I’m of the belief that one does not need a reason to visit Walt Disney World Resort. With that said, Walt Disney World continues to give us one special event after another to make a visit to the World that much more enticing.
My favorite Epcot special event has always been the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, but I felt I owed it to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to learn more about what makes this annual fall event so incredible. I had visited Epcot during this event before, but my family mostly ran from regular attraction to attraction, ignoring the festivities. Earlier this month we returned, and I now know what we’ve been missing!
First off, I need to make it clear that it’s worth visiting the Food & Wine Festival just for the food and wine. With culinary demonstrations, more than two dozen food and beverage carts, and special dining opportunities, you could absolutely plan your 2014 fall visit to Epcot based just on what you’ll eat and drink for a few days. However, there are many more reasons, some of them unexpected, to visit Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. I’ve chosen just 7 reasons, and in keeping with the Food and Wine theme, I’ve stuck to F and W headings.
Not convinced that Epcot’s Food & Wine is the Walt Disney World special event for you? Consider this…
7 Unexpected Reasons to Visit Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival 1 of 8
Yes, Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios are awesome, and you can't beat the beautiful transformation of Epcot during the International Flower & Garden Festival, but it's time to add Food & Wine to your Walt Disney World favorites list! The Fall 2014 International Food & Wine Festival is being planned even as you read this. Grab your calendar, grab a pen, and get ready to be enticed...
1. It’s Festive! 2 of 8
Walt Disney World during special events is like pixie dust plus. When Epcot is hosting a special event, everything from the flowerbeds to the entertainment is completely transformed. Even if you don't partake of the nearly 30 additional food and beverage areas through the park, you can still take in the gorgeous displays, festive atmosphere, and live music from the Eat to the Beat series. It's like a giant party taking place at your favorite vacation destination and you're invited.
2. Wisdom 3 of 8
I'll admit that I'm stretching it a bit to use wisdom - I needed a W! - but the truth is that you will actually learn something while visiting Epcot's International Food & Wine Festival. While my kids enjoyed displays such as the Ocean Spray cranberry bog situated between World Showcase and Future World, you can also attend demonstrations throughout the festival, learning about everything from wine pairings to types of chocolate. That's right, folks. I said that you can learn about wine and chocolate.
3. Frangipane 4 of 8
Before attending Food & Wine, I didn't know what frangipane was. Hint: it involves almonds and is delicious. While there are plenty of fine foods available during the festival that may already be on your favorites list, you'll also meet foods you've never before tried. And because you're trying these new foods at Food & Wine, you'll actually have the opportunity to learn about your new food friends. A delightful chef was available to explain to me exactly what goes into a Frangipane Triangle while I sneakily put two on my plate. Thank you, chef!
4. Whet Your Family’s Appetite 5 of 8
By now you've probably all stared at that tray of pastries and booked your flights for the 2014 festival. But maybe you're wondering what to do with your kids. TAKE THEM. It turns out that the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is actually a great event for families. We attended on a Saturday and while I admit that once the evening crowd got going, we took the little ones and ducked out, in general the event was a great fit for my entire family. The kids loved the music and festive atmosphere, and both kids were open to trying new foods. This is my daughter falling in love with goat cheese. A girl and her cheese - a moment I'll treasure forever!
5. Figment 6 of 8
Figment? At Food & Wine? Yes!
Don't lose sight of the fact that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is held at...Epcot. That means that while there's wine tasting for you, your family's favorite attractions are still there waiting to be enjoyed. We were able to go from a special event breakfast to our must-do attractions - including Journey Into Imagination with our friend Figment - and then finish our day with more amazing food.
6. White Christmas 7 of 8
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a fall event, but for one glorious weekend, some of Walt Disney World's holiday offerings overlap with the final days of Food & Wine. It's like the holy grail of Disney special events! My family was able to eat around the world on a Saturday, enjoy the Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Sunday, and attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on Monday, all in one vacation. Perfection!
7. French Breakfast 8 of 8
Over the years, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has continued to evolve, adding new offerings each fall while continuing to bring guests their favorites such as the Eat to the Beat series. This year guests were able to make reservations at unique events that were not included in park admission. My family attended the Parisian breakfast in France, allowing us the opportunity to enjoy mimosas and pastries while basking in the morning sunshine and the calm of World Showcase before it was open to other guests. These additional events within the Food & Wine festival are a great way to take an already special vacation to the next level.