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WDW Theme Parks Discuss Food and Wine Festival? in the Vacation Planning forums; How crowded does Epcot get during the Food and Wine festival? If my friends have never been to Disney before, should I take them during that time or not?...
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    rosworms's Avatar
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    Food and Wine Festival?

    How crowded does Epcot get during the Food and Wine festival?
    If my friends have never been to Disney before, should I take them during that time or not?
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    It does get crowded but it is totally worth it. I crowd is generally drawn to EPCOT during the festival so the all in all the parks arent too crowded.
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    Food and wine is great. Epcot is so massive, that even if it looks like it could be crowded, it really isn't. People can spread out easily. I totally recommend it!
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    We were at F&W over Columbus Day weekend last year. Despite the holiday & the Race for the Taste that weekend, we never had any problems w/the crowds.

    The only issue we had was getting the room we wanted - the Epcot resorts were booked full & there were no deals to be had. Had we stayed elsewhere we could have snagged a better price, but being able to walk back to the Dolpin at the end of the night was worth the splurge!
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    yelad is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    It definitely gets crowded, but hey, THERE IS FOOD!!!! And good food it is. It is worth it.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by rosworms View Post
    How crowded does Epcot get during the Food and Wine festival?
    If my friends have never been to Disney before, should I take them during that time or not?
    It's definitely worth the trip even with the crowds. I have had two experiences. In 07 we went on a Friday around 4pm or so and started the walking around and eating. By 7pm the place was very crowded as it appeared like alot of locals do show up. It was crowded but everything was great and we had a blast

    In 08 we tried a different approach and went in the early afternoon. While it was less crowded and we were able to breeze through the entire showcase, we didn't enjoy ourselves as much. Maybe because the crowds were so small the food might have been sitting a little longer and it was definitely much hotter going in the middle of the day rather than going late afternoon/early evening.

    Even though I had a better experience in 07 than 08' I would not hesitate to do it again or recommend it to others.

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    I am going for the first time in 2 weeks, and I am so excited...but how does it work? Does each pavillion have its own place to try foods? Do you have to pay each time or is it included in your parks admission? I know there are certain presentations and shows and such that are extra, but I'm not sure about the cost or how it works when you just want to walk around and sample.
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    [QUOTE=DopeyDancer87;833996]I am going for the first time in 2 weeks, and I am so excited...but how does it work? Does each pavillion have its own place to try foods? Do you have to pay each time or is it included in your parks admission? I know there are certain presentations and shows and such that are extra, but I'm not sure about the cost or how it works when you just want to walk around and sample.[/QUOTEH

    Hey Dopey,
    The food and wine festival is not as crowded as these other posters have made it out to be.Yes,it is crowded,but that's Disney.It will always be somewhat crowded,no matter what time of the year,but not as bad during Oct for the food and wine festival.We have been to the food and wine festival at Epcot several different times and we found it no more crowded during that time than any other time without the festival.
    But to answer your questions,but before I do,if you are going to be there in Sept,I personally,do not know how the crowds are during that time,because we were always there in Oct.Now the questions:
    Each permanent pavilion has its' own food in each of their own eateries.But some may have separate booths set up adjacent to their pavilion for their country's food samples.However,during the food and wine festival,many more countries set up booths outside in the walkways around world showcase,selling samples of their country's most popular foods and even some less-known foods to try.Each sample costs from about $3.00 to $5.00,depending on what it is.For example:Australia has a booth set up on the backside of world showcase and they sell samples of "shrimp on the barbie" and it is around $5.00 each sample.But it is well worth it to sample several of the different foods from other countries other than the permanent countries already there.
    No, the food samples are not included in your park admission.Those have to be paid for separately at each booth.They do take visa for each.I remember one year,I wanted to have many samples for our lunch that day,instead of eating at a restaurant,and it cost me around $100 for four of us to eat around the world.I know that is a lot,but it was a one time thing only.We never did that again.
    The shows that I recall,was only the "Eat to the Beat" concert,which is on the stage across from the American Adventures pavilion.Various bands play there for 3-5 days each and then a new act comes in.We have seen during the food and wine festival concerts,the Beach Boys,Loverboy,Kool and the Gang,and Starship.We enjoyed it greatly,and they are all free,the concerts are included with your park admission.(TIP:unless you just have to be up front for whomever's in concert while you are there,don't wait in line to get into the seating area,and after the ropes are taken down and people go into sit down,just find you a seat near the middle ot back,cause all seats are good ones.)As far as any other special shows for the festival,I did not see any during our times there.Just the normal stuff and Illuminations at night.
    All in all,the food and wine festival is great.I would like to go back to it again.But trust me,we've been plenty enough times to it,and it is no more crowded during that time,than it is when there is no food and wine festival.Just more booths and more food selections.We are not wine drinkers so that,we had no part of.
    Hope this helps ,let me know how it was after you return home.
    Park Hopper Dad!

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    We went several times last year. DH was planning to have lunch there each day, but a cold kept him home for a week or two.
    The first day was a bit muddled since computers and registers are still getting the kinks worked out. The weekdays were less crowded than the weekends since the Party for the Senses is going on as well. Of course, once guests go to that event, they are no longer part of the grazing crowd around World Showcase. We usually invest in a Disney gift card and use that for purchasing items from each kiosk. DH and I split items whenever possible so that we have room to try more things. I think DH refilled his card twice over the course of F&W with $100 each time. I just wish there were more areas at which you could rest your plate of food rather than trying to eat while balancing your drink and plate.
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    Park Hopper Dad's Avatar
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by mini-V View Post
    We went several times last year. DH was planning to have lunch there each day, but a cold kept him home for a week or two.
    The first day was a bit muddled since computers and registers are still getting the kinks worked out. The weekdays were less crowded than the weekends since the Party for the Senses is going on as well. Of course, once guests go to that event, they are no longer part of the grazing crowd around World Showcase. We usually invest in a Disney gift card and use that for purchasing items from each kiosk. DH and I split items whenever possible so that we have room to try more things. I think DH refilled his card twice over the course of F&W with $100 each time. I just wish there were more areas at which you could rest your plate of food rather than trying to eat while balancing your drink and plate.

