We could argue that Fall is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. With the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Halloween decorations, and the excitement of cooler weather we’re happy to venture to Orlando. Even in what is sometimes the rainy season between August and November each year. With 25+ food booths, the Eat to the Beat concert series, and more, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World is one of our favorite reasons to visit Disney World in the fall.
But tackling the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World is something of an art. Especially if you want to make the most of your visit! If you’re traveling to Epcot with kids beware of the adults that are stumbling around the world and possibly right into your stroller or elderly grandmother! These are our best tips for enjoying the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World.
- 1 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023
- 2 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Planning
- 3 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Budget
- 4 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus
- 5 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Entertainment
- 6 Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Game
- 7 Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge
- 9 Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursiut Scavenger Hunt *NEW*
- 10 Food and Wine Festival Tips
- 11 Food and Wine Festival Crowds
- 12 EPCOT World Showcase Activities
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023
What is the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival?
The Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Park takes place annually from mid-July- November. Offering up new foods and drinks to try at outdoor kitchens, guests also get to experience live music, a scavenger hunt game, a cheese challenge, and more. In years past, part of this festival also includes seminars and classes about cooking, pairings, and tastings. Check out everything that’s new at the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT.
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. So many weeks of food of fun! We absolutely LOVE this Festival as it’s one of our favorite things about visiting Walt Disney World in the fall months.
Do You Need a Separate Ticket for Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
NO. Isn’t that exciting? The prices of ALL Epcot Festivals are included with your ticket to the park. This is seriously one of our favorite parts of visiting EPCOT. Because no matter when you go, there’s always some kind of awesome foodie party going on! Make the most of your Epcot visit to Walt Disney World by planning it during one of the many festivals! Here’s a list of all the festivals at Epcot every year.
When is the Best Time to Go to the Food and Wine Festival?
The best days to visit the Food and Wine Festival are between Monday-Thursday. If you’re going for the “Best Days”… then pick Tuesday and Wednesday.
With the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World running for several months we’ll see the crowds spread out a bit, which is no doubt Disney’s goal. Both Annual Passholders and Florida Residents are regular weekenders to the festival because of the eclectic food choices and the wide array of alcohol on hand. This leaves those weekdays when families are vacationing at Disney a little less crowded. Mind you, the evenings at Epcot will always be crowded during this time period simply because there are bands and extended hours that still draw out the locals.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Planning
To get the most out of your trip you’ll want to do a little pre-planning. While you can definitely show up, get your foodie passport, and take to the countries without a plan, we like to be a little more intentional with our food choices! Not to mention daydreaming about all the options. A plan will also help out your wallet a bit. It is VERY EASY to drop hundreds of dollars on very small dishes of food that may not really fill you up. It’s even easier to drop hundreds if you’re drinking. Setting a Disney Budget and Planning for an EPCOT Festival Vacation is a must!
What Time do the Food and Wine Festival Booths Open?
Just like World Showcase, all outdoor kitchens open at 11 am. While you may find some openings a little earlier in the front of the park, we always recommend using those early morning hours at EPCOT to get in important rides, like Soarin’ and Test Track.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Passport
Just like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival you get a passport at the Festival Center and select retailers. The passport includes menus for each kiosk, drink lists, and stickers you can use to mark off each country that you’ve visited. We love the passport as part of this experience. It’s a perfect free souvenir and makes the journey through the country super fun. If you’re looking for Kid-Friendly foods at Epcot just look for the pear in the passport, or the letters KF ( kid-friendly). You’ll also find gluten-free and vegetarian markers throughout the passport as well to help you make good food choices.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Budget
There are actually tons of ways to pay for your food at the Food and Wine Festival. While the easiest, and potentially most budget-dangerous is paying with your MagicBand, there are other ways to pay that can help you track costs.
How Much Do the Foods at the Festival Cost?
