We had a great afternoon at the Epcot Food and Wine 2021 Festival. This was my first time attending the festival eating gluten-free.
As locals, we tend to spend only a few hours at Disney when we go. This time we arrived at 3 pm on a Wednesday afternoon in August after school started. This turned out to be a great time to arrive at Epcot. Right after the rain, and before the dinner rush!
How We Like to Attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
We pick 3 items each ahead of time. Why? It cuts down on looking at menus and deciding if we want to wait for something better! It is also so much easier if you are attending with teens and don’t want to wait in a lot of lines, or be there for many hours.
We also do not drink much, so we went for the food! We like to bring water and get free water cups. We like to arrive mid-afternoon. After the morning family Epcot rush and before the Food and Wine dinner rush.
I am gluten-free I also try to avoid a few other foods such as dairy and beef which makes things challenging. I used the app WDW Food and Wine to preplan what I wanted to eat. There are so many good options this year! There are also some more booths opening later in the festival.
The Noodle Exchange
Our first stop was The Noodle Exchange. My daughter had previously gotten the Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho (gluten-friendly) and was craving it (she talked about it the whole way there!) but at the last minute decided to try the Udon. She was not disappointed! The portion size was large and she had a hard time finishing all the noodles.
The Udon is NOT gluten-free, however they have several items that are. Such as the beef Pho and the shrimp coconut curry rice noodles.
My first stop was Australia for the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp (gluten-friendly). It did not disappoint!. Three huge shrimp. I did not find it spicy at all. I do not like spice so I found this perfect!
The Swanky Saucy Swine
Next, we headed to the Swanky Saucy Swine for the Roasted Porchetta (gluten-friendly) The Porchetta piece was HUGE. And delicious. My daughter loved the pesto and I just love mini potatoes.
Hops and Barley
My daughter was craving the Lobster Roll at Hops and Barley. Which is NOT gluten-free. We can not wait for Lobster Landing to open in October for the gluten-friendly lobster tail!
Other Menus at Epcot and Food Wine
Not Sure What to Eat at Epcot Food and Wine?
There are a few signs to help you decide!
Play Area at Epcot
One reason we liked to go to Epcot during a festival when we had younger children is that they usually have a play area. We remember once asking ourselves when we went to Epcot with a toddler “did they even get out of the stroller all day?” I wasn’t able to get a good photo of this year’s Family Play Zone (and they do change every year) because it was currently closed.
My daughter got the cinnamon apple cider (yummy) and I got the apple chips (not worth it, it was a tiny bag you can buy at the store. I was expecting something better). It is worth walking in for the smell, the air conditioner, and a seat.
Tips and Thoughts on Epcot and Wine Festival Gluten-free
- Bring a bottle of water unless you like to buy drinks (we like to save money drinking water)
- Get free water cups at the refreshment stands.
- There are lots of gluten-free options. It is best to preview the menus. They did have them labeled on the menus and on the app.
- There are a lot of other gluten-free items I would love to have tried but right now I am avoiding beef.
- The last festival we were at was Flower and Garden. While I prefer that festival since I really enjoy the atmosphere, I did find the food significantly better at Food and Wine.
- It is easly to miss stands, that is why we plan ahead. I wanted to get the chilled smoked shrimp salad but we missed the Rotunda Bistro, I’m still not sure why!
- Arrive mid-afternoon. Even better if after a rain! We find this is after the morning family Epcot rush and before the evening Food and Wine rush.
- Go “backward”! Go counterclockwise, unless you really want an item at Canada, as it will be more crowded when you get there later.
- If you leave as it starts to get crowded with the dinner rush around 6, check out the wait times for rides on your way out. We rode Soarin’ (when does THAT happen??) and Living with the Land with no wait! We could have road spaceship earth with little wait as well.
There are so many Gluten-Free (Gluten-Friendly) Items this Year at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Check out our other Disney World Food Reviews!
Check out the Jungle Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom!
Check out Space 220 in Epcot.