As one of our favorite events of the year, EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival combines our love for Disney, food and wine. Honestly, what could be better than hopping around World Showcase and sampling new foods and drinks? I can smell the delicious aromas already! This event has been taking people’s taste buds all over the world since 1995. Our festival guide is chock-full of information and froggy favorite tips to get you ready for the event. Upon Disney World's reopening after its temporary closure due to COVID-19, "A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival" began July 15 and will continue through the fall as the longest running festival ever! This modified festival experience will be offering 20 global marketplaces, as well as some floral fun from the Flower & Garden Festival sprinkled in. We've already got one visit down (and more to come!), so let's hop to it!
With limited capacity currently hoppening at EPCOT, this year's festival has a more relaxed feel. Food and wine still takes center stage, though, and luckily the lines for the marketplaces where you can sample all the offerings have been pretty short. As we mentioned in the EPCOT reopening post, we expect this year's festival will get a little bit busier in the evenings (and weekends too) — but still not as nearly crowded as before. Since we don't typically do the extra-fee seminars, we personally didn’t feel their absence. But we could see how people who’ve enjoyed these events in the past would miss the opportunity to see celebrity chefs or learn about new food & wine pairings.
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Dates & Overview
In 2020, the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival began July 15, and will continue through the fall season as the longest festival yet! This modified festival experience features its signature global marketplaces, with some Flower & Garden Festival fun sprinkled in. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series is not taking place due to its ability to draw crowds and a lack of sufficient physical distancing measures. However, local acts Mariachi Cobre and the JAMMitors provide entertainment at the America Gardens Theatre with multiple performances throughout the day.
One of the best parts about one of EPCOT's most popular events is that you can experience the bulk of the festival with your regular Disney World tickets. However, you will need to foot the bill for your eats and drinks, which can add up if you have a hearty appetite like us frogs. For the most part, kiosk food prices usually run between $4 and $9, with beverages varying from $3 to $10.
Before you dive in to all of the delicious details, let us tempt your tastebuds with this video that showcases the sights and sounds of this year's festival. (Please refrain from licking the screen.)
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Global Marketplaces
The global marketplaces are the heart and soul of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. True to World Showcase fashion, the food and drinks focus largely on interesting cuisines from around the world. Fear not! The portions are intentionally small so you can sip and savor your way around the world.
This year's Festival Marketplaces include:
- Islands of the Caribbean
- Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aïoli
- Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt (GF)
- Flancocho: Passion Fruit Cake with Coconut Flan
- Red Stripe Lager
- Opici Family White Sangria
- Frozen Mojito
- Earth Eats Inspired by Impossible
- Impossible Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread, Spinach, Marinated Vegetables and Creamy Herb Dressing (Plant-based)
- The Impossible Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun (Plant-based)
- Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream, Matcha Crumble and Baby Herbs (Plant-based) (GF)
- Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London (nonalcoholic)
- Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL
- Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London with Tito’s Handmade Vodka served in a Mason Jar
- Ribeye Taco: Ribeye Steak with Ranchera Salsa in a Corn Tortilla topped with Onions, Chives and a Lime Wedge
- Pork Tostada: Fried Corn Tortilla topped with Chipotle Black Beans, Roasted Pork, Fresh Salsa Verde, Onions and Cilantro
- Mexican Craft Beer: Tulum Artisanal Lager crafted with citrus notes and made with Mexican Caribbean Seawater
- Passion Rose Sangria: Red Wine, Rum, Rose Petal Liqueur, Passion Fruit Purée and Lime
- Clásica Margarita: Tequila, Chile Poblano Liqueur, Lime Juice and Agave Nectar with a Salt Rim
- Mango Smoky Margarita: Mango Purée, Mezcal, Applejack, Lime Juice and Agave Nectar with a Tajín Chile-Lime Rim
- Chicken Dumplings with Chinese Slaw
- Mongolian Beef Bao Bun
- Jasmine Draft Beer
- Happy Peach: Peach Liqueur and Dark Rum
- Byejoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice
