So, due to good luck, an AP and a leftover 3 day ticket, my DW and I have booked a long weekend to WDW for F+W in October. It is Columbus day weekend.
I have read a few threads about F+W but haven’t found much in depth stuff which was posted recently and thought maybe we could get a thread going for this year’s F+W and for newbies, like myself. So, if you have any experiences, I would appreciate hearing about them, and maybe others will too!
I get that it will be crowded, especially on the weekends (when I will be there)… but is it sacked in all day or does it come and go in waves? If you have to be there on the weekends, is it better to get early, late or what is your plan and experience?
Food - is it so much food that you don’t need to eat anything else, or is it best to just sample and still have a real meal at some point. Is it financially feasible to eat nothing but food from the booths?
What programs/lectures/events did you find worth your time and money?
If we decide not to add any programs/lectures/events, how much time should we allocate to browsing around the WS? I.E. does the F+W take up the whole day, or should we just plan 3 or 4 hours each day?
Any other thoughts? Things to be sure we do? Things to be sure we skip?
Obviously if anybody else has questions, throw them on here… we can all benefit from the collective Liner wisdom.
I am also going to F&W this fall, and have never been. Here are my thoughts.
There is a character dance party Friday and Saturday nights. And a playground being installed. I do not know precisely where either of these will be.
Eat to the Beat concert series - select nights at the American pavilion.
@gamusicman on an adults only trip, you may want to know where it is so you can AVOID it! LOL for me, this is my ticket to drinking a FULL BEER while it is STILL COLD! hahaha
Hahahaha… too funny. Yes, getting to WDW sans kids shall be a fun new experience!
We’ve been to F&W the last couple of years. On weekends, get there early. The later it gets, the more crowded and the more big groups of drinkers we encountered.
You can make a meal of F&W booths. Several meals, actually. As for financially feasible, it’s Disney and not cheap but I don’t think we spent more at the booths than we would have at a meal at something like Artist Point.
Weekend days are crowded. Weekend nights are drunk and crowded.
The food is sold in sample sizes. I enjoy one item from 7 or 8 booths, and that is my BIG meal of the day.
So, for me, F&W takes three days to try every booth.
The programs/lectures never interested me.
That was my question. Is the food you get at the booths similar for the same cost at a decent restaurant. Sounds like yes.
So, when you go on three different days - assuming you skip the programs and lectures, how long do you spend at EPCOT each day? A couple hours?
Very interested in hearing opinions on lectures and stuff. If it’s like the Flower and Garden, I don’t think I’m going to find a lot of the food enticing enough to plunk down money for, but I’m all about learnin!
But what decent restaurant can match the ambiance of dining on a theme park trash can as a table? Dare I say, very few…
We’ve been many times over many years. Yes, the weekends are crazy, but without kids you should be fine. I will just be honest that I was shocked the first time I saw the crowds streaming through the International Gateway at 11am on the dot with matching drinking shirts. My tip here would be to walk with purpose back towards America/Italy as early as you can and work your way back towards FW to at least be moving counter to the crowds coming from the main entrance.
If you take a look on a number of blogs (including TP I believe) they will usually do one or more “preview” blogs from the first few days of F&W that provide pictures, details and prices of ALL the food and drink items. This will give you a pretty good idea of portion size. I personally think that if your wallet is willing, you could definitely eat at the booths for 2.5 meals of the day. (I would think you’d need a breakfast supplement prior to 11am.) If you have the dining plan, use only snack credits for $5+ items and pay cash for lower priced items.
The last time I went was with our DS1 so we didn’t do any of the associated events, but we did a chocolate tasting years ago for like $30 that I thought was a good value. Again, if you take a look at some blogs from last year, they often will review the different events. You could also wait until August where they will start reviewing this years events. I do know that prices have risen.
I’ve lucked out with Hanson and Jefferson Starship as Eat to the Beat concerts which were great (and free). I don’t feel the need to get a good seat so just wander over. You can hear the music by standing outside if the stadium is full.
Bring a waterbottle if you are going to be doing a lot of drinking. It will hit you hard in the heat and those $4 bottles of Dasani add up quickly!
To answer you last question, the amount of time you want to spend can REALLY depend on you. Do you want to get a nice glass of wine and wander the gardens in Canada? Or do you just want to sit, eat, and move on? We got a cheese and chocolate and wine pairing and sat on the grass with our DS1 for almost an hour which was one of the best parts of our trip. My husband also talked with a number of folks in the Craft Beer center for quite some time while my son napped and I shopped. Where are you staying? A nap/coma could factor in if you are staying close by!
Wow. Great tips. Thank you. We are staying at the Yacht Club, so able to wander in and out. We definitely like to stop and smell the roses, so I am in no mood to rush through. But getting to the back of WS quickly seems like a good idea. We may head elsewhere early in the day and then head to the festival around noon. We both enjoy a nice glass of wine, a good beer and a well-made cocktail, but we will not be “drinking-as-sport” on this trip. We are just interested in the atmosphere, exploring the booths and enjoying WDW from a different perspective.
My trip is the first week in Sept, which I didn’t realize was F&W until after I booked. I do want to explore a little, so I am planning to go for a couple of hours on Weds. Then I have a PPO breakfast at EP on Sat, which I know is not a great day for F&W, but I figure I can at least get an additional hour or two to explore before I head back to the hotel. Either HS for fireworks or go to bed early that night
We did Food & Wine on the sunday of the race last year. It was crowded but manageable. We had breakfast at the hotel, snack around 11am and then started to explore WS around 1pm. Lunch/Dinner was purchased from the booths. We were 4 adults, so it was easy to share and taste lots of things! We loved it. Lines sometimes seem long but they go fast. Prices were ok and we really liked the food. We did not have any other dinner.
Bring lots of water with you and very comfy shoes!
My only regret from Food & Wine is we did not try any of the pavilion actual food!
4-5 hours each day. But I also visit the pavilions. Basically, a slow afternoon.
This will be our first F&W - Thanks for the tips
My first F+W too. Trying to figure out how to make a TP for this. I’ll have to wait for the official menus, but thinking of going at 11 on a Thursday and snacking until done.
I’m also interested in Party for the Senses. Is it really as popular as some sites make it out to be? Anyone gone? Is there a substantial difference in getting there earlier at 6:30 v 7:00 for the more expensive seating?
First, I think F+W is awesome! I love the atmosphere. It gets very crowded, specially during weekends, but it is very manageable as many have described. I also think that it is very difficult to determine the length of the experience because it definitely depends on you.
Last year I was there in October, staying at Beach Club and I scheduled one evening to enjoy “dinner” at the festival. Before my trip I had researched all the booths and options offered and made a list of what I wanted to try. Then I did the same for my husband. There were long lines in some booths, things were sold out for a while until they prepared more, but it was a great experience that my husband and I enjoyed a lot.
This year we’ll be going back in October, staying at Beach Club again, but we’re going to try some of the events for the first time as well. I have the cheese seminar with the wine pairing and the Bourbon tasting reserved. Those cost extra, but I wanted to take advantage of the festival to learn different things. We’ve been to Scotland last year and had a whisky tasting in a distillery and we loved the experience. I hope the F+W events leave us with the same feeling of having learned something too.
I’m spending a week at Disney in October, and I plan to visit the Festival many times for short periods.
When preparing for my trip last year, I used Touring Plans blog, which covered the festival in many different occasions and the Disney Food Blog for pictures and prices, but they will probably start posting pictures and reviews only in August.
We’ll be there at the same time! I’m finding the Disney Food Blog super helpful. They’ve got videos of food from previous years and a bunch of info on the website.