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Old 04-10-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
glamdring269
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Dining during Food & Wine Festival

We'll be visiting the week of Oct 5 - Oct 12. I've gone ahead and put some ADRs in but have been reluctant to go too over the top since I assume we'll want to just do dinner a couple of nights by walking around the food & wine festival and filling ourselves up that way. I've never actually been to the F&W festival though so just want to understand if this is a decent enough strategy or not? Is the food pretty good? We're light eaters anyway so tend to buy an appetizer / share an entree so portion sizes are not really an issue for us.

FYI, no dining plan, staying at AKL, and current reservations include:

Boma (Breakfast)
'Ohana (Wanted to go a couple of years ago but could not get a res)
Raglan Road (Gives us an excuse to go to DD one night, plus we enjoyed the place when we visited a couple of years ago.)
Boma (Dinner, last night so wanted to just eat at the hotel)

Thought about doing Jiko but not really our style. We're not really foodies or anything so may just wing it for everything else. If anyone has a restaurant that they just must go to every year I'd love to know about it so I can at least take a look at the menu and decide.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:41 PM   #2
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The Gartner Symposium is 10/6 through 10/10 so the evening crowds at Epcot will be busier than usual (this is a very very large conference taking place at the Epcot resorts). At least I found this to be the case last year when I was at F&W at the same time as this event. Lines get pretty long at the booths in the evenings once the conference sessions let out. If you aren't in any hurry, it's still doable otherwise the days will be better as the conference goers are in sessions during the day.

Friday and Saturday evenings at F&W are very crowded with local people.

I am a light eater and I ate so much during the afternoons at the booths that I didn't want any dinner later.

My go to restaurant is bluezoo at the Dolphin. However with Gartner being at the Dolphin I would skip. Since you are staying at AKL, I would look at Sanaa at AKV. It's very good.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
Silver19
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I'll be there the exact same dates, leaving on the 14th.

We have an 8 and 6 year old, and this is our 7th family trip. We booked:

Via Napoli
Kouzzina
Cape May Cafe
Be Our Guest
Raglan Road (our favorite)
Crystal Palace

We stay at the Boardwalk so Kouzzina and Cape May Cafe are very convenient.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamdring269 View Post
I've never actually been to the F&W festival though so just want to understand if this is a decent enough strategy or not? Is the food pretty good?
The food portions at F&W are tastings, so usually they are a couple of bites. If you're light eaters then several plates should be fine for you. Just note that there aren't that many tables around WS, so you might end up standing and eating. As for the food itself, it is quite varied. It's a nice way to try lots of different foods and see which you like best. The foods are the same throughout the day, so you can go at anytime (once WS opens).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
The Gartner Symposium is 10/6 through 10/10 so the evening crowds at Epcot will be busier than usual (this is a very very large conference taking place at the Epcot resorts).
If you aren't married to having dinner at the F&W, I would consider switching to lunch. On the weekdays the lunch lines are markedly shorter than they are on weekends. As Pakey said, weekends (especially Friday and Saturday nights) fill up with locals so the lines can be quite long. Likewise, the Gartner folks are in the conference during the daytime (for the most part), so they don't really impact the F&W at lunch.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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The food at the Booths for F&W is great! They give you fairly nice portions.

I advise going to /TravelwithRick.com and finding his Food & Wine Video for 2012. These Videos will give you a good look at the Food.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Food and Wine Festival is great. Agree with above poster about crowds. Weekends nights are sooo.. busy and if there is and added function, it will be wall to wall people. I much more enjoy F&W during the day of weekdays. I do love your dining choices though. Boma and Ragland Road are my favorite restaraunts.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:30 PM   #7
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depends on the individual. we go nearly every year and other than the le cellier cheese soup haven't found anything that thrills me (one of the worst things i've eaten @ WDW is a lobster roll a few years back @ F&W) or that i'd want to wait in line to purchase.

We enjoyed a seminar last year around dinner hour which sampling was enough for us as a light dinner (CapeMay chef turkey/cranberry dish) and plan to enjoy a few more this year.

especially when paying OOP for food will go with a large early lunch, then something light later in the evening. Our appetites tend to slack off in the orlando heat.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamdring269 View Post
We're light eaters anyway so tend to buy an appetizer / share an entree so portion sizes are not really an issue for us.
My husband and I are light eaters in that we will have a snacky type breakfast (dry cereal for him, breakfast bar for me) and then a small lunch (like half a sandwich) and then a small dinner.

Two years ago, we went to the Festival and had burgers at Rainforest Cafe with my dad and stepmother. There was no way in the world we could eat anything at the Festival that evening.

We learned our lesson - when we go for the Festival (as we are this year), absolutely no dining reservations for us. None. Festival only.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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Going for the 2nd time this year. We went for the first time last year during the same time frame you are going this year as others have said the weekends; Friday and Saturday night are busy! The booths are definitely better experienced as soon as they open at 11. We experienced low crowds this early. We did this for two days and neither day did we need to eat dinner.

We thoroughly enjoyed most of the food. Some dishes were better than others but overall we were pleased. We are also light eaters. Having appetizers or sharing an entrée so the small portions at F&W were perfect for us. We did go back on Saturday night just for the atmosphere and EPCOT entertainment. Although very crowded we had a great time.

We think Food and Wine is fun event, hope you enjoy your trip!!
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:14 PM   #10
winthropf
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When I go to F&W I normally plan on eating by browsing the food booths. I plan otherwise on Friday nights and Saturdays due to the number of locals that come out for the festival.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:23 AM   #11
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We went to flower and garden this year for the first time with good kiosks. It was good! We planned that to be our lunch though and had an ADR for dinner. I found the couple of things I really liked the most and just are those things each of those days. Not be a use I didn't want to try other things.... But because I just loved them!
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:30 AM   #12
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we too loved the f&w festival
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #13
Mordy003
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I'm debating Le Cellier v kiosks for Sunday Oct 13th after about 7:00. Will the crowds still be pretty bad at that time?
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #14
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I'm debating Le Cellier v kiosks for Sunday Oct 13th after about 7:00. Will the crowds still be pretty bad at that time?
It won't be as busy as on a Friday or Saturday evening, but it won't be as light as the middle of the week. It's probably manageable, but be prepared for some long lines.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #15
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It won't be as busy as on a Friday or Saturday evening, but it won't be as light as the middle of the week. It's probably manageable, but be prepared for some long lines.
it's a busy columbus day weekend, to the point we started moving our trip the week prior to the holiday.
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