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Epcot Food and Wine Festival Guide & Tips

As much as I’m craving a Mickey Mouse-shaped rice krispy treat right now, I’m drooling over all the NEW food and drink options at Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year.

Fall is my favorite time to visit Disney World, mostly because of this delicious global-themed celebration. You too?

Unlike other special events at Disney World, such as Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party, admission to the festival is included in general park admission, including annual passholders.

If you’re looking to roll in the Fall season with a trip to Disney World, check out my top tips for a successful, mouth-watering trip to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival dates

Photo of the floral and art display at the main entrance of Epcot for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

In 2024, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will run from August 29 through November 23.

Typically this festival starts a few weeks after the Flower & Garden Festival ends. But this year, Flower & Garden ends on Memorial Day in May, a month earlier than usual, so the entire summer is wide open without a festival this year. Perhaps Disney is cooking up something new for this season, either this year or next!

Check out these monthly Disney vacation planning guides for more tips for the month you’ll be visiting:

  1. WDW in August
  2. WDW in September
  3. WDW in October
  4. WDW in November

Best resorts nearby and when to book

Photo of the Disney Beach Club Resort near Epcot.
Photo courtesy of Disney Parks.

Book your Walt Disney World vacation package as far in advance as you can. If possible, 6 months or more ahead of when you want to go is optimal.

Not only is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival super popular, booking early will get you the best deal and resort of choice.

That said, it’s not impossible to still get a good room and dining reservations if you book less than 6 months ahead. Just harder to pull off!

I highly recommend staying at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Beach Club Resort, or BoardWalk Inn, as they are the closest resorts to Epcot.

You can literally walk to Epcot from all 3 of these resorts, which will be great after a day of stuffing yourself silly with delicious food.

And let’s be honest, probably an adult beverage or 2.

Disney’s Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort are also nearby. While they are not walkable, you can take the Skyliner to Epcot and enjoy aerial views along the way.

When to book dining reservations

Photo of the Food & Wine display at the Epcot main entrance with Spaceship Earth in the background.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

If you plan to do a few sit-down meals, you’ll want to select your dining reservations ahead of time, too.

While this won’t guarantee you’ll get a seat at the restaurant or dates of your choosing, it does increase the odds.

While most of the festival food and wine is sold through food booths, some of Epcot’s restaurants have special dishes or dining events, like a tequila lunch at La Hacienda de San Angel.

In addition, you can book a special package that gives you reserved seating at the Eat to the Beat concert along by booking at select Epcot restaurants.

Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days ahead of your trip start date if you’re staying at a Disney resort. If not, you can reserve 60 days ahead of your desired date for the reservation.

Consider Genie+ and Lightning Lane

Closeup to the entrance for the Test Track ride at Epcot.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney Parks.

The days of 60 day Fastpass picks are long gone!

If you want to avoid a long wait for popular rides, you’ll want to pony up the cash for Genie+ or purchase individual Lightning Lane passes (if the ride you love offers ’em!).

Pop over to my Genie+ & Lightning Lane guide for more tips on what’s available so you can decide if either option is worth it for you!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival passport and menu

Photo of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival passport for 2023 with Spaceship Earth Epcot ball in the background.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Make a game out of attending the festival by collecting stickers from each food booth.

You can get a free copy of the official Epcot Food and Wine passport at various locations around the park.

The passport also acts as a menu for the festival, which will make it easier to plan your day at Epcot.

Use Disney Dining Plan snack credits

Closeup of the charcuterie cone from the Epcot Food & Wine Festival at Disney World.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

NOTE: The Disney Dining Plan is currently on hold, but is scheduled to return in January, so save this tip for your 2024 visit!

Yes, the Disney Dining Plan can be used at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Typically most dishes and some drinks can be purchased using snack credits. So if you aren’t visiting Disney solely to focus on the festival, but want to try a dish or 2, you won’t have to plunk down extra money to do so!

