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2011 Theme Park Insider Tournament preview: Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival vs. Food & Wine Festival

By Robert Niles
Published: March 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Our second match-up in the 2011 Theme Park Insider Tournament: America's Best Theme Park Event pits Epcot's top two annual events against each other: The International Flower & Garden Festival versus the International Food & Wine Festival.

The Flower & Garden Festival is going now right now at Walt Disney World's Epcot, while Food & Wine provides a counter-programming to the fall Halloween events we profiled earlier today.

Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot
Photo courtesy Disney

For a first-person look at the Food & Festival, check out this report from the 2009 festival from reader Anthony Murphy.

Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Both events began as ways to draw Florida locals into the park during slower periods between the peak holiday and summer seasons. But both have grown in popularity over the years and now draw fans from around the country who make special trips just for these events.

While both events technically are included with park admission, fully enjoying them requires extra expense, especially the Food & Wine Festival, with its dozens of food booths and special tasting events throughout the park.

What's your experience with either (or both) of these events? We'd love to hear your reports in the comments. Voting starts on Monday at noon Eastern, 9am Pacific, on the Theme Park Insider home page and will be open for 24 hours. Get your campaign on in the comments.

Update: Time to vote!

Readers' Opinions

From Andy Milio on March 11, 2011 at 4:13 PM
Wait...where do we vote?
From Robert Niles on March 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM
That would be explained at the bottom of the story; voting on this match-up starts Monday and runs for 24 hours.
From Anthony Murphy on March 12, 2011 at 8:49 AM
Food and Wine Festival all the way!

I have been to both events and really the Food and Wine Festival is the one with the special events and stuff to do. Flower and Garden is ok, but its mostly a beautification of EPCOT which is nice on its own part, but thats about it. EPCOT is built for the Food and Wine because it already celebrates culture, learning, food, and booze!

Flower and Garden is nice, but Food and Wine Festival is spectacular and, quite arguably, one of the best theme park events all year round!

From Joshua Counsil on March 12, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Anthony -
Great trip report. I missed it the first time 'round.
From 192.251.125.85 on March 14, 2011 at 12:49 PM
The Food and Wine festival is so unique and interesting. I admit though you do have to have a desire to try new foods and wine and beer, and the pocket book to partake. I usually go with a freind and we split one or two items from each country. Give me Irelands Fish and seafood pie any day of the week.
From 69.142.110.185 on March 15, 2011 at 8:12 AM
You have to pay extra to truly enjoy Food and Wine Festivasl. Your enjoyment is limited to the size of your wallet and your appetite. Flower and Garden Festival is for everyone who enters the theme park. Plus Epcot is in a way in a permenant food and wine festival mode. Flower and Garden festival makes the whole park look spectacular and enhances visitor expieriace without being heavier on the wallet. I vote for Flower and Garden Festival

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