Food & Wine Festival Tips

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 21830
Food & Wine Festival Tips

1. Plan a little before you get there. Visit the Disney Food Blog to view all the menus and festival booths that will be featured. Make a list of about 10 things you really want to try, and map out where the booths are.

2. Stop in the Festival Center to get a schedule of events, sign up for seminars, and grab a Marketplace Booth Passport to keep track of all your favorite tastes & sips.

3. Visit Sun-Thurs if possible. The weekends get really crowded with locals as well as out of town guests taking advantage of this great time of year. If you can visit during the week you'll stand in line a lot less.

4. If you have to visit on a weekend, and still want to avoid crowds, hit the festival booths for lunch instead of dinner. Sip and snack your way around the world between 11am & 3pm - then made a late ADR for a relaxing dinner away from the crowds.

5. Drink lots of water! Though there are tons of great beers, wines, and cocktails to enjoy it can get really hot during food & wine. Be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated and feeling fit.

Okay - that's my top 5!
What tips would you share with someone going to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for the first time?

crazycatperson's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3709

I agree with your #1 to a degree. But I make a note of ALL the things I want to try and prioritize them from most to least important. Then I list everything in order as you walk around the World Showcase, with the things I want to try color-coded - most important items in bold red, next best in bold green, third best in bold blue, and then stuff I might try after I've eliminated everything else in regular black font. Clockwise or counterclockwise doesn't matter; if my list starts at Mexico and I decide to start at Canada, I just read the list in reverse order.

The tips on going on weekdays and/or hitting the booths as soon as they open are so true. Also the tip about drinking water, even if you aren't indulging in a lot of adult beverages.

My personal tip is DO NOT MAKE ADRs on F&W Fest days. I know a lot of people disagree with this, but when I go I want to spend the whole day (and several days) grazing the festival booths. There's just too much to try to bother with ADRs on Epcot days.

Kristen K.'s picture
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Posts: 21830

This post goes along with my cocktail article on the blog tomorrow - I needed a place to put a little more information on drinking around the world responsibly! Thanks to Becks for sharing her knowledge with us!

Okay, in general the average person can metabolize 1 serving of alcohol in about an hour. Just so we're comparing apples to apples, medically speaking 1 serving is considered a 12 oz beer, a 5 oz glass of wine or 1 oz of hard liquor since they all contain about the same amount of alcohol. Definitely something to consider since some mixed drinks probably contain more than 1 oz of booze and most wine pours are about 8 oz.

Strictly speaking, I would say that responsible drinking would be no more than 1 serving of alcohol per hour accompanied with 8-12 oz of water. People metabolize alcohol at different rates based on body weight and gender. Men generally have more muscle mass and a higher metabolism so they will burn it off faster. A lot of this really depends on the individual. Women get drunk on less booze faster because our stomachs work more slowly. Alcohol is absorbed directly in the stomach and small intestine, so having food in your stomach or eating while drinking will slow the absorption. Since women have slower gastric emptying time, we will have HIGHER blood alcohol levels than a man after drinking LESS. Tolerance plays a big factor here; for instance, despite my high body weight I have a very low tolerance for alcohol since I'm essentially a non-drinker. A woman who weighs considerably less than me but who drinks regularly will tend to have a higher tolerance.

Alcohol is definitely not going to be a good idea in the heat and sun! Alcohol inhibits the production of ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) which helps regulate the fluid balance in your body. Basically, it shuts off the mechanism that tells your kidneys to reabsorb water and keep it IN your body and you're peeing like a racehorse. So imagine this vicious circle: you have 2 or 3 beers, oh wow you really have to pee, you loose that water, your body triggers your thirst center, you have another beer, you pee even more, you're even thirstier, etc.

Bottom line - go slow, have a good meal, drink way more water than you think you need to (at least 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink) and if you've been drinking AT ALL - DO NOT DRIVE. Period. Co-ordination and judgement start getting impaired well before the legal definition of "drunk", usually at a blood alcohol level of .04 or .06. Unfortunately I can't tell you what that 1 serving equals a BAC of X percentage because it depends of how much, how fast and how much you weigh and your tolerance.

This is the stuff I found on the Florida DMV page about first DUI's:

First Conviction
Even your first DUI mistake can cost you more than just dollars:

Fines of $250 to $500. If you have a BAC of .20 or higher, or were driving with a minor in the car, your fine will be anywhere from $500 to $1000.
Community service. Mandatory 50 hours, or an additional fine equaling $10 per required hour.
Probation of no more than one year.
Jail time of at least eight hours, but could last up to six months. For BAC of .20 or higher, the sentence could last nine months.
Jail time of at least two years if you kill or injure someone.
Vehicle impoundment for 10 days (not counted during your incarceration)
Driver license revoked for a six month minimum

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Joined: 08/27/2013
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oooh good thread!
The Disney Food Blog also has a GREAT pdf download with anything and everything you could possibly need to know about F&WF. It costs a little money, but to me it's worth it. I'm a first-timer to the fest, so someone who's been before might not need it as much, but I have been obsessed with it.

JoAnn C's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2011
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If you have the dining plan, you can use your snack credits for the food at the kiosks.

If you happen to be at the festival the last weekend, check out the souviners at half price.

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Allie's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2012
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I definitely agree with planning ahead and priortizing the items you want to try. I'll suggest that for booths with long lines, make sure to check the other side of the booth to see if there is a second line started. There were several booths that we saw last year (Canada in particular) that always had a ridiculously long line on one side and then you could walk right up on the other side because people weren't paying attention.

Kristen K.'s picture
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JoAnn C wrote:
If you have the dining plan, you can use your snack credits for the food at the kiosks.

Great tip!! I've found this one especially useful when we've been on the Deluxe Dining Plan because we've had more than enough snack credits to taste what we wanted and saved table service credits so that we could double up on other nights and do some signature dining.