Yesterday, I picked up a local farm produce box. With my eagle eyes, I honed in on the fresh picked Georgia peaches. My favorite fruit. As I was getting ready to write this post about the Food and Wine Festival, and navigating the booths with multiple people and dietary restrictions, I thought it would be a great snack to have… not really thinking about how juicy a peach gets and how detrimental those juices are to a laptop keyboard. But I digress.
Last fall I was at the Food and Wine Festival with 7 of my nearest and dearest friends. Within this group of ladies, we had 4 individuals with dietary need: Vegan, Kosher, Dairy-free, and pregnant. If you are in the situation where you are traveling with lots of people with different dietary needs, I would say the Food and Wine Festival is a great time to visit. Year-round Disney is accommodating to those who need menu changes. Many times, those changes need to be known ahead of time, so make sure to let your Agent know of the restrictions so he/she can call the restaurants ahead of time. But, if you are more like me and my friends, who vacation on the fly and don’t always have a game plan, here are four important things about dining during the Food and Wine Festival with dietary restrictions:
Get the Passport. This tiny booklet is the holy grail of the Food and Wine Festival. It lists every booth and menu, marked with vegetarian or gluten free. Study the Passport. You can plan out your stops, look ahead without getting stuck in a line you did not really need to be in, and check items off the list. Who doesn’t like checking things off a list?
Not everyone has to eat the same thing! Here is the beauty of the Food and Wine Festival. The booths have small menus and the dining areas are close together. Your group can separate and hop in lines at booths with foods that meet their needs! Then gather back together at one of the high-top tables to have a tapas feast!
Portion Size is important. The smaller portion sizes work great for those who have picky taste buds or are pregnant. Our pregnant friend’s taste buds were changing. She was able to try many things and, if the flavor did not sit well, she did not feel bad about passing the dish to someone else or chucking it in to the trash can.
Pack snacks. I know this seems crazy to bring your own snacks to a food festival, but for those who have many restrictions, like vegan, it may become difficult to find enough menu items that are substantial enough for all day theme park activities. Although Disney identifies vegetarian dishes, the vegan options are limited. It is always good to have some extras in your bag; having a PB&J on hand helps bridge the gaps in menu options. Bonus: Bringing your own food saves money for more souvenirs.
Any my last lesson learned, no matter what your diet choices are, is to please remember to hydrate! You are attending the Food and WINE Festival. So, if you are there for the adult beverages, make sure you are drinking water too. No one wants to feel sluggish or sick by 3pm in the hot Florida sun. Pro Tip: You can get free water and ice at the quick service and table service restaurants.
Above all... enjoy the foods of your choice since everyone can find something they love amongst the many, many options available at The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World!!!! Contact our Magical Moments Vacations Agent today to book that package!