On July 15th, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is returning to Walt Disney World, and this year, guests will be able to enjoy the festival for longer than ever before. Running all the way through to November 20th, 2021, you can enjoy exploring the park while sampling all of the delicious food and drink options that are on offer. Today we’re going to share with you some fun facts about this popular festival and the events and booths you can’t miss on your upcoming visit to Epcot.
Established in 1995
Did you know that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival first started back in 1995? Of course, the festival has changed a lot since its initial introduction, and the activities and booths have expanded greatly since that time. While the festival usually runs from September to mid-November, it’s started shifting further forward each year, and due to the recent pandemic, it’s starting in mid-July in 2021. It’s always so exciting to see the new booths and events that are added each year, and we can’t wait to see what the 2021 event has in store.
Entertainment During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
While you may think the festival revolves around just eating and drinking, there’s so much more to see and do during a visit to Epcot at this time of year. While it didn’t happen during the 2020 festival, one of the most popular parts of the event is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, which takes place in the America Gardens Theatre. Details are yet to be announced for this year’s event, but previous artists who’ve performed here include Hanson, Boyz II Men, and Air Supply. On top of the concert series, there are also interactive demonstrations from celebrity chefs, seminars, and tasting events to take part in. If you are interested in doing any of the extra activities, make sure you book up in advance where possible to avoid disappointment.
Tour All Six Continents
On a regular day in Epcot, you have the chance to explore the eleven pavilions of World Showcase, but during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, your food sampling opportunities expand to all six continents. Each year the booths and menus vary slightly, but you can expect some of the favorites to return this year. Popular booths include Greece, Canada, the Appleseed Orchard, and Germany, and all of these stands offer sample-size portions of food and drink. During a trip to Epcot at this time of year, you could easily skip over making table-service dining reservations and instead enjoy all of your meals for the day from the booths. You’ll be able to order an appetizer, entrée, and dessert while walking around and enjoying your time in Epcot.
An Extensive Menu
Regardless of your dietary preferences, there’s something for everyone to eat and drink during this event. When you enter the park for the day, we encourage you to pick up the small booklet, which serves as the guide to the event. It offers you the menus for every booth, so you can pre-select and plan your dining for the day. In past years, the Earth Eats booth has been a great spot for vegans and those on a gluten-free diet, but you’ll find options for various dietary requirements clearly marked on each menu. The great thing about the food here is that the portions are small and affordable, so you can try new things without worrying about wasting a huge plate of food.
Over 1.5 Million Portions Are Served Each Year
During the usual two-month period of the event, the festival serves a whopping 1.5 million portions of food to guests from over twenty-five countries. On top of that, they will serve 100,000 desserts and 360,000 beers. For locals and visitors alike, this festival is a highlight of Walt Disney World’s special events calendar. If you are visiting from out of town, we encourage you to avoid visiting at the weekend unless you are attending a special event at the festival. While the park often extends its operating hours, Epcot attracts many locals during weekends, and it can become quite rowdy and crowded at times. If your main focus is on sampling the food and drink on offer, you can enjoy this at any time the park is open during the week with fewer crowds.
A Family-Friendly Event
Don’t let the “wine” in the title of the event put you off from involving your whole family in the fun. This is a great event for kids of all ages, and it offers them the chance to try new food from around the world and learn about other cultures. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt is returning for 2021, and this is a great way to keep kids entertained while strolling around World Showcase. At select merchandise locations, you can purchase a map to get started, and they’ll have to keep their eyes peeled for Remy on your journey through the various countries. Of course, this ties in perfectly with the upcoming opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure on October 1st.
Planning Ahead for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Before you visit the park for the day, we recommend spending some time together as a family to make a plan for your visit. While you could just enjoy walking around and spontaneously choosing your food, you may find you miss out on some of the top picks after overeating earlier on in the day. We love the mini gift cards they sell during this time, which you can place on your wrist. They are great for parents traveling with teens, who may want to allocate them a budget ahead of your trip to avoid overspending. As you can imagine, it’s easy to get carried away during the event with so many delicious dishes to try.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is back on July 15th, 2021. If you are visiting in the next few months, make sure you plan to spend a day or two in the park enjoying all of the delicious offerings during this popular annual event. So book your park reservations early!
We anticipate fireworks making a return soon. So also be on the look out for the best spots to watch fireworks at Epcot!