Contrary to the thousandth “Drinkerbelle” shirt seen in Epcot this weekend, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival can be fun for the non-drinking-age set. Here’s a list of five experiences that your elementary-age kids will enjoy during the festival.
Ralph Breaks the Internet Family Play Zone
Although the equipment at this playground won’t eclipse much of what you may have in your local neighborhood, it’s tough to find a young kid who doesn’t love a few minutes to run around on a playground. This one is themed to Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet. There’s two sections to the playground, one for young kids and one for older kids, and there’s a decent amount of seating for the parents. Once your kid is done playing on the playground, head to the misters at the nearby Cool Wash for kids to cool off.
Kid-Friendly Food Demonstrations
Hands-on cooking demonstrations are as fun for kids as they are for adults, especially when the demonstrations are design especially for kids. This year, there are two types of kid-friendly cooking demonstrations. In the Festival Center on Sundays, there is a session of Junior Chef Kitchen, where kids get a chance to learn how to make a kid-friendly food and have a chance to eat it. This event is free, but space is limited. Sign up in the Festival Center on Saturday or Sunday for one of those prized 11:00 AM Sunday slots. Also available is a candy sushi class, offered daily at 3:30 and 5:30 PM in Sunshine Seasons. To participate, sign up at TasteEpcot.com.
Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak
By far, one of my favorite activities to do as a family at Epcot is the seasonal scavenger hunts. For Food and Wine, that means looking all over World Showcase (and this year in parts of Future World as well) to find Remy, the famous rat chef, as he goes searching for ingredients to make a signature dish. You can play along without purchasing a scavenger hunt map, but if you buy the map with the stickers and complete the scavenger hunt, you can show it to collect a festival tumbler.
Speaking of stickers, isn’t it amazing how happy those can make kids? If yours is like mine, filling in things with stickers is great fun. The festival passport, which is free, comes with stickers that you can place as you visit each of the booths. It’s a great way to encourage kids to try a little bit of everything–tell them that they can’t place a sticker for that booth until they’ve followed the three-bite rule for new foods!
Disney Du Jour Dance Party
Although parents will be more likely to know the acts at the Eat to the Beat concert series (unless you’re tragically unhip like me, where many of those acts are also still way past my school days), your kids will likely be star-struck by some of the Radio Disney guests at this dance party. The dance party is offered on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30-9:30 PM at the Fountain View stage in Future World. During our visit, the area was wide open enough that there was plenty of room for active kids to dance around. There’s also a live DJ and characters who come out to dance–this may be one of the few times you can snag a picture with Remy and Emile, an added plus for character fans.
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival runs through November 12, 2018, so there’s still plenty of time to get out and enjoy it. And with cooler weather on the way (I promise!), it is a great time to let your kids have fun in Epcot.
Do you enjoy taking your kids to the festival, or do you treat it as an adult-only event? Let us know in the comments.