights: Soon Remy will have his very own attraction in the France pavilion as part of the overall update for Epcot.
Wait, I thought the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was only at Epcot? Technical it is. However, on the weekend of October 31 to November 3, runDisney takes over with the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. What makes the event so great is the post-race party. As part of the race runners and guest of runners (additional cost) can enjoy an after-hours celebration in Epcot and have an opportunity to enjoy all the food and beverage booths. Now that’s worth running for!
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a fantastic event for any that enjoys trying new food and beverages. The hardest part to figure out is which tasty treat to try first!