Fall is one of the best times of year to visit Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom is decorated for Halloween, and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place on many nights during September and October. However, my favorite place to visit in the fall is certainly Epcot, as it hosts the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival each year.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the event, and there is so much to enjoy.
The popularity of “Food and Wine” continues to grow year after year, and it seems as if there have been record crowds for the 20th anniversary. The crowds around World Showcase in the early evening rival those found during Christmas week. Some of the lines for the food and beverage kiosks are very long, with waits that can approach 30 minutes in some locations. However, there is a very simple way to enjoy this wonderful festival with little to no waiting: Go early in the day!
Depending on the day, the Food and Wine kiosks open at either 10:30 or 11:00. If you arrive at that time (especially on a weekday) you can expect to walk right up to just about any kiosk and immediately place your order. I was there this past Friday and enjoyed food from five different kiosks between 11:00 and 12:30, and I never waited more than 2 minutes to order anything.
As the lunch hour continued, this area of Epcot quickly became more crowded, and there were long lines starting to form by around 1:00. However, for the first couple of hours, I felt like I had the place to myself.
You can see that most of the kiosks have large “switchback” line dividers set up, but there were few people in them when I visited. I enjoyed the Shinkennudeln at Germany, which may be the best value at only $3.50. I also paid a quick visit to the Chase Lounge at the American Adventure, which can have a pretty long wait. There was no wait at all at noon.
A few other spots that I stopped at were Belgium for a waffle and Brazil for cheese bread. Again, there was no waiting at either spot. I finished my “tour” of sampling at the Desserts & Champagne kiosk, where I had a delicious cream soda ice cream float. By the time I left that location, the crowds were flowing in.
I suggest visiting the Food and Wine Festival if you plan to be at Walt Disney World anytime before it ends on November 16th. However, I highly recommend visiting early in the day if you can!
I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!