For Disney fans young and old, the annual festivals at Epcot have become a big part of enjoying the park. Food and Wine Festival is going on right now (August 30 - November 12), and the creative culinary offerings always make it a popular time for foodies to visit. As a family, we’ve always enjoyed Food and Wine Festival, but we’ve previously called Flower and Garden Festival our favorite, just because it offers more fun activities for kids. This year, however, Disney has added a number of new kid-friendly activities to the Food and Wine Festival, as well as more kid-approved dishes to the kiosks. My four kids and I visited the festival, and we were totally impressed with these new additions. Food and Wine is giving Flower and Garden a run for it’s money, as far as my kids are concerned! Here’s what kids can expect this year.
1. Candi Sushi
Guys, this new activity is so much fun for kids and adults alike! Using gummy candies, rice cereal treats, fruit rolls, licorice, and more, young food enthusiasts get to create sushi replicas under the direction of a real Disney Chef. Every participant gets to wear a colorful paper chef hat, and of course, you get to eat your sushi once you’re done. Though reservations are full for the entire festival already, standby participants are permitted on a capacity basis. It’s definitely worth trying too, because according to cast members, there have been no-shows at all events. On the day we visited, ALL of the standby line got in! This activity is free and happens daily at 3:30 and 5:30 by Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion.
2. New Playground
We’ve always eagerly anticipated the unique playgrounds that Disney set up around Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival, but never expected one for Food and Wine Fest. This year, though, a new playground is on the menu! Hooray! This Wreck It Ralph themed playground has a kind of obstacle course feel, featuring a series of climbing structures. My kids had fun pretending that the ground was Vanellope's Coke-and-Mentos “lava” while they navigated the obstacles. And the best part? I was told by a cast member that this playground is supposed to stay in place behind Mousegear even after the festival is over!
3. Junior Chef Kitchen
Budding chefs get to try their hand at cooking in the Junior Chef Kitchen presented by Krusteaz. This complimentary experience is only available on Sundays at 11:00 in the Festival Center (next to Mission:SPACE), and you’ll need to sign your kiddos up in person on Saturdays or Sundays in the same place. Our visit was not timed over a weekend, so we weren’t able to participate in this one (sniff, sniff). If your visit is on a weekday too, it’s still worth stopping in to the Festival Center with your kids. Mine particularly enjoyed the free chocolate samples and chocolate sculptures inside.