If you’re like me, and love Disney, good food and drinks, you’ve probably heard of EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival. Even if you aren’t a huge Disney fan, I can promise that I have convinced many non-Disney-loving adults to try this festival and they have all approved (and maybe even became more of a Disney fan than before).
Food and Beverages
For those who only have limited time, let’s get down to the obvious essentials: food and drinks!
Year-round you can find 11 Pavilions at EPCOT’s World Showcase (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Epcot). These Pavilions offer great table-service and quick-service dining, entertainment and some even have rides. During Food and Wine, you can find kiosks-EPCOT calls them Global Marketplaces-with special menus only available during the festival (August 30-November 12).
Here is an example of some options at the Italy Pavilion. We had the Mezzi Rigatoni: Vodka Sauce, Crispy Pancetta and Parmesan Cheese ($7.00), a glass of Villa Sandi Prosecco ($9.00) and the Moretti La Rossa Double Malt ($5.50). You can get a peek of what the kiosk menus look like behind our goodies.
At Mexico we enjoyed the Ay Caramba, a Smoky Margarita with Gracias A Dios Mezcal, Lime Juice and Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur. ($10.25) It’s become a tradition to have a drink in Mexico and then go on the Gran Fiesta Tour, a boat ride starring The Three Caballeros (Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles). I recommend taking a break from the heat and food and enjoying the quirky little boat ride. Sadly the ride broke down while we were waiting, but these drinks put us in a good mood and we moved on with our adventure.
At all of Epcot’s festivals you will find a long line for the trendy (and expensive) slushy martinis at the France kiosk. During Food and Wine you can get the La Passion Martini Slush, which has Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice ($10.75). I’m usually not a huge fan of slushy drinks, but this isn’t too sweet and melts into a nice consistency quickly. One reason to like the Florida heat! It’s bright color also makes for great photos.
At Japan we tried the Teriyaki Chicken Bun, which is a steamed bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce ($5.50). This was my least favorite food at the festival. I found the bun was too dry and the inside filling didn’t really make up for it. Allergy warning: It is not posted anywhere (thankfully we asked) but this food is made with sesame oil.
My absolute favorite experience was in Canada. I brought my wine over from the Cheese Studio (seen later) and paired it with what is, in my opinion, the best food at the festival. The wine was Alta Vista Estate Malbec, Mendoza ($5.00). Canada offers two food items on their menu and we ordered both of them. Here you can see the Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll ($5.00) and the Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce ($8.00).
In addition to the kiosks linked with the World Showcase Pavilions, you can also find tons of other kiosks only available during Food and Wine festival. Throughout the Pavilions you can find kiosks for: New Zealand, Australia, Hawai’i, Islands of the Caribbean, Greece, Thailand, India, Africa, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and Ireland.
At Greece we enjoyed Taste of Greece: Chicken Souvlaki, Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita and Lamb Sausage with a Dill Tomato Ragu ($8.00). The feta cheese dip was my favorite part and I really liked the chicken souvlaki. I was not a huge fan of the lamb sausage, but the purchase felt worth it for the other two.
My absolute favorite sweet treat offered at the festival was the Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($4.00). You can get this beauty with chocolate ganache instead of fruit too.
Other Unique Food Stations
The festival has other unique food and drink stations that aren’t listed as countries. Taste Track, located near Test Track has different ice cream sundaes. Flavors from Fire has different types of meats. The Almond Orchard hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze® has different dips and desserts featuring almonds. The Refreshment Port offers different types of poutine. The Refreshment Outpost has a spicy hot dog. The Brewer’s Collection offers different beers on tap.
The Next Eats area has 3 kiosks: Global Eats, Active Eats and Coastal Eats.
At Active Eats I tried the Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers and Green Onions ($5.00) and the M.I.A. Beer Company HRD WTR Pineapple Coconut Hard Sparkling Water, Doral, FL ($4.25). The mac was savory but the green onions and bacon tasted a bit too strong and the cheese’s flavor was not strong enough, in my opinion. I really enjoyed the hard water though and was pleasantly surprised and pleased that it wasn’t very sweet, just very refreshing.
