2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival Dates & Details

Walt Disney World announced details & dates for the 2024 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, which is the park’s flagship foodie event of the year. This shares all of the news and our commentary about certain interesting changes for this year’s popular celebration of the culinary arts.

Let’s start with the basics. The 2024 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will begin on August 29, 2024 and run through November 23, 2024 for a grand total of 87 days. It’s starting over a full month later than last year’s event, which began on July 27 and ran for 115 days. (That event was 2 weeks shorter than the previous year, for what it’s worth.) The end date is later, but that’s due to the timing of Thanksgiving.

Despite this, the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is not expected to be smaller scale. According to Walt Disney World, there will be more than Global Marketplaces throughout EPCOT, including returning favorites such as Belgium, Hawaii, and Germany. A full list has yet to be announced, but Disney teased a few fan-favorite dishes from those booths.

At the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, the fun doesn’t stop with the food. It extends to exciting activities for the whole family to enjoy! Walt Disney World has also announced some of the entertainment and other offerings that’ll return for the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. Namely, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series (and dining packages for that) will be back.

Emile’s Fromage Montage also returns in 2024. This fun food stroll encourages guests to sample a variety of delicious cheeses served in inventive ways. Purchase any five cheese dishes from the official Global Marketplaces list in your Festival Passport and make sure to collect a stamp for each dish purchased. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, bring the passport to the specified location for a specialty unique item to enjoy!

Families can embark on Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak – a “Ratatouille”-inspired adventure that’s très magnifique! Guests of all ages can search for Remy throughout World Showcase and the Global Marketplaces.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the merchandise you can buy during the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival:

Take home a taste of the fun with magnificent merchandise that keeps the magic alive between visits, featuring beloved friends, like Remy from “Ratatouille” and Mickey Mouse.

Here’s a fun reveal: Everyone’s favorite purple dragon, Figment, will also be cooking up some fun this fall just in time for the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.

Of course, the biggest development for the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is the opening of CommuniCore Hall on June 10, 2024 in the heart of World Celebration. During our recent days in the parks, we noticed that this building has made massive progress in the last month and now appears, at least from the outside, to be nearly or totally finished.

Walt Disney World has shared that once the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival begins, the new space will add exciting fresh elements to the festival. Stay tuned for more!

In terms of commentary, the most interesting angle of this news is the decision to delay the start of the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival until the end of August rather than starting in July like all other years since 2020. This is a return to pre-closure normal, as the 2019 event also began on August 29 and that was the longest (at the time) festival ever.

It wasn’t until 2017 that the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival was first extended into August. Prior to that, it had typically started in mid-to-late September and ended earlier. Going back a full decade, the event ran from September 27 until November 11, 2013.

So the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is still long by historical standards. It’s just over a month shorter than last year’s event, and 40+ days shorter than the 2020-2022 festivals.

With that said, it’s very rare for Walt Disney World to scale back events. Like prices, usually this type of thing only goes in one direction. When we’ve seen this type of thing occur in the past, it has been due to unpopularity or slower sales.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party comes to mind; there were a few attempts at adding dates in August and November 1 several years that didn’t initially stick. That problem no longer exists, with every single date selling out last year.

This is why it’s so surprising to see both the 2024 EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival and now the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival shortened, and both by a month. And it’s precisely why we’ve been predicting a summer festival to fill the gap!

The best theory that I can come up with is that Walt Disney World is purposefully moving the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival outside of the summer tourist season in an attempt to push demand among Floridians and Annual Passholders to the August and September off-season.

The thought process here would be that EPCOT now has a strong enough ride roster to draw tourists during the summer, so it’s better to delay demand from locals and regulars until the peak tourist season subsides. It wouldn’t be unprecedented to bifurcate demand by targeting different demographics.

However, I’m at least somewhat skeptical of this after our recent visits to EPCOT that fell during the shoulder season and over halfway through Flower & Garden Festival’s run. The park was the least-busy I’ve seen it since at least last August or September.

