What Exactly IS “A Taste of Food and Wine?” Here’s What You Need to Know About This Year’s EPCOT Festival!

We’re traveling around World Showcase for the first time in MONTHS! It’s a bit surreal to be back since Disney World closed its gates in mid-March, especially when the 2020 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is in full swing in mid-July!

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 2020

When this year’s festival was announced, Disney noted that this would be “A Taste of Food and Wine,” which had us scratching our heads. What does that mean, exactly? Let’s find out!

We knew that some experiences at this year’s festival would be modified or canceled to accommodate distancing and health and safety measures. For example, we knew that the Eat to the Beat Concert Series would not be a part of the Food and Wine Festival this year.

Eat to the Beat 2019

But, Disney also stated that the festival would be a combination of the Food and Wine Festival with influences from the Flower and Garden Festival that was cut short in the midst of the closure. While we weren’t sure what that exactly meant, this is everything you need to know about how the festival has stayed the same and changed this year!

New Procedures

While we have already seen Virtual Queues used in stores and Rise of the Resistance in Disney World, EPCOT has also incorporated the use of Virtual Queues as a distancing measure at the World Showplace (where four booths reside!).

World Showplace

After guests join the line, they will be called back to World Showplace via text message. The lines have additional distancing measures with the use of roped-off sections and markers on the ground.

World Showplace

However, the Virtual Queues aren’t the only new measure put in place at the Food and Wine Festival. Since Disney World has re-opened with strict health and safety measures, the festival is following many of the same guidelines that are included across the parks. That means guests will be able to find hand-sanitizing stations

Hand-Sanitizer

roped-off areas to control crowds…

Canada Booth

…and distancing markers to wait behind as everyone hops from booth to booth. Unless somebody is eating or drinking, they are still required to wear masks at all times in the parks as well.

Refreshment Outpost

Food Booths

One of the best parts of EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival starting up again is the fact that the booths feature both new items and returning favorites each year.

Food and Wine Festival

Since the festival is getting a twist with the addition of Flower and Garden elements, some of the Food and Wine booths are actually featuring snacks, desserts, and drinks on their menus that were previously available at the Flower and Garden Festival.

Hops and Barley

We’ve seen returning items like the Chocolate Pudding Terrarium at Earth Eats

Earth Eats

…as well as the Furano Martini at the Japan booth, as well as many other spots around the World Showcase. Not to mention the whole Citrus Blossom booth (and the cute Orange Bird sipper sold there!) are a part of the festival! While this might mean less new items, we like the fact that guests who didn’t get to experience the Flower and Garden Festival are now able to explore a mix of two festivals in one during their time in EPCOT.

Japan Menu

Entertainment

Although we LOVE snacking and sipping on all the food and drinks during festival time in EPCOT, we have been so happy seeing different topiaries return in the park from the Flower and Garden Festival. As guests walk around the park, they can spot Remy near the France Pavilion

Remy Topiary

…as well as Bambi, Flower, and Thumper in front of Mouse Gear!

Bambi Topiary

Although many of the entertainment elements that we regularly see during EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival are suspended this year, the World Showplace is being utilized as an (air-conditioned!) spot for guests to enjoy four booths including one booth featuring some of the greatest hits of Food and Wine Festival that don’t have their own booth this year!

Desserts and Champagne

The inside of the building is also following health and safety guidelines with designated lines, distancing markers, and plexiglass barriers to protect both Cast Members and guests.

Mac and Cheese Booth is inside World Showplace

The chefs, cooks, and bakers are still creating special dishes (which are highly entertaining to watch) that guests of all ages can enjoy!

Nitro Cake Pops

One of our FAVORITE things to check out and eat in the World Showplace this year are the Nitro Cake Pops that are made using lots of chocolate and liquid nitrogen!

Nitro Pop

Plus, there are plenty of booths to stop by around the Showplace to get cocktails (the Boozy S’more was just as good as it sounds)…

Boozy S’more

…and try new things, like Vegan Mac and Cheese!

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Although the Eat to the Beat Concert series won’t be happening this year, the Mariachi Cobre and JAMMitors can still be spotted in EPCOT during the festival!

Mariachi Cobre

The American Gardens Theatre is following additional safety measures by closing certain rows…

American Gardens Theatre

…and blocking off seating areas so there is space between guests who want to watch the show!

American Gardens Theatre

Merchandise

You know that when a festival comes around, there can be HUGE waits for merchandise with things selling out left and right. Since big merchandise drops with long waits don’t really fit along with the distancing guidelines that are needed, there isn’t too much of a giant merchandise haul.

Hawaii Booth offerings 2020

The Spike the Bee Sipper and Spork have flown back, just in time for the Food and Wine Festival…

Spike the Bee Sipper

…along with the Orange Bird Sipper we previously mentioned! While these were two of the BIGGEST fan favorites during the Flower and Garden Festival, we’re happy to see them back for more guests to pick up during Food and Wine.

Orange Bird Sipper

Although it’s been totally unique and new to see two festivals combined in one for the first time, we have to say that we’ve really enjoyed it. While this year’s Food and Wine Festival isn’t the same as before, we definitely have grown to love the differences that Disney has put in place to accommodate multiple people and keep everyone safe.

Take a look at everything happening in EPCOT during the park’s grand re-opening!

Are you planning on attending this year’s Food and Wine Festival? Let us know in the comments below!

Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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One Reply to “What Exactly IS “A Taste of Food and Wine?” Here’s What You Need to Know About This Year’s EPCOT Festival!”

  1. I’m curious, part of the joy of the food and wine was the snack/sip and stroll. Did you find guests in World Showcase maskless? I’m thinking it might be good to avoid Epcot for now.