As one of our favorite events of the year at Walt Disney World, 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? This year's festival runs from July 27 through Nov. 18, 2023. With delicious food and drink, fun kids' activities, renowned entertainment and themed merchandise, there's something for everyone at this popular event. We hopped over on the first day and have updated our guide with everything you should know about EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023!
Overview of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival has been taking people’s taste buds all over the world since 1995, and the festival keeps getting longer and longer (no complaints here, though — more time to try all the international cuisine!). The event features its signature global marketplaces, live music, scavenger hunts and more. It's our favorite way to try new foods and flavors from all over the world! This year's festival runs from July 27 through Nov. 18, 2023.
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 at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023. For the most part, kiosk food prices usually run between $4 and $9, with beverages varying from $3 to $10.
During past festivals, you could fine-tune your kitchen skills at a number of cooking demonstrations and seminars. These premium events have not taken place in recent years, but they could return for future festivals.
Global Marketplaces at EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 2023
Bon appetit, froggy friends — we have downloadable menus, organized in walking order for you to use during your visit. Hop over to our downloadable version or our full post of this year's Global Marketplace menus.
New for 2023, we are very excited that the Brew-Wing marketplace is "Muppet"-themed this year! Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker of Muppet Labs invite you to their taste-tasting headquarters. Be sure to try culinary experiments such as the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sticky Wings or the Pickle Milkshake. Eat it for science! There are lots of new food and drink items; plus four new booths debuted Sept. 22 in honor of the Disney100 celebration (and will even continue through EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays!).
Savor cheese dishes around the world with Emile's Fromage Montage. Purchase five cheese dishes from select global marketplaces and collect a stamp in your Festival Passport. Once complete, head to the Shimmering Sips booth for a special prize!
Here are the eligible cheese dishes:
- India: Curry-Spiced Crispy Cheese with mango-curry ketchup
- Germany: Schinkennudeln — Pasta Gratin with ham, onions and cheese
- Greece: Griddled Cheese with pistachios and honey
- Brazil: Pão de Queijo — Brazilian cheese bread
- Canada: Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup served with a pretzel roll
- Flavors from Fire: Smoked Corned Beef with house-made potato chips, cheese curds, pickled onions and beer-cheese fondue
- Hawaii: Passion Fruit Cheesecake with toasted macadamia nuts
- The Alps: Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with 1) alpine ham, baby potatoes, cornichons and baguette, or 2) baby potatoes, cornichons and baguette
- Spain: Charcuterie with a selection of imported Spanish meats, cheeses, olives and an herb vinaigrette
- Wine & Wedge: 1) Assorted artisanal cheeses and accouterments, 2) Fig and Balsamic Boursin Souffle with fig tapenade, or 3) Southern Pimento Cheese with bread-and-butter pickled vegetables and grilled bread
Some of our froggy favorites include the returning Fry Basket with the delicious Fry Flight and the new Prickle Fries. Also nearby, Flavors from Fire gets a thumbs up from the frogs with the Smoked Corned Beef and the Chimichurri Marinated Skirt Steak Taco (pictured). Up for some culinary experiments? Hop over to the Brew-Wing at the Odyssey to try dishes such as the Pickle Milkshake. We thought it tasted like dill and a vanilla milkshake, so it's not for everyone, but definitely worth a try! Other highlights included the Beef Wa-Gyu Don from Japan and the Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake from Ireland.
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 you reach the end.
Since EPCOT Food and Wine Festival runs for four months, there's plenty of time to come back and try lots more delicious food and drink!
EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival Entertainment
The headliner entertainment for the festival is the popular Eat to the Beat Concert Series. Hear from internationally recognized artists, as well as local bands, at the America Gardens Theatre from July 27 to Nov. 13, 2023. Showtimes are 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. nightly. Eat to the Beat Dining Packages are also available for booking. Here is this year's lineup:
Eat to the Beat Performances 2023
- July 27 – Funkafied
- July 28 to 29 – Orianthi (NEW)
- July 30 to 31 – For King & Country (NEW)
- Aug. 1 to 3 – Funkafied
- Aug. 4 to 5 – Southern Avenue
- Aug. 6 to 7 – Tiffany
- Aug. 8 to 10 – Champagne
- Aug. 11 to 12 – Ruben Studdard with Haley Reinhart (NEW)
- Aug. 13 to 14 – TBD
- Aug. 15 to 17 – M-80's
- Aug. 18 to 21 – Joey Fatone & Friends
- Aug. 22 to 24 – The Female Collective
- Aug. 25 to 26 – Ayron Jones (NEW)
- Aug. 27 to 28 – Phillip Phillips (NEW)
- Aug. 29 to 31 – Element
- Sept. 1 to 2 – Baha Men
- Sept. 3 to 4 – MercyMe
- Sept. 5 to 7 – Foreigners Journey
- Sept. 8 to 9 – Ray Parker Jr.
