My first time ever experiencing the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and I am still speechless! I have not been to Epcot in 3+ years, so getting to feel all the nostalgia of walking around the World Showcase, while getting to try food and drinks from the countries that inspired the park was just incredible. In this post I am going to include why I loved Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (and think it should be a must on everyone’s vacation list for the Fall) and some of our favorite dishes we were able to try!
So this year Epcot International Food & Wine Festival ran from August 30th and will continue till November 12th. If you purchase a ticket into Epcot for the day, then that will be your ticket into Food and Wine (no extra ticket associated with it). When we entered the park, we made sure to grab a map and the festival passport (shown above). It’s free and the idea is that as you go through each booth/country, you place a sticker by that booth to show you tried it. The actual booths do not open up till the World Showcase opens up at 11 (usually more like 10:45), so this is your day to sleep in, not eat breakfast, and then head to the park just a little bit early to get everything you need! They have a couple booths/shops as you head into the Showcase where you can purchase Epcot International Food & Wine Festival merchandise (also can be found in all the shops at Epcot). At these locations you can also place some money on a wristlet gift card so that when you go to the booths you do not have to get out any credit cards. I would highly recommend doing this!!!
We started our day at the World Showcase going counter-clockwise from Canada to Mexico. Then we took a break halfway through the day to do some rides. We only waited 30 minutes to ride Soarin, and then we walked on to Test Track by doing the single rider line. The afternoon is a great time to ride some of the attractions because it is usually hot by this time, and there is not many places left to sit. So it allows you to relax and take a break from all the food and walking (the Seas with Nemo & Friends is one of the best mid-day attractions because of the AC). We then in the later afternoon went through the Festival Center (this is a MUST do) where they have featured booths like the Mimosa Bar and even more booths for you to try. Here are some of our favorite things we tried from around the park:
- Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles from China
- Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red from the Chocolate Studio
- Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn, Butterbean Succotash and Chili-chipotle Butter Sauce from Coastal Eats
- La Passion Martini Slush from France
- Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine from Hawai’i
- Jerk-spiced Chicken Lollipop with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt from Islands of the Caribbean
- Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce from Japan
- Tropical Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Pomegranate, Orange and Grapefruit Juices from Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds from Wine and Dine Studio
We tried pretty much everything we wanted to, and it was so much fun! Make sure to pace yourself and walk a ton so that you do not get as full. A day at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival can get expensive so I would highly suggest picking a budget to stick with and choosing just a handful of foods/drinks you really want to try throughout the day. Each of the food items cost around $5-$6 while the drinks usually start at $10. So you can definitely eat a ton of different food items for a small amount of money, but if you are on a budget you may want to stay away from the drinks.
Overall we had the absolute best time at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! We went on a Sunday at the end of September, and it was not that crowded at all. I would highly suggest going during a weekday if you can though! Our longest wait in a line was at China, and we only waited for 10 minutes. I loved being able to try new foods and flavors I have never tasted before. For anyone who is a foodie or loves trying new things, I would say Food & Wine Festival is an absolute must. The booths can cater to the foods the way you like them (leave something off, gluten allergy, etc.) so there is really new excuse to not come out and try all the booths! I hope to now make this a tradition and head to Food & Wine Festival each year as they add new things to try.
Till next time,