As for a summertime festival, one now seems unlikely. After all, it would be logical to announce that before announcing the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. Usually these things are done in order.

However, it’s also fair to point out that August 29 is almost certainly two months later than the official opening date of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. And we still don’t have that! It’s entirely possible that Walt Disney World is announcing Food & Wine Festival dates to drive bookings for the off-season, and still has nearer-term plans for more news.

Speaking of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, it’s entirely possible that announcement will be ‘bundled’ with reveals for Summer 2024 in the other 3 parks, just like happened last month with “4 New Experiences to Celebrate Summer at Walt Disney World.” I could see a repeat of that with the TBA opening date. At least, that’s my hope–it would make sense for a splashy announcement that drives last-minute summer vacation bookings!

During that last summer announcement wave, Walt Disney World revealed the new limited-time show, “¡Celebración Encanto!” that will run several times throughout the day this summer. It’ll invite you and your family to sing along with some of your favorite songs, and see Mirabel and Bruno on the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage.

The announcement for that teased the following: “And that’s not even mentioning the more food and beverages and more entertainment to come … but we’ll have more details for you soon.” That reaffirmed our theory–that we’ve had since last year–that EPCOT would do a summer festival.

Given all of this, I’m still inclined to think something else is happening at EPCOT this summer. Perhaps not a fully-fledged festival, but some sort of ‘event’ a la Incredible Summer that features entertainment plus special menus. It just makes too much sense with EPCOT’s other festivals getting shortened by considerable amounts. Will Disney really be willing to leave that sweet, sweet food & beverage revenue on the table?!

Again, the Global Marketplaces are incredibly lucrative. The average guest is spending more grazing from these than they are doing a counter service or sit-down meal in World Showcase. More importantly, the margins on alcohol are incredibly high. (During its low points, we heard rumors that festivals and drinkers were EPCOT’s biggest saving grace.)

It’s just difficult to imagine Disney shortening two festivals without a gap-filler. But perhaps there’s more there than meets the eye. It’s possible the longer festival spreads out almost the same demand (again, disproportionately among locals and regulars who love these events) leading to lower per day revenue and higher per day operating costs.

Obviously, it’s impossible to crunch the numbers from the outside looking in, but it’s very safe to assume Walt Disney World has done exactly that. Another possibility is that there’s something I’m overlooking entirely. The bottom line is that Disney would not voluntarily leave money on the table. That’s not what they do.

Speaking of leaving money on the table, there’s also the question of culinary seminars, demonstrations, meals with celebrity chefs, and other special events. Walt Disney World still has not announced any of this–or even teased its return. Last year, none of these things returned–which might suggest the same for 2024.

However, the difference for this year is the debut of the CommuniCore Hall event space. It seems like a no-brainer, as all of these special events are pricey and generate a lot of revenue. I don’t know, though, as EPCOT has had other unused (or underused) events spaces during the last few years and has declined to use them. After being used in 2020 for the event, World ShowPlace has stopped being one of the festival spots.

Ultimately, we’re looking forward to the start of the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. Although I’m curious about the rationale for reducing the number of dates, I’m honestly pleased by the decision. The event has been too long the last few years and, like Halloween season, I’ve been ready for it to be over by the time it entered what should’ve been its sweet spot. Personally, I still think this is a couple weeks too long; my perfect EPCOT Food & Wine Festival would run from September through November.

My personal ‘wish list’ for the 2024 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival would include new Global Marketplaces from actual countries or regions and a return of the studio concept booths in the culinary corridor, plus past favorites making a comeback. In any case, here’s hoping this will be the year the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival turns things around. Maybe a shorter and more focused festival is precisely what’s needed!

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Looking forward to the 2024 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival? Did you attend the event in any of the last few summers or falls? Think that it’ll benefit from being shorter and more focused, or are you disappointed that you’ll miss it during your summer vacation? Any hopes for Global Marketplace booths or menu items? Think any of the other demonstrations or seminars will return? Any tips you want to share to make the most of the experience? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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