- Spicy Kenyan Vegan Corn and White Beans with Pigeon Peas, Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley and Kachumbari Slaw (Plant-based)
- Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous
- Tusker Lager
- Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, Western Cape
- Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions and Cheese
- Roast Bratwurst in a Prop and Peller Pretzel Roll
- Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
- Weihenstephaner Festbier Lager, Freising
- M.I.A. Brewing Hugo, Doral, FL
- Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse Naturtüb
- Margherita: Rustic Italian Flatbread with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese
- La Classica: Cheese Tortellini with Ricotta, Provolone, Fontina, Parmesan, Vodka Sauce and Crispy Bacon
- Traditional Sicilian Cannoli: Crisp Pastry filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Orange
- Peroni Nastro Azzurro Pilsner
- Pinot Grigio, Terre Di Bacco
- Chianti, Gabbiano
- Prosecco, Terre Di Bacco
- Moscato Fior d’Arancio, Batasiolo
- Rosa Regale, Banfi
- Italian White Sangria with Prosecco
- Italian Red Sangria with Cabernet Sauvignon
- Hops & Barley
- New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll
- Southern Seafood Boil: Shrimp, Mussels, Crawfish, Potatoes, Corn and Andouille Sausage
- Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing
- North Coast Bewing Co. Blue Star Wheat, Fort Bragg, CA
- 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale, St. Petersburg, FL
- Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA, Baltimore, MD
- Angry Orchard Rosé Hard Cider, Walden, NY
- Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands
- Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
- Tempura Donburi: Two pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage (Vegetable Tempura) with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice
- Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles and Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth
- Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce
- Kirin Draft Beer
- Strawberry Nigori Sake
- Furano Martini: Vodka, Lavender Syrup and Yuzu Juice
- Beef Kefta Pocket with Caramelized Onions, Garlic and Spicy Tomato Concassée
- Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Tzatziki and Chipotle Sauce
- Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce
- Mediterranean Beer
- Kasbah Prestige Red
- Red Organic Sangria
- Mimosa Royale: Sparkling Wine and Orange Juice topped with Orange Liqueur
- Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Onions (GF)
- Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (GF)
- M.I.A. Beer Company Barbossa Black Beer, Doral, FL
- Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça
- Tarte aux Oignons Caramelises et Chévre: Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a Flaky Pastry Crust
- Canard Confit à l’Orange: Braised Duck Confit à l’Orange with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Tarte Tropezienne, Coulis Framboise: Brioche Cake filled with Light Pastry Cream and Raspberry Coulis
- Kronenbourg 1664 Pale Lager Draft
- VeRy Raspberry: Rosé Wine with Natural Raspberry Flavor
- Bordeaux, Merlot and Cabernet Blend, Château Tarin
- La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Vodka, Grey Goose L’Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice
- Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll
- Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce (GF)
- Collective Arts Brewing Blackberry Fruit Beer, Hamilton, Ontario
- Inniskillin Icewine
- Château des Charmes Merlot
- Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet-and-Sour DOLE Pineapple Chutney and spicy Mayonnaise
- Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and spicy Mayonnaise
- Maui Brewing Company Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI
- Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
- AULANI Sunrise: Vodka, DOLE Pineapple Juice and Grenadine
- The Citrus Blossom (usually found during EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival)
- Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon (GF)
- Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens (GF)
- Orange Cream Shake in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup (Nonalcoholic)
- Islamorada Beer Company Coconut Key Lime Ale, Fort Pierce, FL
- Orange Sunshine Wine Slushy
- Shimmering Sips
- Shimmering Strawberry Soft-Serve in a Waffle Cone
- Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote (Plant-based)
- Tropical Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Passion Fruit, Orange and Guava Juices
- Key Lime Mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice
- Blood Orange Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Blood Orange Juice
- Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red, Piedmont
This year, guests can discover 25 years of flavorful festival highlights in one place! You can find some of the festival's most popular dishes throughout the years in the following World Showplace Marketplaces:
