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Let’s talk about why Food and Wine is Epcot’s WORST festival

Let’s talk about why Food and Wine is Epcot’s WORST festival

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Unpopular opinion time: I think Food and Wine is Epcot’s WORST festival. Do you agree or disagree?

Epcot Festivals

Credit: Susan

Epcot offers many wonderful experiences for people of all ages to enjoy. Aside from the permanent attractions and World Showcase pavilions, Epcot is home to four festivals that take place throughout the year.

Festival of the Arts celebrates everything art and runs in January and February. Flower and Garden Festival showcases the beauty of our natural world from March to July. Food and Wine runs from July to November and is the go-to place for foodies. Finally, celebrate the holidays during Festival of the Holidays which runs after Thanksgiving until New Years.

There are so many unique activities to participate in and food and beverage choices to indulge in during these festivals. Since these festivals cover almost the entire year, you are likely to always hit one no matter when you visit.

Food and Wine

Credit: Monica

The 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is here! From July 27 to November 18, guests can take a culinary tour across six continents at this celebration of cuisine from around the world.

The big headliner is the food booths, but Epcot also offers Eat to the Beat Concert Series, a Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt, a cheesy challenge, and tons of merchandise.

It is one of the longest running festivals each year and is about the same length as Flower and Garden. If you are thinking, “Wow, one of the longest festivals! There must be so much to do and see!” you would be wrong. Let me explain why.

Booths Open Late


Let’s start with food options. Or, lack thereof. The three other festivals serve all their food and drink choices for the entire duration of the festival. There is one exception. Farmer’s Feast booth at Flower and Garden has three different menus that are offered.

Most of the Food and Wine booths open on time in July, but several do not start until much later. for 2023, those booths include Char & Chop, Wine & Wedge, Bubbles & Brine, and Swirled Showcase. Those all open on September 22 – almost two full months after the festival starts. If you only have one visit planned during these months, you may be disappointed if a booth you wanted to try is not available.

Lack of Entertainment

Credit: Susan

We have Eat to the Beat at the American Gardens Theater, but that is about it for Food and Wine. Compared to other festivals, which have much more to do, this is just not enough. Festival of the Arts has dancers, musicians, sidewalk chalk, and art demonstrations. At Flower and Garden, you can enjoy several behind the scenes tours at Epcot and interactive gardens. And Festival of the Holidays has the Joyful! gospel celebration, meeting Santa, seeing all the Storytellers, and more.

When I go to Food and Wine, I feel like the only thing to do is eat and shop. I would love to see more about the role food plays in each country represented in the World Showcase. It would be so great to see Disney bring back the workshops, celebrity chefs, and tasting events like they used to have in the past.

Food Options Don’t Compare

Credit: Maggie

You would think if a festival is centered around food, the food would at least be good! Compared to other festivals, Food and Wine menu options are not as creative or “pretty” as what you may see at Festival of the Arts or Flower and Garden where there is so much color and so many different tastes. The food and Wine festival is THE time for food to really shine at Epcot, and it just doesn’t.

There are a handful of good dishes that return year after year, but I think the reason Disney creates so many new dishes for a few reasons. Yes, they like to keep things fresh and exciting, but I also think a lot of new ideas they come up with aren’t well-received.

Credit: Susan

I (Monica) will be a die-hard Belgium waffle and Cheddar Soup girlie forever, but many of the dishes do not look appealing. Pickle milkshake, anyone?

Can we also talk about why Food and Wine has so many hot dishes during the hottest months of the year? Soups, noodles, and spicy dishes on a “feels like” 100 degree day do not sound fun at all to me. These dishes would be great during Festival of the Holiday and Festival of the Arts. I love the Cheddar Soup from Canada, but I would love it even more if I could get it in the cooler months.

No Decor

Credit: Jordyn

Other than some signage and the giant entrance display, there is nothing to look at during Food and Wine. Flower and Garden has topiaries, Holidays has a gingerbread display and tree, and Festival of the Arts has so much artwork.

I would really love to look at something if there is not going to be a ton of entertainment. Again, some kind of celebration of food in each country’s pavilion would be a fantastic start. Disney could create some small exhibits in each pavilion doing just that.

Credit: Susan

I think Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden, and Festival of the Holidays offer so much entertainment and things to keep Guests occupied. Food and Wine, on the other hand, just seems to fall short year after year. It feels like a regular day at Epcot with a few extra food options.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me that Food and Wine is the worst Epcot festival? Or, do you think another deserves that title? Let us know in the comments below and share this post with a fellow Epcot fan.

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Sunday 10th of September 2023

I totally agree with you Monica. F&W is definitely my least favorite of the Epcot festivals. As you said, all of the others have SO much more to offer and are usually not near as crowded. But my LEAST favorite thing about F&W is how long it lasts. We always come for the holidays in November and when we get there all of the parks are beautifully decked out for the holidays except Epcot because for some reason they have to drag it out a few more weeks. I know it’s a big money maker for them but come on Disney it’s been going on since July! Decorate Epcot the same time as all of the other parks and start Festval of the Holidays along with it!


Friday 8th of September 2023

We love Food and Wine. We try to go every year and go later in the season, after the weather cools off a bit. We have had wonderful family memories at the Food and Wine Festival, especially now that our children are older. And while we enjoy a drink or two when there, we do not get "three sheets to the wind." Maintaining an element of sobriety adds to the enjoyment.

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