Epcot has become a park of nearly year-round festivals but there is one that is more well known, more famous (and sometimes infamous) than all the others: The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Held every fall for a couple months, this festival is the granddaddy of them all 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 Food and Wine?
Although this event has traditionally started in September and ended in November, Disney has extended the time span in recent years.
In 2021, the Food and Wine Festival will be held for about four months from July 15 through November 20.
Yes; you read that correctly. 4 months. And, interestingly, after a year of scaled back festivals, Disney has begun the promotion of this year’s Food and Wine Festival without the “Taste of” moniker that they used for 2020.
What takes place at the Food and Wine Festival?
Well, the name kind of gives it away BUT basically Food & Wine is a culinary celebration that incorporates lots of different ways to explore and learn about all things food and wine.
We don’t know many details for 2021 yet, but here’s what you can expect to see.
What’s new in 2021
Every year Disney switches things around a bit, and in normal years, they also add some new things.
But in 2020 the switching around of things took a big turn when, because of health and safety measures, a lot of the traditional favorites were put on hiatus.
Things like the Food and Wine Half Marathon, tasting seminars, and even the Eat to the Beat concerts were all put on hold.
With the kickoff for the 2021 version still some time away, Disney is holding a lot of the particulars close to their chest, and at least for right now we don’t know many details. But, even if the event remains scaled back we do expect to see some new dining options and of course new merch.
We will update this section as more information becomes available.
Confirmed for 2021
Emile’s Fromage Montage
Guests are invited to purchase any 5 cheese dishes from the Global Marketplace options listed in the Festival Passport (more on that below). Once you’ve collected 5 stamps you can bring your passport to Shimmering Sips for a complimentary prize unique to the Food and Wine Festival.
Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak
For a price (usually around $7.99 or so, but the exact price hasn’t been revealed), you’ll purchase a scavenger hunt map and then hunt for hidden Remy statuettes across the park. Once completed, bring your map to Disney Traders (World Showcase entrance) for a prize. You can also purchase the map at Port of Entry, MouseGear, or World Traveler.
While we don’t expect that the popular Eat to the Beat concerts that we’ve seen in years past to return for 2021, Disney has confirmed that they will continue to showcase live entertainment provided by Voices of Liberty and Mariachi Cobre at the America Gardens Theatre as well as the Jammin’ Chefs, who will return to the Canada Mill Stage.
The International Food and Wine Festival would not be the same without, well, food and wine!
To accommodate all the foodies, you can expect to find that the popular food booths will extend out from the World Showcase and into Future World.
These food booths allow you to sample many foods from various countries.
Want to keep track of all the deliciousness you’ve tried? 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).
In the past, the Disney Dining Plan snack credits could be used for many items, however, as of right now the Disney Dining Plan has been suspended, so that isn’t an option for 2021.
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.
And, unfortunately, sometimes guests find themselves enjoying the offerings a bit too much.
For that reason, we strongly recommend that if you want to experience Food and Wine you choose Sundays – Thursdays.
A touring plan
If you have 1 day at Epcot, we recommend that you spend the first part of the day in Future World to ride rides, and then use the last part of the day for Food and Wine Festival activities.
Here’s what your afternoon might look like:
- 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 (our preference is to visit the food booths that don’t have a permanent presence in the World Showcase)
- Attend one of the concerts at the American Gardens Theater
- On your way out of Epcot, stop by a booth to pick up any festival merchandise you’d like to take home as a souvenir
Get the map!
Here’s the map for the 2019 Food and Wine Festival. We will update it with the 2021 version when it becomes available.
Historical Food and Wine Information
Lots of people plan their Disney World trips a year or 2 in advance and to help with that, we’ve moved historical information about how a “regular” Food and Wine Festival typically looks to this section.
We don’t have a crystal ball or any knowledge that any of the things below will be returning in the future, but just in case they do, we wanted to make sure you could see some of what has been offered in the past.
Food & Wine 1/2 Marathon
As you probably know, since the parks originally closed in 2020, all of the runDisney events have transitioned (at least temporarily) to virtual events. This included the 2020 Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon.
There have been no updates regarding the 2021 Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend.
Eat to the Beat concerts (likely not offered in 2021)
While Disney hasn’t said the concerts are officially off, their latest announcement that Voices of Liberty and Mariachi Cobre would be returning to the American Gardens Theater leads us to believe that the popular Eat to the Beat Concerts likely won’t be returning for the 2021 Food and Wine Festival.
Here’s how it looked in the past:
Throughout F&W, musical acts from my childhood the 80s and 90s would perform at the America Gardens Theater, a stage located in the American Adventure section of the World Showcase. These concerts would take place 3 times per evening (at 5:30pm, 6:45pm, and 8:00pm) and the best part was they didn’t cost any extra.
Showtimes typically were:
Sundays to Thursdays: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM
Fridays & Saturdays: 6:30 PM, 7:45 PM and 9:00 PM
And, here’s a sampling of the acts that have performed:
- Plain White T’s
- Sawyer Brown
- Grace Kelly
- Zach Williams
- Lauren Daigle
- Jimmie Allen
- The Allman Betts Band
- STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
- Post Modern Jukebox
- Blue October
- Mark Wills
- Sugar Ray
- Taylor Dayne
- Boyce Avenue
- Southern Avenue
- Kenny G
- 38 Special
- Baha Men
- Billy Ocean
- Sheila E
- High Valley
- Sheena Easton
- Kris Allen
- Boyz II Men
- The Hooters
- Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy
- Spanish Harlem Orchestra
The concerts all take place at the American Gardens Theater in the World Showcase. That is the theater right across from The American Adventure:
In the past, Disney also offered an Eat to the Best Concert Series Dinner Package. Basically, you could pick 1 of several places to dine before the concert, and then get an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic drink (or 1 buffet) as your meal. Afterward, you’d get a guaranteed seat for the Eat to the Beat concert that night.
Historical Premium events
Historically, there are have been several premium events (translation: they cost extra money) that happened during the International Food & Wine Festival.
However, those were all suspended for 2020 and we have yet to hear if they will be back for 2021.
Some of the events we’ve seen in the past are:
- Party for the Senses – One of the hottest tickets around, this sophisticated event was the most expensive running anywhere from $229 per person up to $359 per person
- Sunday Brunch with a Celebrity TV Chef – Less expensive but still a lot of fun, this experience clocked in at around $139 and provided guests the opportunity to eat at a lunch hosted by celebrity chefs like Robert Irvine and Aarti Sequeria
- Beverage & cheese seminars
- Wine and meal pairings
- Culinary demonstrations
Disney du Jour Dance Party
Disney has not made any announcements about the return of this Dance Party for 2021.
This popular dance party was one of the newer offerings back in 2019 (which was the last year it occurred). It historically ran all week but on Friday and Saturdays it would feature performances by Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country artists.
Need more details and info?
Disclosure: we get a commission on sales of DFB guides.
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