- Appleseed Orchard
- Charcuterie and Cheese Plate featuring Burton’s Maplewood Farm Applejack Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
- Caramel-Apple Popcorn
- Frozen Apple Pie (nonalcoholic)
- Short’s Brewing Co. Mule Beer, Elk Rapids, MI
- Heavy Seas Brewery TropiCannon Citrus IPA, Halethorpe, MI
- Parish Brewing Co. Ghost in the Machine Double IPA, Broussard, LA
- 3 Daughters Raspberry Lemonade Dry Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
- Short’s Brewing Company Starcut Ciders Mosa Hard Cider, Bellaire, MI
- Ciderboys Banana Bliss Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI
- Apple Blossom Sky: Fanta Apple, Ginger Beer, Floodwall Apple Brandy, Burton’s Maplewood Farm Applejack Brandy Barrel Aged Syrup and Mini Marshmallows
- Wine & Dine Featuring Festival Favorites
- Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream, Poland
- Seafood Fisherman’s Pie, Ireland
- Spanakopita, Greece
- Forge Cellars Dry Riesling Classique, Seneca Lake
- Conundrum Red Blend, California
- tenshən Rhône Style White Blend, Central Coast
- Lang & Reed Wine Company Cabernet Franc, North Coast
- Frog’s Leap Zinfandel, Napa Valley
- Kurt Russell’s Gogi Wines Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
- Bleu Spectrum: Blanc de Bleu Cuvée Mousseux with Boba Pearls
- Guinness Baileys Milkshake
- Desserts & Champagne
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops with Crumbled Twix Chocolate Bars
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops with Crushed M&M’s Candies
- Frozen S’mores (nonalcoholic)
- Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut, Champagne
- Dom Pérignon Brut, Champagne
- Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé, Champagne
- Frozen S’mores with Whipped Cream Vodka
- Mac & Cheese Hosted by Boursin Cheese
- Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese topped with Herbed Panko
- Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce topped with Carrots, Celery and Blue Cheese Crumbles
- Lobster Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce and Lobster Cream topped with Herbed Panko
- Macaroni and Cheese with House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers (Plant-based)
- Stiegl Brewery Radler Zitrone, Salzburg, Austria
- L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc Old Vines, Columbia Valley, WA
- Evolution by Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR
As we were walking around, we noticed that there are also a few "Coming Soon" marketplaces, including the Alps and Spain.
So far during our 2020 Food and Wine festival visits, we've sampled:
- La Classica (Italy)
- Spanakopita (World Showplace: Festival Favorites)
- Tarte aux Oignons Caramelises et Chévre (France)
- Frozen S'mores drink & the Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pop with Twix (World Showplace: Desserts and Champagne)
- Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale (Earth Eats)
- Tropical Mimosa (Shimmering Sips)
The tadpoles loved the Frozen S'mores drink (nonalcoholic version) and the chocolate cake pops (moms and dads, beware: they definitely experienced a sugar crash once we were home). Leap gave two thumbs up to the La Classica dish and the violet lemonade ale, while I enjoyed the buttery flakiness from the spanakopita and the fruity Tropical Mimosa! Can't wait for repeat visits to try MORE FOOD.
All of these marketplaces take credit and debit cards, but we find it's easier to use our MagicBands if we're staying on-site. (You can currently save on your Disney World hotel room by booking with us!) We're also fans of purchasing an official festival gift card for the day, available at several merchandise locations around EPCOT. These mini-sized gift cards include a wearable plastic band so that you can swipe and go! Set your limit at the outset, and these gift cards keep you on a budget. They also make a fun souvenir and let you enjoy all of the food and drinks you want until reach the end.
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Kids Activities
Even though "wine" takes up half of the festival's name, the tadpoles aren't left out! There are several family-friendly activities that any frog at any age can participate in.
Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt around the park, which has returned in 2020. Be on the lookout for statuettes of Remy hidden throughout World Showcase. You can purchase the map and stickers from select merchandise locations.
Past Event Activities for Kids
During previous years, the Food and Wine Festival hosted a kid-friendly seminar and a dance party. These are not hoppening in 2020, but we're giving them a mention in case they return in 2021.
- Candy Sushi: This tadpole-friendly seminar debuted at the 2018 festival and returned in 2019. Attendees were able to learn how to roll their own sweet sushi treats with a Disney Chef at The Land pavilion.