The foods at the Food and Wine Festival generally cost between 4 and 11 dollars. Most of the foods are usually around that 6-dollar mark. For the most part, these are single-serve dishes. So at 5 dollars, you may think this is pricey. While we don’t disagree, we are also big on sharing. So often we’ll grab several dishes and then share them all. It’s a great way to experience more for less money. For Disney adults, you can plan to pay about 3-6 dollars for beers and wines can run 5-7 dollars. Other alcoholic drinks can go up to 20 depending on what you get. If you’re buying the Cliquot Champagne, just plan on paying the highest price. But a cute cocktail is usually around 8 or 9.
Can you use Dining Plan Snack Credits for the Food?
The Disney Dining Plan isn’t offered right now, but when it is…YES! Seriously one of our favorite things is being able to use Disney Dining Plan (DDP) snack credits for a full day’s worth of food. Disney Pro Tip: If you’re traveling during a festival at EPCOT and have a dining plan, we recommend stockpiling your snack credits. How do you do this? You plan for your Epcot festival day closer to the end of your trip, say when you have about 4 days under your belt. At that point, you would have at least 1 snack credit per day, per person accumulated. So that when you visit the festival on day 5, you have 4 dishes per person ( 4 snack credits each) you can get that day. It’s a great way to save money and experience more Disney foodie options.
Pay with Disney Dining Plan Credits
If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and have stockpiled your snack credits, you’re in luck. A neat trick we use to get the most bang for our buck is to seek out the snack with the DDP symbol that costs the most. These are usually slightly larger portions and stretch your credits a little farther. That way if you want a few things from a kiosk you end up spending the actual cash on cheaper things.
Grab a Gift Card
Our absolute best advice is to pay for Food and Wine treats with a festival gift card. You can load the gift card with whatever amount you would like and it allows you to stick to a budget. We’ve tried all of these ways of budgeting the festival into our trips and the gift card method is our favorite. Giving each person in your family or party a 50-dollar gift card could easily satisfy about 10 goodies that could double your meals for a day.
If you’re not on the Dining Plan and you’re ready and able to pay cash then plan around 5 bucks for each sample. Know that these are tasting-size portions. And while some do cost a little less than 5 dollars, the ones that cost more will help you stay on track with your spending. Keep in mind there are 25+ kiosks throughout EPCOT. Even if you only try things from half of them and pay 5 bucks each at 15 kiosks you’ll be at 75 dollars per person. So budget accordingly.
Pay Up Front with the Entitlement Plan
Another option if you’re not on the dining plan, and one we often see lines out the door for, is to grab the Food and Wine Entitlement plan. Since the Food and Wine Festival is one of our top things to do at Disney World for Adults, for those drinkers out there, the entitlement plan will save you the most money. This is a plan you can purchase at the main port giftshops. You can choose an 8 Food and Beverage entitlement or a 16 Food and Beverage Entitlement usually around 70 and 120 dollars a guest respectively. These amounts are above the regular Epcot ticket price and are ONLY worth it if you’re at Disney to drink. The entitlement tabs usually pay off if you’re spending about 8 dollars per entitlement. And as drinks can be as much as 15 each and higher, could be a good way to save money. However, since so much of the food is less than 8 dollars, it doesn’t really make this option worth it for foodies.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus
One of the most important things to do before you go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World is to check out the Food and Wine Festival Menus. Depending on the menus or picky eaters in your travel party, there may be some countries you don’t want to visit. Planning this ahead of time allowed us the time to visit the countries and kiosks in order of location without losing a lot of time and wasting foot traffic. Decide ahead of time what your Must-Have food and drinks are going to be and then plan the budget so that the bulk of your food kiosk visits come around mealtimes.
How many Food and Wine Festival Kitchen Marketplaces at Disney are there?
This year we’ll see 29 outdoor kitchens and 4 specialty kitchens, so 33 total at the Food and Wine Festival. Every year it varies a little. But one thing that never changes is variety. From healthy kitchens to BBQ kitchens to a cultural kitchens for each world showcase country. All the kitchens come with their own theme and foods to match. Check out the Menus for the Food and Wine Festival to get a glimpse of the kinds of foods you can look forward to.
