[by Amanda Bauner, Me and the Magic] The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is once again underway through November 12th. If you are new to the Festival, I encourage you to check out the Disney Food Blog’s EPCOT Food and Wine Festival 101 article. I rely on Disney Food Blog for the most comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the Festival, so definitely check them out!
This event has evolved and expanded greatly over the years. I remember going in November 2000, when we didn’t have to wait in line at the booths. Back then (I’m dating myself), there weren’t nearly as many booths as there are now – over 30 booths this year! Considering each booth has 5-10 foods and beverages, that’s between 150-300 items to sample! It’s a good thing we still have over 2 months remaining to indulge.
While it’s certainly fun to go to the Festival with family and friends, here are some advantages to experiencing the Festival solo.
GO WITH YOUR GUT
Maybe you’re craving sweets and want to hit every dessert at the Festival, especially that chocolate lava cake in Ireland. Or maybe those Hummus fries at the Morocco booth are the best thing you’ve ever had, and you need 2 more helpings. There’s no one with you (not that your friends and family would ever judge you, right?), so go for it! Eat and drink whatever you like.
It’s hard to predict how long lines may be at certain booths. If you see a long line at the Africa booth, move on to any of the 7 nearby booths between China and Italy. Then loop back to the Africa booth when the line dies down.
TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING SPECIAL
There are many special events offered during the festival. These events are some of my favorites, as they aren’t offered any other time of the year. A few years ago during the Festival, I went solo to a special 8-course dinner and wine pairing at Flying Fish. I was seated at a table for 8 people. Our table consisted of 2 couples, one group of 3, and me. By the 2nd course, we were all laughing and enjoying our food and wine together. Plus, the executive chef and the winery owner introduced each course and wine pairing. It was a really enjoyable and delicious evening.
SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS
For a small fee, the Festival features several types of culinary demonstrations and beverage seminars. This is a perfect activity to do solo, since you’re either watching the chef make a dish or mix a drink (and maybe sampling it if you’re lucky). Book these events before you go if you have your heart set on one, just in case it fills up.
DANCE LIKE NOBODY’S WATCHING
Do you feel the need to dance along with Boyz II Men to Motownphilly? Or maybe you want to rock along with Starship. Enjoy the Eat to the Beat concert series while at the Festival. A great part about being solo is that it’s far easier to find a seat for just one person in the American Adventure pavilion. If you’d rather just enjoy the tunes and not commit to sitting down in the pavilion, then grab some food and drinks at the Hops & Barley booth as you sing along to the music in the background.