- Disney du Jour Dance Party: The Disney du Jour Dance Party in Future World expanded to all seven days of the week for the 2019 festival. A live DJ spun some tunes during the week, while stars from Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country artists, such as Meg Donnelly and AJ Mitchell, performed live on the weekends!
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Entertainment
Typically, the Food and Wine Festival includes the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, but this year it will not take place due to the lack of proper physical distancing measures. In past years' events, the concerts feature a wide range of artists, including Plain White T's, Kenny G and Sugar Ray.
However, festivalgoers will still be able to enjoy local musical acts — Mariachi Cobre and JAMMitors — throughout the day at America Gardens Theatre. Both groups brought some Disney magic into our lives with their #VoicesFromHome performances on YouTube during the closure. It was so great to see them live once again!
Mariachi Cobre and JAMMitors switch turns, so that each group is playing about once an hour. You can catch Mariachi Cobre singing "Remember Me" at 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 4:45 p.m, 6:10 p.m., 7:05 p.m. and 8:10 p.m. Or jam out with the JAMMitors at 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:20 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6:40 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.
During a repeat visit, we caught a beautiful piano performance featuring favorite Disney tunes inside World Showplace.
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Merchandise
Leap doesn't believe me, but I swear the festival merch gets cuter and cuter each year, and I just cannot resist. Disney just keeps hitting home runs with cool spirit jerseys. Find festival merchandise throughout the smaller kiosk locations in Future World and World Showcase. Flower & Garden Festival 2020 merchandise has the spotlight right now, as we couldn't find any A Taste of EPCOT Food & Wine merchandise ... yet. (Cast members told us to keep an eye out for Food & Wine merch around late August!)
A Taste of EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020 Tips
1. Make a plan before heading out.
If you take your food as seriously as I do, you'll want to identify a few must-try items in advance. It's a great way to whet your appetite, and it can help you budget. I make a list of the things I want to try and at which global marketplaces I can find them. It's not meant to be exhaustive because I want to leave a little room for discovery, but it helps me plan which foods (OK, desserts) I don't want to miss.
You can also do this when you get to the festival. This year, the Festival Passport has gone digital. You can find marketplace locations and menus through the My Disney Experience app.
2. Have a budget and stick to it.
As we mentioned earlier, setting a spending limit at the outset is the best way not to go overboard. You can use cash, credit, debit, gift cards or MagicBands (if you're staying at a Disney World Resort hotel). We prefer the miniature-sized festival gift cards because they are convenient with their wrist strap, and also make nice souvenirs.
3. Share food among your frog squad.
Another way to sample a little bit of everything is to go to the festival with a group. Even if it's just you and your bestie, a good time is guaranteed. Whether it's friends or family, everyone is bound to have different tastes. Each person gets the dishes he or she wants and then shares with the group!
4. Scout places to eat.
You don't want to dash and dine at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. In fact, Disney is enforcing its policy that you must remain stationary while eating or drinking. Don't underestimate the importance of having a place to enjoy all of the food you're about to consume ... and the ability to have a break from wearing a mask. We've noticed a considerable increase in standing tables and benches around the park. There are also hidden alleys and areas throughout EPCOT to take a break and sip on that specialty drink.
We recommend scouting out a place to sit BEFORE grabbing those handfuls of food. That way, you're not left scrambling for seating. Have one member of your frog squad hold down your spot (or even a standing table) while others grab food and drinks.
5. Keep an eye out for photo-ops.
Cute photo with a short wait? Count us in! You can find colorful festival displays as you transition from Future World to World Showcase. This year, the design is simple yet sleek, and you can spot Remy and Emile snacking on some cheese.
6. Pace yourself.
It can be very tempting to dive into every dish (or drink) you see, but this is where your plan comes in to play. Use that handy passport to help pace yourself as you travel around World Showcase ... but remember it's also OK to try something that just looks too yummy to pass up.
7. Let the kids have fun.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival isn't just for adults! Because the Festival Passports have gone digital, you can't go around World Showcase to collect stamps. However, you can tackle the Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt or pick up a Kidcot Fun Spot bag filled with stickers and colorable postcards. We found the Kidcot activity bag at a majority of the pavilions — some spots harder than others to find them, but you can always ask a cast member if you have any trouble.
