Food & Wine Festival [best times to go?]
We are considering going to the Food & Wine Festival in 2014. I am looking for some advice. I am guessing weekdays are better to go than weekends, but is there a certain time period (in Sept, Oct or Nov) that is better, aka less crowded? Don't get me wrong, I know it will be busy no matter when we go, I am just looking for the "least busy" of those times. Thanks!
07-30-2013 08:16 AM
I can only speak from my experience. I've gone to the F&W every year from 2007-2012. I've always gone in October, either Columbus Day Week or the week after. I've always found the weekdays very manageable, especially if you start your rounds right around 11am. The weekends are much more crowded, but even then I didn't find the lines impossible. I think if you were to avoid the traditional lunch and/or dinner hours, you'll have no problem at all. But I can only speak from my experience. I'm sure others have their own. Next year I plan to go the first week of November (my birthday week). I'll be anxious to see what the difference is at the F&W from mid-October.
Ready for MA World Explorers!
I've gone at different times over the last few years - but never the first week or so, and this year is the first year that I'll be DOING the booths the last weekend (I arrive on Friday late and the last day is Monday) so I'm not sure how the bookend dates differ.
I totally agree - avoid Friday and Saturday (Sunday hasn't SEEMED to be as bad, but the last Sunday might be), start early (you'll definitely see a difference in the crowds) and get a passport (they're free) that lists all the offerings so you can keep a record of what you've tried/what you have left to try. My sister and I generally spend a few meals 'munching'
I agree with what others have said above. Avoid Fridays and Saturdays, and avoid either the beginning of the Fest or the end. I'm doing my usual end of September trip this year, but I don't do the Fest till Monday night, after it's been going a few days. I'm hoping I'll be able to sneak into an evening that's not too busy. Last year I made the mistake of doing it on the first Saturday. The booths weren't too bad, but the overall crowd was so huge that I couldn't even get into the Rose & Crown Pub - they had security outside and weren't even letting people in till people inside left. It kinda put a damper on my last night in the World. This year I hope things time out better!
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
- James Taylor
Self-proclaimed Diz nut
Another agree.....Friday and Saturday were MISERABLE. The festival, however, is wonderful!
Working hard for that next WDW trip!
Disney Bird Watcher
We did the last week of the festival last year. As others said go during the week and avoid the weekends. Hitting it at 11 am when the area first opens was great for us – no lines anywhere. Just don’t eat a big breakfast so you are hungry early.
The Culinary Demos are well worth the time and the small cost. We wished we had time to do more of them.
See our trip report at
Ready for MA World Explorers!
To help with budgeting and ease of transactions - they have small gift cards you can get that have bands for your wrist. My sister and I will load one up as much as we want at that point, and then use it to track how much we've spent at booths (because each receipt says how much you have left on the card). Or not track - as the case may be at that point in time. But they're super handy because you just have the larger charges on your credit card (or you can pay cash) when you load (or reload them) instead of at each booth - and you don't have to worry about getting change back in your pocket/wallet/purse - or wondering 'where did all my money go' because the booths can REALLY suck it up fast, ESPECIALLY if you're having adult beverages. They're not any safer if you lose them than cash - so you don't necessarily want to put your whole vacation budget on them at once, but they're super easy to reload.
I usually start with $200 on my card and then keep adding $100 increments until it's my last day. My boyfriend and I usually try to sample all the food choices (we skip most of the desserts) during the course of the week we're there. And as Cathy noted, if you're indulging in adult beverages (and we do), your card can get depleted pretty quickly!