Earlier this month, my friend Alison and I ventured off to Disney World with our little girls in tow. We had a blast at Magic Kingdom with for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but we also knew we had to make it to Epcot for Food and Wine Festival. We weren’t exactly sure how Epcot Food and Wine Festival with kids would go, but we couldn’t wait!
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Disney’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Before I tell you all about our experience, let me first tell you a little bit about Food and Wine Festival! Disney puts on Food and Wine Festival at Epcot every year from the end of August to the end of November. It’s one of Disney’s most popular events of the year which makes sense to me because I love food AND wine.
There are 30 global marketplaces around World Showcase with 3-4 snacks at each one as well as some delectable drinks! You can literally eat and drink your way around the world in one day. As you can see in the image from Disney Food Blogs below, there are so many places to try some snacks from all over the world.
Tips and Lessons Learned from Epcot Food and Wine Festival with kids
Where to Start
We started our day at Epcot just like any other trip; photos in front of Spaceship Earth! I love getting these pictures done right when we’re entering because after you arrive, you may not remember to go back and get them. Our photographer did such a great job with the girls and their sweet stuffed animals!
Next we hightailed it to Norway in World Showcase to meet Anna and Elsa before our Frozen Ever After ride fast pass! If you have a Frozen loving kid, meeting Anna and Elsa is a MUST! I recommend heading over to them when the park opens to avoid long lines. This experience was quite possibly the most magical moment of the whole trip. I had actual tears in my eyes watching Chloe meet her idols. She was jumping up and down before it was our turn and loved talking to both Anna and Elsa. Of course, she had to show off her ice powers to the queen!
Once we had all things Frozen checked off, we went back over to Future World to check off most of the rides until the rest of World Showcase opened and we were ready to chow down.
Must do rides with kids
Epcot has so much to do and see! Much more to see than any other park if you ask me. There are so many different shows and experiences around the World Showcase where you and your kids can experience culture from around the world. There aren’t as many rides here as there are in the other Disney World parks, but these are my favorites that you should do with your kids! Sprinkle these rides in between your snacks and tastings during Food & Wine. You’ll get some time out of the sun while you work up your hunger again!
- Spaceship Eart
- Soarin’ – height requirements
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Test Track – height requirements
- Frozen Ever After (Norway)
- The 3 Caballeros (Mexico)
Go during the week with kids
If you can go during the week instead of on a weekend, take advantage of it! Epcot is most crowded during the weekend during Food and Wine Festival. There are lots of bachelorette parties and other celebrations which are so fun, but make for a packed park to say the least.
Scope out your options before arriving
I wish I would have looked at the different food offered and where the stands were BEFORE arriving. Then I would have had a better idea of which places I had to try. Instead we walked a few more loops around World Showcase than planned! This way you can also figure out which spots your kids may eat too. Really necessary for a picky eater like mine. P.S. The brats in Germany were a hit with her!
Start your tastings earlier
It gets busier and more crowded as the day goes on. I recommend starting your tastings early and just snack throughout the day. Lines will be significantly longer and crowds more packed by the time the sun sets. It got a little overwhelming for us with the kids and stroller at the end of the day.
Do rides and shows in between snacks
Space out your day and remember to throw in some rides between your snacks and tasting. Walk back over to Future World where the majority of the rides are to let your kids have some fun! (Scroll back up to see my ride recommendations.) Watch the Pixar Shorts in the air conditioning or explore everything the seas has to offer! Wear them out so you can have some more fun later.
Let your kids nap in the stroller
If you’re only doing one day at Epcot Food and Wine Festival with kids, plan on letting them nap or rest in the stroller. After you wear them out, let them rest in your stroller! It’s the perfect chance to get that mimosa or wine flight you’ve been eying! Don’t forget a stroller fan since it’s always warm in Orlando!
Meet Characters around World Showcase
While you’re walking around World Showcase, grab a snack or drink and hop in line to meet one of the many characters that are out! Since you have your kids with you, you may as well do something that will pique their interest too. Or if you’re like Ali and me, you end up meeting some of the characters while your kids are asleep! Ooops. It was fitting to meet Aurora while our sleeping beauties we’re out in the stroller.
Related Post: Meet and Greets around the World
Bring activities for them in the stroller
Bringing a few activities was a game changer! The things that Ali grabbed for our girls kept them so busy and distracted when they were in the stroller or in lines for rides. You can grab some coloring books and cheap toys from the Dollar Store, or here are a few I recommend that you can just order on Amazon.
That last one was the girls’ favorite! There are lots of different characters other than the one that I linked to.
Have fun and do everything!
In the end, Epcot Food and Wine Festival is really fun with or without your kids. The experiences are definitely different, but equally fun in their own ways.
Have a plan going into your day, remember the tips above, keep your kids busy and just have fun! Disney is the happiest place on earth afterall!