8. ... And let them eat!
Sure, first impressions of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival cuisine may come off quite exquisite and not exactly kid-friendly. Have no fear! The festival does a great job of combining traditional favorites with something new and exciting. What better way to get your tadpoles to experiment with veggies than with interesting Disney dishes?
9. Try new things you might not consider beforehand.
Small plates inspired by cuisines from all around the globe could introduce you to your new favorite food, such as these spicy hummus fries from Morocco! Don't be afraid to try that vegetable you've never heard of, the cheese with the funny name or interesting new drink. You might just like them! (If not, I'll be hoppy to finish it for you.)
10. Get dessert for a memorable finish.
The savory dishes are certainly delicious, but my sweet tooth always has me coming back for dessert. Disney has some of the best in the world! From classic pairings such as lemon and raspberry to unexpected combinations of strawberry and basil or innovative cake pops chilled with liquid nitrogen (as pictured above!), you're sure to have a sweet ending to your day at the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival!
11. Jump on wearable EPCOT Food and Wine Festival gift cards.
Tasting lanyards are no longer available for Food and Wine Festival, so while no special deals are offered, your next best bet for convenience is getting this wearable festival gift card. This avoids the fuss of pulling out your wallet at each marketplace, and it's a good way to budget each member of the squad. Put an allotted amount on each to pace your spending. You can find these at the festival markets throughout the park, including Port of Entry.
12. Dress up and have fun.
Whether it's just you and your bestie or a whole army of frogs, you'll have more fun if you get in the wine and foodie spirit. Wear your team colors, custom trip T-shirts, masks or matching wine glasses. It will be a blast!
Past Seminars & Premium Events at EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
The Food and Wine Festival allows your inner chef or aspiring sommelier to shine. During past events, you could fine-tune your kitchen skills at a number of cooking demonstrations: wine and beverage, mixology and cheese seminars, and food and wine pairings.
Take a peek at 2019's special demonstrations below. While talks and demonstrations won't be hoppening this year, this information may be helpful when planning for future festivals!
Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!
I don't know about you, but I could always use a little how-to from kitchen experts to help expand my skills. These interactive experiences allowed you to get a hands-on lesson from kitchen experts. Your senses were enlightened as you learned anything from cocktail creations to sushi-rolling.
Food & Beverage Pairings
Not ready to roll up your sleeves and cook, but still want to enjoy the yummy delights of a professional? A featured chef and beverage presenter taught you how to pair a match made in culinary heaven. This 45-minute demonstration allowed you to sample the dish and beverage in the spotlight!
Sunday Brunch with the Chef
Breakfast buffet? Gourmet guest of honor? Say no more. This specialty brunch event started off with a sparkling wine toast before indulging in a spread of delicious dishes as you listened to the celebrity guest offer their favorite tips and tricks. (Enjoying all-you-can-eat food while learning how to better cook for future reference is just my style!) Celebrity chefs Andrew Zimmern, Aarti Sequeira, David Burtka shared their talents at last year's event.
During each 90-minute seminar at the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion, a notable cheese expert (how can I become one?!) explained the aromas, textures and flavors of popular cheeses around the world. Guests were able to sample the cheese selections with complementary wine or craft beer selections. In 2019, cheese seminars featured Mediterranean, Italian and French cheeses and more.
Beverage Seminars and Culinary Demonstrations
Want to sharpen your cooking skills or improve your winemaking or brewing expertise? In these 45-minute demonstrations, the experts shared their kitchen knowledge, and you were able to sample anything they whipped up.
Tailgate Tasting hosted by ESPN's Monday Night Football
In 2019, this event had football fans celebrating their love for the sport with tailgate tasters. The 45-minute program paired grub and a beverage tasting inspired by the cities of pro teams.
The festival typically holds premium events that offer guests the chance to explore even more fabulous cuisine. The annual Party for the Senses was a grand tasting event featuring bites from chefs of the Disney Parks.
Keep an eye out for these seminars and premium events to return in the future!
There is a lot to digest (so to speak) as you decide what to experience at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2020! Do you have any questions about this year's event? Share in comments below!