Dining During Food & Wine Festival

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Dining During Food & Wine Festival

If you travel to WDW during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, how do you handle dining? Do you spend your whole time at Epcot eating Tapas from the Marketplace Booth, or do you hit restaurants as well? How does F&W Fest fit into your dining plan?

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Great question. I look forward to everyones answers. I think this is the biggest reason I do not care for the Food & Wine Fesival. I did not mind trying the food and some of it I even really liked. However, all I kept thinking was why do I want to walk around, stand in line then have to either stand to eat it or fight for a bench to sit and eat it. Add to this it is only a bite or two then I have to start this whole process over again. I would much rather be at any table service restaurant being waited on. Mrhub will probably disagree with me on this one though.

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I try to plan my ADRs around the Food & Wine Fest. For example, if I know I'm going to be in Epcot in the afternoon, then I'll likely have an ADR for breakfast or for a late dinner and snack around the F&W booths for lunch. It usually works well for me.

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We do both but we make all our adr's for lunch to save money and do the f&wf for dinner. Sometimes i think it is a little less crazy doing your f&wf eating at night because it seems like most people are at there dinner adr's, also it is not so hot so i am usually less irritable

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I've done F&W the past two years, and both times I've also had the Deluxe Dining Plan. Throw in a couple special receptions / meet and greets and of my god is that a LOT of food. On our Epcot days we did breakfast at a table service and tried to do dinner at a signature, with a few booths in the middle for lunch using our snack credits for the week.

This year I have the regular dining plan so I think I'll have to pay more out of pocket at the food booths. We've got one ADR a day and I think we'll use our counter service credits at World Showcase too. Since we have Park Hoppers (new for me) I think that we'll do F&W until it gets too crowded for me and then head to one of the other parks for the evening.

Scrappy, I'm with you on the standing in line at the booths, I hate it. Both years I went on opening weekend and the staff didn't quite have the flow of things down pat yet. I can handle F&W Festival until about 3 in the afternoon, and then I really need to go someplace else, we've found Future World dead in the evening, so that's been nice. I think that I would enjoy the experience a lot more if I were local and could visit a couple of times during the event rather than trying to get it all done in one vacation.

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I still make ADRs for dinner and plan on lunch at the F&W booths.

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We did have both breakfast and dinner ADR's for that trip. The other problem I found with the grazing type eating was it takes so long to do it. We did go with the intention it was our lunch. Lunch ended up being around 3 hours long by the time we grazed around and had a few things. Then the worse possible thing happened!!! I was not hungry for our Flying Fish ADR.

It is just a whole lot of food. When we are on the deluxe dinning plan we rarely even snack. We quite often end up sharing a counter service lunch just so I am not to full to want dinner.

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scrappy wrote:
We did have both breakfast and dinner ADR's for that trip. The other problem I found with the grazing type eating was it takes so long to do it. We did go with the intention it was our lunch. Lunch ended up being around 3 hours long by the time we grazed around and had a few things. Then the worse possible thing happened!!! I was not hungry for our Flying Fish ADR.

The opposite kind of happend to me last year. I had planned on lunch at the booths before attending the wine seminar I signed up for. My flight got changed and I ended up getting in later that originally planned. I barely had enough time to get to Epcot for the seminar. I was starving. I ate Mickey rice krispy treat while waiting to get into the seminar. By the time it was over I was still hungry but didn't want t eat too much so I didn't fill up for my ADR that night. I only ended up trying one thing at the festival.

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scrappy wrote:
Great question. I look forward to everyones answers. I think this is the biggest reason I do not care for the Food & Wine Fesival. I did not mind trying the food and some of it I even really liked. However, all I kept thinking was why do I want to walk around, stand in line then have to either stand to eat it or fight for a bench to sit and eat it. Add to this it is only a bite or two then I have to start this whole process over again. I would much rather be at any table service restaurant being waited on. Mrhub will probably disagree with me on this one though.

For me, going from booth to booth is fun. Even though I study the menus ahead of time, it's exciting to see what actually looks best, smells best, tastes best; to discover that something you didn't think would be good is actually awesome (chicken chipotle sausage with sweet corn polenta) or that something you assumed would be good is actually spectacular (tuna poke) or that something you know will be awesome is just as awesome as you expected (baklava). If I made an ADR on an Epcot day, I'd be sitting there getting waited on and regretting all the F&W dishes I wouldn't have the time or appetitite to try.

We make ADRs at parks other than Epcot and on any day we aren't going to the four major parks. But on our Epcot days, we make no ADRs - we just graze F&W. And even on our days at other park, we usually park hop to Epcot in the evening to graze the F&W booths.

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I enjoy wandering around world showcase and people watching, we tend to stop at a few booths per visit, though last year we spent a whole afternoon/evening going round and eating at them LOL.

