2018 Food & Wine - Newbie

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by h&D3, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. h&D3

    h&D3 Mouseketeer

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    This is the first year that the F&W event has been scheduled during our trip. So of course we are going to go. I've heard that Thursday (8/30) would be a good day to go. Especially with it being the Labor Day weekend following and the locals usually go during then.
    I was just wondering if anyone could provide some advice for a bunch of newbies going to the event for the first time. What tips do you have or things we should do or avoid. It will be me, my DH, DS (17), DD (11) and my older brother attending.

    Thanks!
    ~D
     
  2. Tinkbum

    Tinkbum WDW Fanatic

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    Opening day prior to a holiday weekend? I'd expect it to be nuts. We arrive on the 31st, but don't plan on hitting EPCOT before Tues. at the earliest.
     
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  4. davale4

    davale4 Love love watching my kids have fun

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    Last year we went on the opening day which was the Thursday before labor day weekend and crowds were not crazy. We also went in the morning and there were hardly any lines for the booths. We were planning on going Friday as well but decided against it thinking it might be crowded.
     
  5. MakiraMarlena

    MakiraMarlena It's a big black fish to you

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    It's a Thursday, so it might be ok. Friday nights and Saturdays are when the locals show up in force. Your best bet will be right when they open the booths (11 AM). Crowds will increase in the evening.
     
  6. MHSweb79

    MHSweb79 DIS Veteran

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    If the Festival starts on the 30th, there will be a soft opening on the 29th. We've gone to the soft opening a half dozen times over the years, and while everything may not be up and running 100%, you can enjoy the booths with little or no waits. Also sometimes you get a huge portion because the demand is less.

    We try to avoid the "feeling no pain" crowd so we like to go on weekdays, and try to go at lunch time rather than evenings. We use prepaid gift cards so it doesn't seem like real money and that helps keep it fun for us. Get a passport and mark down the things that appeal to you most. Personally, I avoid the desserts since most countries regularly have great desserts to offer with much larger portion sizes and not much more pricey than the F&W booths. Belgian waffles are a key exception- the fruit ones are to die for!

    Don't be afraid to (covertly) check out the people getting their food- I like to kind of scope out what something looks like before I buy. This applies to the drinks too- some are much larger than others, depending on the booth, which tremendously alters the value, in my opinion.

    You are right about the weekend being nuts, but you can do a lot in the first couple of days. Have fun!
     
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  7. SaintsManiac

    SaintsManiac DIS Veteran

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    We'll be going for the first time this year, too! I started watching some YouTube videos and plan to read as many blogs as I can. One tip I got from a vlog is to grab the menu map and make a plan. That way you aren't wandering around lost.
     
  8. BeerMe

    BeerMe DIS Veteran

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    We go every other year and avoid opening week, for no reason other than it's too hot early on. In 2016 we were there for all of F&W except for the last week. We are not going this year but will be there in 2019. Have a long trip in February 2019 planned for Princess half. We will spend all of October for F&W. My favorite time.

    ETA: I'll be 74 then - hopefully I can still complete the Beers of the World Tour.
     
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  9. bearbear

    bearbear DIS Veteran

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    We were there last year the first day and it wasn't bad at all. We went early. We are going to be there this year again
     
  10. h&D3

    h&D3 Mouseketeer

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    I sure wish we could go the following week, but we will be leaving the world to head back home on 9/2. I certainly do not want to go over the long weekend as I already feared that it would be nuts with the long weekend and the locals coming in. That's why we were thinking the first day (Thursday) might be one of the best days we have a shot at.

    We were just planning on having a light breakfast at the hotel prior to going over. However, it also looks like EPCOT might be an EMH that day as well. (according to KTP). Not sure if that will make the park extra crowded or not.

    I'm not a big drinker, and in the heat I don't think any of the others will be either. Do they offer non-alcoholic drinks at the booths? (slushies/frozen lemonaid or something like that?) Or I suppose we could get one of those along the way at another stop along the food booths.

    I know my DD is not very daring when it comes to trying new foods, but yes, the waffles I can almost promise are going to be a hit with her. And I'll maybe give her the task of checking off the passport with the foods we try. Now my DH and DS are totally different than DD and I. They will try anything. The spicier the better for DS.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I can't wait to hear more!