How Much Food do you Get at the Food and Wine Festival?
The dishes served are equivalent to a single serving. We love using the festivals as a way to not only manage our Disney Budget by not paying full price for lunch but also as a way to get more variety for our money. Know that there are options to help you manage this too. You can load limited edition Food and Wine Festival gift cards with your food budget for the day, or by the allotment card at the gift shop. The allotment card allows you a certain number of purchases, regardless of price. We find it to be most money-saving if you’re using it to buy drinks. Because drinks can be close to 15 bucks in some places. And an allotment card breaks down to about 8 dollars per token.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks at Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Finding fun non-alcoholic drinks is not as hard as it sounds! They are labeled non-alcoholic in the passport and there are quite a few! Check out some of our favorite non-alcoholic drinks across the parks for a head start. There will be special ones in the passport though, so be sure to do your homework and choose which ones to try ahead of time. We love the availability of Disney Mocktails, as a great way to include Kids at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, with specialty drinks too.
Joffrey’s Food and Wine Festival Specialty Coffees and Teas
Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Carts are filled with wonderful flavors all year round but during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World, they have specialty drinks at each cart throughout EPCOT! Find all the details in our Food and Wine Festival Menus post!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Entertainment
Entertainment at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is shown throughout the day. You can expect to see the JAMMin’ Chefs, Mariachi Cobre, Voices of Liberty, and more just by walking around the park. However, if you’re up for staying for an evening concert, then the Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series is something to see!
- Location: America Gardens Theatre – American Adventure Pavilion
- Dates: Fridays through Mondays from July 27 to November 18, 2023
- Showtimes: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM, and 8:00 PM
- Special Seating: Fora guaranteed seat, check out the Dining Package.
Eat to the Beat Concert Series Performers 2023
- July 28-29 – Orianthi (NEW)
- July 30-31 – For King & Country (NEW)
- Aug. 4-5 – Southern Avenue
- Aug. 6-7 – Tiffany
- Aug. 11-12 – Ruben Studdard with Haley Reinhart
- Aug. 13-14 – The Bacon Brothers (NEW)
- Aug. 18-21 – Joey Fatone & Friends
- Aug. 25-26 – Ayron Jones (NEW)
- Aug. 27-28 – Phillip Phillips (NEW)
- Sept. 1-2 – Baha Men
- Sept. 3-4 – MercyMe
- Sept. 8-9 – Ray Parker Jr.
- Sept. 10-11 – TobyMac
- Sept. 15 – Celebrity Latin Talent
- Sept. 16 – Celebrity Latin Talent
- Sept. 17-18 – Raul Acosta and Oro Solido (NEW)
- Sept. 22-23 – Los Amigos Invisibles
- Sept. 24-25 – 98 °
- Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 – Boyz II Men
- Oct. 6-7 – Mark Wills
- Oct. 8-9 – Sugar Ray
- Oct. 13-14 – Hoobastank
- Oct. 15-16 – Air Supply
- Oct. 20-21 – Taylor Dayne
- Oct. 22-23 – Billy Ocean
- Oct. 27-30 – Hanson
- Nov. 3-4 – We The Kings (NEW)
- Nov. 5-6 – Sheila E.
- Nov. 10-11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- Nov. 12-13 – 38 Special
Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Game
As part of the Food and Wine Festival, you can play the Remy Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Game. This scavenger hunt game has small Remy statues hidden in each World Showcase country, just waiting to be found! Simply make your way around the World Showcase and match the correct Remy and Food sticker to the country where you find him. Once completed you can bring the completed gameboard back to the Port Traders gift shop to redeem your prize. Games are typically $9.99 each and the prize you receive is usually worth about that. So it’s a great way to get a souvenir and have fun too.
