Ahhh, the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival–when it become socially acceptable to gorge yourself and become slightly tips at Disney World. I used to loathe Epcot as a child and each time I was dragged there my go to refrain was “But Mommy there are like, no rides here!” Oh how the tables have turned. Epcot has become one of my favorite parks at Disney World and it really shines during the Food & Wine Fest. Read on for some of the best things I ate this year, and hurry on down to Orlando before November 14, 2016!
In general, some things to keep in mind: that the food booths usually open a little before 11am, weekdays are the best time to go to avoid crowds (or right when the booths open on weekends), and each item will run around $3-7 with a few exceptions. I love staying at the Swan or Dolphin when I go because those hotels are an easy walk or boat ride to Epcot and the Boardwalk (if you have any stomach room left after F&W you must go to Ample Hills ice cream on the Boardwalk. Get the ooey, gooey butter cake ice cream and thank me later).
Let’s start with some of my favorite items at the fest. First up, this mousse from the Chew Collective. The Chew’s stand is new this year and became my favorite spot at the fest. Especially at dark. It’s a great area with chill music, strings of lights, and a laid back vibe. Also this mousse was just really well balanced: great textures, not too sweet, a little salty and just freaking good.
This chocolate cake also comes from a stand that is new this year. This one is much richer than the mousse, so definitely share it with a few people (which is good advice for most items at the fest). That being said, the raspberry provides a nice tartness to cut the rich chocolate flavor. I clearly have a sweet tooth, but I really though the sweets stole the show. I didn’t snap a pic but the Sprecher Hard Orange Cream Soda Float was also amazing and that can be picked up at the Desserts & Champagne stand.
The best drink award goes to the La Passion Martini Slush in France. It just goes down easy and if it’s one of those sticky-hot Florida days it goes down even easier. Passion fruit is also my favorite flavor for cocktails, so I might be biased, but everyone in my family deemed this drink the winner.
For me the best savory item was these crispy hummus fries. The texture is great, and while they taste a little more like falafel than hummus, they are crispy and taste fresh–not frozen, which is worth noting since some of the items taste like they have been reconstituted from a freezer. I forgot to snap a pic and it was not very photogenic but the pasta gratin from Germany was one of my favorites; it tastes like a decadent mac & cheese and is great value considering the huge portion you get. Plus, I think it only costs around $3.
Everything else I had was good, but maybe I was just too full to fully appreciate them. In the picture below, the Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie featuring Zubrowska Bison Grass Vodka, almost gives the passion fruit drink a run for its money. It’s tasty, unique and fun. It basically tastes like a frozen apple pie and the little crunchy bits on top are the best. The Golabki and Kielbasa/Pierogi were dece, but I would probably skip them in the future.
This lobster roll is a bit pricey for its size (~$7) but it really is good. I loved the overtly buttery roll and the lobster tasted legit.
The Artist Pallette of wine & cheese cost $11 and while this was nice, I’m not sure it was worth that. The scallop and pork dishes were fairly forgettable, and I would opt for going for some of the more international-inspired dishes instead. But the area where this stand is located is great and a perfect place to sit for a bit.
For some reason our longest wait was at the Craft Beers area and while the wings were super tender and flavorful, I could’ve skipped both of these items all together. Go for a full-sized beer at one of the permanent stands instead.
I was really looking forward to New Zealnd, because I studied abroad there during college and had heard promising things about the meatball. I found these both to be a let down. The venison was weirdly rubbery and the meatball’s popover-like pastry just didn’t do it for me. However, I also didn’t like fan favorite Le Cellier Filet Mignon from Canada so maybe I just got unlucky with some bad batches of meat. Unclear. Let me know your thoughts on the meat sitch.
Maybe I just got too hype about this dish, which made the actual dish a letdown. And don’t get me wrong I liked this a lot. It reminded me of mousse covered with cold-as-dip-n-dot mousse and I’m super in to dip’n dots. But I just sort of felt this could have used some more “oomph.” But again, the cold of this is nice on a hot day and it definitely ain’t bad.
There are tons of stands I didn’t get a chance to try, so please share your suggestions and faves. Peace out for now Epcot, au voir! adios!
- Any good Food and Wine Fest tips?
- What was your fave and least fave dish?