What’s New for 2022 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?

You may be wondering to yourself, Is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival worth it in 2022?

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival look a little bit different this year thanks to the pandemic.

And while your favorite food is probably still on the menu, there are some things you should know about touring the new hybrid version of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

Here at ThemeParkHipster, our favorite time of year at Epcot is fall. The weather is cooler to walk around World Showcase and the park seems empty some days. Plus, it’s when Disney puts on its annual food and wine festival.

After going to the festival for many years, we decided to share some of our best tips, tricks, and touring strategies. Especially if you want to experience everything at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

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When is the 2022 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?

This special event takes place July 9th through November 19th of 2022. New experiences will include the return of the popular Eat to the Beat Concert Series and the dining packages that come with it.. 

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What are the Epcot Food and Wine Hours

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival hours are from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day. Your theme park pass will allow you to come and go from the park as many times as you want throughout that same day.

Italy fried chicken with marinara sauce at Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Chicken and Marinara

Epcot Transportation Options

There are a few options to get to and from the park from your Disney hotel. If you have a car you can drive yourself. This is our favorite option right now since the bus and Skyliner can take a while to get to and from a destination.

Disney Riviera Resort skyliner sign to Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

If you’re staying at one of the resorts that services the Disney Skyliner, you could hop aboard a gondola to get to Epcot.

Disney Riviera Resort NikkyJ on Skyliner to Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

Disney Skyliner Resorts:

Note that if you are staying at Pop Century or Art of Animation that you will need to transfer to the Epcot line at Caribbean Beach.

Taking the bus is always an option for every resort, but can take a while as you’ll have to take into account the time it takes to wait for the bus and the load time.

Disney Riviera Resort walking up to hotel

This is really only a good option in the middle of the day when the line to get to the park via bus is short.

Disney Magic Kingdom Monorail passing by

The monorail from the Magic Kingdom Resorts to Epcot are now operating.

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What’s New at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival looks a little bit different this year due to the global crisis we went through. This has caused Disney to requiring theme park reservations for your Epcot visit.

Jerk Chicken covered with mango salsa at Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Jerk Chicken

However, temperature checks are no longer required for entry into the festival.

You can do this through the new Park Pass Reservation System on your My Disney Experience account.

Disney Park Reservations Step One
Screenshot of the new Park Pass Reservation System

As you experience a the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, you’ll also notice a few things still missing such as the special tours and seminar classes. Hopefully they’ll return next year.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Seminar with Murphy-Goode Winery. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Seminar with Murphy-Goode Winery

Although some of your favorite treats and experience may be there, you’ll notice a few changes on trip to Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Let’s go through some of the top new strategies for experiencing this annual Epcot festival.

 

1. Know What NEW Food You Must Get While At Epcot

There are dozens of food booths to try while exploring the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, but some aren’t open yet.

Chefs preparing food at Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Below are the new Epcot Food and Wine Festival Food Booths for 2022:

The Fry Basket (Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet®) – NEW!

Food:

  • Adobo Yuca Fries with Garlic-Cilantro Aïoli (plant-based and gluten/wheat-friendly)
  • Fry Flight: Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Fries (plant-based), Barbecued Bacon Fries with Smoked Aïoli, and Sweet Potato Casserole Fries with Candied Pecans, Toasted Marshmallow Cream and Caramel Whisky

Beverages:

  • Salty Dog Cocktail: Boyd & Blair Vodka with Grapefruit Juice, Ginger, Simple Syrup and Lime with a Salted Rim
  • 81Bay Brewing Co. Key Lime Lager, Tampa, FL

As the festival progresses more and more food booths will open.

When we asked a Cast Member, they mentioned more booths would open around the time that the Food and Wine Festival would typically start, which is mid-August!

No matter where you decide to eat you may still find Plexiglas has taken over. Disney has installed Plexiglas on the food booths at the registers and at the pickup window.

Epcot Plexiglas barriers. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

The barrier between you and the Cast Member serving you does make for a safer environment. However, hearing what the Cast Member is saying can be challenging.

Epcot Food and Wine Charcuterie in a Cone in Spain. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Charcuterie in a Cone in Spain

Be sure to speak up when telling someone what you want to order, and listen carefully to what they are saying in return.

