Food and Wine in a wheelchair? Here's how to navigate the Epcot festival

September 1, 2014, 10:06 AM · I always attend Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival every year. I’m a foodie and a wine sipper, so this event is an annual pilgrimage for me. Also, as a wheelchair-bound person, I have had some practical issues that I had to solve during the years.

The main one is the fact that there are no tables; people eat and drink standing up, unless you are one of the few lucky ones who find an available bench. Even if I find one, it is not an ideal place to put the food and drinks; it’s uneven, and there are ducks and squirrels ready to snatch my food when I get distracted.

One year I decided to buy a tray. I bought a small fabric one at the French Pavilion’s store. It was not sturdy at the sides, so there was the risk of spilling the wine. Even worse, it was not big enough to put two meals at the same time. Rattan to the rescue!

I found on the Internet a tray made of rattan; that material is very sturdy indeed. I place it over my legs, and there is enough space for two meals and no risk of spilling the drinks. I feel sorry for the ducks and squirrels though.

Replies (5)

September 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM · We go every year and end up using the trash cans as tables. Doesn't sound good, but it does work.
September 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM · Disney does sell special plates that hold their tiny wine glasses. I am not sure it would work well for wheelchairs, but it is a good option vs using a trashcan.

If I have read it correctly, Disney is now offering special tables (for a fee) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I bet that will be popular.

When will you be down at the Food and Wine? I might be able to wrangle TH and we can meet up at the park!

September 2, 2014 at 8:26 AM · November.
September 2, 2014 at 9:02 AM · If you're not interested in buying the plates from Disney, most kitchen stores like Crate and Barrel, Pier 1, Bed Bath, and others (I see them every once in a while in Target), sell different types of wine glass plates. I would suggest the plastic ones that have more of a bowl to them to keep food from sliding off and look more like trays (rectangular) than plates. I have a bunch of different wine plates (2 I actually got from Disney as part of the Party for the Senses) along with some from a picnic set, but I rarely use them.

I can definitely see how it would be difficult to navigate the festival in a wheelchair, and all of those standing tables, which are great for able-bodied people, are just obstacles for guests in wheelchairs. Just ordering from the kiosks can probably be tricky with the tens i-barriers in the way and ordering stations that are 3-feet tall. It's probably a total nightmare to attempt to enjoy the F&W Festival on a Friday or Saturday night when crowds in the World Showcase swell to intolerable levels.

September 2, 2014 at 5:58 PM · There are such things as wheelchair trays. Don't understand why you don't buy one unless your chair is incompatible. It does seems like if you're traveling by yourself, it would be difficult to purchase your food and set it down while being in your chair with the tray.

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