Complete overview of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival in 2016
(Article last update: February 21, 2016)
The Food and Wine Festival is held at Epcot every fall for several weeks and includes special events, food booths where you can sample items from various countries, celebrity chefs and more.
Here's an overview of the festival and how you can plan your time there.
When is it?
Although the festival has always started in September and ended in November, Disney has extended the time span in recent years.
In 2016, the Food and Wine Festival will be held September 14 through November 14.
What takes place at the Food and Wine Festival?
There are more than 2 dozen food booths sprinkled throughout the World Showcase which allow you to sample many foods from various countries (there's a free "passport" available that you can get stamped as you visit the various booths). You can read all about the booths and see the menus on the Disney Food Blog Food and Wine menu and booth index.
The appetizer-sized portions available at the booths usually range in price from $4.00 - $8.00 (with drinks ranging from $3-$6) and Disney Dining Plan credits can be used for many items.
Eat to the Beat concerts
Throughout the festival, musical acts from my childhood the 80s and 90s perform at the America Gardens Theater (a stage located in the American Adventure section of the World Showcase). These concerts take place 3 times per evening (at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm) and don't cost any extra.
New for 2015! A FastPass+ option is now available for the concerts. These are a tier 1 offering (along with Test Track and Soarin') but might be good for popular shows or busy travel dates.
Here's the concert lineup for 2015:
- September 25-27 – David Cook
- September 28-29 – Wilson Phillips
- September 30-October 1 – Christopher Cross
- October 2-4 – Starship
- October 5-7 – Smash Mouth
- October 8-9 – The Pointer Sisters
- October 10-11 – 38 Special
- October 12-13 – Rick Springfield
- October 14-16 – Sugar Ray
- October 17-18 – The S.O.S. Band
- October 19-21 – Air Supply
- October 22-23 – Fuel
- October 24-25 – Tiffany
- October 26-28 – Dennis DeYoung
- October 29-30 – Jo Dee Messina
- October 31-November 1 – Everclear
- November 2-4 – Boyz II Men
- November 5-6 – Sister Hazel
- November 7-9 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- November 10-12 – Hanson
- November 13-14 – Maxi Priest
- November 15-16 – Chaka Khan
These are items that are available during the Food and Wine Festival but don't cost anything extra.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt - special maps and stickers will be available to use as you make your way through the World Showcase looking for hidden statues of Remy
- Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog - After an absence in 2014, the bog is back!
- Chase Lounge - Chase cardholders will have access to this private area to relax with complimentary refreshments
There are a few premium offerings (translation: they cost extra money) during the Food and Wine Festival. Tickets for 2015 went on sale on July 30, 2015, and can be booked by calling 407-WDW-FEST.
These are the options:
- Party for the Senses
- French Family Meal Traditions Lunch
- Rockin’ Burger Block Party
- "What’s Cookin’ With..."
- Exploring Wines from 1996 to Now
- Spotlight on the Dominican Republic
- I’ll Take Manhattans
- The Parisian Afternoon: Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles
- Japanese Craft Beer Tasting
Get details on each event (including dates and prices) in the Disney Food Blog Food and Wine event overview.
Celebrity chefs appear during the festival at demonstrations and special events. In 2015, the list of chefs will include Cat Cora, Robert Irvine, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Kenny Gilbert, John Ash and Buddy Valastro.
More details (including dates and exactly which events they'll be appearing at) should come later.
The welcome center is located in Future World near Mission: Space and Ellen's Energy Adventure and features some experiences and opportunities for shopping (and guests using the festival passport can get their completion stamp here).
You can see the full list of welcome center events in the Disney Food Blog Food and Wine seminar overview
Planning your time at the Food and Wine Festival
When to go
Though the Food and Wine Festival takes place 7 days a week during the festival dates, the weekends are when it gets really busy due to the influx of locals who come to enjoy it. For that reason, I would choose a date Monday - Thursday if you can.
A touring plan
If you have 1 day at Epcot, I'd spend the first part of the day in Future World using my Epcot touring plans to ride rides and then use the last part of the day for Food and Wine Festival activities.
Here's what I'd do for the festival, beginning in early afternoon:
- Visit the Welcome Center to browse merchandise and enjoy various demonstrations/events that are held in the afternoon
- Visit the cranberry bog on your way to the World Showcase
- Pick up a marketplace passport to get stamped as you work through the World Showcase
- Stop by kiosks, enjoying various food and drinks, getting stamps as you go (my preference is to visit the food booths that don't have a permanent presence in the World Showcase)
- Attend 1 of the Eat to the Beat concerts at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, or 8:00pm
- On your way out of Epcot, stop by the Welcome Center to pick up any merchandise or wines that you'd like to take home with you (and you can also get a completion stamp on your passport if you'd like)
Get the map!
Need more details and info?
You can order the Disney Food Blog guide to the 2015 Food and Wine Festival for $14.95.
As more details are released for 2015, I'll be updating this post to include new info.
Will you be attending the Food and Wine Festival? (I will!)
Do you have questions or comments to add? Feel free to share in the comments.