Tips for Attending Epcot Food and Wine Festival with Kids
My husband and I always head to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival each fall. We love just strolling around the World Showcase nibbling on bites of food and enjoying a glass of wine or two.
Now that we have kids we wanted to include them in our tradition. To be honest, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival can be quite boring to a child so getting them engaged can make it more enjoyable for everyone.
But there are things they can experience that will not only make it fun for the entire family but can also be a way of getting your kids to try something they would normally never touch.
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing what you need to know to get ready for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
1. Let them Play A Part in Choosing What they Eat
With smaller portions and lots of choices you can make quite a day out of letting the kids explore their own palette.
Each booth has it’s own personality. There will be a large menu board in front, you will be able to smell the food as it cooks and there will be a buzz from those in line or waiting for their food.
All of this builds a bit of excitement as you approach each country’s food booth. Take advantage of this.
Let the kids approach the board and see what is on the menu. Then let them choose the item. (please ignore the fact it looks like Mr J has chosen wine for his dish in the photo below)
If they are too young to read you can describe the items or you can walk them over to the serving window to see the samples.
If a Cast Member is available they are happy to talk to the kids about the dishes and explain the ingredients and the relevance to the country of origin.
Empowering them with the opportunity to choose what they will try ups the chances of them choosing something out of their comfort zone.
2. Make it a Game with the Marketplace Passport
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival has a free Marketplace Passport that you can pick up and the Festival Center or at any one of the country food booths.
When you get something from any of the food booths they will stamp our passport for that country.
The game can be see how many stamps you can get in your passport.
Let the kids choose the country and the food item. If they try a bite of the food item they can get the stamp.
If you have more than one child this can end up in some fun family rivalry. No reason why you can’t have more than one passport.
Since Mr T is from South Korea we did have to stop by and give the Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce a try. Each boy tried it but neither was impressed. Seems this kimchi was toned down and did not meet Mr T’s standards.
On the other hand the Chicken Teriyaki Steamed Bun from Japan was quite the hit!
3. Take Time to Still Have Some Fun
Kids come to Walt Disney World to ride rides. If you take that away from them for an entire day so Mom and Dad can eat and drink they are not going to be happy campers.
So along the way stop and enjoy a ride every now and then. They will be much nicer for it.
Take a spin on Spaceship Earth
And don’t forget Kidcot Fun Stops. That can also let them get some traditional Disney in a midst the festival. Each stop you can get a Duffy or Perry the Platypus cut out where then Cast Members will write the child’s name in that country’s language.
They can also decorate the cut out any way they wish. (you can see Mr J is a future artist)
4. Let them Blow off Some Steam with a Dance
Eat to the beat concerts are great for kids. All are family friendly and dancing in the aisles is encouraged. (click here for Eat to the Beat concert dates)
Don’t worry about getting in line and waiting for a seat just stroll by as they are playing and let your kids get up and dance. Here is a highlight from Sugar Ray 2013. Mr J’s dance moves have not progressed much since then.
5. Participate in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak
For 2015, the Food and Wine Festival is trying something new. They are actually offering a scavenger hunt that will be appropriate for young and old. This is taking the game concept above to a whole new level because this one has a prize! Whheeeeee!
To to play you will need to purchase a special map with stickers for $9.95, plus tax. (so I am not sure if the prize is really a prize – it’s just something you paid for in advance)
You will find these maps at Disney Traders, the Food and Wine Festival Center, Pin Central, Port of Entry, and World Traveler (International Gateway).
From what I am gathering Remy is making a recipe and you are charged with finding the ingredients. Once you have found them all return your map to the Port of Entry Redemption location to receive a prize!
Don’t worry if you can’t complete the quest. You did pre-pay for your prize after all. Just take the map to Port of Entry Redemption location before you leave and you will be given one of these limited edition pins.
Fun either way!
The bottom line
No matter which way you slice it the Epcot Food and Wine Festival has been made into a family friendly event. With a little planning you can have fun with kids of any age.
As you can see both pf my boys enjoyed their eating adventure through World Showcase and I would not hesitate to do it again with them.
So next time you are heading to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival don’t think you have to leave the kids at home (even though you may want to). They may discover they like a new food and you will have the memories of watching them grow.
For more information Food & Wine Festival,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.