    ~D
     
  11. hiroMYhero

    hiroMYhero I'm satisfied with my care... Moderator

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  12. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

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    You may get more replies posting directly in the F&W sticky thread linked above. If I recall correctly, last year there was not a soft opening prior to the scheduled Thursday open so I wouldn’t count on that, but you never know. I’d be inclined to agree that of your trip dates, the opening day would be better than the Fri - Mon of Labor Day weekend. I also agree with above posters that your best plan of attack would be to review menus in advance (when they become available), identify what you most want to try, and be there when the booths open at 11am. Have a great trip - it’s a really fun event!
     
  13. ArielDreams

    ArielDreams Mouseketeer

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    We went last year at the same exact time as you. It was not crazy at all! The only thing that discouraged us was a huge thunderstorm Friday night but you can’t avoid that! We went Thursday until noon, Friday night and then Saturday until mid afternoon. We found we wanted to spend all of our time there (although we don’t have teenage kids!) We got the passport sticker book and we’re determined to get something at every booth. Price added up but it was a lot of fun. I wouldn’t plan ADRs for your time there. You won’t need more food!
     
  14. rkstocke5609

    rkstocke5609 Mouseketeer

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    I will never bring my young daughter to Food & Wine after 3 PM ever again. Massive scary crowds of drunks around World Showcase in the late afternoon evening. IMHO, this event is an over 21 only after 3PM , the later it gets the scarier as a parent.
     
  15. Odelay

    Odelay Mouseketeer

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    I’ve been going to Food and Wine fest for over a decade, and never experienced anything that anyone could ever reasonably or even facetiously describe as “scary crowds of drunks,” but I suppose it’s possible your experiences have been different.
     
  16. rkstocke5609

    rkstocke5609 Mouseketeer

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    Glad you had a good experience. I saw nothing going on I felt I needed to expose my 9 year old to— had I been in an adult only situation I could have had a blast.
     
  17. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    The only problem we had going the end of August was it was so hot! We just did not find anything to appetizing with the extreme heat and only tried a few things. It was not real crowded so that was a plus.
     
  18. mcurran

    mcurran Off to neverland!

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    I’m of the minority that doesn’t get f&w. My wife and I aren’t “foodies” so take it for what it’s worth. There are usually a few stands we will get a snack at but it’s all just lost on us. Nights are overrun with locals and conventions so my only tip would be to go in the day.

    But people seem to have a great time - I think f&w just allows some who otherwise would skip Epcot to enjoy it.
     
  19. rkstocke5609

    rkstocke5609 Mouseketeer

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    One more thing, I had a completely different experience at the California (CA Park) F&W last year. But, part of the difference is (I suspect) that the event is still new and growing out there and the parks in California are such “locals” parks that many of the visitors aren’t a captive audience for 5-8 days.

    I would do it in CA again, but then to it’s easy to escape when staying at the Grand Californian in case it gets unruly.
     
  20. JerseyJanice

    JerseyJanice A Disboards original...

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    As a veteran F&W attendee, my best advice is kinda what PP @MHSweb79 alluded to—scope out the exit line and take a good look at what people are getting.

    The quality of preparation and serving sizes can vary greatly based on who is working the kiosk and the time of day. If the portions of a particular item are looking skimpy and it’s an expensive item, you’re going feel disgruntled if you buy it.

    Two items worthwhile IMO are the filet mignon in Canada and the Grey Goose slushie in France. Last year, the filet was a generous portion. I think 3 of them would add up to a $50 serving at LeCellier. At $8 each, that’s like half price. The past two years, the Grey Goose slushie was a passion fruit flavor. It was so good! I loved them. LePassion. Even the name kicks butt!

    If you have the Dining Plan, use your snack credits on the higher priced items. You’ll make out like a bandit. The Sampler coupons are worth buying only if you like things like the slushie I mentioned.

    Have fun. :)
     
  21. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

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    Thursday should be good and Friday till about 5 pm. Then its crazy until Monday.
    Get a plan of where you want to stop and try food. There is way too much to really just wing-it. Pace yourself. We started by spending 2 days, couldn't see it all. Last year, spent 3 days and still missed some.
    I have found the Food and Wine guide that Disney food Blog puts out to be really helpful. Its about $15, 260+ pages and lists everything that is there.
    It lists every kiosk and what they have for food and drinks. They list all of the special events,tastings, parties for every night. And the entertainment each day.
    We love the food and wine pairings. For 2 hours, 4-5 courses of food and wine, they are not a bad deal. So many other great options every day.
    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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