The Light Lab is a must-see when visiting Food and Wine. It is located inside of Innoventions, which means there is air conditioning! The Light Lab is filled with blacklight and phosphorescent décor. The drinks are also phosphorescent and really fun to photograph. All the drinks are non-alcoholic except for the one in the photo. It’s called the Bleu Spectrum and it has Blanc de Bleu Cuvée Mousseux with Boba Pearls ($9.00). The Light Lab sadly does not offer food. In 2017 it had the Glow-nut, which is exactly what is sounds like, a glow-in-the-dark donut. I really enjoyed it but they unfortunately did not bring it back this year.
At the Art of Pairing area you will find another three stations: The Chocolate Studio, The Cheese Studio, The Wine & Dine Studio.
At the Cheese Studio I tried and absolutely loved the Braised Beef Stroganoff with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom and Boursin Garlic with Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce ($5.25). You can also see the Malbec I talked about earlier in the Canada section.
To wrap up the day, I had the Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with Whipped Cream ($4.25). It was a little dry without the toppings and raspberry sauce, but when mixed together it was absolutely perfect.
Aside from the obvious appeal of the festival, there are other perks! Festival Merchandise is offered throughout the park. You can buy Food and Wine themed apparel, cookbooks, kitchen accessories and even ears!
The festival hosts the Eat to the Beat Concert Series at the America Gardens Theater and it’s lineup has a variety of popular artists performing each night, like Baha Men, Air Supply, 98 Degrees, and Vertical Horizon.
Every Friday and Saturday at the Disney Du Jour Dance Party in Future World, kids are invited to dance with their favorite characters from movies like Ratatouille, Zootopia and Lilo and Stitch. They can also have fun at the food-themed playground and participate in Junior Chef classes.
At the Festival Center, another indoor and air-conditioned location, adults can also have tons of fun. In addition to the beer and wine served at the festival center, this year they added a mimosa bar. There are featured book-signings, bottle-signings and meet & greets with celebrated people in the food and wine industry. The festival center also has a Wine Shop where you can buy bottles of wine and The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar – Hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company where you can immerse yourself in all things chocolate.
Pricing and Pacing
Pricing for Food and Wine items vary from $4 to $11. I don’t suggest dining at a restaurant on the same day if you want to try a lot of different things. If you have a limited amount of time like I usually do, you can try 10-12 different kiosks and eat/spend as much as a nice table service dinner. I also suggest sharing drinks and food to avoid getting full and to allow yourself to try as many kiosks as possible. Try to avoid eating and drinking a lot of heavy items for the same reason. If you are staying at a Disney resort, I recommend linking a credit card to your room and magic band so that it is easy to pay as you move from kiosk to kiosk with your hands full of treats. If that’s not an option for you, you could also purchase a pre-loaded Disney gift card attached to a wristlet for easy paying. Gift cards on wristlets have a $15 minimum and a choice of three “Chef Remy” themed cards. You can also purchase a limited-release “Mickey/Food and Wine” themed gift card for a minimum of $250. This card comes with a lanyard necklace and a Food and Wine Mickey medallion.
Out of all of EPCOT’s festivals, Food and Wine definitely has the most to offer, which makes it the most popular. The downside is that crowds are usually larger and the time of year calls for a lot of Florida rain. However, you get an amazing selection of food and beverages that other festivals don’t offer. If you feel like the time of year and crowds aren’t for you, you can check out my write-up of the Flower and Garden Festival, which happens in spring. EPCOT also offers a Festival of the Holidays from November to December and a Festival of Arts from January to February. As I stated earlier, Disney fan or not, I promise you will find something to love at EPCOT.
My name is Danielle and I am a Disney lover and frequent visitor. I am from New York and have been lucky enough to go to Walt Disney World every year since I was 1 year old. Along with my obsession, my number of trips per year have increased, and I am so excited to share my experiences with other theme park folk. In addition to Disney World, I also take occasional trips to Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Disneyland. I look forward to sharing all these experiences with you. You can find more of my pictures at @hereyouleavetoday_ on Instagram.