It’s official! It’s festival season at Epcot! That means the Food and Wine Festival is in full swing, and it’s time to learn how to make the most of your experience. In this guide, we’ll talk about the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips so you can eat and drink around the world with confidence.
While I’m writing this with the 2019 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in mind, these tips will apply to any season of Epcot’s favorite festival. Because I’m just so excited about what’s in store, let’s get started.
When Is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
First, let’s talk about when this festival is exactly. While the dates change every year, you can count on it always being in the fall. This year, it started early to coincide with the opening date for Star War’s Galaxy Edge in Hollywood Studios.
Usually, the festival runs from September to November. In 2019, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival runs from August 29 to November 23.
If you want to visit during this time of year, make sure you book your Disney World hotel early. (Check this guide to getting cheap hotels at Disney World for some help!) This is a popular time to visit Epcot, especially during long weekends. As an Orlando local, I can attest to the fact that a lot of locals visit during this time of year too.
Now, let’s get onto the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips so you can make the most of your trip around the world showcase. I hope you’re as hungry as I am!
Plan Before You Dine at Epcot
There’s simply SO MUCH to choose from during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, it’s easy to overeat to quickly. As I always say, it’s a marathon, not a spring! You don’t want to burn out on food and drink in the first few stops and not have any room for dessert (or anything else) later.
How do you do this? Start with some planning. Read through some of this year’s offerings at the Food and Wine Festival. Making a list of the things you want to try on your phone is a great way to keep track, and you can use the Festival passport when you’re actually in the park.
Having a plan about what you want to eat can help you avoid overeating and overspending. Plus, you don’t want to miss out on the best things at the festival!
Skip the Weekends if Possible
As someone who lives down the street from Epcot, I’m privileged in the fact that I can pop over to the Food and Wine Festival any day of the week. Not everyone can, so definitely try to skip the weekends if you can.
Because the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is so popular with Florida locals, it’s a popular weekend destination. Whether you’re planning a visit to Disney World on a long weekend or a full week, try to avoid visiting Epcot on the weekends if you can.
Set a Food and Wine Festival Budget
I know just how hard it is to stick to a budget at the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. You’re swiping your card left and right or using your magic band, and before you know it you have no clue how much you’ve spent.
Let’s face it, Disney isn’t cheap! It’s not always easy to stick to a budget at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but you should try to.
Unless money isn’t an object, one of the best Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips is to purchase a Disney Gift Card. They even sell handy wrist band gift cards for the Food and Wine Festival, and these are perfect for keeping track of your spending.
Putting a set amount of money on your wrist band in advance will help you stay on track. Plus it’s super nice not to have to pull out your card constantly.
Prepare for Hot Weather
I know it’s easy to think that fall at Walt Disney World means the weather is cooling off, but as a Florida native, I just want you to be prepared for the reality. In September and October, the weather can still be in the 90s every day. Walking around Epcot can be really unpleasant!
I’d recommend dressing in athletic clothes or something comfortable. In addition, pack a lot of sunscreen and an umbrella in case of rain. Daily storms (and hurricanes) are still very much a thing through November, so just be prepared.
I have a full guide to surviving the Florida heat at Disney World that’s worth reading, but just try to be careful when it comes to the Florida sun. It’s no joke! If you can, visit in the late afternoon and early evening when the sun starts to set and things get more comfortable.
Bring a Tray or Plate
One of my biggest Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips is to bring a tray or plate with you to the park. Those mini plates aren’t always easy to use, especially if you’re trying to carry more than one at once.
Yes, you can purchase a plate and drink holder at the parks, but you can also just bring your own. I’d recommend packing large disposable paper plates or a plastic tray from Amazon. These are super inexpensive, and they’ll be such a lifesaver if you’re trying to eat on a park bench.
Take Breaks Often
Pacing yourself isn’t always easy when there are a ton of food and drink options available, but it will make the experience much more pleasant. This is why it’s so essential to have a plan and know what you want to eat/drink in advance.
When you’re eating around the world at Epcot, you want to take a lot of breaks. Overeating in the heat when walking around is no fun, take my word for it!
After enjoying something new, take some time to stroll through the country shops, window shop, or even enjoy some of the attractions. My favorite way to escape the heat and let my food settle is to watch the films in Canada, China, France, and the American Adventure. They’re underrated!
Book a Special Event or Class
Another top Epcot Food and Wine Festival tip is to take advantage of the events, classes, and seminars. These are often hands-on experiences, and they’re a great way to learn about food, wine, cooking, and so on.
While they do usually require an additional fee, they’re an amazing experience. You can see what seminars and classes are offered on your visit by checking the Walt Disney World website.
Top Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips
Are you ready to eat your way around the world at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? I know I am! I’ll be visiting the festival all season long, and hopefully, you’ll make an appearance too.
To make the most of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, take these tips above to heart. Whether you’re planning to eat something from every country or try something new, there’s something there for you to enjoy.