It's the most wonderful time of the year! Nope, not with Jolly Old St. Nick (thought I adore the Holiday Season!). I'm talking about music to every foodie DisNerd's heart - the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Held each fall and included with the price of your park admission, the Food and Wine Festival has quickly become one of the most popular times to visit. This cooking demos, a special concert series, and more than 30 kiosks set up throughout the park, you could spend days just enjoying the festival alone.
Thankfully, in true awesome Disney style, they have made navigating the festival with special dietary needs much easier. Here are my best tips:
Do a little homework
Each year, Disney publishes each kiosk's menu with descriptions and notations for items that are vegetarian and gluten-friendly. Take a look through each one so you are familiar with your options before you go.
Most items have ingredients listed, so if you need to avoid dairy or other food, you can spot items to avoid.
Grab a passport
Once you arrive, pick up a passport! These are free and are located throughout the park. You'll find descriptions of each kiosk and their menu items, along with the same vegetarian and gluten-friendly notices. You'll also find stickers to help you mark which kiosks you've visited. With so many options, it's easy to lose track!
Because the food and wine offers are individual kiosks throughout the park, the work space for all items on the menu will be shared. If you are curious about how something is prepared and how they are handling cross-contamination, ask. They are always happy to share information and do their best to make sure you are safe. There will not be a dedicated allergy-friendly prep space in any of the kiosks.
All in all, I have always had nothing but wonderful experiences at the Food & Wine Festival. But if you have a severe allergy, use your best judgment and always have your epi-pen and other medication handy.
Was this helpful? If so, I invite you to download my free ULTIMATE Disney Travel Guide for Special Diets here!
Even more than questions about destinations and vacation planning, the question we are most often asked is "How does this work?" It's absolutely a valid question! Because getting a free travel planner definitely seems too good to be true and we have been well-trained to be extra skeptical in this digital age. So let me share with you how our services work and how we are able to offer them for free. Mutual trust is the key!
YOUR TRUST IN US
We LOVE what we do! So much that we invest a lot of time, energy, and our own money in ongoing training, education, and personal experience. We want to make sure we always have the BEST options for you and the most current information and tips to share with you. We want you to know that our #1 priority is you and your vacation experience. There is a reason we are called Magical Memory Planners! Travel builds stronger connections and creates lifelong memories and we would never take that lightly. So we use our extensive knowledge and experience to personally match you to options we feel would be a great fit for you and your family. We aren't building OUR dream vacation... we are building YOURS! This is why we ask lots of questions; we want to get to know you and your priorities. We feel so honored that you would trust us with your vacation and we hold that honor with the weight it deserves.
If you have questions, we answer them as quickly as we can. If you want advice, we will happily offer it. If you need to make changes, we handle that for you. We will handle as many of the details of planning as you would like us to, from airport transfers to dining reservations and everything in between. If something is less than magical on your vacation, we step in and advocate for you so that things are turned around and the magic is restored. You have a personal travel concierge. In fact, we often hear that our clients feel like they are our only clients because of the level of care they receive. That is always our goal!
And we never ask our clients for a single penny for our services; that is not our business model. But we do get paid!
OUR TRUST IN YOU
Our time and expertise are valuable and we deserve to be compensated for it. This is where our trust in our clients comes in. We are not paid for our consultation time. So the time we invest before you book your vacation is given on good faith. We get to know you and your vacation wishes, suggest some options, pull price quotes, and offer advice upfront with no compensation.
We only get paid when you actually book your vacation with us.
You see, the vacation destination pays us a small fee as a thank you for sending happy, well-prepared visitors to them. They know that when you work with us, it will be a good match and you will be confident in what your vacation experience should be. They also know we will step in if it's not. But we all want you to have an amazing vacation, because when you do you are more likely to return and to recommend not only the destination, but our travel planning services as well.
It's a win-win-win situation. You get expert travel planning services for free, the vacation destination gets happy vacationers who make magical memories with them, and we can pay our bills.
If you just need advice or resources, please be up front with us about that. We are always happy to help! But it honors us and our time if we know from the get-go that you will not be booking your vacation with us this time.
OUR PROMISES TO YOU
1. We will always honor your priorities. This is not our vacation... it's yours.
2. We will always honor your budget. Being stressed about money is not a fun way to spend your vacation. We would never encourage you to spend more than you have budgeted for your vacation.
3. We will always be available to you and if we are traveling, we will notify you with a direct contact of a colleague for you to call in our absence. We've got you covered 24/7.
4. We will always be so grateful for every vacation you book with us and every referral you send our way. In fact, when your family or friends book their vacation with us, we will send you a Disney or Visa gift card as a thank you.
Let's get started planning your magical vacation! Contact us here.
At the beginning of March, I spent 4 days at Universal Studios Orlando for a travel agent training program. While I was there, I got to ride lots of cool things at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Below are my 5 most favorite rides!
The Hulk Coaster
I'm a huge roller coaster fan. And as far as coasters go, this one is excellent.
Hands down, this is my favorite ride at Universal Studios Orlando.
DID YOU KNOW?
Universal Studios owns the Hulk and won't let Marvel/Disney make a stand-alone Hulk film. But they will Marvel/ Disney use the Hulk in ensemble films like the Avengers and other MCU Films.
Jo is a travel planner who loves all things Disney! She also has food sensitivities and lots of experience with special diets while traveling.
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