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How To Experience Food & Wine Festival!

The Food and Wine Festival is a Disney event that is not to be missed.  If you can escape for an adults-only weekend, this is a perfect time to visit Disney.  But even if you bring the whole family, you\’ll have fun and enjoy trying new dishes from around the world.

Here was is our game plan for Food and Wine Festival:

Rope drop! Arrive in Epcot as soon as the park opens and ride rides from 9am-11am.  We started with Test Track, then rode Mission Space several times (none of us struggle with motion sickness during that ride, but we did not want to push it for after we started eating and drinking). We stopped in to meet Baymax and Joy and Sadness since they are now in the character meet and greet areas at Epcot!

Perfect combo? Buy a Tasting Sampler card and use it for drinks.  Use snack credits for food.  Yes, it is a perfect plan. The tasting sampler card is a lanyard-hanging credential that has 8 tabs on it. As you visit the kiosks, you can use it to pay for food or drinks. There are a few obvious exclusions such as tasting flights with multiple drinks and one or two pricey champagnes, but most F&W Festival options are included. The price is $59+tax for 2016 (no price increase over 2015!), so in order to get your money\’s worth, don\’t use your tabs for anything that is less than $7.  

There were more than 150 menu options at 30 different kiosks in 2015; this year is already promising more than 200 menu options! The tabs on the Tasting Sampler can be used over multiple days and can be purchased at one of several locations while you are there. You can find them at Festival Center and Bridge Kiosk East and West as well as festival locations at Morocco, Japan, and Canada.  More information about the Tasting Sampler card, or you can order it by calling (939)WDW-FEST.

Get your kids involved! Last year the Ratatouille Recipe Search was a TON of fun. It helped get my kids all the way around the World Showcase for the first time. At 4, 6, and 7, they were completely into finding the missing ingredient that was hidden in each country.

For older kids, Agent P\’s World Showcase Adventure is a great way for them to enjoy the countries. The $10 passport kits are also fun for older kiddos.  They can have them autographed in each country and make a fun souvenir.  You can buy the passports in the kiosks or gift shops as you enter the World Showcase, but the Agent P challenge is free.

Pace Yourself Rather than trying to do all of our eating and drinking at once, we started with Mexico at 11 am and toured Mexico, Norway, the outpost, Germany, and Italy.  We shared most of our snacks and drinks so that we could try more things.  One or two of us would stand in line and order the food and/or drinks that we wanted from a kiosk while the other parents helped the kids on find their clues, then we would all partake in the sampling.  After we made it through that half of the World Showcase we headed back to Germany and rode the boat back to the Future World side of Epcot.

We headed to our 2pm fastpass for Soarin\’ and then watched the new Pixar Short Films (super adorable) and rode Journey Into Imagination. We had a 3pm fastpass for Nemo and then enjoyed Turtle Talk with Crush before heading to our 4pm fastpass for Spaceship Earth. This little break for rides was a nice

After a relaxing ride on Spaceship Earth, we headed back to the boats and rode over to Germany.  We bypassed Italy since we had toured it earlier and started back up with the American Adventure and slowly toured our way through the rest of the World Showcase through Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.  We stopped to meet Belle in France and Mary Poppins in the UK and ended near the Epcot dessert party area. We stayed near that area and enjoyed Illuminations!

So, what were a few of our favorite snacks?

  1. The lobster roll in the American Adventure Pavilion

  2. Belgian Waffle with chocolate ganache

  3. Canadian cheese soup

  4. Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii

  5. Chicken gyro from Greece 

  6. Beef bourguignon in France

  7. Escargot in France

  8. Beef skewers with chimichuri sauce from Argentina 

  9. Grilled swet & spicy shrimp from Australia (you can smell it before you even get to it)

  10. Spicy Hand Roll from Japan

  11. Korean BBQ Beef with steamed rice and kimchi

Feel free to chime in with some of your favorite foods and beverages from the Festival!

About the Author: Special thanks to  Emily Lamb!  Emily has been to Disney over 65 times!  The tips she shares are from first-hand experience as a kid and now as a mother of her own beautiful children. She also writes a Disney blog to help you save time and money!  Emily is also a Disney Planner at Wishdrawals Travels!

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