Why the 2024 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival could return to its former greatness

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2023 at Walt Disney World. Image courtesy of Kurt Mensching.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2023 at Walt Disney World. Image courtesy of Kurt Mensching. /

The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is set to start in late July and run through November. This year could be a return to greatness.

If you have been to all of the previous Food and Wine Festivals that have taken place at EPCOT you probably know they have become mundane and boring. In fact, you could argue that the Flower and Garden Festival has been better, lately.

This year, that could all finally change and we could see the grandest event of EPCOT's festivals return to its glory and take its place back on the mantle of being the best.

It all has to do with the Communicore Hall and Plaza. Opening on April 10th, the green construction walls will finally come down around the central hub of EPCOT. Following the opening of the Showcase Gardens, the biggest remaining construction centered around what will be Communicore.

Inside, it could become what the Food and Wine Festival used to be. A place for guests to watch demonstrations or even take culinary classes. It could be a place that features world-renowned chefs talking about their journeys through the world of culinary arts.

There was a time when a huge stage greeted guests at the Port of Entry into World Showcase during the festival. That could not potentially return to the stage in Communicore Plaza.

In years past, EPCOT used the building in Future World East between Mission Space and Guardians of the Galaxy. Inside was a venue that housed merchandise from wines around the country to serving platters. There were breakout sessions with chefs and demonstrations and frankly, it was wonderful and brought the Food and Wine to a level that it simply doesn't exist at today.

Hopefully, with the new construction nearly complete, we will see a new version of the F&WF in 2024 and if it does not return to that type of festival, then the Disney executives in charge of the festivals should be fired.

What is interesting is that the Garden Festival will end its run in late May. With the F&WF not starting until later in July, it makes you wonder why there is an almost two-month gap between festivals. Typically, there are a few weeks at most and when one festival ends, the next festival starts to see pieces arrive around the park until the actual opening.

It will be interesting to see what this gap does and if it is simply more or less due to expected crowds after the opening of Communicore or if there is something else planned entirely.

All I know is that I truly want to see the Food and Wine Festival become that must-experience Festival that it used to be and not continue what it is today.