As there isnt a whole lot I can eat we tend to get one thing between us that i might be able to have a nibble of and hubby will eat the rest, so i will have soon for our ADR's while hes stuffed to the brim LOL

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I don't disagree with my DW at all! It was busy when we were there. Standing in line in the heat and trying to find a seat or place to enjoy what we were trying was a pain. We have only done the F & WF once, and that trip was not our most enjoyable.

I like to experiment with food and try new things. I will eat just about anything. Scrappy is pretty much a meat & potatoes girl and thats it. That's our differences with that. I would love to do the F & WF again, but a trip were it is just me & scrappy and I would do that when we are there for 2 weeks to break it up and enjoy it all, not have to rush through it.

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Kris1971 wrote:
I try to plan my ADRs around the Food & Wine Fest. For example, if I know I'm going to be in Epcot in the afternoon, then I'll likely have an ADR for breakfast or for a late dinner and snack around the F&W booths for lunch. It usually works well for me.

Ditto this. We have planned to be in Epcot for two afternoons/evenings for our trip so I made ADRs for all our other meals besides lunch and dinner these two days. DH and I decided ahead of time that if we feel like we didn't get to experience enough of F&WF on these two days, we cancel our 50s Prime Time reservations on our last day there and supplement it with one more night of F&WF.

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That sounds like a great plan Allie!

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For us, visiting F&WF booths is more of a lunchtime thing. We usually plan ADRs for late dinnertime.
Since to F&WF schedule comes out so late in the year, we tend to schedule dinner ADRs like usual. Then when the F&WF reservations open, we book the events we can get into (which has been very difficult in its own right) and cancel anything that conflicts. Most of the stuff we want to do is booked up before we can even get through to an agent so little of the schedule ends up changing.

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We are there for at least 10 days during F&W, so we make it our goal to taste at least one thing from every booth. But after awhile we just start craving a 'real' dinner. So we'll make a few adr's throughout the trip as well.

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natazu wrote:
For us, visiting F&WF booths is more of a lunchtime thing. We usually plan ADRs for late dinnertime.
Since to F&WF schedule comes out so late in the year, we tend to schedule dinner ADRs like usual. Then when the F&WF reservations open, we book the events we can get into (which has been very difficult in its own right) and cancel anything that conflicts. Most of the stuff we want to do is booked up before we can even get through to an agent so little of the schedule ends up changing.

This scares me...What have you tried to book?

We want to book the 3D: Disney Dessert Discovery Party...Do you think we will be able too?

But as for ADRs..we booked late dinners and are planning to snack for lunch. We are fair goers so standing in line and eating while moving is not big deal for us. This will be our first F&W festival and we are very excited!!

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Frogirl, I would book as soon as available.

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mrhub wrote:
Frogirl, I would book as soon as available.

Yeah..I am planning on being on the phone at 7am sharp on the 14th! We are going to use both cells and the computer to call..lol

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Frogirl wrote:
mrhub wrote:
Frogirl, I would book as soon as available.

Yeah..I am planning on being on the phone at 7am sharp on the 14th! We are going to use both cells and the computer to call..lol

That's smart.

Frogirl wrote:
natazu wrote:
For us, visiting F&WF booths is more of a lunchtime thing. We usually plan ADRs for late dinnertime.
Since to F&WF schedule comes out so late in the year, we tend to schedule dinner ADRs like usual. Then when the F&WF reservations open, we book the events we can get into (which has been very difficult in its own right) and cancel anything that conflicts. Most of the stuff we want to do is booked up before we can even get through to an agent so little of the schedule ends up changing.

This scares me...What have you tried to book?

We want to book the 3D: Disney Dessert Discovery Party...Do you think we will be able too?

But as for ADRs..we booked late dinners and are planning to snack for lunch. We are fair goers so standing in line and eating while moving is not big deal for us. This will be our first F&W festival and we are very excited!!

We've never booked any dessert events. The hardest things to get into, oddly enough, are the most expensive ones, Exquisite Evenings, Vertical Wine Tastings, Signature Culinary Adventures. Bocuse events.

Call early, call often. Have your information ready, credit card, etc. Make a list of the things you want in order of preference so when you get someone on the line, you're ready to go.

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We are at Epcot every day during F&W, and do most of our food booth dining on weekdays, right when WS opens. No lines! Usually have CS for dinner those days. When we have early dinner ADRs, we go for a late breakfast at Kouzzina. Only a couple dinners scheduled, as we enjoy attending the Eat to the Beat Concerts. Dining on Friday evening and all day Saturday is elsewhere. Way too crowded in the WS.

Haven't attended any of the deminars/special events the last couple years, but I did book one of the Buddy Valastro/Cake Boss seminars this morning(DVC, AP, and TIW allowed to book weekday events beginning today). Gonna do the Jiko Wine tasting this trip too!

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We go to epcot early and plan adrs for lunch there as we have noticed evening really sucks. The restaurants are really busy and we felt it affected the service we received. Also the crowds were crazy and people just seemed to get meaner by the hour. It was interesting to see how many people would head to the podiums and try to smooze their way in without reservations and then get angry when told no. We prefer the quieter times to explore epcot and found between eleven am and 2 pm the crowds weren't so bad. We also dine at other resorts than the one we are staying at and because of all the hype of food and wine they are less crowded.