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2. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort

While you’re enjoying this year’s festivities, be sure to explore all of the “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honoring the Walt Disney World Resort 50th Anniversary activities and merchandise.

Disney 50th Anniversary Statue of Hei Hei from Moana at Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

Get our full guide to this Disney celebration here!

3. New Technology for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Throughout World Showcase you’ll find pillars with menus and QR codes. In lieu of traditional booklets with the list of festival booths and menus Disney has opted for a fully digital booklet.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival virtual menu passport scanner. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

The booklet can be brought up on your phone by scanning any of the QR codes with a smartphone.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menu Alps Booth. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

The QR code will redirect you to the Walt Disney World website with a new interactive space just for the Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This space features:

  • all of the menus for the festival
  • where you can find entertainment
  • things kids can do just for them
  • where to find merchandise

The one bad thing about the QR code is if you open the link too many times it will redirect and close the site.

Taste of Epcot Food and Wine Refreshment Outpost Bee Frozen Slushy 26

When this happens you will have to find another pillar to scan the QR code to bring the website back up on your phone. This also uses a lot of the battery for a phone so be sure to have an extra rechargeable battery nearby.

Epcot Drinking Around the World Passport

4. New Changes in Available Entertainment

Throughout Epcot you might notice the slow addition of regular entertainment being added back to the park.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Festival Show in Mexico Mexico Pavilion Mariachi Cobre at Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Festival Show in Mexico

Character Cavalcades or Meet and Greets

Previously at random times throughout the day you would’ve spotted some of your favorite Disney characters making their way through Epcot’s World Showcase in a character cavalcade.

Pluto in fronts of Spaceship Earth mural at Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

These short parades are now suspended at Epcot as the actual character meet and greets have returned to the park.

Eat to the Beat Concerts in the America Gardens Theater

At set times throughout the day you can take a break at the America Gardens Theater to enjoy some live music as the Epcot Eat to the Beat Concert series finally returns!

Chaka Khan at Epcot Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Dates now available. with Chaka Khan in the photo. American Pavilion. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

The annual concert series features popular bands from the 80s, 90s, and the 2000s. It takes place on the American Gardens Theater stage in the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot.

More Epcot Festival Entertainment

While at Epcot Food and Wine Festival, don’t forget to check out The Voices of Liberty, the JAMMitors, and the Mariachi Cobre.

Mariachi Cobre Band at Epcot with Violins and Guitar

Kidcot

If you’re taking kids to Epcot, you’ll be pleased to know that Kidcot is still available. This free activity usually has kids do an activity and interact with the cultural representatives from each country represented around World Showcase.

Morocco Pavilion at Epcot Kidcot Fun Stop

To get started, you’re going to want to pick up one of the Kidcot packets from any normal Kidcot station. These stations can be found in each country in World Showcase.

Inside the themed ziplock you’ll find all you need to complete a journey around World Showcase.

Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide

5. New Epcot International Food and Wine Merchandise and T-Shirts

A true ThemeParkHipster must bring home a nice souvenir to commemorate your time at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

You can find the Festival merchandise throughout Epcot theme park. Epcot Food and Wine Festival merchandise can also be found on shopDisney.com.

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Our Top 5 Dishes You Must Try at Epcot Food and Wine Festival

After strolling around Epcot and trying a variety of things we’ve come up with the ThemeParkHipster top five dishes to get.

Taste of Epcot Food and Wine World Showplace Buffalo Mac and Cheese
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

This list was made before the second wave of festival booth openings and could change later in the season.

  1. A Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons and Baguette (The Alps)
  2. Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Brazil)
  3. Frozen Caipirinha with Cachaça (Brazil)
  4. Garlic-Parmesan Wings with Celery and Ranch (Brew-Wing in the Odessey)
  5. La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice (France)

Budgeting for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The best and easiest way to keep a budget while munching on treats and eats around Epcot is to purchase a wearable Disney gift card once you get inside the park. The gift cards can be found at most merchandise locations.

African Wine at Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
African Wine at Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Being able to load a specific amount of money onto the wearable gift card makes the day so much easier. Mainly because you don’t have to pull your wallet or phone out every time you want to pay for something.

Appleseed Orchard Cider Bar in Canada at Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Appleseed Orchard Cider Bar in Canada at Epcot

The cards are reloadable, so if you do decide to add more money then it’s super easy. Just go into any shop where merchandise is sold and they will be able to help you.

