Paying at the Food and Wine Festival Booths

Since I've gotten recent questions on the subject I thought I'd pull this post out of the archives because knowing how you're going to pay for all that grub Food & Wine Festival is important business! The 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers a veritable plethora of sip and tastes for you to indulge in, as well as tastings, seminars, and food and wine themes merchandise. The atmosphere can sometimes be hectic and bustling as guests queue up and try to move through the marketplace booth lines as quickly as possible. The question then comes to bare, what is the best way to pay for your Food and Wine Festival experience?

Food and Wine Festival Logo

Festival Marketplace Booths accept many forms of payment, including: cash, credit card, MagicBand & Key to the World Card (if you've activated the room charging privileges at check-in), Disney gift card, and Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits. Over the past couple years that I have attended Food and Wine Festival on opening weekend, I've had more than my share of payment mix ups. My being an inexperienced guest, and the cast members still learning their jobs caused some confusion that could have been avoided if I had just prepared.

Just One of 29 Marketplace Booths in 2012Just One of 29 Marketplace Booths in 2012

The friendly cast members at the Marketplace Booth registers are there to help make your festival experience go smoothly. However you as the guest need to realize that many forms of payment not only look similar but can even be made on the same card. For instance, your MagicBand & Key to The World Card can be used to either charge the purchase to your room, or to deduct from your snack credits. It's important to let the cashier know exactly how you intend to pay for your sips and bites, don't assume they will know when you just tap your band or scan the card. Not only can good communication with the cashier avoid headaches later (unexpected room charges being most common) but if you're on the Disney Dining Plan, it can help save you money!

Friendly Food & Wine Cast MemberFriendly Food & Wine Cast Member
Small plates at the festival have varying costs of between $3 and $8. When talking to your cashier, be sure to let them know that you would like to use your snack credits get the best value by purchasing the most expensive DDP snack eligible items with your Dining Plan and then, pay out-of-pocket for less expensive items. Even though there is sure to be a line of people behind you, don't rush. Take your time to place your order and pay so that you can be sure everything happens as expected.

Gift Card WristletGift Card Wristlet

Perhaps the most convenient method of payment is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival wristlet gift card. This standard Disney Gift Card is a little smaller in size and has been spruced up with a snappy wristband. It's a great way to help keep your hands free for important things like plates and cocktail glasses! Simply load it up, and you're on your way with the added benefit of knowing when you've reached the limit of your budget.

Guests can pick one of these special Food & Wine Festival Gift Cards up at Epcot's Festival Center, or one of several select merchandise locations.

Thanks so much to our friends at Disney Food Blog for exclusive use of their Festival Images. How do you pay at the Food and Wine Festival Booths? Leave a comment and let us know!

Lydia wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:40:

Lydia's picture

With the little F&W gift card! I love having it handy on the wrist. The heat got to me last year and I had some $ left over, I just used it in the gift shops back at the hotel before I left for home :)

Steve and Nicole wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 14:45:

Steve and Nicole's picture

We have had great, great luck using the Food and Wine gift card wristlet. It is simple, and possibly the fastest way we've ever paid. Also note you can get a basic Disney Gift Card wristlet at a lot of other locations that work just as well (if you are at Hollywood Studios, for instance, you can load a regular one at the ticket booth). Even when not at F+W, we like to use the wristlet to buy beer and quick service items with because all it takes is one swipe and no questions. This will be our first year of trying F+W with the DDP so we are going to have to keep good track of our snack credits!

crazycatperson wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 15:56:

crazycatperson's picture

We always use the gift card wristband. It really is the easiest way to navigate the festival booths.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 16:58:

Kristen K.'s picture

So glad to hear good things about the wrist card! I plan on getting one this year myself to test it out.

Michelle wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 17:11:

Michelle's picture

Is the band on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival card like a rubber band? We thought about using these, but what if the band snapped off and my card blew away. That would be terrible....especially if I put $50+ on it! Maybe I'm just over thinking it, but that's the way my brain works! ;-)

JoAnn C wrote on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 23:23:

JoAnn C's picture

I'll be using snack credits where I can. With the deluxe dining plan, I'll have plenty of credits for tasty treats.

April wrote on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 08:27:

April's picture

We use the wristband. It's convenient, it saves us money (my husband and I each get one and load it with a certain amount and then once it.... well, scratch that, we just reload it...but, you understand our original intentions), and it makes for a fun littl souvenir to throw on your keychain along with all the other grocery store/CVS/convenince store key cards.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:06:

Kristen K.'s picture

Michelle, no, it's not on a rubberband. The only way I can think to describe it is that it's a stretchy soft plastic coil that you wear like a bracelet.

Sharon wrote on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:38:

Sharon's picture

Wristband gift card is great. Used one last year for the first time. But to the people who plan on using a credit card to pay, be aware that card companies will shut off your credit card after being used 10 times in 1 day. They think it may be stolen. And ATM machines are not always be available at conveniant times and maybe out of money when you need them. That was a tip we received from a CM a few years ago.

