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    That's My Opinion: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Reviewed

    Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Reviewed by Steve Russo

    Is this very popular annual event worth your time and money?

    Read it here!


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  3. #2

    What struck me was the photo of the California Roll. You don't need to go to the Wine and Food Festival for that. And it isn't even authentic Japanese.


  4. #3
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    This was exactly the kind of article I've been looking for on this event. I've thought many times of going in November to catch a bit of F&WF and then Christmas. But if there's anything I hate, it's massive crowds at my Disney park. And Epcot is a place I like to stroll through. If crowds prevent that, or just make it another drunk-fest bar/club scene, I think I'll pass. Besides - what are the odds I'm gonna get my kids to eat some of this crazy stuff, much less eat it standing up somewhere. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction on this one.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

    WDW Trips: June 2002, Feb 2004, Dec 2006, Dec 2008, Jan 2010, Feb 2011, Dec 2012
    Disneyland Trips: Feb 2006, Nov 2013

  5. #4

    We don't really think of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival as an "event" -- we don't usually make a special effort to go -- rather, we think of it as an "overlay" on our favorite park. Kind of like the Jingle Cruise or it's a small world holiday.

    We happened to go to WDW this year during the EF&WF, probably our fourth trip in the last 10-12 years during the festival, and it was thoroughly delightful. Having done it before, we know what to expect, and we only do the International Marketplace early in the day. Food is fresher, lines are MUCH shorter, and the World Showcase just isn't all that crowded yet. We'll try pretty much anything, because we've found that sometimes the best food offerings are the ones we might not think we'd like. Over about four days this year, we sampled food from at least 20 of the kiosks, going back to some of them (Canada and China especially) more than once.

    We learned years ago that the food "events" in the Festival Center aren't really our thing. We like some of the exhibits in the Festival Center, and we love getting to hang out in the Wonders of Life building (even if it makes us a little sad for what is now gone), but we pretty much just do our usual thing at Epcot during the Festival, with the addition of the extra snacking around the world between about 11:00 and 2:00 every day that we're there.

    Our best advice to anyone who wants to visit during the festival is mainly to avoid weekends (although we spent our last half-day in Florida, a Sunday, at Epcot, and the crowds were extremely light that morning). Go early in the day and enter the World Showcase right at 11:00 a.m. Do your Food & Wine stuff earlier in the day, then do other Disney stuff later when the crowds pick up.

    If anyone I ever cared to see played the Eat to the Beat concert series, I might consider going, but there's never been anyone playing while I was there that I cared to hear...


  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo996 View Post
    What struck me was the photo of the California Roll. You don't need to go to the Wine and Food Festival for that. And it isn't even authentic Japanese.
    In fairness, they did offer a Spicy Hand Roll that was, perhaps, more authentic.
    Steve

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    We went to the F&W for the first time in 2008 and we had such a good time that we've planned at least one of our trips to coincide with the festival every year since. We are 2 adult males and our total F&W related costs this year were @ $400. We are adventurous eaters so we try everything at least once during the course of the week, although we do skip most of the desserts and many of the adult beverages as we prefer cocktails to beer and wine. I do agree with Steve that with our living within easy access to Philadelphia & New York City, most of these cuisines are no longer so "exotic", but we enjoy the food booths all the same. We have seen Sister Sledge and Kool and the Gang in concert, but most of the other acts we are not interested in. We would have seen The Go-Gos if we'd been there during their appearance. We will soon be making plans for the 2014 festival.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolinakid View Post
    We went to the F&W for the first time in 2008 and we had such a good time that we've planned at least one of our trips to coincide with the festival every year since. We are 2 adult males and our total F&W related costs this year were @ $400. We are adventurous eaters so we try everything at least once during the course of the week, although we do skip most of the desserts and many of the adult beverages as we prefer cocktails to beer and wine. I do agree with Steve that with our living within easy access to Philadelphia & New York City, most of these cuisines are no longer so "exotic", but we enjoy the food booths all the same. We have seen Sister Sledge and Kool and the Gang in concert, but most of the other acts we are not interested in. We would have seen The Go-Gos if we'd been there during their appearance. We will soon be making plans for the 2014 festival.
    You echo my sentiments. Even though all the food is readily available in most locales, it is nice having it all in one spot.

    I also agree with the entertainment. I typically book our dates much earlier than the release of the entertainment schedule. Of course, the groups I would have liked to see were last week and next week. :-(
    Steve

  9. #8

    I have to say that I love the Epcot Food & Wine festival and I try to make it every year. This can be tough as I'm on the west coast of Canada. One thing that I think makes it really appealing to me is that I'm also a big user of the Disney Dining Plan. I'm sure we can all agree that getting Filet Mignon from Canada, or a Lobster roll from The American Adventure for a snack credit is about the best deal on property.

    I haven't done any of the extra cost events but just enjoy walking around the world and getting samples of all sorts of different flavours. I definitely agree with going during slower times, I was there for the midnight party after the Food & Wine Half marathon and that was fantastic.


  10. #9

    food & wine for me is a " been there done that " especially if there are no musical acts that I wish to see . which for the last 2 years has been the case . WARNING do not try to go on weekends especially with small children . world showcase is very dark & the drunken mobs with drinking around the world t- shirts can & do get out of hand . you can spend a lot of money In a short period of time at the food booths . any trip to the " world " can be fun but flower & garden or early dec for Christmas decorations is in this mans humble opinion the best time for a visit.


  11. #10

    Thank you for this article...I have to tell you all...we went two years in a row, 2012 and 2013. The worst part of our trip to food and wine this year, was that there is NOWHERE to sit and eat your food, as you pointed out, the prime trashcan locations were sparse...and with kids in tow, backpacks etc, you really do need some place to sit, if not...STAND and place your food on a tall table or something.

    With this being said, I do agree with those who say that this event is an overlay onto the Epcot that we all love, a "bonus" if you will , if it happens to be there next time we go, I will be happy, but I would not plan my trip specifically for it.

    The mosted wasted of days, is the one without laughter-E E Cummings

  12. #11
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    If we can't find a table (or a trash can) we usually set our plates and cups on top of the walls/fences alongside the lagoon. They are just wide enough to do the trick. Our actual favorite spot is on the first level of the pyamid of the Mexico Showcase. The walls are wide and there's lots of shade. We usually do the 4 or 5 booths in the vicinity (this year it was Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Mexico and Singapore) and bring our plates back to Mexico to nosh.

    John

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