Taste of Epcot Food and Wine World Showplace Buffalo Mac and Cheese

To know how much you might want to put on the gift card, do a little searching for the food booth menus with prices. You’ll then want to add up the total of everything that sounds good.

Even if you don’t try everything on your list (we sure didn’t) you’ll know about how much you’ll likely be spending.

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Safety Tips at Disney World

The safety of guests and Cast Members is Disney’s top priority right now, so we have listed a few of our best tips for your visit to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Epcot Japan Pavilion View from the Top. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

1. Keeping Your Hands Clean

There are multiple hand washing and hand sanitizing stations throughout the park to keep your hands clean after rides and before you eat.

Epcot Morocco Pavilion Entrance. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

This is definitely a win for anyone doing Disney during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

2. Wear Face Coverings and Masks

If you’re still not comfortable about being around people, you may want to bring a couple of masks with you. Especially for the moments when you’ll have to wait in the line of an indoor queue.

Epcot Mexico Pavilion San Angel Inn Mexican Restaurant. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?

Be sure to have a backup pair, just in case yours gets wet from sweat or rain.

3. Take Frequent Breaks to Cool Off

It’s hot in Florida. That’s just a fact of life. One thing that is necessary while touring any Disney park is to drink a lot of water.

At Epcot you can still get water from quick service food and beverage locations and Starbucks for free.

If you need to cool off, be sure to take breaks every 45 minutes indoor so that you won’t experience any heat related illnesses.

Top 5 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips

After visiting Epcot for the Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival we’ve come up with our top five touring tips that we want to share with you.

1. Take extra masks and take lots of breaks

This seems obvious but so many people don’t do either of these. Wearing a mask that’s hot and sweaty all day long just does not sound fun to us.

So, when we stopped inside for breaks, we swapped masks for something clean.

2. Plan out your top eats

After looking at the menus at home we knew exactly what we wanted to get from Epcot to eat.

Steakhouse Blended Burger with blended beef and Mushroom Slider with brie cheese fondue, arugula, and a truffle and blue cheese potato chip on a brioche bun at Flavors from Fire Epcot. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
Steakhouse Blended Burger with blended beef and Mushroom Slider with brie cheese fondue, arugula, and a truffle and blue cheese potato chip on a brioche bun at Flavors from Fire Epcot

This was a great way to be sure we didn’t get too full before making our way to the other side of World Showcase, and it kept us within our budget.

3. Get on attractions

Even if attractions aren’t your main priority when visiting Epcot, they should be on your list for right now.

One reason is because all of Epcot’s attractions are inside, which gives you relief from the sun. Another is because it’s a nice little break from walking around the park.

4. Go back to your room in the middle of the day

Taking a break in the middle of the day to go back to your room might seem counterproductive when the parks have shortened hours, but it’s not!

Even with doing Epcot for a few hours then going back to your room then heading back after it cools off in the evening, you should be able to get everything done.

And you even got some time to completely cool down, take a nap, or hop in the pool.

5. Split the Cost

Going with a friend or two or three lowers your budget and makes the event memorable. You can share multiple dishes without leaving Epcot broke.

Hipster Power Tip: Share a beer or wine flight with a friend. Each flight contains 3 to 4 samples.

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Is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Worth It?

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is definitely worth a visit, especially if you wait until later in the fall when it gets cooler.

Tokyo Dining Restaurant in Epcot Japan Pavilion With NikkyJ drinking Violet Martini
Tokyo Dining Restaurant in Epcot Japan Pavilion With NikkyJ drinking Violet Martini

It’s one of our favorite festivals at Epcot and we can’t wait until it’s back to its former glory.

I hope this post helped guide you towards a great experience at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

Don’t worry if you’re not able to see and do everything. I just want you to have fun and enjoy exploring all the different countries.

A Taste of Epcot Food and Wine Festival Tips. Keep reading to learn about what's new and if the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is worth it?
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What Epcot Food and Wine Festival tips do you think is the most helpful for making the most of your time? Leave your comment below!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Authors: Megan duBois and NikkyJ

UP NEXT: Taste Your Way Around the World: Best Food at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

(Original Article Date: August 24, 2020/Updated by Editor on July 9, 2022)

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