Oh Disney World, I love you so. You house the most fantastic mother-daughter vacations EVER and that’s why we keep coming back every year – sometimes bi-yearly! – for more. Typically, my mother and I visit Orlando in January-February and/or August-September for our girls only trip(s). This year, because I am out of school and actually have flexible vacation days, we decided to hop on down to Orlando in the end of October to beat the crowds and indulge my love of Halloween 🙂 I confess, my initial motivation for visiting in the end of October is to salivate over the Walking Dead scenes at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, but stumbling upon the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is just as exciting! We did the regular side of the park first and gradually made our way though the countries and the food carts at a slower pace. The map of the food carts is intense because there are SO MANY OPTIONS. Trust me – it will be hard to taste something from each cart without a BIG appetite and some deep pockets. Here’s the 2013 map. I know it’s hard to read, but I have linked it to the larger version. Study this before you go and thank me later!
Hey, even better – see here for a full menu. Here are a few tips based on my experience:
- Get a Disney gift card/wristband: You can purchase these at any of the food carts. Because the carts are close to one another, it is so much easier to just swipe and go. You can reload your card at any of the carts and if you have a balance remaining, it is good at any location around the park.
- How much money are we talking? Frankly, a lot. We spent about $60.00 and we skipped about half of the carts and got FOOD ONLY. If you plan to try the full menus at each cart – plan to spend a minimum of $100.00. Adding alcohol? Double that. We shared everything we bought, so make some friends and remember that sharing is caring.
- Some of the lines get really long. We started at Mexico in the early afternoon and ended up in Canada around 8 pm. It seemed like the crowd moved in the opposite direction. The flood of people poured in after dusk and the area between Canada and France were insanely crowded. I missed out on some magical chocolate milk crème brûlée in France because the line was just way too long. That’s where planning comes into play – know what and where you want to eat and tailor your journey accordingly.
What follows is a photo review of what we ate! It was a unique and delicious experience to say the least! I am not a drinker, but believe me – there were at least 2 alcoholic choices at each cart.
There you have it. All of the deliciousness that is the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Trust me, there were at least 7 other carts we didn’t get to and their selections were just as enticing as these. If I did it all over again, I would start the countries at 11 am and work my way – very slowly – around to taste everything! If you make it there before it’s done, let me know what you tried and how you enjoyed it!
P.S. – be sure to get yourself some Dole Whip from the Magic Kingdom! It will change your life!