I have always wanted to attend the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot for a couple of reasons. One, I was raised to be a huge Disney fan, and secondly, for me, vacation is all about the food! When my mother asked me to come to Orlando for a quick mother/daughter weekend to Disneyworld I couldn’t resist but I was surprised that when we showed up Epcot had just begun their first annual International Festival of the Arts celebrating performing, visual and culinary arts.
The festival runs on the weekends through February 20th and if you’re a local I suggest you get your butt to it immediately! After picking up a festival ‘passport’ my mom and I quickly realized we would have to share everything throughout the day in order to try as much as possible and not blow out entire budget on food.
What to eat
We were able to sample four of the special festival offerings. We would have tried more but we showed up the second day of the festival and some of the lines for a small tasting plate were at least an hour long. We enjoyed everything but two stood out in particular, the Sous Vide Venison from Showcase Plaza and the Callebaut Belgian Sipping Chocolate Flight from The American Adventure. Save the chocolate to watch any shows you take in after dark!
What to buy
I’m always pleased if I leave any Disney theme park with enough room in my bag to not have to add an additional suitcase. Good or bad my budget was pretty thin for this trip due to our upcoming London jaunt so the expensive artwork on display throughout the park stayed just that, on display.
I did however pick up a few small souvenirs from the land of Japan for my husband. When debating our big trip for next year he volunteered to plan a trip to Japan if that’s where we go. This will be the first time that planning has been left entirely in his hands so I got him a small bottle of sake and a sake set as a green flag for him to start planning. My condition? One day at the Tokyo DisneySea park which is supposedly the best Disney park in the world.
What to do
If you’ve been to a Disney park this is pretty obvious. Line up your fast passes, make dinner reservations and see as much as possible. This was my first trip as an adult to Epcot and I have to say I was able to enjoy the shopping, food and drinks much more than as a 13 year old. Epcot is a day to take your time and enjoy.
With that said, the most popular ride at the moment is the new Frozen themed ride in Norway. Get your fastpasses early through the Disney app or be prepared to stand in line for over two hours. If you don’t have a fastpass don’t stand in line. It’s a neat ride but not worth that wait in my opinion.
They also have a special show going on in conjunction with the Arts Festival. Two stars from the Disney family of Broadway shows do several performances a day of hit Disney Broadway songs. Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland were there the weekend we were and it is something not to be missed if you’re a broadway or Disney fan. I was hoping for a preview from ‘The Lion King’ that we’re seeing on The West End in March but I still enjoyed it.