Emile’s Fromage Montage Challenge
Love cheese? Purchase any 5 cheese dishes from select outdoor kitchens across the World Showcase. The select dishes are listed in the Festival Passport and you simply collect a stamp at each kitchen. Once completed you can head to Shimmering Sips to collect your special prize! Check out the Emile’s Fromage Montage Menu Items on the Food and Wine Festival Menus.
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.
Food and Wine Festival Tips
We’ve written about our top 7 tips for EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival, before, but here are a few more to consider as you tackle one of the busiest festivals of the year.
Get into Epcot Before it Opens
While many of the kiosks won’t open until 11 am you can get closer to the action by booking an early breakfast in the World Showcase or heading straight to rides that may open earlier. If you’re looking for a character breakfast try Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and head to the Frozen Ever After line right after.
Stay at Epcot All Day
Epcot is a big place and there’s a lot of walking. Don’t waste time going back to the resort or another park to escape the crowds just aim to get it all done by 4 pm before the hoards arrive. Take breaks instead with rides, shows, or on the Disney BoardWalk. There are several shows throughout Epcot that are inside, perfect to escape the heat or rain. Check out our Best Rides for the Heat at Walt Disney World to get a list.
Food and Wine Festival Crowds
Leaving the Park can be a nightmare at the end of the day if you’re using Walt Disney World’s bus system. The time the park closes is important to consider if you have kids in tow. Long lines waiting for the bus can mean cranky kids, especially after a long day. And with long lines, your chance of scoring a seat on the bus decreases, by a lot. Generally, we notice the buses seem to be the most packed from about 30-45 mins before closing to about 30-45 mins after closing. If you’re staying at a Boardwalk Resort, Monorail Resort, the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, or even a Skyliner Resort your ride home is less harried. If you’re taking bus transportation, then the top tip to keep in mind is to either leave around dinner time or expect to stay right up until the park closes.
EPCOT World Showcase Activities
The Food and Wine Festival is really about the World Showcase featuring foods from each country. But there are fun things to do in each that have nothing to do with food! So if you want a little more variety for your festival day, here’s what to see in each country.
We adore the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride and it’s a great escape from the heat, rain, or chaos. There’s not usually much of a line and the longest we’ve ever waited for this was about 15 mins. The ride was updated this year with Three Caballeros animatronics and looks great, plus keep your eye out for Hidden Mickey’s along the way! The faux open-air market in the Mexico pavilion is a fun way to shop for souvenirs or join the masses and have your pic taken while wearing a gigantic sombrero. This is also where you’ll see Mariachi Cobre performing, and it’s always worth a stop.
The Frozen Ever After ride is a must-see if you’re up for waiting in line (which is kinda cool ) or have a Lightning Lane Pass. Frozen Ever After is awesome and should be on the bucket list of every young(or young at heart) Frozen fan. But, lines over 45 minutes are just too long for this ride. Except of course during the holiday season. We’d recommend rope-dropping this one if you need to ride it. The Royal Sommerhaus in Norway is also open for meet and greets with Anna and Queen Elsa. This is a fun line with what seems to be a usually pretty short wait! We waited around 15 mins and every time we passed by there was no more than a 20-minute queue. You can also stop at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe for a cannoli-like dessert called the Trolls Horn. So delicious!
Check out the Dragon Legend acrobats inside the China Pavilion. They also sometimes perform outside. When we last visited there was a Shanghai Disneyland Exhibit, featuring cast costumes, concept art, and a map of all the cool new lands at Shanghai Disneyland. So be sure to take a look inside! We also love playing Ducktales World Showcase Adventure in this area because you get to see all sorts of new things. The spring rolls at the Joy of Tea rarely disappoint, so be sure to try them!