- Sept. 10 to 11 – TobyMac
- Sept. 12 to 14 – Hooligans
- Sept. 15 – Monsieur Periné
- Sept. 16 to 17 – Raul Acosta and Oro Solido (NEW)
- Sept. 18 – Latin Celebrity Talent (to be announced)
- Sept. 19 to 21 – Audio Exchange
- Sept. 22 to 24 – Los Amigos Invisibles (NEW)
- Sept. 25 to 26 – 98°
- Sept. 27 to 28 – Latin Ambition
- Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 – Boyz II Men
- Oct. 3 to 5 – Wish Radio
- Oct. 6 to 7 – Mark Wills
- Oct. 8 to 9 – Sugar Ray
- Oct. 10 to 12 – Icon Party Band
- Oct. 13 to 14 – Hoobastank
- Oct. 15 to 16 – Air Supply
- Oct. 17 to 19 – Evolution Motown
- Oct. 20 to 21 – Taylor Dayne
- Oct. 22 to 23 – Billy Ocean
- Oct. 24 to 26 – Sound Up
- Oct. 27 to 30 – Hanson
- Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 – Rexine
- Nov. 3 to 4 – We The Kings (NEW)
- Nov. 5 to 6 – Sheila E.
- Nov. 7 to 9 – Epic Live
- Nov. 10 to 11 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- Nov. 12 to 13 – 38 Special
Kids' Activities at EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
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 at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023.
Remy's Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt
Embark on a Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt around the park and win a special prize. Be on the lookout for statuettes of Remy hidden throughout World Showcase. You can purchase the map and stickers from select merchandise locations. We got ours from Port of Entry at the entrance to World Showcase. This year's prize is a foldable lunch box with your choice of four possible designs. A fun yet practical souvenir? Count us in!
Pluto's Pumpkin Pursuits
Running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 31, 2023, kids can partake in a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt to find character-inspired pumpkins! You'll be able to purchase a special map and stickers at select merchandise locations, including Creations Shop, Port of Entry and World Traveler at International Gateway. Then, once completed, return your map to Disney Traders (near the entrance to World Showcase) or World Traveler (at International Gateway).
EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival Merchandise
Leap doesn't believe me, but I swear the festival merch gets cuter and cuter each year, and I just cannot resist. There's always the classic Event Logo collection with vibrant, contrasting colors. This year, there's also the Mickey and Minnie Picnic Collection and the Encanto Collection. The Encanto collection definitely stole the show for us — how adorable is the Castia tray and Mirabel apron!
Tips for Attending EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
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. Be sure to grab a festival passport, a pocket guide with all of the menus, which is also available digitally 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. Get whatever you want and then share with the rest of the group!
Portions can be smaller than normal for some food items, so it's nice to have everyone try a little bit when possible and then head to the next one for lots of variety!
4. Be Ready for Lines at Festival Marketplaces
Lots of frogs will be trying the many food and drink offerings around World Showcase, so be prepared for some busy lines for your favorite treat. Lines can vary so we recommend utilizing the list of favorites you made and prioritizing ones you definitely will wait for. If a line was short, we often hopped in while we could. If a booth has an extra-long line, you can always try back later. Weekends and evenings will see longer lines, as more locals tend to hop by.
5. Scout Places to Eat
You don't want to dash and dine at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. Don't underestimate the importance of having a place to enjoy all of the food you're about to consume. 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.
There are generally a decent amount of standing tables around the festival booths, but limited seating options. Try to strategically find shade when possible, as most of World Showcase involves walking in the sun. Our favorite seating area is in the Odyssey, the building between Test Track and the Mexico side of World Showcase. This building houses the Brew-Wing marketplace and has a large room with tables and chairs. We actually grabbed fries from The Fry Basket just outside and headed in for some much-needed A/C!
6. Keep an Eye Out for Photo-Ops
Cute photo with a short wait? Count us in! You can find colorful festival displays at the entrance and as you transition to World Showcase.
7. Pace Yourself
It can be very tempting to dive into every dish (or drink) you see, but this is where your plan comes into 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.
8. Let the Kids Have Fun
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival isn't just for adults! 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 are harder than others to find, but you can always ask a cast member if you have any trouble.
When in doubt, head to the playground! The Green Landing Family Play Zone is located between Creations Shop and Test Track and provides a wonderful playground for tadpoles to enjoy. There are many festival booths nearby so you can grab some food and play!
9. ... And Let Them Eat!
Sure, first impressions of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival cuisine may come off as 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?
10. 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! Don't be afraid to try that vegetable you've never heard of, the cheese with the funny name or an interesting new drink. You might just like them! (If not, I'll be hoppy to finish it for you.)
11. 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 or matching wine glasses. It will be a blast!
12. Watch the Spaceship Earth Projections
Ever since the new lighting was installed on Spaceship Earth in 2021, EPCOT's icon has dazzled guests at night with colorful displays. Each festival features a different projection show. This year, there is an updated version of the "Beauty and the Beast" projections that debuted last year.
There are no set times for the projections, though they typically happen every 20 minutes or so, and usually only occur before the fireworks, not after. We caught a showing around 8:50 p.m., but times can vary. As it starts to get dark earlier, there will likely be more opportunities to see these fun new projections.
There is a lot to digest (so to speak) as you decide what to experience at EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 2023! Do you have any questions about this year's event? Share in the comments below!