    Hey MiniV
    What is the party for the senses?I have never heard of that.Have I missed something cool and didn't know it?Let me know.
    Thanks
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    My advice as far as crowds and F&W is to go during the week if you can. The difference between Thursday and Saturday at Epcot is amazing. The locals definitely come out to enjoy! And it's definitely still doable and you'll find that the crowds are centered around the kiosks if you go on the weekend.

    Heck, I'm not taking my own advice and going on the weekend

    And as for the Party for the Senses, it's an extra ticketed event. Held in the Millennium Pavilion, if you know what I mean for that. It's an event where they have famous chefs as well as the Disney chefs prepare different dishes. The room is split into different colors, it's a food and wine extravaganza.

    Price: $135 per person, plus tax.

    My parents did it last year and absolutely loved it. They loved being able to try all these different foods from top chefs. And they've been trying to persuade me to go this year. We have a limited amount of time this year, so we're looking at possibly next year instead.

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    Park Hopper Dad's Avatar
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by kat228 View Post
    My advice as far as crowds and F&W is to go during the week if you can. The difference between Thursday and Saturday at Epcot is amazing. The locals definitely come out to enjoy! And it's definitely still doable and you'll find that the crowds are centered around the kiosks if you go on the weekend.

    Heck, I'm not taking my own advice and going on the weekend

    And as for the Party for the Senses, it's an extra ticketed event. Held in the Millennium Pavilion, if you know what I mean for that. It's an event where they have famous chefs as well as the Disney chefs prepare different dishes. The room is split into different colors, it's a food and wine extravaganza.

    Price: $135 per person, plus tax.

    My parents did it last year and absolutely loved it. They loved being able to try all these different foods from top chefs. And they've been trying to persuade me to go this year. We have a limited amount of time this year, so we're looking at possibly next year instead.
    That sounds pretty good for that party for the senses thing,but I'd have to pass at $135 a person.I can't see spending that much money to eat!No matter WHO cooked it!But I'll bet it is good,just not for me,not at that price.
    Park Hopper Dad!

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    bater8slater is offline Annual Passholder
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    Hey i was wondering if anyone going could get video and pictures inside the Wonder's of life pavillion. I just want to see what it looks like now, so bad. lol

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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    [QUOTE=Park Hopper Dad;834259]
    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyDancer87 View Post
    I am going for the first time in 2 weeks, and I am so excited...but how does it work? Does each pavillion have its own place to try foods? Do you have to pay each time or is it included in your parks admission? I know there are certain presentations and shows and such that are extra, but I'm not sure about the cost or how it works when you just want to walk around and sample.[/QUOTEH

    Hey Dopey,
    The food and wine festival is not as crowded as these other posters have made it out to be.Yes,it is crowded,but that's Disney.It will always be somewhat crowded,no matter what time of the year,but not as bad during Oct for the food and wine festival.We have been to the food and wine festival at Epcot several different times and we found it no more crowded during that time than any other time without the festival.
    But to answer your questions,but before I do,if you are going to be there in Sept,I personally,do not know how the crowds are during that time,because we were always there in Oct.Now the questions:
    Each permanent pavilion has its' own food in each of their own eateries.But some may have separate booths set up adjacent to their pavilion for their country's food samples.However,during the food and wine festival,many more countries set up booths outside in the walkways around world showcase,selling samples of their country's most popular foods and even some less-known foods to try.Each sample costs from about $3.00 to $5.00,depending on what it is.For example:Australia has a booth set up on the backside of world showcase and they sell samples of "shrimp on the barbie" and it is around $5.00 each sample.But it is well worth it to sample several of the different foods from other countries other than the permanent countries already there.
    No, the food samples are not included in your park admission.Those have to be paid for separately at each booth.They do take visa for each.I remember one year,I wanted to have many samples for our lunch that day,instead of eating at a restaurant,and it cost me around $100 for four of us to eat around the world.I know that is a lot,but it was a one time thing only.We never did that again.
    The shows that I recall,was only the "Eat to the Beat" concert,which is on the stage across from the American Adventures pavilion.Various bands play there for 3-5 days each and then a new act comes in.We have seen during the food and wine festival concerts,the Beach Boys,Loverboy,Kool and the Gang,and Starship.We enjoyed it greatly,and they are all free,the concerts are included with your park admission.(TIP:unless you just have to be up front for whomever's in concert while you are there,don't wait in line to get into the seating area,and after the ropes are taken down and people go into sit down,just find you a seat near the middle ot back,cause all seats are good ones.)As far as any other special shows for the festival,I did not see any during our times there.Just the normal stuff and Illuminations at night.
    All in all,the food and wine festival is great.I would like to go back to it again.But trust me,we've been plenty enough times to it,and it is no more crowded during that time,than it is when there is no food and wine festival.Just more booths and more food selections.We are not wine drinkers so that,we had no part of.
    Hope this helps ,let me know how it was after you return home.

    Thank you so much! This really helped a lot! I have been to Disney 25 times, this being number 26, but we usually have to skip Sept and OCt due to school just starting. So glad we finally get to experience it! And yes, I will have a full report on the festival when I return!
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    Re: Food and Wine Festival?

    If you are not attending any of the special events, then I recommend going on a weekday, where the crowds will be somewhat less.

    It does get expensive...but all the kiosks should take KTTW room charges, Disney gift cards/rewards cards, and credit/debit cards.
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