The miniature train and village near the Germany Pavilion get updated each season and are a delight for the little ones. We can never turn down the call of the Werthers Original store, Karamell-Kuche. Apparently, the only store here in the U.S. whether it’s the caramel popcorn, apples, or some other caramel treat by the time we get to Germany it’s usually time for a snack. The toy store in Germany also has clocks, bears, and the Kidcot stop if you ( or the kiddies) need a break. Snow White is also stationed here next to her wishing well at select times.
The street performer and gelato warrant a short stop at the Italian Pavilion. Though there is not too much to do here! We’ve been trying to dig deep into the Italian Pavilion to see what magic it holds but other than Via Napoli. And thankfully, the newer counter service restaurant, Gelateria Toscana has not only great gelato treats but also hidden seating for a break.
As Americans, we’ll admit we’ve never seen the American Adventure. In truth, we only stop at the American pavilion for one thing: The American Dream. The American Dream is a layer of strawberry slushy, a layer of vanilla soft serve ice cream, and a layer of raspberry slushy. So delicious and only found at the Fife and Drum Tavern kiosk. The America pavilion also has a public-style indoor eating space, so know that even if you aren’t eating here, it’s a great place to head for a break from the heat. We like getting a treat from another country and stopping here to enjoy it in the air conditioning.
We love shopping here! The Cute Kawaii Japanese Culture is a joy for kids and grown-ups alike! If you’re a millennial with little ones you’ll enjoy the dragon ball z, Zelda, studio ghibli, and hello kitty merch. You’ll also love the Matsuriza Drummers at the Japan Pavilion. This show runs a couple of times a day and is definitely worth a watch.
A more adult atmosphere here, the things we love about Morocco for families are the photo-ready fountains for picture taking and Aladdin and Jasmine’s character meet and greet (the cutest couple ever). You can also make a Kidcot stop here. Keep an eye out for the shirts with a camel in Morocco, the word Habibi on the shirt means “my beloved”.
We love France!!! The cute gift shop attached to the bakery is quaint and filled with Belle, Aurora, and Paris merchandise. A great place to stop, grab a table for the kids and put your feet up. You can also stop at L’Artisan des Glaces. They serve a macaroon ice cream sandwich and are a great place to stop for an afternoon treat. You can see both Belle and Aurora and the Serveur Amusant Acrobats here throughout the day. We love getting into the World Showcase early with breakfast at Les Halles Boulangerie de Patisserie. Also, be sure to check out the new Parisian Courtyard and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. And if you’re looking for crepes, the new La Creperie de Paris offers both table service and quick-service dining. You can also get some indoor relaxation time with the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along show in this country.
The Disney Boardwalk can be accessed via the International Gateway and is a great way to take a break from Food and Wine if you need it. Little beaches, shops, Beaches and Cream (yum), cupcakes, and a ferry can all provide respite if your kids are ready to call it a day. This is also a great place to escape to at night if you ended up going to the Food and Wine Festival during the weekend and need to get away from the crowds. They have magic shows, arcade games and lots of other fun little activities like a real boardwalk would have to keep the kids entertained.
Mary Poppins and Alice are big reasons to stop in the UK but we also can’t get enough of the tea shop. Sometimes they have tastings here and they always have a special drink for food and wine. Secluded in the corner of the UK are benches, the gazebo, and a garden that hardly anyone visits. Perfect for some downtime. The Pumpkin Chai Tea and Caramel Milkshake is located at the Ireland pavilion in this area and since they include a recipe card it’s something you can try and make at home.
Apart from the Canada Far and Wide movie, there isn’t a ton to do at the Canada pavilion but walk around. We love the rope bridge and waterfall here though and since a lot of people don’t venture back that far, it’s usually not that crowded and can be a great escape if needed. And we absolutely love the gift shop with all the cozy pacific northwest merchandise. The Kidcot area is hidden behind the gardens in a pavilion and offers the kids some coloring time if needed.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World
Hopefully, this Food and Wine Festival Guide has given you many of the answers to your questions. While there is so much to do, it helps to have a list of what to know before you go. We love the EPCOT festivals and hope you do too.
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