Disney goes all out for special events, and Food and Wine Festival is one of their biggest. All sorts of changes take place, which is nice for the Annual Passholders. Flower beds get made over with vegetables, fruit, and herbs each according to each country. This year they are even bringing back the cranberry bog. Free cranberries, yay! The Food & Wine Festival can be kind of overwhelming for beginners so here are a few tips to follow to help you out.
- Go to the Festival Center. This is a great place to start. You need to pick up a passport and a map if you didn’t already. The passport is really fun, you can get a stamp for each country your group purchases food in. The festival center also has merch, free seminars, and even a chocolate experience.
Ghirardelli chocolate hosts this section and gives you a little chocolate lesson with a free sample! There are also some awesome Disney-themed sculptures made entirely from chocolate. They sell hot chocolate, which is SO rich and sweet the four of us split the mini cup and couldn’t finish it. It basically tastes like you are drinking melted chocolate.
The festival center has cooking demonstrations or mixology seminars that are $15. You do need to make reservations for these in advance as they sell out. Special event bookings start on July 30 at 7:00 AM.
- Get a Gift Card! This is the one thing I tell everyone I know. Get a gift card (they sell them at the Festival Center and all over the park) and load it up with your food and alcohol budget for the day. This will save you from overspending as a bunch of little purchases can add up fast. The gift card will also make your life easier during the festival. You can wear the gift card on your wrist and just swipe it to pay. Cha-ching!
- Pick a slower time to go. Weekends, especially around dinner time are very crowded. Try and avoid Saturday nights as the lines will be long for the food booths. The more popular the band is the more crowded it will be, like when Boyz II Men is scheduled.
- Plan Ahead! Look online at the food options and make a plan for what you can’t miss otherwise you may get too full before you make it around. Here is a great site that lists all the items for this year. You can also Google “Epcot Food & Wine reviews” once the festival starts to see people’s opinions and pictures of some of the options available. This may help you shorten your want list a little.
Are there too many items that look amazing? Trust me I feel ya. Go with a group of 4 or 5 people and share items. They buy something at the first country and you all taste it, you buy at the next country and so on. This is a great way to enjoy the festival without going broke!
- Try something new. Choose at least one food item and/or drink that you have never had before! This makes your visit fun and adventurous.
Here is my must try list for 2015, I will put my reviews up on the blog soon!
Dominican Republic – Souffle de yucca: Yuca soufflé topped with grilled cheese
Hawaii – Tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips
Mexico – Tacos de camaron: Battered Shrimp, pico de gallo, pickled onions, chipotle mayonnaise
Scotland – The Tipsy Laird: Whiskey-soaked cake with lemon cream and toasted oats
Chew Lab – Frozen Chew-tini: Crop Organic Meyer Lemon vodka, carrot mango juice, citrus sour mix
Japan – Pineapple Fuzed Sake
Let me know in the comments what item you are most excited for at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival for 2015.
P.S. Special thanks to Terrea for providing the photos as mine went missing in action!!