Thank you to Disney for providing tickets to this event for my family. All opinions are my own.
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is in full effect and offers little bites from around the world. You know the basics, like crowds and lines, but I have a couple of items you may not have thought about.
Buy a Gift Card
The easiest way to budget and pay throughout the day is by purchasing (for free) the Food & Wine Festival gift card. It comes with a stretchy coil to fit around your wrist, but I attached it to my lanyard for easy access.
Simply pick the amount you’ve budgeted for the day and add it to the gift card at a retail shop or kiosk. If you are going as a family, you may want to budget a certain amount for each family member and buy multiple cards but we went for one between the four of us and it worked out well.
Then when you stop at each locale to purchase food, simply have the cast member swipe the card. Then you aren’t having to pull out your debit or credit card each time you buy food and drink – plus, you’ll get a receipt showing just how much you have left on the gift card. That makes it easier to stay on budget.
Grab Your Passport
This is an important step because it lists all 40+ culinary destinations throughout Epcot for the Food and Wine Fest. The passport is your one-stop-shop for what foods are in each country and where to find your favorites. It also includes stickers for the kids to mark off places they’ve tried and lists some fun activities for the kids.
The passport helps you map out your day. We started on one end and walked through all the countries, but you could choose to go eat in Belgium for breakfast, Mexico for lunch, and Germany for dinner. For us, it worked well to just stop along the way and sample foods that we found interesting.
Eat dessert first!
Our first stop was to Shimmering Sips for the Cheesecake Trio and what a way to start our first Food and Wine Festival experience. The raspberry, chocolate, and New York-style cheesecake bites were gone in a flash.
Later in the day we stopped by Belgium for the Golden Malted Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream. Let’s just say it was devoured before I even stopped taking pictures. So, the family loved it.
While in Belgium, we also tried the Beer-braised Beef with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes were a favorite and very creamy.
Try a bit of everything! You never know if you’ll like something until you try. At least that’s what I tell my kids (and husband). Here are just a few of our favorites from the day.
From the Appleseed Orchard (located in the theater where they played the Canada 360 movie) we tried the Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, Frozen Apple Pie (non-alcoholic) and the Woodchuck Hard Cider Spiced Apple. Oh, my word. Heaven.
The Charcuterie and Cheese Plate was fantastic and had so much flavor and the Frozen Apple Pie was a serious hit with everyone. This is a must-stop, especially because it’s indoors and a great place to get out of the Florida heat.
We grabbed three menu items in Italy. Ravioli Carbonara, Costine di Maiale, and Pollo. The Ravioli Carbonara was full of flavor and cooked perfectly. The Costine di Maiale is balsamic-glazed and oven-roasted pork ribs and they were tender. Note that my daughter thought the vinegar was a bit too strong.
The Pollo was crispy chicken tenders with marinara sauce and was just what my son wanted. They were also a hit with my daughter.
If it was Charcuterie was I was trying it! I know most of the time charcuterie is Keto-friendly so I’m always looking for it on any menu. I was in luck at the Food & Wine Festival with small bites that I could actually eat.
The Charcuterie in a Cone has a selection of imported Spanish meats, cheeses, and olives with an herb vinaigrette and I didn’t feel bad for eating it all by myself.
Go early, take your time, and stay cool. That’s my advice. We showed up at opening time and left about 12 hours later. In that time we took breaks, rode rides, and checked out indoor offerings.
I’d suggest trying some bites and walking around for a bit, maybe hop on Test Track, go for a boat ride through Mexico, or learn something in the Living with the Land boat ride. Just know that there are so many food and drink options that you will not be able to get to it all in a day. Pick your favorites and have fun.
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival runs through November 23, 2019.