(Article last updated: November 25, 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.
In this article
When is Food and Wine?
Although this event has always started in September and ended in November, Disney has extended the time span in recent years.
In 2017, the Food and Wine Festival will be held August 31st through November 13.
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 apply stickers to 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 F&W, 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.
Here's the concert lineup for 2016:
- September 14-15 - Wang Chung
- September 16-18 - STARSHIP Featuring Mickey Thomas
- September 19-20 - Air Supply
- September 21-23 - BoDeans
- September 24-25 - Fuel
- September 26-28 - Sugar Ray
- September 29-30 - Los Lobos
- October 1-2 - David Cook
- October 3-4 - Wilson Phillips
- October 5-6 - Blues Traveler
- October 7-9 - Plain White T’s
- October 10-11 - 38 Special
- October 12-13 - Jeffrey Osborne
- October 14-16 - Tiffany
- October 17-19 - Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX
- October 20-21 - Christopher Cross
- October 22-23 - Toad the Wet Sprocket
- October 24-25 - Chaka Khan
- October 26-27 - Billy Ocean
- October 28-29 - Living Colour
- October 30-November 1 - Hanson
- November 2-3 - Soul Asylum
- November 4-6 - Delta Rae
- November 7-9 - Boyz II Men
- November 10-11 - Sister Hazel
- November 12-14 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Disney is offering an Eat to the Best Concert Series Dinner Package for 2016. Basically, you pick 1 of 15 places to dine before the concert, and then you'll get an appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink (or 1 buffet) as your meal. Afterward, you'll get a guaranteed seat for the Eat to the Beat concert that night.
I don't think this really makes sense for most concerts, but could come in handy for some of the popular ones. Get more info, including pricing, on Disney's Eat to the Beat Concert Series page.
Free or cheap events/activities
These are items that are available during F&W that don't cost anything/much 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
- 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 this event. Tickets for 2016 went on sale on July 21, 2016, by calling 407-WDW-FEST.
These are the options:
- Party for the Senses
- Grand Floridian Brunch with a Twist
- Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef
- Behind the Scenes at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
- The Secret of Flavor
- Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It! Hands-On Workshops
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 2016, the list of chefs includes Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Masaharu Morimoto, Elizabeth Falkner, Buddy Valastro, and Jamie Deen.
The festival center is located in Future World near Mission: Space and Ellen's Energy Adventure, and it features some experiences and opportunities for shopping.
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 Food and Wine, beginning in early afternoon:
- Visit the Festival Center to browse merchandise and enjoy various demonstrations/events that are held in the afternoon
- Pick up a festival passport so you can apply stickers as you work through the World Showcase
- Stop by kiosks, enjoying various food and drinks (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 Festival Center to pick up any merchandise or wines that you'd like to take home with you
Get the map!
Need more details and info?
You can order the Disney Food Blog bundle to the 2016 Food and Wine Festival for $24.95.
Disclosure: I get a commission on sales of DFB guides.
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.