Whether you’re a Food & Wine veteran back to sample this year’s offerings or a newbie wanting to know how to make the most of your time at the Festival you won’t want to miss our Quick Tips to help you get the most out of the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Do your research. The first time I did Food & Wine, I entered the World Showcase and felt totally overwhelmed with no idea of where to start. These days I research in advance and select the kiosks where there’s something I really want to sample. It saves you a lot of time searching on the day and means you can enjoy the dishes you really have an interest in. Check out Disney’s official rundown of the menu items you’ll find at this year’s food booths.
Don’t give it a miss because you have children in tow. With a bit of forward planning it can be just as much fun for little ones. Play together with the special FREE Food & Wine themed: Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt. You can also seek out kid-friendly dishes or let the kids chose a country or two that they’d like to sample cuisine from. For a full list of kid-friendly activities for this year’s festival check out this article.
Head to Food & Wine on a weekday. I know this isn’t always possible but if you are able to take your pick between doing Food & Wine on a weekday versus a weekend, always go with the weekday. Crowds tend to be a lot lighter earlier in the week and start to pick up by Thursday to accommodate local and weekend visitors. Also, avoid the nights with Extra Magic Hours. EMH’s usually mean longer lines and rowdier crowds determined to drink their way around the World.
Pick up your passport. Make your first port-of-call the Festival Welcome Center to pick up your 2018 Food & Wine Passport. Not only does it make a fantastic souvenir but it also serves as a great guide to all of the delicious things you can sample on the day. Its checklist format also allows you to keep track of the delectable dishes you’ve tasted.
Head in the opposite direction of the items listed in the passport. There are varying theories on whether Food and Wine visitors head clockwise or counterclockwise as they gorge their way around the World Showcase. My theory is that most people will follow the order of the booths listed in the passport. So do the opposite and I reckon you’ll find the crowds to be a bit more manageable. An alternative strategy would be to avoid starting at either end and instead head straight to the back of the World Showcase and work your way around from there!
Hit the booths early. The kiosks around the World Showcase will start to open up at 11:00am. I would pick the kiosk you’d like to start from and line up there at least 15 minutes before opening. Not only does getting there early give you a jumpstart on all of the goodies on offer but it frees you up to take a nice break when the temperatures start to swelter around lunchtime.
Buy a pre-loaded card or a sampler package. Budgeting for the Food & Wine Festival is easy with Festival Gift Cards that can be pre-loaded with funds that you can use to dine your way around the World Showcase. In 2018, these will come in two formats. The Wearable Mini Festival Gift Card can be activated for as little as $15 and can be reloaded as often as you like. It comes on a wristlet making it easy to access when you are ready to tuck into a tasty dish. The Festival Gift Card is a limited release Disney Card that truly celebrates the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and can be found at locations throughout the park including Festival Center. With a $250 activation fee, festival guests will receive a specially themed lanyard and medallion.
Use those snack credits. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan then familiarize yourself with the snack credit symbol and be prepared to use it to your advantage. I am always surprised at the amount of festival offerings available that fall under the snack credit option. Be careful not to overuse your credits though. Run through too many of your credits early enough in your stay and you’ll find yourself paying out-of-pocket for snack items before your time at Disney is through.
Stay hydrated. At Food and Wine, it’s easy to get lost in the moment when in reality you’ve maybe sampled a few more alcoholic beverages than you thought, have stood in kiosk lines for hours in the hot Florida sun and have had a big Starbucks or two to get things going in the morning. Bring some bottled water with you or always make it a priority to have a cold non-alcoholic beverage in hand so that you can stay hydrated. Otherwise, you’ll be feeling a bit worse for wear in no time.
27ake a timeout. There is too much of a good thing. When you feel the crowds, drinks, heat or food start to get to you, remember you are in the middle of a theme park! Take an hour out to enjoy an (air-conditioned) attraction or two.
Food & Wine just gets better and better each year. Make the most of this fantastic time at Epcot by following the Quick Tips above. Also, let us know if you’ve been to the Festival before and have some helpful tidbits that didn’t make our cut.
Thinking about a visit to Disney? There are still great rates available for this years Food & Wine Festival and packages are currently available to book through until the end of 2019. Click here or send an email for your FREE no obligation quote.
Why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you get the best discounts for your Disney World vacation package, assist with making dining, Fastpass and F00d & Wine Festival reservations and can even help you plan an itinerary filled with extra special touches. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE! Contact me at 1.800.801.4025 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and let’s get planning!
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