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 2019, the Food and Wine Festival will be held for a whopping 87 days from August 29 through November 23.
Yes; you read that correctly. This year you'll have 87 days to eat and sip your way around the World Showcase.
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.
From booths where you can sample different cuisines to cooking demonstrations and presentations to a 1/2 marathon there's a lot going on.
Here's what you can expect to see in 2019:
What's new in 2019
Every year Disney switches things around a bit and adds some new stuff. Here's what's new for 2019:
New Kitchen: The Alps Marketplace - Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons and Baguette, or Venison Stew with Crushed Potatoes paired with a refreshing Frozen Rosé
New Kitchen: Appleseed Orchard Marketplace (located near Le Cellier) - craft brews, ciders, wines and lite bites all apple-inspired
New place to cool off - during the upgrade of the O Canada film, the theater in the Canada pavilion will be open to offer festival guests a cool respite during the day
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 cheesecake unique to the Food and Wine Festival
Tailgate Tasting hosted by ESPN's Monday Night Football - This new offering will be available on select Sundays from September 8 - November 17 and will pair "gridiron grub" with a beverage tasting - all themed and inspired by the cities the pro teams play each Monday night
Disney du Jour Dance Party is expanding - This popular dance party will now run Sundays - Thursdays, and on Friday and Saturdays will feature performances by Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country artists:
- Aug. 30-31 Meg Donnelly (“With U,” Disney Channel’s Zombies)
- Sept. 13-14 Jenna Raine (“A Letter to Me”)
- Oct. 11-12 Sky Katz (“Like This,” Disney Channel’s Raven’s Home)
- Oct. 18-19 JAGMAC (“Like a Band”)
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), and Disney Dining Plan snack credits can be used for many items (they eligible items are noted on the menus).
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.
In 2019 the concerts will run from August 29 - November 19.
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
- August 29-31 - Plain White T’s
- September 1 & 2 - Sawyer Brown – NEW!
- September 3 & 4 - MercyMe
- September 5 & 6 - Grace Kelly – NEW!
- September 7 & 8 - Zach Williams – NEW!
- September 9 & 10 - Lauren Daigle – NEW!
- September 11 & 12 - Jimmie Allen – NEW!
- September 13-15 - Tiffany
- September 16 & 17 - The Allman Betts Band
- September 18 & 19 - Everclear
- September 20-22 - STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
- September 23 & 24 - Post Modern Jukebox
- September 25 & 26 - Blue October
- September 27-29 - Mark Wills
- September 30-October 2 - Sugar Ray
- October 3-4 - Taylor Dayne
- October 5-6 - India
- October 7-9 - 98°
- October 10 & 11 - Boyce Avenue – NEW!
- October 12 & 13 - Southern Avenue – NEW!
- October 14 & 15 - Kenny G
- October 16 & 17 - 38 Special
- October 18-20 - Baha Men
- October 21 & 22 - Billy Ocean
- October 23-25 - Sheila E
- October 26 & 27 - High Valley
- October 28-30 - Hanson
- October 31 & November 1 - Sheena Easton
- November 2 & 3 - Kris Allen –NEW!
- November 4-6 - Boyz II Men
- November 7 & 8 - The Hooters
- November 9-11 - Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy
- November 12-14 - TBD
- November 15&16 - BBMAK - NEW!
- November 17&18 - Spanish Harlem Orchestra - NEW!
- November 19 - D’Capella – NEW!
The concerts all take place at the American Gardens Theater in the World Showcase. That is the theater right across from The American Adventure:
Disney offers an Eat to the Best Concert Series Dinner Package. Basically, you can pick 1 of several places to dine before the concert, and then get an appetizer, entree, 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.
You can book one of these packages by calling (407) WDW-FEST or online at the Disney World website.
Premium events (booking now open!)
There are a few premium offerings (translation: they cost extra money) during this event. Note that these events are wildly popular and book up fast, so if you're interested in one you'll want to book it ASAP.
If you're interested in attending any, you can call (407) WDW-FEST or book online.