Neal wrote on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:07:

Neal's picture

My wife and I have used the "gift card" option a a couple of times in the past. I feel confident the "bracelet coil" won't simply break. The advice Sharon gave about using this card is absolutely correct. It is much easier to have one larger charge to your card than 10-15 smaller ones because the banks don't like that kind of activity. I got home after our trip in '09 and had 23 Disney charges on my ATM card and we are LOCALS! It is easier for budgeting purposes as well. Those charges can really add up as you "consume" your way around the world.

Bouey wrote on Wed, 08/22/2012 - 17:17:

Bouey's picture

I find it best to have a couple of ways to pay with you. Sometimes a register will open and be cash only. I have skipped 35 minute lines before because I was the only one who had cash or heard him yell he could take cash people only.

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:30:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great tip Bouey!

Sharon wrote on Thu, 08/23/2012 - 16:03:

Sharon's picture

I'll remember that for this years trip. Thanks Bouey

Cee wrote on Sun, 08/26/2012 - 15:26:

Cee's picture

We use the wristlet themed gift card and it always works like a charm. SO convenient. We can't wait to get the latest one this Oct. We're getting quite a collection! A nice souvenir along with the passports.

hawklady313 wrote on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 21:35:

I plan on using our snack credits until they are gone and then using our counter service credits as we will not be using all of them for scheduled meals.
I had heard from several people that certain places allowed you to use one counter serve for 2 (OR EVEN 3!) snacks! I checked with Disney to see if this was true. They wrote me saying: "If you wish to use a quick service meal for multiple snacks, this must be discussed with the restaurant or food stand at the time of purchase. Please note, it is up to the location, as items offered do vary".
Believe me, I'm going to ask!!

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 21:33:

Kristen K.'s picture

That's so interesting Patti! I hadn't heard of anyone doing that. I may have to see if that could work for us as well.

mcky626 wrote on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:40:

mcky626's picture

We almost always bring cash, but I am going to try the little card this year. Seems so much easier.

Linda wrote on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 14:25:

Linda's picture

Hubby and I went to the FWF last year, for the 1st time. Was a little concerned about using cash, especially after reading about the gift card/wristlet...but, we had no problems using cash. The lines moved quickly, and I only took the money that I figured we would need for the day (which worked out very well)...But, I would like to have the card as a souvenier, so maybe we'll try it out for a day (PS - what happens if you lose the card?? Is it just like losing money - you're kind of just out of luck??)

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 11:31:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hi Linda! I found this answer from the DisneyStore here:

"What should I do if my Disney Gift Card is lost or stolen?
Promptly email us at [email protected] to report the card lost or stolen. Your Disney Gift Card will be 'frozen' and any funds remaining on the card (at the time email is received) can be transferred onto a new card if you provide the first 12 digits of your card number. An original proof of purchase receipt (the letter that accompanies your card) for the Disney Gift Card is required to transfer the funds onto a new Disney Gift Card. Unfortunately, any funds spent before the card is reported lost or stolen cannot be recovered."

MrHub wrote on Fri, 09/28/2012 - 18:15:

MrHub's picture

Hi Linda, also if you have a smart phone, get the Disney Gift card app. You can enter the cards in it, then you will have the first 12 numbers of the card, plus you can send an email directly to them with the card info if the card is lost or stolen. You can also keep record how much is on the card too. But you will still need the receipt if you have to transfer the funds.

Skubalaura wrote on Wed, 07/08/2015 - 00:21:

Skubalaura's picture

This may be a little out of date, but can you use any Disney gift card? My local grocery carries them, and you get a discount on gas. Will that work at the food and wine festival stands?

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 07/08/2015 - 00:34:

Kristen K.'s picture

Yes, any Disney gift card will do.

DeWayne wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 14:49:

DeWayne 's picture

Will the booths be able to take Apple Pay?

Bill wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 15:07:

Bill's picture

The wristband gift cards have a barcode in addition to a magnetic stripe. The barcode can be scanned at the register from a distance -- you don't even have to remove it from your wrist. MUCH quicker!

Also, the value doesn't expire. If there is some left over you can use it on your next trip/

DebC wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 18:00:

DebC's picture

I've also heard that you can swap one CS credit for three snack credits. But they must all be used at one location. So you can't use one snack credit at one booth and the other two at other booths.

The magic band is easy to use, but you can also go crazy since it just charges to your credit card. The preloaded gift card on the wristlet is better since, we can load more money to the card or just stop when we use it up.

Jon wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 22:18:

Jon's picture

Do they accept ApplePay at the kiosks by any chance?

Tressy wrote on Fri, 09/25/2015 - 22:28:

Tressy's picture

We have several Disney gift cards that we are planning to take with us. However, can we purchase the Food & Wine gift card wristlet with another gift card? We'd prefer to have the handy wrist one.

Kristen K. wrote on Sun, 09/27/2015 - 16:00:

Kristen K.'s picture

I'm not sure if they are taking Apple Pay, but I have someone looking into it and will answer as soon as I can!

MrHub wrote on Wed, 09/30/2015 - 11:31:

MrHub's picture

Tressy, no you can not purchase a gift card with a gift card, sorry.

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