You can also use your meal credits per usual, though special meal events, like the Parisian Brunch at Chefs de France, or culinary demonstrations, are not eligible for dining plan redemptions.

To learn more about this add-on and whether it’s the right fit for you, check out my post about the pros and cons of the Disney Dining Plan.

Stay on budget with a Disney gift card

Photo of signage pointing guests to the Brew-Wing Lab at the Odyssey at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

To help you stay on budget, get a Disney gift card and load it with whatever your budget is.

Cards are reloadable, so you can reload it daily, too. Gift cards can be purchased ahead of time via ShopDisney or you can purchase one when you get to Disney World.

If you’re really feeling in the spirit, Disney World has Food & Wine Festival gift cards available for purchase at Epcot and some Disney World resorts.

You can purchase mini gift cards at select stores within Epcot during the festival. The mini size is perfect for wearing around a wristband or lanyard without getting in the way!

Avoid crowds by going to the festival during the week

Photo of a sculptural display for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2023.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

While Disney World generally has lower crowds throughout most of the Fall season, weekends at Epcot are super busy compared to the weekdays.

Why? Local residents and passholders that work during the week are more likely to hit up the festival during the weekend, adding to crowds.

If you have your hopes set for attending one of the Epcot Food and Wine demonstrations or classes, many of which only run on the weekends, you could reserve rides and taste testing for the week, then focus solely on learning on the weekends.

While you wouldn’t be avoiding the crowds, you’ll have to deal with it a bit less since you only have 1 thing to focus on that day.

Check out the FREE Epcot Food and Wine concerts

Photo of Foreigners Journey performing as part of the Epcot Eat to the Beat concert series.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

A big draw for the Epcot Food and Wine fest are the free concerts, featuring popular musical acts from years past, up-and-coming artists, and occasionally tribute bands from the Orlando area.

These concerts are a ton of fun and a great way to see artists from your childhood or new ones that are just starting to make waves in the music world.

Past acts include 98 Degrees (as seen above), Boyz II Men, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Plain White Ts, and Southern Avenue.

Concerts are held almost every night at that American Gardens Theatre at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM, and 8:00 PM.

The 2024 lineup is not available yet, as of May 6, 2024, but here’s the schedule from 2023 so you can get an idea of the types of bands that play. Many of them return, but there are usually a few new acts, as well!

DateMusical Act
July 27Funkafied
July 28-29Orianthi
August 1-3Funkafied
August 4-5Southern Avenue
August 6-7Tiffany
August 8-10The Champagne Orchestra
August 11-12Ruben Studdard & Hailey Reinhart
August 13-14The Fray
August 15-17M-80s
August 18-21Joey Fatone & Friends
August 22-24The Female Collective
August 25-26Ayron Jones
August 27-28Phillip Phillips
August 29-31Element
September 1-2Baha Men
September 3-4MercyMe
September 5-7Foreigners Journey
September 8-9Ray Parker Jr.
September 10-11Toby Mac
September 12-14Hooligans
September 15Monsieur Periné
September 16-17Raul Acosta & Oro Solido
September 18Bacilos
September 19-21Audio Exchange
September 22-24Los Amigos Invisibles
September 25-2698°
September 27-28Latin Ambition
September 29-30 & October 1-2Boyz II Men
October 3-5Wish Radio
October 6-7Mark Wills
October 8-9Sugar Ray
October 10-12Icon Party Band
October 13-14Hoobastank
October 15-16Air Supply
October 17-19Evolution Motown
October 20-21Taylor Dane
October 22-23Billy Ocean
October 24-26Sound Up
October 27-30Hanson
October 31 & November 1-2Rexine
November 3-4We the Kings
November 5-6Sheila E.
November 7-9Epic Live
November 10-11Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
November 12-1338 Special
2023 Eat to the Beat Concert Series Lineup

Sign up for runDisney’s Epcot Food and Wine Half Marathon

Photo of a woman running in a Minnie Mouse costume at a RunDisney race at Disney World.
Photo courtesy of Disney Sports News.

