Walt Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival has so much to offer. It’s hard to do it all in one day! We broke our visit into two days so that we could really enjoy all the food, drinks, and activities. In general, Epcot can be an expensive day, but we have a few money saving ideas, as well as, some tips to take advantage of to really enjoy your time.
1 – Share your treats.
Not only will you avoid totally stuffing yourself with the first treat, but it’ll make the trip around the world more affordable. This same thing goes with drinks. Below are just a couple of the goodies we had and shared.
2 – Choose your date wisely.
Going during the busiest days of the week will mean standing in long lines. Try using Under Tourist’s Crowd Calendar to look up recommendations of when to go. In general, weekends will be busiest with the middle of the week as the best time to go. Below is a picture of Jeremy perturbed on our first trip due to long lines and crowded spaces. That was on a Saturday. Our second trip was a Sunday and significantly less crowded!
3 – Explore beyond the world showcase!
There are other places to try some awesome treats. The Food & Wine festival center was off the beaten path and a building we’ve never been in before. It was neat to see somewhere new (or at least new to us!).
This is also where we found Shimmering Sips with fabulous mimosas made with different juices, like Blood Orange for instance. It was the best first stop, and open earlier than the World Showcase. You may have many adults eyeing your mimosas if you walk around the park, since the alcohol kiosks won’t open for another couple of hours!
Also, a money saving bonus: on special days for anyone who runs a Wine & Dine race and has their medal, they get BOGO drinks at Shimmering Sips.
4 – Enjoy your free souvenir: A Festival Passport Booklet
This little booklet will be around the park and usually near a cash register at kiosks, the headquarters, etc. It’s free! So feel free to take one. We used ours to look up unique spots, choose which kiosks to stop at that fit our beer preferences (we’re big cider fans), and – as the list maker that I am – checked off food and drinks we had with great pleasure. When you finish a section, they even provide a sticker book!
5 – Drink up!
Meaning: drink up your water! If you’re drinking around the world, it’s going to get crazy very fast. If you didn’t pack a water bottle, every quick stop station gives out free water if you ask. 🙂
6 – Take advantage of your time.
The World Showcase opens at 11am, which means you’ll need to wait to start digging into the festival goodies (unless you take advantage of Shimmering Sips I mentioned earlier!). Jeremy and I like to plan Fast Passes for Future World rides, like Soarin’ and Test Track. Last time we were there before 11am, I booked us a FP+ meet and greet with Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy!
7 – Play the scavenger games.
Every park has Hidden Mickeys which can be played year long. Here’s our list of our own discovered Hidden Mickey’s! But for 2018’s festival, we participated in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak foodie scavenger hunt. It’s a great entertainer for kids, but we adults also really enjoyed running around looking for Remy as he held an ingredient for a master meal at each country in the World Showcase. You have to pay for the map, but when it’s completed (totally doable in one visit, btw!) you can choose a prize at the Port of Entry.
8 – Earn your meal with a good race.
Did you know Disney hosts the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend while the festival is still going on? I ran this year’s half marathon, and it was a blast! I also was also given a free ticket to the after party on Epcot property, as well as a $15 Disney gift card. Why not earn your around the world goodies with 13.1 miles? 🙂