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Impact of Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by fsa317, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. fsa317

    fsa317 New Member

    Apr 16, 2017
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    Just planned a trip with the wife and kids to Epcot in mid Sept (the 19th-25th to be exact). We all loved Epcot last time so this time we did a Park hopper so we could go there for some dinner and a drink after other parks. After booking I noticed that the Epcot Food & Wine festival will be going on during that time. How will this impact our "regular" experience at Epcot? Are the regular World Showcase places still available? Do we get any benefits (without purchasing special event tickets)? Just curious what to expect.

  2. Kingoglow

    Kingoglow Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2014
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    You do not need a special event ticket for EPCOT during Food and Wine.

    You will notice 20+ kiosks that you have never seen before around the world showcase and the area right in front of it. They will represent many countries that are not usually a part of World Showcase (for example Greece Ireland and Brazil). All of the Kiosks will have small plated food dishes and drinks themed from that country (in taste not presentation).

    So everything that they add to the park is literally Food and Wine.

    The other thing that you will notice are the crowds, especially on the weekends. Food and Wine is very popular with tourist and locals. All of them drinking (sometimes heavily). Most of the advice that you will hear from this site is to visit during the weekdays and if you have kids, try not to stay too long into the evening. Stay away from the weekend days as locals pour in.

    It is a great event and a lot of fun. It just happens to offer up a lot of booze. We like to pair F&W with MNSSHP.
    drwadadli, littleroo, Rob562 and 3 others like this.
  3. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2015
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    Stay away at night and on the weekends.
    drwadadli, Ciara, littleroo and 3 others like this.
  4. ExtinctJenn

    ExtinctJenn Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2012
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    I agree wholeheartedly with these comments. We frankly avoid World Showcase entirely, and sometimes even Epcot, if we happen to book when F&W is going on. People drink a LOT and often that results in two key problems: 1) Loud, rude, obnoxious idiots who are stumbling around and lacking any sort of filter and 2) The overwhelming smell of alcohol permeating the air, the shops, the queues and the attractions. I'm not trying to paint a horrific picture of the event, as it can be a lot of fun, but I will say it isn't limited to just nights and weekends either. Yes, I would avoid those times all together but, the last time we visited during F&W, World Showcase was already starting to represent these problems by 11am.
    Weather_Lady likes this.
  5. DisneyDreamer08

    DisneyDreamer08 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2009
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    We were in Disney last year from 9/23-10/1. We had two partial days at Epcot, one on Monday morning/afternoon and one on Friday morning/afternoon. Most of our Monday day was spent in Future World but we did head over to the World Showcase for lunch (we ate at the QS place in Mexico) and then we just did the Mexico and Norway pavilion. We have 2 little girls so it was mostly the Mexico ride, shopping, the Frozen ride, meeting Anna & Elsa etc. Crowds were fine. Normal. We walked right in at lunch time, ordered and sat right down. The restaurant wasn't nearly full.
    On Friday, we spent more time in the rest of the WS. My husband and I were with my girls, mostly meeting characters, but my parents were on this trip with us and they snacked their way through the different kiosks. I would say we were there from 11am til maybe 4pm. They said lines weren't bad at all at the kiosks. Again, normal crowds, nothing crazy. I can't speak at all for how things were at night.
    Have fun!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    littleroo and Courtney6682 like this.
  6. RustySpork

    RustySpork Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2017
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    It may impact you significantly in that the park will be VERY VERY busy during F&W, as it is one of the best events at WDW. You don't need to buy any special event tickets, unless you plan to do one of the events that are hosted as an up charge as some experiences are, but the general experiences are included with admission. Epcot is at it's liveliest during F&W in my opinion, and the best time to visit if you can deal with the crowds.
  7. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2014
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    We love Food & Wine and have been there a couple of times during our trips. We've never experienced any drunk or loud people in EPCOT but we also go during a weekday and before 5pm. We've typically had smaller lines on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. The World Showcase opens at 11am so we try to be there at opening to try the food kiosks in the front in the beginning while lines are still low and then we'll just make our way around to the other countries.
    littleroo likes this.
  8. dreamfinder

    dreamfinder Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2003
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    There shouldn't be any closures of normal park attractions/shops/dining during F&W fest. As pointed out, there are outdoor food kiosks and other events where you need to pay extra for the food/demos/whatever. But they won't impact your enjoyment of the other things in Epcot. I would echo the suggestion to avoid F&W/Epcot on the weekends, especially during the evening. Doing the AM and then hopping to another park can work well, but alot of locals and such tend to visit Fri/Sat/Sun afternoon/evening so it can get very crowded with long lines in the World Showcase area.
  9. jaklgreen

    jaklgreen Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2012
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    I go every year for the F&WF and stay a couple of weeks, spending most of my time at Epcot. The weekends do get very busy with people standing around and drinking. Mostly they are in groups blocking the pathways. They are enjoying themselves and can get a bit loud, like drunk people do. But I have never experienced the type of behavior that some on these boards have said they have. Just like others have said, they have food booths up but they also have seminars and special dining events. The Disney food blog has all of the F&WF info. You can look up the past food booths and special events. They also do mini concerts every day with groups like 38 Special, Wilson Philips, Billy Ocean. Its is a great event, especially for those who like to dry different foods. I would hit World Showcase right when it opens at 11 and enjoy that area, try some food then when it starts getting busy, head over to future world. I don't many people appreciate World Showcase. They just want to hit the rides and be entertained. There is so much detail and many interesting exhibits in the Countries.
  10. chrisbarry

    chrisbarry Member

    Jan 23, 2005
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    The positives outweigh the negatives, but yes on a weekend during the day there are lots and lots of people and lots of them are drunk. It gets a little unDisney-like at that moment. But the difference between say a Thursday afternoon during Food and Wine and a Saturday afternoon at Food and Wine is striking. Go to another park on the weekend if you can, but soak up Food and Wine on a weekday. It's wonderful.
    ExtinctJenn, jaklgreen and RustySpork like this.
  11. Mickey5150

    Mickey5150 Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Skip Epcot from Friday at 6pm till Sunday at 3pm and you will miss the heavy crowds. Make sure to visit the Festival Center in the old Wonders of Life pavilion and check out the Ghirardelli display. Get a free chocolate and see some amazing candy displays. Don't be scared of the horror stories, it's not that bad. Besides at Disney I'd take a group of drunks who has been there a few hours to the extended family who has been going nonstop for 12 hours straight.
    jaklgreen likes this.
  12. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    We've visited during Food & Wine with two small children in tow, and found it was advisable to stay away from World Showcase during the evening. 90+% of the crowd (which started to grow just before dinnertime and would become incredibly congested with each passing hour) was great; just having fun -- but there were a few bad apples stumbling around and swearing freely, so we avoided it every night thereafter. It wouldn't have bothered us had we not had the children with us, but after our 4-year-old was nearly knocked headlong by an overgrown frat guy who was looking at his beers and not where he was walking as he tried to lurch past us in the dark, we decided not to take the risk.

    That being said, we still really enjoyed Food & Wine! We simply switched our World Showcase visit to weekdays, earlier in the day (11am-2pm), changed our World Showcase dinner plans to lunches, and had a marvelous time enjoying the kiosks before the more grown-up crowd arrived.
    ExtinctJenn likes this.

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