Orlando’s Lesser-Known Food Festivals

One of the most unassuming foodie destinations around, Orlando, Florida, boasts a healthy lineup of fun family festivals you might now know about. The magical, iconic city boasts far more than a theme park, but don’t worry, Disney appears here, too.

With cooler fall weather on the horizon, head to the Sunshine State for picturesque temperatures amid a slew of open-air food and wine festivals.

Start off with an introductory course through Central Florida’s dining scene. Now in its 13th year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month, Aug. 24–Sept. 30, showcases more than 100 top restaurants featuring fixed-prices menus for all dietary restrictions. Save some cash on a big meal out during the special event while dipping your toe in the Orlando foodie scene.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival © Kenneth D Durden | Dreamstime.com

A little more well-known, during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30–Nov. 12, guests and visitors have nearly three months to sip, taste and savor international cuisine and cocktails at the Walt Disney World Resort. For those who attended in the past, this year guests treat themselves with Sunday Brunch. While the adults indulge in adventurous and innovative cuisine, kids can stick to classic favorites while enjoying live music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. All ages are welcome, with entertainment and fun food and drinks to keep them busy all over the park.

A new festival on the dining scene, and a little more time sensitive, Lakeridge Winery welcomes its first Wine & Cheese Festival, Sept. 8–9. This low-key, elevated palate event pairs best with adult families, small groups and couples. Take in the beautiful locale with live music and beer, wine and artisan cheese tastings.

For those who prefer bubbles and desserts, Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek boast a Food and Wine Weekend for your family, Sept. 7–Nov. 11. Head to the macaron bar, enjoy a cup of Royal Tea and a sweet snack, or indulge in the Bar du Chocolat with Champagne. Guests looking for a dinner experience enjoy tastings at La Luce, Bull & Bear and Zeta Asia.

For just one day, Universal Orlando’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort hosts Jake’s Beer Festival, Oct. 5. Adult kids flock to the craft beer section — featuring more than 50 brews — while kids and parents can craft and all ages enjoy the creative cuisine and live entertainment and music.

Get a family lesson in pasta making during the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, Oct. 26–27. Enjoy international wines; award-winning, chef-prepared cuisine; and a special Bubbles Brunch Oct. 28.

Vegans and vegetarian families have no fear, Central Florida Veg Fest is here, Oct. 27. Hosted for the 13th year, the Orlando Festival Park grounds are transformed into a colorful display of plant-based creations from more than 200 vendors.

With more than 100 craft beers on tap, SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival is new this year. On weekends over Nov. 3–11, park visitors have a new reason to stay and play while visiting wildlife and sea creatures.