Disney World Wine Guide
There’s nothing better than a glass of your favorite wine or discovering a new favorite while on vacation. If you’re unfamiliar with Walt Disney World, you’d never guess that it’s home to many prized collections of wine. Throughout the resorts, guests can experience wine pairings from some of the most renowned wine sommeliers in the country. If you’re planning an upcoming visit, and you’re a huge fan of wine, I’ve got the ultimate Disney World Wine Guide! These are some of my favorite picks – from workshops to restaurants.
Disney World Wine Guide: Can’t Miss Experiences
Disney Family of Wines Weekend At The Contemporary Resort
Disney recognizes that they have a growing number of guests who love wine. Over the years, they’ve really started to carter to difference group interests. In 2019, the Disney Family Of Wine Weekend is an entire weekend getaway that recognizes wine labels that have had “special ties to Disney’s past, present and future.” It includes a two-night stay at The Contemporary Hotel and it’s three days of special culinary offerings. Workshops, meetings with winemakers and special meals are part of the weekend. The experience comes at a hefty $2950 price tag (for double occupancy room), but it’s an unforgettable experience that they’ll offer each spring.
Wine Bar George At Disney Springs
My Disney World wine guide wouldn’t be complete without this spot! Located in the restaurant and entertainment area known at Disney Springs, Wine Bar George is one of my favorite wine experiences on Disney property. They are home to over 130 different types of wine and owned by George Miliotes. He is one of 249 Master Sommeliers worldwide and he has a long history with Disney that dates back to the opening of California Grill.
The restaurant is small and quaint – perfect for a date night. Every waiter is trained by George himself and you’ll often see George taking personal care of his guests. They’ve got recommended pairings, wine flights and a to-go area that serves frozé. Pro tip: take photos of the labels you try, so you can remember your vacation with a bottle of wine when you return.
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival
This festival, which happens yearly, in Epcot park, is one of the most anticipated events that Walt Disney World hosts. Over 30 countries are represented in the festival, which offers small bites and alcohol pairings at different booths (known as Global Marketplaces). Try Sake in Japan or champagne from France – you’re sure to experience a taste of something new! The festival is included with your park ticket and runs from August – November. While planning your visit, be sure to check the festival guide to see if there are any culinary demonstrations or seminars taking place (some of those experiences are hard ticket events that cost extra). Pro Tip: look for the special festival bottle of wine as a great souvenir to take home!
Jiko – The Cooking Place
Located in Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko is a special Disney signature dining experience. They transport you to different regions of Africa through distinct flavors. It’s also home to the largest collection of South African wine, outside of South Africa (that’s the #1 reason it’s included in my Disney World wine guide). They offer boutique labels that you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Every Wednesday they offer a wine tasting that features a selection of wine and cheeses hand-picked by the sommeliers at Jiko. Advanced reservations are definitely recommended. Jiko is two points on the Disney Dining Plan.
One of Walt Disney World’s best restaurants is the California Grill, which is located at the top of The Contemporary Hotel. As another signature dining experience, they specialize is California coastal cuisine and offer over 300 different wine labels that are all out of California. The sommeliers are always on hand for recommendations. If you don’t have a reservation, you can go to the lounge anytime. Every night, guests can watch the best view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from their floor to ceiling windows.
If you’re looking for an in-park wine experience, rest your feet at Animal Kingdom’s Nomad Lounge. It’s connected to Tiffins (another signature dining experience), but anyone can walk into the lounge for small plates and drinks. A favorite for wine lovers at this lounge is the Sinaloa Sangria, a South American blend of Miquel Torres Rosé Wine, Barsol Quebranta Pisco, and fresh fruit. It’s light and refreshing, which is perfect on a hot Florida day.
Phins At Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort
Guests can walk through the boardwalk or take boat over to Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Phins is a lobby lounge and their newest addition, part of a multi-million dollar renovation. It’s home to the only wine on tap at Walt Disney World resort. You can taste the superior quality difference than bottled wine and it’s better for the environment, since it produces less waste. Every Sunday, from 10:00 am to 2:00pm, they offer a “Sunday Sips” with Bellinis and Mimosas.
This is the most photogenic spot of my Disney World wine guide! Amorette’s Patisserie is a Disney Springs bakery is known for their darling Disney pastry creations, but they also serve wine slushes. Flavors rotate seasonally, but they always offer two flavors. I’ve tried the red sangria and the apple Riesling – both are seriously delicious. Guest can also grab a champagne flute that’s Instagram-worthy because it’s topped with mouse ears!
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Annual Food & Wine Classic
Award-winning chefs come together to serve culinary bites and wine samples at this event, which acts as an extension to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. The Food & Wine Classic is one weekend a year, in November, at tickets can be purchased ahead of time. They offer eleven educational seamers about wines, cocktails, beer, pasta-making, cheese pairing or the fine art of sushi and sake. The event is open to the general public, so you don’t have to be a guest at the resorts either.