Are you attending the Walt Disney World Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the first time? Or do you just need a better strategy of making your way around the Epcot World Showcase countries? Maybe you just need a better Disney food and wine budget or tips on visiting the Epcot food and wine festival with kids. We cover it all in this Epcot Food and Wine Festival for Beginners Guide. So what can you expect if you’re visiting Walt Disney World during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival as a Beginner?
Make A Plan
As a beginner, it’s important to get a lay of the Epcot land. World Showcase countries each have an outdoor kitchen. There’s a scavenger hunt game to play and shows to see. Once you get a handle on the below tips, head over to our Food and Wine Festival Guide to learn more about each country, budgeting strategies, and hacks to improve your visit.
If this is your first Food and Wine Festival or need more strategy than you had last time read up on everything to expect. One of our most important tips for tackling this festival is to try and avoid Saturdays and Sundays, if at all possible. The crowds get three times as heavy on evenings and weekends during the festival as it does during the week. Be sure to grab a food and wine passport at the port shops right before you enter the world showcase.
When is Disney’s Food and Wine Festival in 2021?
The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival runs July 15 – November 20, 2021.
Try All The Foods
Be sure to read up on our Favorite Food and Wine Festival Foods and check the menus below. Disney releases the menus with food, drink, vegetarian, gluten-free, and kid-friendly items for each country each summer ahead of the festival. If you’re anything like us you want to start thinking about the food early and have something to look forward to. Be sure to check out the Food and Wine Festival Menus for a full list of what you can find in each country of the World Showcase.
Bring The Kids
While Epcot may not be known as the best park for kids, it’s quickly becoming just as fun as Magic Kingdom. With rides galore popping up in Future World, and World Showcase you can be sure to find something perfect for the kids. Check out the fun and free Disney Games to play, the Ducktales Showcase Adventure, and more if you’re bringing kids to Food and Wine.
Play Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Game
This is by far one of our favorite things to do at Food and Wine. We approach this scavenger hunt game like it’s a job and usually need a whole day of Epcot before finding every Remy hiding in the countries. While most of them are pretty easy, others are downright hard to find! It’s the perfect game to help you pause and enjoy your food in each country while searching around for Remy.
Visit the Food and Wine Festival Center
The festival center during Food Wine changes locations every once in a while. Lately, it has been in a large building called World Showplace that sits between the UK and Canada. But you can be sure to find the same things there, no matter where they put it. You’ll want to visit the Festival Center when you 1. Need a Break 2. Need Air Conditioning 3. Want to see all the special merchandise and 4. Want to sit in on a special cooking class. This place was a mystery to us at first, but we’re so glad we know to pop in here every time. They even sometimes have special art exhibits in honor of the festival perfect for browsing during your downtime.
Enjoy the Entertainment
Epcot brings in bands, entertainment, and fun throughout the festival. If you’re lucky enough to experience the Eat to the Beats Concert Series ( previously paused due to the pandemic), you’ll get to see bands from the olden days. Mind you, those bands usually have huge cult followings! It’s pretty common to see lines starting 3-4 hours ahead of time near the American Adventure pavilion, near the amphitheater. Keep an eye on the schedule if there is a band you hope to see. No separate tickets are needed for these events but plan on a line if they’re popular.
JAMMin’ Chefs (Canada Mill Stage)
This funky drumming crew breaks it down as they drum up fun in the kitchen using pots, pans, and other unlikely instruments.
Mariachi Cobre (America Gardens Theatre)
Enjoy an exuberant performance of world-famous, traditional folk music.
Voices of Liberty (America Gardens Theatre)
Get swept away by inspiring vocal performances celebrating America’s spirit and beauty.
America Gardens Bandstand
The 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival opens with America Gardens Bandstand presented by Florida Blue Medicare, a live music concert series presented Friday through Monday evenings. Local bands from across Central Florida take to the America Gardens Theatre stage, playing popular songs of yesterday and today. Check back later for more details.
Take a Break on The Boardwalk
The food and wine festival gets crazy. Even if you’ve done your best to plan it out, and go on the best day to avoid the crowds, one of our favorite things to do while at the food and wine festival is to take a break on the Disney Boardwalk. If you’ve never been to the Boardwalk, check out our favorite things to do. It’s your best bet to escape the crazy and it’s just a short walk through the International Gateway at the back of Epcot between France and the U.K.
Ride the Epcot Rides
If there is any time to do the rides at Epcot, it’s during the Food and Wine Festival. Ride wait times are decidedly lower during this festival mainly because families stay away and everyone else is usually busy eating. You can bet on rides in the World Showcase, like Frozen Ever After and the Three Caballeros Boat Ride, being slightly less crowded and rides in Future World to have lower crowds.
Stay for a Show
Epcot has a nighttime digital show on the lake. Harmonious is the newest show at EPCOT for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World celebration. You can also aim to watch the fountain show as well on your way out if you decide to leave early.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival for Beginners
Whatever your fancy, hopefully, these tips help you have a great experience at Food and Wine. Let us know what you love at the festival!