Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World features a great deal of… you guessed it… food and wine. It also features an amazing concert series called Eat to the Beat. There are several wonderful flashback groups, like Hanson, Tiffany, Sister Hazel, and many more. If I can pick just one each year that I want to see (which is about all I can manage with five kids), year after year, we have chosen Boyz II Men! These guys have been coming to Epcot every year for the past ten years. We have seen them maybe 4 or 5 times over the past decade. It makes for a great date night and some amazing 90’s flashbacks inside Disney World!
When we arrived at about 5 pm, the park seemed unusually crowded. It was this park’s night for Extra Magic Hours for Disney resort guests, so that probably contributed, as well as the popularity of the Food and Wine Festival, and of course, Boyz II Men fans flooding the park.
We had made one Fast Pass, for Soarin, and enjoyed that quickly and easily before heading back out to the Festival. We went over to the Festival Center, which was located in the old pavilion of Body Wars (bonus points if you remember that ride!). We picked up our Annual Passholder pins, and they were nice enough to give us the monthly pins from September and October as well! One visit and we have the whole set!
We made our way over to the Food and Wine area, which is located around the World Showcase, hoping to sample some goodies from around the world. Unfortunately, the incredibly long lines and our indecisiveness prevented that from happening. I continued my decade long tradition of not actually sampling any food at all from the Food and Wine Festival. Sshhhhh… don’t tell my diehard annual passholder friends!
Each night of Eat to the Beat concerts, there are 3 showtimes, which are at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8 pm. We were waiting for some friends to arrive and found ourselves right in front of the America Theater at about 6:43 pm. There was a long line of people filing into the theater, and we decided to jump in it and see what happened. We walked right in and got a great seat right in the middle! It’s amazing what you can do when you only have two people instead of 7 in your group!
The show was amazing. They opened with my absolute favorite song, “Motownphilly” and also sang one of their lesser known hits, “Song for Mama” from the Soul Food soundtrack. The crowd was incredibly enthusiastic, as were Boyz II Men, for the entire 30 minute performance.
We made our way out of the theater and connected with our friends. After we found them, we got right back in line and waited about 15 minutes for the 8 pm performance. Again, we got a seat easily for our group of 4, and enjoyed the concert the second time as well. The playlist was slightly different, and in a different order, and was just as enjoyable as the first time! We danced, sang along, and felt like teenagers again!
After we left the concert at 8:30 pm, we were starving! We really wanted to be able to sit and talk during dinner, so we made our way over to Italy to hope to find a table. We checked out Via Napoli and the wait was 10-15 minutes. We jumped at that chance and were seated shortly. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was really energetic and authentic. Our wait staff was attentive and friendly, and had the Italian accent to prove their authenticity! The food was delicious, we were unhurried, and we left the restaurant about 90 minutes later.
As we made our way out of Epcot, we enjoyed conversation, took pictures, and felt thankful to enjoy a night out from our collective 9 children, to just talk and enjoy being together. Thank you Boyz II Men and Epcot for a wonderful date night for parents of big families at Walt Disney World!