Every fall Disney’s EPCOT takes you even deeper into different cultures within the World Showcase with the International Food and Wine Festival. Even if you are not a foodie, you will love this event. So many flavors, so much delicious food. Not only is there food and wine, but there are also demonstrations, family scavenger hunts, entertainment, and celebrity chefs. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.
Tips for Enjoying EPCOT’s Food & Wine Festival
Find out the dates ASAP and book your trip. For 2023 the event will take place from July 27 to November 18, 2023. I suggest doing at least one full day, more days if you really want to try everything. My husband and I went for one day a few years ago and it was not enough time at all.
The event is less busy during the week and honestly a lot more family-friendly as locals tend to overindulge in the drinks on the weekends.
Set a budget. Luckily, there is NOT a separate charge for getting into the Food and Wine Fest, but some special demonstrations are costly.
Each sample/drink is around $7. Those $7 charges add up if you are not paying attention. Most of the samples are considered snacks on the Disney Dining Plan. My husband and I set a $50 budget for the day and ran out of time to spend it all, we weren’t doing drinks though.
Grab a Festival Passport Book. This is a free little booklet that lets you keep track of what you are eating. drinking, and experiencing. Once you complete an area to your specification you can put a sticker on that area just like a regular passport.
Do at least one of the Scavenger Hunts Offered. Here are the scavenger hunts for 2023:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak – Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Kids of all ages can search for Remy on a savory scavenger hunt around the festival. Simply purchase your map and stickers from select festival merchandise locations (listed below). Next, search throughout World Showcase for hidden statuettes of Remy. When you find one, match the appropriate sticker to the location on your map! Once you’ve found them all, bring your completed map to one of the starred locations to get a special surprise, compliments of Chef Remy:
- **Disney Traders**
- Port of Entry
- **Creations Shop**
- **World Traveler at International Gateway**
- Festival Merchandise Kiosks
- Emile’s Fromage Montage – Use your Festival Passport as a guide to find Emile’s Fromage Montage menu items from select Global Marketplaces. Then, purchase and enjoy any 5 of the featured dishes—and collect a stamp with each purchase to track your progress. After you’ve collected 5 stamps, you may bring your stamped Festival Passport to the Shimmering Sips Marketplace hosted by CORKCICLE® for a specialty item unique to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.
- Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit – (from September 29 to October 31, 2023 (or while supplies last)). Purchase a game board and stickers at select merchandise locations, including Disney Traders, Creations Shop, Port of Entry, World Traveler at International Gateway, and Festival Merchandise Kiosks. Have fun hunting for hidden decorative pumpkins themed to Disney characters. Once you’ve found a character, place the corresponding stickers on your game board. Whether you choose to hunt for pumpkins or not, return your game board to Disney Traders—located at the entrance to World Showcase or World Traveler at International Gateway—for a spooky surprise.
Make safety a priority. Even without the Food and Wine Fest people like drinking around the World Showcase. There are even more options to indulge in during the festival. If you are staying off property, spend a little bit more to stay on property or spring for an Uber. If you are on Disney property, please let Disney do the driving. Please also remember, this is still supposed to be a FAMILY FRIENDLY event. Please act responsibly.
Drink enough water. Drinking alcohol can dehydrate you quickly and the heat is still going pretty strong in late September/October. I would save money and bring my own water bottle to refill at the water fountains. You can also get free ice water at all quick-service dining locations. A lot of people also order water from Amazon and have it shipped to their resort.
Be willing to try new things. The best part of the Food and Wine Festival is having all these new and tasty foods and drinks to try. I am about the pickiest person ever especially since I have sensory issues with taste. I committed to at least try everything. I would rather try and not like, then never try and miss out on a new favorite. Try something even if you don’t like the particular food at home, they probably cook it differently and you might like it.
Pack digestive aids just in case. Since you are trying new foods, you are not positive how your digestive system will process them. Everything might fine, but it better to be safe than sorry.
Explore Future World during the first 2 hours. EPCOT usually opens at 9am, but the World Showcase doesn’t open until 11. You should be able to get in Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin’ all before the festival starts using FastPass+.
Start “backwards” with Canada. Most people start the opposite direction so at least at the beginning of the day you are missing a lot of long lines and can end up visiting more booths.
Have fun! The event is more than just the food and wine. Let the kids play the Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt, look for special street performances, and chat with the World Showcase Cast members to learn even more about their country. Totally immerse yourself in each culture.
Buy a Souvenir. Take a tasty souvenir home from the new merchandise collections, including a festival collection featuring a spirit jersey, baseball cap and so much more.
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What is your favorite part of Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival? Let me know in the comments below.