Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2013

Over the weekend I took my first trip to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. The annual event brings even more countries than their daily standalone ones, allowing you to “taste your way around the world” from September 27-November 11 (you still have another week to get there).

Each drink or food sample cost $4-10 on average (depending on the size and item). Rather than having to pull out cash or whip out a credit card each time, Disney introduced “wristbands” at the Festival, making it extremely easy to make a purchase and move the line along faster. We were able to pre-load money onto the small gift card on the wristband/bracelet when we first got to the park and let me just say, best idea ever.

For first timers to the Festival (and even old timers), I definitely recommend checking out the Festival Guide prior to getting to the park. You’ll be able to see what food/drink you can try at each country’s station and also the various events going on to better plan your day and budget.

Frozen S’mores. AMAZING!

Although I didn’t try every single country’s station (that’s a lot of eating and drinking to fit into one day), I was able to try quite a few and really enjoyed the majority of my samplings. More specifically, my favorite stop was at Belgium where I ate the most amazing waffles with chocolate I’ve ever had. Sorry I don’t have a picture of them to share. You learn you need more than two hands when walking around with your food, drink, and attempting to eat!

Keep in mind that your day won’t be cheap! Like I previously mentioned, walking around with a prepaid “gift card” helps tremendously. You can see your balance after each transaction and you’re more aware of your spending, rather than mindlessly swiping your card. 
Tickets for the Food & Wine Festival will run you about $90 as an adult which also counts as your Disney park admission (you only pay for food and drink once you’re in). There are also a lot of cool food demonstrations and other Festival experiences you can enjoy, some of which will cost you extra (check the map/Festival guide for details the week you’re going). We didn’t have time to check any of those out but I’m hopeful that next year we’ll get there a little earlier to have the complete Festival experience.
Commemorative Beer Glass 
Another cool thing you can enjoy at the Food & Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat concert series. Throughout the Festival, there are a number of musicians performing for a half hour at a time. Be sure to check out the schedule ahead of time to plan for an artist you like (if you’re interested in any of the acts). The day I attended Christopher Cross performed and I’m not familiar with him so that was kind of a bust for me – especially considering my childhood obsession, Hanson, is performing today and tomorrow.. just a few days later. 
Did you attend the Festival this year or plan to next year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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  • Sounds like a fun, but very expensive day. I like the idea of the wristband, though. I also love the sound of frozen s'mores!

  • I went several years ago with friends who had been before, so I personally didn't domuch research before going. I had a good time, but definitely want to go back and be a bit more prepared! Also, now I want waffles ;)