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Tips for the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World

The 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is in full swing, and it runs daily until November 12. It’s included with your Epcot admission, but some things will cost extra.  I’ve already a been few times, and I thought I’d share some tips to help you to better navigate things.

1. Festival Center

Don’t ignore the Festival Center. Inside you’ll find some of the Global Marketplaces, but there’s more than just that. You can buy wine, coffee, or festival merchandise. There are classes that you can take, some of which are free. Don’t skip The Chocolate Experience: From the Bean to the Bar. It’s sponsored by Ghirardelli. You can learn about chocolate, and the chocolate sculptures are amazing. One more tip about the Festival Center; it’s a great place to hide out if it starts to rain. There are places to sit, and it’s air conditioned.

2. Wearable Gift Card

If you plan to visit several Global Marketplaces, consider buying a festival themed Gift Card on a wristlet. It’s a lot easier to wear the card than to have to keep pulling out your wallet.

3. Global Marketplaces

The Global Marketplaces are no longer located just in World Showcase. The current Epcot Park Map has them listed, and the Festival Passport tells you what is sold at each booth. Pick up both of these items when you enter the park, you’ll use them a lot.

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4. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak

Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak is a scavenger hunt that takes players throughout World Showcase and a couple of other places. The concept sounds simple enough. You’ll purchase a map and set of stickers for $6.99. You’ll then look for Remy in the locations on the map. Once you find him, place the sticker with a similar picture on the map. When you’re done, you’ll receive a limited edition pin for your efforts. There are several to choose from, and $6.99 for a limited release pin is not a bad deal. You do not have to finish (or even start) the map in order to receive your prize. Plenty of adults try their hands at Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, it isn’t just for kids. It’s also harder than it sounds, Remy is good at hiding in some countries! Play during the day, because it’s harder to see Remy after dark, plus World Showcase gets much busier in the evening.

5. Kids

There are some fun extras for the kids this year. Family Play Zone is a playground that is inspired by Ralph Breaks the Internet. Candy Sushi teaches kids how to roll sushi, using ingredients that they’ll love. Junior Chef Kitchen lets the kids be the chefs. Disney Du Jour Dance Party is a fun dance party with characters. Not all activities take place daily, and some have limited capacity.

6. Eat to the Beat

The Eat to the Beat concerts this year are fantastic! There are three shows each night (weather permitting), and they are included with your park admission. Since the concerts last only about 30 minutes each, you won’t miss a lot of theme park time.

7. Passholders

There are two gifts for Annual Passholders this year. The first is a Chef Mickey magnet. The second is a cutting board that you can pick up after your fourth visit. Annual Passholder gifts are available in the Festival Center. The line has been long but it moves quickly. You do not need to have your MagicBand scanned four times at the Festival Center in order to pick up your cutting board, your MagicBand will keep track of park entrance for you.

8. One Final Tip

Remember that weekends are usually a lot busier at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. If at all possible, visit on a weekday. Also, hit World Showcase when it first opens if you want to visit the Global Marketplaces because the crowd grows as the day goes on. If you plan on drinking, please do so responsibly.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.