Making the Most of Food & Wine

I’ve been smitten with the Food & Wine Festival since I first experienced it back in October 2008.

My first Food & Wine experience. Yes, my hair looks different.
My first Food & Wine experience. Yes, my hair looks different.

What’s not to like? Plenty of options for small plates (which means sharing & more opportunity to try everything), champagne, desserts, and, of course, beer.

With all the excitement bubbling for this year’s festival (the food pictures look amazing!), I’ve been chattering a lot about the F&W lately. If I could, I’m pretty sure I would schedule Disney vacations every fall just for this event. In all my dreams of tacos, escargot, and fun drinks, I came to another realization.

Not only did I love spending time perusing all these food kiosks, but the F&W at Epcot gives me the extra push to try restaurants that are in OTHER parks or resorts. It’s true that each of our trips includes at least one reservation at an Epcot resort. We don’t pass up the opportunity to go to the Rose & Crown or La Hacienda. In March, we had our first Marakkesh experience in Morocco. Even without reservations, we’d pick a quick meal of cheese, drinks, and desserts at Tutto Gusto above everything else in WDW.

Why do I love Epcot restaurants so much?

  • Unlimited menu possibilities: In fifteen years of Disney vacationing, I have yet to step foot in every single country’s restaurant.
  • The beer: It’s nice to know the good times aren’t necessarily over when you pay your bill. Grab a drink on the way out and taking a stroll around World Showcase is the perfect ending to any evening in Epcot.
  • Illuminations: This is probably the biggest pull. I have an insatiable appetite when it comes to this nighttime spectacular (the music! the fireworks!) and if I can plan a dinner with an Illuminations view, it’s happening. No questions asked.

As much as I love the food selection at Epcot, once F&W is involved, I’m okay with looking into other options. Though I’m losing that “let’s sit down and lounge feel” when jumping from food cart to food cart in Epcot, that’s okay. The rush, the casualness of it all is part of the fun.Β So why not take advantage of some of the other eateries in WDW?

These are a few that I’m thinking about:

  • Citricos at Grand Floridian: I didn’t spend a lot of time at the monorail resorts as a kid so having dinner here is most often a new experience. Citricos is a fancier option, I think, but it definitely would be a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Epcot.
  • Flying Fish at the BoardWalk: Kudos to Melissa from Mouse on the Mind for suggest a restaurant that is a skip and a jump from Epcot so you can easily get back there if you want to. I’ve been wanting to try this restaurant out FOREVER (it’s the only one along the BoardWalk that I haven’t been to) and Eating WDW‘s overview of it has sold me. Must try fun desserts. Also, such a plus that non-fish lovers can find something to enjoy on this menu too.
  • The Wave at the Contemporary: I’m pretty sure we had a drink here on our honeymoon but I’ve been hoping to try a meal here in the future. Hanging out at the Contemporary is a lot of fun because you can always hope on the monorail and head to the Poly for a drink when dinner is over. Don’t espresso-bbq-beef short ribs sound amazing?

Can you hear my stomach grumbling?

I’m so curious about how Food & Wine affects your trip. Do you make less reservations? Do you primarily hang out in Epcot? Or are you like me and checking a new spot off your ever growing restaurant wish list?

2 thoughts on “Making the Most of Food & Wine

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