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Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The 7 Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

The 20th International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is coming to a close, but it is never too early to start thinking ahead and planning for the 21st! There are many tips and tricks for you to get the most out of the festival and have the best experience possible. Here are our top 7 tricks for tackling the International Food and Wine Festival!

7 – Get Merchandise Early – as with most special events, Disney puts out a whole slate of merchandise for guests to buy to remember the event: t-shirts, pins, glasses, mugs, and much, more more. Most merchandise is available at various Festival Shops throughout the park, but some merchandise is only available at the Festival Center (the old Wonders of Life Pavilion). If you are interested in getting some event-specific merchandise, we would recommend getting it early during the day AND early during the festival. It took a few attempts to get my Passholder t-shirt for the event this year.

6 – Get a Giftcard Wristband – Disney happened upon a great creation with this basic Disney gift card. Guests are able to load the gift card with money and be able to wear it on a bracelet on their wrist. This makes every trip to the kiosks around the world much easier as you won’t have to take out your wallet and juggle a credit card or cash at the register. Cast Members simply scan the barcode on the wristband and you’re all set! If you have a balance left on the card, you can always use it at another park or on another trip – you aren’t limited to using it that day at Epcot.

5 – Take the Second Line – not every kiosk has two lines, but some do. If you approach a country, check and see if the kiosk has two lines, and if it does, go to the second line. Chances are that the second line will be much shorter than the first one as guests jump in the first line they see. This trick can in handy for my family when getting our cheddar soup and chicken sausage from Canada and a lobster roll in America!

4 – Pace Yourself – There are a lot of kiosks and a lot of delicious offerings at the Food and Wine Festival. Avoid the temptation to go from one country to the next without any break between them. You’ll have a better time and you’ll be able to burn off some extra calories if you take two or three trips around the World Showcase Lagoon. As always, World Showcases opens at 11 and they are open on some nights as late as 10 PM, so wear some comfortable shoes and you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy!

3 – Get There Early – crowds at any park grow the later in the day it gets. The earlier you arrive at the park, the more time you’ll have to enjoy shorter lines and smaller crowds. If you are vacationing at Walt Disney World during Food and Wine, you may want to consider going to there twice during your trip during the day as crowd levels increase around dinner time, even during the week, because locals will head to the park after getting off of work.

Bonus Tip!

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2 – Plan Ahead with a Passport – Disney releases their menus and the countries that will be showcased at Food and Wine in advance. Take some time before heading to the park and study the menus and locations you want to visit. It’ll help for you to plan a roadmap, but also to know what countries you can skip and what ones are on your must-eat list!

1 – Avoid Weekends – the crowd levels at Epcot on the weekends are huge during Food and Wine. If at all possible, visit the Food and Wine Festival during the week and during the day – preferably Tuesday or Wednesday. If you can’t accommodate that travel schedule, know that weekends tend to be packed with locals experiencing the festival, as well as various groups attempting to drink around the world. It isn’t uncommon for lines to stretch beyond the stanchions setup to control crowds and that you may have to wait 15-20 minutes to order and get your food or drink.

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an amazing time to experience new food and sample your favorites from previous years. Every year it becomes increasingly more popular, so you’ll want to utilize as many of these tips and tricks as possible so you and your family can have the best time! What is your favorite tip for tackling the Food and Wine Festival?

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Tyler

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!