Here are our hottest tips to stay cool at the 2021 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.
This year’s Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT is starting earlier than ever before (and lasting longer than ever), which means we’re eating and drinking our way around the world in the pinnacle of Florida heat. If you’re planning on attending, make sure you know how to keep yourself cool.
How Hot Is EPCOT Food and Wine?
Since Disney bumped up Food and Wine so early this year, that means you could be eating your way around EPCOT in the hot Florida summer.
The average Orlando high temperature in July, the festival’s inaugural month, is 92 degrees Fahrenheit. August isn’t much less forgiving with an average high of 91 degrees.
By September, Orlando’s average high drops to 89 with the most relief coming in October; the average high then is 85 degrees.
Our Tips for Fighting the Sun at EPCOT’s Food & Wine 2021
Check out our advice for managing the hot weather while still getting the most out of Food & Wine at EPCOT.
Start early and stay late
I attended Food & Wine on its opening day (July 15). By the time EPCOT opened at 11 AM, the sun was already relentless. But if I thought things were rough at 11, I was in for a treat by the 2 to 4 PM window, when the heat was brutal.
My recommendation? Head into EPCOT first thing (we’re talking rope-drop time) and grab some grub and cocktails for 2 or 3 hours. At that point, either take a break with a swim at your resort or head to the air conditioning in rides like Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, or either of the rides inside The Land. (The breeze effect on Soarin’ is a welcome treat.)
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Once things are starting to cool off, head back to the fest to finish dining around the world. And while I always recommend a beer in the summer sun, make sure you fit in a few waters here and there. (A cup of ice water is always free at Quick-Service locations; just ask!)
Speaking of water, I really urge you to drink lots of it. My typical rule is one bottle of water for every two adult beverages. Given the amount of salty food you might be eating at 2021 Food & Wine, you might want to even do a 1:1 ratio: one water for every beer, wine, or cocktail.
There is no shame in walking around the park with a fan pointed at your face, but even more efficient is the portable neck fan. I saw quite a bit of these when I was in EPCOT for the start of Food & Wine, and these things are quite ingenious. You get a constant breeze on your face from two angles, and you don’t have to hold a darn thing.
But fans aren’t the only magical way to stay cool at the 2021 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival. I also recommend investing in a cooling towel. These are great for draping around your neck (and protect the back of your neck from sunburn!), but you can also wear them over your head as needed. These things can stay cool all day; just be sure to dunk it in every water feature you pass or drench it on your trips to the restroom (in the sinks, not the toilets, in case that wasn’t clear).
At the very least, wear a hat to keep the sun out of your face or off the back of your neck. An umbrella is an even better bet (and makes it easy to spot other members of your party if you become separated). And, as always when at Disney World, lather up that sunscreen throughout the day to prevent burning.
Best Booths to Stay Cool at the 2021 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
If you are looking for a reprieve from the summer sun and the humid outdoor air, visit one of these EPCOT Food & Wine booths:
Appleseed Orchard Booth
Appleseed Orchard is entirely indoor, meaning you can revel in the AC while you wait to order and while you dine. Of course, this means that the booth line tends to be longer than other lines as everyone will have the same idea. But if you’re escaping the sun for a bit, an indoor line could be welcome.
Bonus: It smells simply delightful in there.
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina Booth
Located inside the open-air Tangierine Café restaurant, this booth offers shelter from the sun and cooler air inside. Even better, the fig cocktail on the menu is one of the most refreshing beverages offered at the festival.
Flavors from Fire Booth
This booth at the 2021 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival may be outdoors, but it is located just across from the EPCOT Green Landing playground area, which is one of the most shaded areas in the park. Here, you can enjoy the delicious pork dishes from this booth out of the sun—and wash it down with the Swine Brine (which comes topped with pork—yes, really).
This new booth delivers delicious chicken wings and some of your favorite American craft beer. And did we mention it’s located inside the Odyssey building? That means welcome air conditioning after a long, hot day exploring the flavors of World Showcase.
What dish are you most excited to try at the 2021 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival? Shout out your top picks in the comments on our Facebook page.