My favorite time of year at Disney World is the Fall. There are so many special events that happen during this time of year and they all provide great excuses to visit the parks! One of my favorite events happens during this time of the year: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. There’s just something about walking around Epcot and stuffing my face that I love.
The first year Chris and I went to the festival we had no idea what we were doing and missed out on a lot. Part of that was because we had no idea it would be going on while we were there (yea, I did absolutely no research before that trip!) so we were completely taken by surprise. The following year we went back with a previous festival under our belt, and we were more confident and went in with a game plan. That year, and the years since, have been so much more enjoyable for us!
We’ve seen and done a lot over the past few years at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival and we’ve come up with a good game plan to help us enjoy our time there! There are a few general mistakes that every first-timer makes though, and if you’re heading to Disney this Fall these are the things you’ll want to avoid.
Going to the festival on the weekend
The absolute worst thing you can do is visit Epcot during the Food & Wine Festival on a weekend. It’s always super crowded because all the locals like to visit and enjoy all the food and drinks that are offered and you also have to deal with loud and obnoxious drunks. Going on a weekday offers shorter lines to the food stands, less wait times in general, and a much more relaxing and enjoyable day at the festival.
Trying to visit every booth in one day
Don’t. Just don’t. You’re doing yourself such a disservice if you only do the festival one day of your entire trip. Not only will you have to skip certain booths because you don’t have time (or you’re just full from everything else you’ve had throughout the day) but you won’t get the chance to go back and get seconds of your favorites! Chris and I like to take three days to do the festival. Yep, three. The first two days we make sure to hit all the booths I can eat at and the third day we like to go back to get seconds and thirds of all of our favorites. Giving ourselves that amount of time allows us to relax and not have to rush through all the food and drinks that are offered.
Using all your snack credits at the booths
Chris and I have never bought the dinning plan, but if that is something you purchased for your trip don’t use all your snack credits at the festival! Instead, buy one of the prepaid gift cards (you can get them throughout the park) and use those to eat around the world. That way you can save money by giving yourself a set amount to use at the festival.
Planning to eat and drink during Extra Magic Hours
Unfortunately all the booths for the Festival close when the park closes to the general public, so if you’re planning on going back for that warm chocolate pudding from Ireland after the fireworks show be warned that the booth will be closed. Plan to get to the parks when the World Showcase opens that day so you can hit as many booths as you can while they’re open.
Staying away from the festival due to food allergies
Don’t ever think that you can’t enjoy something at Disney because of food allergies. Disney goes so far out of their way to make sure everyone can enjoy their days at the parks that food allergies really shouldn’t be a concern. I am deadly allergic to all nuts and nut products and I can still enjoy a lot of the foods and drinks at the festival! The only thing you have to do is ask a Cast Member once you get up to the register and they can either check a book with all the ingredients or call a chef. Sometimes you can’t eat what you want even after asking, but they’ll always give you suggestions or recommendations!
Forgetting to drink water
This is the cardinal rule of any disney-goer: stay hydrated! A common misconception about Disney in the Fall is that the weather is nice and cool. There are definitely cooler days but you can also run into warm days as well. Do not forget to drink your water otherwise you can become sick and ruin your day at the Disney park. You can make it extremely easy on yourself and pack a refillable water bottle or you can take advantage of free ice water at any quick-service food place within the parks!
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is a favorite of ours and I am so sad we’re missing it this year! If you’re planning on going and want to see all the food and drinks that are being offered this year, I have a list for you! And since I can’t go I’d love it if you could eat a few chocolate puddings from Ireland for me! I’m having major withdraws.