The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Disney World is in full swing for 2018. Guests can try unique cuisine, sample cocktails and mocktails from around the world, but at $5-10 a pop it can get spendy. But we managed date night at Epcot Food & Wine Festival on a budget – actually we kept it under $100!
Epcot Food & Wine Festival on a Budget
Shocker – We had never been to Food & Wine! Timing just never seemed to work out for us. But that all changed now that we’re just 20 minutes away. We always adore date nights at Disney, so we decided to do date night at Food & Wine recently.
Setting the Food & Wine Budget
Fun Fact – it would cost over $1700 to try each and every specialty item available for Epcot Food & Wine! Not sure about you, but my budget would punch me in the gut if I spent that much for one night. So, I decided to give us a $100 limit. That was for both of us, much to my husband’s dismay. Set a limit that fits your budget whether it’s smaller or larger than mine.
How to Stick to Your Limit
I knew that if we just went in and pulled out the debit card for each purchase, we’d never be able to keep track of what we were spending. I decided to do grab one of the handy Food & Wine wristlet gift cards and loaded it with $100. It was always in easy reach and at the end of each receipt it told us how much was left on the card – easy budget management!
Stretch Your Food & Wine Budget
Want to make that limit go a little further? Invite another couple or some friends! We did a double date with some local friends and it worked out great for all of us. We were able to try almost twice as much as we’d have on our own. If we hadn’t been with anyone else, we’d have spent our entire gift card, but we didn’t!
Take a Break with the Eat to the Beat Concert Series
FREE concerts! I don’t think it gets better than that. Oh wait – they are under cover! That alone make it worth it. Especially, because eating and drinking while traveling around the world can get exhausting. Plus the Florida heat and humidity is a killer!
Located at the American Pavilion the Eat to the Beat Concert Series features a new musical act every few days. And let me tell you – the line up is AH-Mazing! We lucked out and were able to grab seats for the next concert with little wait. But with the more popular acts that won’t always work.
So, who did we get to see? Tiffany! When we took our seats, I honestly didn’t remember how much I loved her songs. Talk about taking me back to my childhood. I was up dancing and singing along. S.O M.U.C.H F.U.N. I’ve already made plans in my head to go back for 98 Degrees and Hanson… We all need a little MMMBop in our adult lives!
Epcot Food & Wine Sips and Bites
What did we try?!? Here is a quick run down of everything we tried during our date night including pictures of most of what we sampled.
This was my husband’s first Food & Wine purchase – the Lamb Meatball with spicy tomato chutney and the Atmoore Wineworks MOKOblack Pinot Noir. He thought it was good, but ate it way too fast due to the rain.
We purchased the Chicken Dumpling and Mango Bubble Tea (must have all the bubble tea!) while our friends got the Black Pepper Shrimp. This meal was probably my favorite. Everything was full of flavor and super tasty.
If you love Sanaa bread service then you HAVE to get the Warm Indian Bread. It comes with 3 sauces: Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto. I loved the coriander pesto and pickled garlic mixed together.
Our friends got the Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews and Warm Naan Bread. This could have been a meal on it’s own!
Again, we split the choices with our friends. And honestly, besides helping our budget it was seriously so much fun! I got the Roast Bratwurst. Unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed, but it was good size and would totally have made a decent meal.
My husband got the Riesling Flight while our friends got the Apple Strudel. I’m not a wine drinker, but everyone said they were good. The apple strudel was disappointing. It was over cooked to the point of being burned. I’ve seen other pictures where it looked awesome, so I may have to give it another go.
It was totally dessert time for me when we made our way into France! Besides they had Creme Brulee a la Confiture de Framboises which is Creme Brulee with House-made Raspberry Jam inside. Unfortunately, I ate this one before I even thought of grabbing a picture… Oops! I also got the La Passion Martini Slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice. By far my favorite drink we tried.
Flavors From Fire
We ended the night with some snacks from the food booths outside World Showcase. I was still in dessert mode and got the Chocolate Picante while my husband had to try the Piggy Wings. I’ve always had a strange curiosity for sweets made with hot spices. The Chocolate Picante was everything I wanted it to be!
I was shocked how well we did sticking to the budget! We ended up spending just over $75 of our $100! Granted we did get to try some extra bites that our friends paid for. But I honestly don’t think we would have chosen to buy what they bought, so it was fun to try a few things we otherwise wouldn’t have.
There is still plenty of time to experience the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival as it will be sticking around until November 12, 2018!