Epcot’s ® International Food & Wine Festival is now underway. For about 8 weeks, Epcot’s World Showcase is transformed into a foodie’s paradise as more than 25 marketplaces are set up throughout the area offering delectable food and beverages from around the globe. Many guest prefer to leisurely stroll through the park, sampling whatever cuisine they happen to stumble upon. But not I, oh no. I go in with a plan. Back in the dark days when I did not plan out my Disney days, I, too, would wander around aimlessly, only to have people ask if I sampled this or that. Too many times my post-vacation depression was worsened by the regret of missing out on some fabulous faire. “No more,” I vowed, several years ago. No more would I miss out on such tasty treats. Now I go in fully prepared to encounter this culinary adventure.
My preparation begins months before my trip, when the actual list of food offering kiosks becomes available. I print off several copies to pass out to my family as well as copy the link to an email for my parents (they usually travel with us in the fall). I read over the list several times before making my selections. Since I am not a big eater, I usually classify my picks into two categories—“must eat” and “eat if I have room”—I know, not really creative, but it works. I try to keep my “must eat” list to about 4 or 5 selections and, even though I want to sample more, TRY to keep my dessert choices to a minimum, although that is usually an epic fail. Once I have made my two lists, I carefully go over the description of the items—just to make sure any entrees I have selected are indeed vegetarian. I was fooled once, years ago, by the cheese soup offered at the Canadian Pavilion. Being from Wisconsin, and eating cheese soup my entire life, I had never imagined that the soup contained bacon. I found out the hard way that reading the menu carefully is really important. I still shudder thinking about it!
Once I have my list highlighted, I have my parents and my husband do the same. Then the kids take their turn in making choices they think they might like. The older kids are usually pretty good about choosing more than just the waffle offered at the Belgium kiosk. However, after they have made their picks, I usually go back through and highlight things that I think they might like to try once we are there and they see what the food items looks like. Sometimes the description is not as appetizing for young eyes as is seeing the actual dish. I usually make a few choices for my younger two who are not only vegetarians but are also picky eaters.
Once everyone has made their selections I make one final, master list that contains everyone’s picks. I usually put initials at each item, just so we can remember who wanted to sample what. I pack my list in my carry on bag and wait for our vacation to begin!
Once we enter Epcot’S® World Showcase, I take out my list and as we walk around the park, I remind everyone of what they thought they wanted to taste. Often times we try to split up and cover a couple of kiosks at once, so that we can all sit for a bit and munch together. We usually try to hit Epcot ® International Food & Wine Festival two or three times during our vacation, just so we can not only sample everything on our list but also go back and get another bite of some of our favorites. Sadly, this year, we are going for Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend and as such, we are flying in the morning of the race. This means that we will only have one full day to eat our way around the world. But trust me, we plan on making the most out of every bite!
The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival runs September 19 through November 10. Park admission is required to attend and the list of food offerings can change at any time. The event is more than just eating. There are culinary demonstrations, special dessert events, and the Eat to the Beat concert series, in which guests can enjoy a fabulous recording artist from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. There are 20 different artists that perform over the course of the 8-week event. It’s a great place to kick back, relax, and enjoy some great hits from “back in the day”. If you would like more information regarding this event, you can visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/. The list of food and beverage offerings can be found at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/food-wine-marketplaces/. So whether you decide to plot out your every bite or prefer to eat a bit more leisurely ,you will most certainly leave Epcot® Food & Wine Festival with a belly full of delicious delicacies and a ton of memories of your taste buds’ trip around the world.