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?
When is Disney’s Food and Wine Festival in 2023?
The Walt Disney World EPCOT Food and Wine Festival runs from July 27 – November 18, 2023.
Food and Wine Festival Planning
As a beginner, it’s important to get a lay of the Epcot land. World Showcase countries each have an outdoor kitchen. And other areas of the park-like World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature all have booths too. 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 needs 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. Let’s dive into the things do at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Checklist
- 25+ signature Global Marketplace Kitchens. Check out the Disney Food and Wine Menus before you go!
- Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge
- Joffrey’s Speciality Festival Coffees
- Food and Wine Festival Florida Blue Lounge
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt
- American Gardens Eat to the Beat Concert Series
- Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit Scavenger Hunt
- Entertainment: Mariachi Cobre, the JAMMitors, and more throughout the day.
- 1 Global Marketplace Kitchens
- 2 Play the Remy Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Game
- 3 Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursiut Scavenger Hunt *NEW*
- 4 Take the Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge
- 5 Eat to the Beat Concert Series
- 6 Take a Break on The Disney Boardwalk
- 7 Ride the Epcot Rides
- 8 Stay for the EPCOT Nighttime Spectacular
Global Marketplace Kitchens
Offering up 25+ outdoor kitchens, and serving fresh foods throughout the festival, this is the reason people show up! Be sure to read up on our Favorite Food and Wine Festival Foods and check the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival menus list ahead of time. Disney releases the menus with food, drink, vegetarian, gluten-free, and kid-friendly items for each country in early July 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 and throughout the park.
Play the Remy Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Game
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 and kid-friendly foods, 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.
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.
Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursiut Scavenger Hunt *NEW*
New for 2023, as part of the Food and Wine festivities you can celebrate Halloween at EPCOT with Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit Scavenger Hunt. Partake in this game from September 29- October 31.
Take the Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge
One of the things you’ll find on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus are all the locations and dishes for the Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge. Purchase any 5 cheese dishes from select Global Marketplaces listed in the Festival Passport and collect a stamp for each purchased dish. Once you’ve collected all 5 stamps, you’ll earn a special treat as a prize. Check out the menu link above to see this year’s Emile’s Fromage Montage Locations and Foods.
Eat to the Beat Concert Series
Epcot brings in bands, entertainment, and fun throughout the festival. If you’re lucky enough to experience the Eat to the Beats Concert Series 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. Check out this year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series Performers. In addition to the concert series, you can also catch live performances throughout the day, featuring the JAMMin’ Chefs, Mariachi Cobre, Voices of Liberty, and more.
Take a Break on The Disney Boardwalk
The food and wine festival gets crazy. Even if you’ve done your best to plan it out! As a result, if we see crowds are high one of our favorite things to do is to take a break on the Disney Boardwalk. This is a hidden gem located just outside the back gates of EPCOT park and it’s FREE to visit and explore. 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. Plus, it’s filled with shops, resorts, restaurants, and beaches for a low-stress break.
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 Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros Boat Ride being slightly less crowded. And rides at the front of the park such as Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth usually have low wait times as well!
Stay for the EPCOT Nighttime Spectacular
Epcot has a nighttime digital show on the lake. Featuring lights, sounds, and familiar Disney faces, this Disney show on the water takes place just before the park closes.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Whatever your fancy, hopefully, these tips help you have a great experience at Food and Wine. From places to take a break, foods to try, and entertainment to enjoy, you’ll have plenty to fill one day at EPCOT, if not two!!!
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.