- $359/person (Category 1: Wine View Lounge) or $229/person (Category 2: Reserved Seating)
- September 21, October 5, October 12, October 19, November 9
- Sophisticated event highlighting the "sensory arts"
- September 1: Jamie Deen (co-owner of The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Georgia)
- September 8: Carla Hall (Celebrity Chef & author of Carla Hall’s Soul Food)
- September 15: Fabio Viviani (Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group, Celebrity Chef & Restauranteur)
- September 22: Richard Blais (Chef & Entrepreneur)
- September 29: Robert Irvine (Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible)
- October 6: Buddy Valastro (Celebrity Chef)
- October 13: David Burtka (Celebrity Chef & author of Life is a Party)
- October 20: Andrew Zimmern (Chef, Writer & TV Personality)
- October 27: Cat Cora (Corlich Enterprises & Cat Cora, INC.)
- November 10: Graham Elliot (Coast restaurant at MGM Cotai in Macau)
- November 17: Aarti Sequeria (Cookbook Author & Food Network Personality)
Food & Wine experiences especially for kids
- Festival playground (located in Future World)
- Disney Du Jour Dance Party (Sundays - Thursday)
- Takes place on the Fountain View Stage in Future World
- Each dance party will feature a different character duo and could include Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde, Lilo and Stitch, Chip and Dale, or many others
- Junior Chef Kitchen presented by Krusteaz (Sundays in the Festival Center)
- Remy's Ratatouille Hide 'n' Squeak Scavenger Hunt
- Candy Sushi presented by Skittles and Adventures by Disney (located at Sunshine Seasons)
- Allows guests the opportunity to work side-by-side with culinary experts including chefs, bakers, and mixologists
- Offered on select Mondays and Thursdays
What's Cookin With series with celebrity chefs
Specialty Dining & Pairings
- Dinner specially prepared by master chefs that include both delicious food as well as wines and beers
- French Family Meal Traditions
- Culinary Tour of Japan
- The Hibachi Experience: Year of Celebration
- Italian Regional Food and Wine Pairing Luncheon
- Italian Food, Wine vs. Beer Pairing
- Mediterranean Food and Wine Pairing
- Mexican Tequila Lunch
- Moroccan Food and Wine Pairing
- Parisian Breakfast
- The Parisian Afternoon, Sandwiches, Macarons, and Bubbles!
- Dinner specially prepared by master chefs that include both delicious food as well as wines and beers
- Held select Fridays and Saturdays at 12:30 pm
- Reservations recommended
- Celebrity chefs appear during the festival at demonstrations and special events
- A complete list isn't confirmed yet but here's some highlights we know of so far:
- Bryan Voltaggio
- Kenny Gilbert
- Maneet Chauhan
- Jet Tila
- Shaun O’Neale
- Keegan Gerhard
- Dan Pashman
- Rock Harper
Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Weekend
- Held yearly towards the end of the festival, this highly popular series of runDisney races takes participants on a fun-filled run through Epcot and surrounding areas.
- In 2019, the races begin on October 31 and go through November 3
In 2018, The Festival Center was located in the former World of Life Pavilion, which is in Future World near Mission: Space and the former Universe of Energy.
No word yet on where the Festival Center will be located for 2019.
Inside the Festival Center you'll find some experiences (some free and some with an additional cost) and opportunities for shopping.
Here's some of what you could find in the Festival Center last year:
- Mimosa Bar
- Book and bottle signings, meet and greets (confirmed for 2019)- featured presenters or guests that are scheduled to appear can sign purchased books, wine bottles, or merchandise
- Seasons of the Vine film - 7-minute film about winemaking
- Stockpot Shop - shop featuring the Festival Cookbook, apparel, trading pins, etc.
- Festival Center Wine Shop - choose from wide selection of wines and spirits. Sommelier will often be on hand for recommendations.
- Intermissions Cafe - place to dine on various wines, cheeses, salads, and sandwiches
- The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar – Hosted by Ghirardelli® Chocolate Company (confirmed for 2019) - see the chocolate sculptures, sample chocolates, purchase various chocolate treats
- Festival Merchandise - while you can find festival merchandise for sale throughout Epcot, at the Festival Center you can find everything offered in 1 spot.
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 using Epcot touring plans 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:
- 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 one 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!
Here's the map for the 2019 Food and Wine Festival.
Need more details and info?
You can order the Disney Food Blog bundle to the 2019 Food and Wine Festival for $24.95.
Disclosure: we get a commission on sales of DFB guides.