by Melissa Weis
My husband and I have been married 16 years and are parents to two precocious princesses. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe our lives – three jobs between us and rotating shifts mean that we usually go days or even weeks without a meaningful conversation. Last fall we decided we needed to change that. It occurred to us that we hadn’t been away together since before we had kids (more than ten years) and we were overdue. We didn’t have to think long about where to go….
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival was beckoning!
We secured our childcare arrangements – thank you Grandma! – and our on-property accommodations at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and off we went, all the while thinking “How did we manage to pull this off? The kids know where we are going but aren’t interested in the Festival as we explained it to them (teehee!) and are excited about being with Grandma for a few days!” High fives all around!
The truth of the matter is that Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a family-friendly event with activities to entertain and engage the kids…but don’t you dare tell my kids that!!
The Festival is nothing short of amazing.
Epcot has always been our favorite park for many reasons, and the International Food and Wine Festival just puts it over the top for us. In short, there are pop-up food booths representing many, many different countries, and each booth has a selection of appetizer-sized goodies, desserts, and of course, alcohol pairings. There are non-alcoholic options as well.
Side note – see that little purple square logo next to the food and non-alcoholic beverage items? That means, if you are staying on property and have purchased one of Disney’s Dining Plans, you can use a snack credit for that item!! Winner, winner, BBQ Short Rib dinner!
Access to the festival is included with Epcot park admission, but as you can see the booth items are available for purchase. There are also culinary workshops, special demonstrations, and events throughout the park – some for an additional fee and some included with park admission. My best advice is to start your day early and pick up a free festival passport from the Welcome Center in the Odyssey Building. In your passport you can keep track of all of the delicious indulgences you’ve enjoyed.
Wine … and so much more!
Oh, so you assumed by the name of the festival that there’s only wine? Nope! Take note of this beer flight that my husband and I both enjoyed! There was also a whiskey flight that was enjoyed, a Dole Whip with Rum (oh my, yes!!!) and an assortment of entrees and desserts over a span of a couple days.
We enjoyed wandering through the food booths and the countries of Epcot’s World Showcase at a leisurely pace from the time the booths opened at 11am until early evening (read: we drank responsibly). We also got to soak in a lot of Epcot in a short amount of time.
Conversations with Cast Members from different countries helped us learn a bit about their cultures; being able to have full conversations with each other helped my husband and I reconnect as a couple.
We’ve always loved Disney – I knew I had made the right choice when he suggested we go to Walt Disney World on our honeymoon. This mini escape helped us to remember a little bit of what drew us together in the first place.
If you’d like to experience this amazing annual festival, contact your favorite A Time To Treasure Travel agent.