Officially dubbed the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, this weekend-long event typically includes a 5K, 10K, and a half marathon.

Runners can also enroll in the Two Course Challenge, which includes the 10K race on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday.

This year, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend will take place November 2-5, 2023.

Registration costs for the races vary and can be found on the runDisney website.

Aside from the races, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend also includes a health and fitness expo and an exclusive post-race party.

Half marathon and Challenge runners get free entry to the post-race party. Other race runners, as well as friends and family can purchase tickets for $105 including tax.

Check out the outdoor kitchens

Photo of the French Fry Flight from The Fry Basket food booth at the 2023 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Perhaps the most popular aspect to any Epcot festival are the global marketplaces.

These food booths bring new, limited-time snacks to the park from a variety of cuisines from around the world. It is Epcot, after all!

Here’s a quick list of the food booths that were available in 2023 to give you an idea of what might also be available in 2024:

  1. The Alps
  2. Australia
  3. Belgium
  4. Brazil
  5. Brew-Wing Lab at the Odyssey
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Coastal Eats
  9. Flavors from Fire
  10. Flavors of America
  11. France
  12. The Fry Basket
  13. Germany
  14. Greece
  15. Hawaii
  16. India
  17. Ireland
  18. Italy
  19. Japan
  20. Kenya
  21. Mexico
  22. The Noodle Exchange
  23. Spain

In addition to the limited-time only food booths, some of your favorite restaurants at Epcot also add limited-time menu items.

So be sure to check out all your favorite places’ menus to see if there’s something new to try there, too.

Join Emile’s Fromage Montage food challenge

Photo of signage for Emile's Fromage Montage food scavenger hunt at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Are you ready to take on the big cheese? Emile’s Fromage Montage food challenge will have you grappling with 13 scrumptious cheesy options.

Purchase 5 of your cheesy favorites and indulge in the ultimate cheese feast. Once you’ve purchased at least 5 of the 13 cheesy options, you can trade your card in for a prize.

Stay tuned for a list of options for the 2024 challenge!

Complete Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt

Photo of a sign on a pole at Epcot for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Want to experience the culinary adventure of a lifetime? Look no further than Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

Follow Remy’s lead as he takes you on a journey to uncover ingredients hidden throughout the park. Can you keep up with his rat-tastic scavenger skills?

If you’re up for the challenge, grab a map and get ready for a wild culinary ride.

Don’t forget to snap some stylistic pics for Instagram, because everyone knows the ultimate recipe for a good time includes a dash of fun and a pinch of sass.

Plus, if you finish the scavenger hunt, you can trade it in for a fun prize.

So, come hungry, and leave satisfied, with a few more ingredients in your pantry and a great story to tell.

Have fun with Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit scavenger hunt

From September 29 through October 31, the festival’s scavenger hunt changes over to Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit.

During this time, Pluto and his pals have hidden pumpkins all across the park. You’ll need to put on your detective hat and go on a wild goose chase to find them all.

But don’t worry, I’m positive that you’ll love every minute of it! I love these seasonal scavenger hunts, don’t you?

Following tradition, if you finish the scavenger hunt, you can trade your game card in for a prize!

Pick up some fun Epcot Food and Wine Festival merchandise

Photograph of an Epcot Food & Wine merchandise display, including Epcot Food & Wine shirts, mugs, rolling pins, ears, and more.
Photo by Harrison Cooney, courtesy of Disney Parks.

Whether you want the world to know pineapple dole whips are your bae or you collect Disney event memorabilia, be sure to pick up some lovely festival merchandise in the parks or on Disney Store.

What are your top Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips?

Are you as excited as I am to taste food and adult beverages from around the world at Disney World’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Tell me your top Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips in the comments!

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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This post was originally published on September 16, 2016 on Frost + Sun. It was moved to The Park Pixie on May 4, 2021 and last updated May 6, 2024.

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