In the fall, Disney isn’t just for kids and young at heart. The annual Epcot Food and Wine Festival held at the Disney park has an incredible sampling of bites from around the world.
More than 30 food booths are scattered among Epcot’s World Showcase in a circular path around a lake. This enormous section of the theme park has permanent pavilions representing 11 countries, but the food options aren’t restricted to those options. You can enjoy lamb from New Zealand, jerk chicken from the Caribbean or charcuterie in a cone from Spain.
The continued addition of specialty booths, such as The Chocolate Studio and Flavors From Fire, don’t represent specific countries but celebrate a certain food style.
This Orlando festival generally runs from August through November, with exact dates to be announced by spring.
Eating and Drinking
While an admission pass to Disney is required to enter, the food is reasonably priced considering the portions. Generally the small plates range from $4 – $9. While servings aren’t enormous, usually two or three items are plenty for a meal. Each booth showcases a small handful of food items, so watch as people exit the line to determine portion sizes.
The best way to enjoy the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is with others, sharing food so you can sample delicious dishes from as many countries as possible.
Although the title specifies “wine festival,” that’s not the only beverage available. You can find a wide range of beers, ciders, cocktails and more all ranging from $3 – $10. Past non-alcoholic craft-cocktails have been a blueberry lemon and ginger tea, frozen s’mores and frozen apple pie.
Beyond Eating and Drinking
Almost every day a new band performs at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series located in the American Adventure Pavilion. The bands perform for free multiple times each day for about an hour. Usually they’re popular acts from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.
For an extra fee learn more about food and beverage with one of the many special events, such the popular cheese seminar series. Other premium events allow guests to enjoy culinary skills of a celebrity chef for brunch or dinner. You can also cook alongside an expert or have a culinary tour of a specific region prepared by a master chef.
Going Monday through Thursday will ensure a lighter crowd than the weekends. Unless you plan to enjoy the rides, you’re better off arriving around 11 a.m. when the World Showcase opens.
If you’d prefer to stay on Disney property, the Port Orleans Resort is one of the best options, but you can stay off property and still get a good deal.
Both the Hyatt Regency Grand Cyprus and the Hilton Garden Lake Buena Vista are very nearby and have shuttles to and from Disney. The Best Western Orlando Gateway is a budget hotel with a free shuttle to all of the local parks.
For a condo with a full kitchen and a pool on the property, try the Floridays Resort which also offers a free shuttle.