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EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

It’s that time of year at Walt Disney World. What time, you ask? Fall! And with fall at Walt Disney World comes the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival. So, what exactly is the Food and Wine Festival? It is a culinary exploration which you can embark upon at EPCOT and experience the culture and cuisine of countries across six continents. The Food and Wine Festival occurs from late July to mid-November each year. While many of the various food booths, also known as Global Marketplaces, are located in the World Showcase, food booths and festival experiences are located across EPCOT. It’s one of the most popular festivals and events to take place at Walt Disney World, and I’m going to explain why.

Last year, I had the opportunity to go to Walt Disney World over fall break in October with a friend. We were so excited to be at EPCOT during the Food and Wine Festival, and couldn’t wait to try all of the limited-time foods and experience all that the festival had to offer. While I had been to EPCOT during the Food and Wine Festival before, this was the first time that I truly took the time to experience as much of the festival as I could. My friend and I loved it so much, and had an incredible time. The only regret we had was that we couldn’t try more of the food. My friend at much more of the food than I did, but I did eat my fair share. I just had too many other regular EPCOT foods that I love to eat every time I’m there, so I had to find some balance somewhere. So, what exactly did I eat? Well, I will tell you. However, keep in mind that several of the things I ate last year are not available this year, as are some of the food booths. At Earth Eats, I ate the Impossible Meatballs. They were very good, but a little spicy for me. Keep in mind that I don’t do spice at all, so it wouldn’t be spicy for the majority of people. At The Alps, I ate the warm Raclette Swiss cheese with baby potatoes, cornichons, and baguette. I was not a fan of this one. The potatoes and baguette were good, but I didn’t like the cheese. At Italy, I ate the gnocchi di patate. It was amazing, but a bit expensive. It was probably my favorite thing that I ate, though. At Mac & Eats, I ate the traditional macaroni and cheese with herbed panko. It was great mac and cheese, but not life-changing. At Tangierine Café, I ate the falafel pita. It was my first time having falafel, and I loved it. I wish it was a permanent food item at the Morocco pavilion. All in all, the food was good, and it was incredible variety available. Now, it is the Food and Wine Festival, so there is a lot of alcohol available to purchase throughout the park as a part of the festival. I personally don’t drink, so I have no comments to make about those offerings. Be sure to pick up a festival passport to see all food and drink options and where they are located.

Besides the food, there are several fun things to do during the festival. One thing that many look forward to are the Eat to the Beat concerts. Lots of groups and artists participate during the course of the festival, and they change out every couple of nights. If you’re interested in going to the festival, check the schedule at the beginning of the festival to see who will be there and when. If you are able, you can time your trip to be there when your favorite concert will be happening. The concerts are free with park admission, and you also have the option to get dining packages for premium seats. If you plan on eating a lot of the festival foods, be sure to do the Emile’s Fromage Montage. You pick up a festival passport, and get a stamp for every qualifying cheesy food item. With enough stamps, you get a free surprise at the end. My friend did this, and she got a strawberry cheesecake Dole Whip in a souvenir cup. The other really fun thing to do is Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak. It’s a super fun scavenger hunt that takes place all across the World Showcase. Remy is making a dish, and you have to find him and the ingredient he has with him. There is a map available for purchase at various places around EPCOT. The map will tell you what country Remy is located in, and you have to find him and place the sticker with the corresponding ingredient on the location. When you have completed the map, you can take it back to a couple of specific locations to pick up your prize. Last year, the prize was a cup. They had four different designs, and you got to pick which one you wanted. Last year, the options were Remy, Tiana, Figment, and Chef Mickey. I chose Tiana since she was specific to the 2022 Food and Wine Festival. It was very cute, and I actually use it more than I expected to. The scavenger hunt was one of my favorite things to do at the festival, and I would highly recommend doing it, especially if you have kids.

The Food and Wine Festival also has limited-edition merchandise that is specific to that festival that year. They have several themes available, and they are only available as long as supplies last. Most of the festival merchandise can be found in larger shops, such as the Creations Shop, World Traveler, and Disney Traders. There are also merchandise booths set up all over the World Showcase with smaller collections of merchandise. My advice is that if there is something specific that you know you want, start with the larger shops. They will have the widest selections available. However, if you know you want merchandise with a specific theme or character, look in the booths in the World Showcase. Most of those I noticed were grouped more by theme than anything else. The merchandise is always great each and every year, so be sure to check it out and bring at least one souvenir home with you.

Overall, the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is a great festival to go to, and it’s easy to see why it is one of the most popular festivals that Walt Disney World has to offer. If you love food, and proclaim yourself to be a foodie, then you have to check this festival out. It’s tons of fun, and great for broadening your culinary horizons. Have you been to the Food and Wine Festival before? If so, what was your favorite thing about the festival?

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