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Last trip at Le Cellier, some guy was trying to get in with an ADR and tried pulling the "I payed Disney alot of money for this vacation, and now your telling me I can't get in for dinner?" Both cast members and about 6 other guest all said "Yup!" at the same time. He stormed out real quick.

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mrhub wrote:
Last trip at Le Cellier, some guy was trying to get in with an ADR and tried pulling the "I payed Disney alot of money for this vacation, and now your telling me I can't get in for dinner?" Both cast members and about 6 other guest all said "Yup!" at the same time. He stormed out real quick.

rolling

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I have to go w Scrappy on this one, we don't like the f&w and can't wait for it to end every year. I like the food and sample some every year, but I absolutely HATE waiting in the long lines for everything. DH is a simple eater and would never try a lot of the fu fu things he can't pronounce or doesn't know what it is. He's not real adventurous with food. I hate the crowds, but the biggest thing we notice is the drinking everywhere. I'll have a beer or a grey goose slushy now and then, but it's out of hand when you have to explain grown adults drunken behavior at Disney to the kids. We notice the excessive drinking is much worse at EPCOT during the f&w so we tend to avoid it and go only for the eat to the beat concerts. I am not a prude and do my share of responsible drinking, but I have a problem dealing with loud, stumbling drunks at Disney. A local bar is one thing, Disney with little kids everywhere bothers me.
I love the concept and enjoy trying the different foods, but don't like what comes along with the popularity of it as it grows.

Sorry, don't mean to be negative or sound wheelchair

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Julie, although I have not been to the F&W, I don't think I would like it either for all the reasons you mentioned. I found myself uncomfortable at times even during "regular" times this summer with the drinking behavior of some adults in Epcot. I was especially disturbed in the Mexico ride this summer, when a rowdy group of men ethnically harrassed the CMs dressed in their Mexican dresses, calling them stereotypical names that bordered on inappropriate. There were kids there too. I actually waited to get on a boat when they were way ahead, as you could hear them in the ride too.

I don't know if Disney does anything with public drunks. This is why I sorta like MK for that...no alcohol. I haven't seen the drinking thing as bad in HS either at night.

I too am accepting of those that do drink, but the behaviors sometimes cross the line.

It does seem that Epcot has become the place to drink around the world. And I totally agree that this is fun, but sometimes out of hand. And Walt would not approve. mickey

Any thoughts?

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For what is is worth here is my two cents. I agree with you all about responsible drinking. I have never been able to drink like that and since I had stomach surgery 7 years ago I tolerate even less. Disney I would hope would not tolerate public intoxication, but then again with that many people how can you police all of that? Again we go back to being personally responsible.

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I did not even get into the drinking and being drunk. I am so glad to see others feel this way. The last night we were there was horrible. Not only was is so crowded you could not walk, but I ran into the ladies room only to find women in there getting sick from drinking to much. So not what I am used to in Disney. I am sure we will go again because Mrhub loves trying the food but he said we would stick to going during the week and then only during the day.

During the F&WF is the only time I have seen a real problem with the drinking. We have seen a few people being removed from the parks through the years. I guess there are just to many during the F&WF to control.

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PirateGirl wrote:
I had stomach surgery 7 years ago I tolerate even less.

I have issues with this too after a Roux-en-Y bypass. Alcohol hits me REALLY fast (within minutes) and I get really heady drunk, but then after say 20 minutes, the buzz is completely gone. It takes me a real concerted effort to stay feeling drunk for more than a little while, and I just don't have the desire to put that much effort into drinking. LoL... I guess I'm to lazy to be a drunk.

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It really aggravates me when we go to sporting events and see people so drunk they are annoying and aggravating...and there is nothing worse then getting beer spilled on you by the person behind you....I have yet to see anyone really drunk at Disney...granted we have never been there during the F&W fest...but it would make me really sad to see that at Disney

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Jess wrote:
It really aggravates me when we go to sporting events and see people so drunk they are annoying and aggravating...and there is nothing worse then getting beer spilled on you by the person behind you....I have yet to see anyone really drunk at Disney...granted we have never been there during the F&W fest...but it would make me really sad to see that at Disney

I have seen it, and it was not pleasant. The Magic feeling disappears.

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Jess wrote:
It really aggravates me when we go to sporting events and see people so drunk they are annoying and aggravating...and there is nothing worse then getting beer spilled on you by the person behind you....I have yet to see anyone really drunk at Disney...granted we have never been there during the F&W fest...but it would make me really sad to see that at Disney

I have noticed this a lot at dtd before they took all the nightclubs out, but not so much at epcot, maybe being from Boston i am used to seeing people stumbling all over the place. We took my son to his first red sox game recently with my mother and there was a highly intoxicated individual on the phone behind us swearing and speaking very loudly which ruined the game for my mom and when i spoke to him about it he was not very nice

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