Hi friends! You’ll want to share this one to all your fellow food lovers!!!
It’s time for one of my favorite annual events, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!! Once fall rolls around, or as I like to call it “Ohio Summer,” the temperatures return to breathable and I finally am brave enough to venture outside. The festival runs from late August until early November. I’m a strong traditionalist so I always thought the “best” time to visit Disney was over the summer. Between the Food and Wine Festival and other holiday events at Magic Kingdom, fall is now my favorite time of year to visit.
Admission to the festival is included in your Epcot admission. The festival kiosks typically open around 11am through park close. I do recommend brining some cash on hand as I have seen the kiosk credit card machines break down several times. Epcot also have a nice free concert series with different artists who perform three times a night.
Let’s take a look at some of the goodies that are at the festival this year. If you are a pass holder or Florida resident, this will give you an idea of why you might want to go! If you are out of town, this can give you a reason to research a fall trip next year if you are in the mood 🙂
First up, the food! A few of my pics had to be cobbled together off the Google. It got difficult to take pictures at night. I’m ranking these from my least to most favorite to help you decide what to put on the top of your list!
Spain: Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops and Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, and Smoked Paprika This was my very first Food and Wine item this year and I was a bit disappointed. It had a strong salty olive taste and I hadn’t expected it to be served cold.
Mexico: Tequila Chipotle Shrimp served on a Black Bean Huarche garnished with Red and Green Cabbage, Queso Frescho, and Cream Mexicana Yikes. I would describe this as “meh” or “ok.” The sauce was good but the rest of the dish was rather bland.
Cheese Studio: Savory Caramelized Onion and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Tart with Cold Arugula Salad and Aged Balsamic. Oh how I really wanted to love this dish. The flavors were all there. However, mine was served just a hint cold and the portion size (to me) was enough that two people could eat it without being overwhelmed. I wouldn’t mind trying it again if it was heated thoroughly.
Chocolate Studio: Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Torte with Whipped Cream and Raspberry Dust. This was really delicious. It was a bit rich so it’s great to share or maybe grab and extra plate and get this on your way out to enjoy at home. It has a dark, dense flavor that goes a long way!
India: Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake with Chocolate- Coconut Mousse I got this at the last minute on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. The cake was light with a soft flavor. A fun dessert to share.
Brazil: Pao de Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Bread You can never go wrong with cheese bread!!!! It’s amazing! For this item you get two pieces and believe me, that is plenty.
Islands of the Caribbean: Mojo Pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Pickled Red Onions. This is a nice reliable dish…not overpowering, with a good balance between the beans and rice. Another one good for sharing.
Almond Orchard: Banana Almond Soft Serve Sundae with Fresh Berries and Crunchy Oats New this year, the Almond Orchard seemed like a fun addition. I loved this dessert! The flavors were amazing and it was perfect on a hot (blazing) afternoon.
India: Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews, and Warn Naan Bread If you like Indian food, the Korma Chicken will hit just the right spot. Mildly spicy, the portion size was great and the flavors balanced each other perfectly.
Active Eats: Sweet Avocado Creama with Strawberries, Yellow Cake, and Tortilla Streussel I was a bit disappointed that the avocado taste wasn’t more apparent but considering I said I could eat 100 of these, I’d recommend it!
Chocolate Studio: Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle. I get this almost any time I’m at the Food and Wine Festival…it’s a fun mix of flavors. Some fellow diners said they might like it with a hint of salt which I think would also be great. Definitely worth trying at least once.
American Adventure: Lobster Roll Disney does a great job with their Lobster Roll…it’s a higher priced item but you generally get a good portion size. I’ve had these before with quite a significant amount of lobster on them.
Coastal Eats: Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce. This was delicious! I’d definitely recommend! The flavors were a great balance and the portion size was just right. Just looking at the picture makes me want to try it again.
France: Boeuf Bourguignon, Puree de Pommes de Terre: Cabernet Sauvignon-braised Beef with Mashed Potatoes Ahhhh the last dish of the night. Sometimes I think dishes are rated highly because people try them right when they arrive but later in the day they might not taste as good. Not so with this one. I picked it up right before the fireworks and I truly did not even watch half of the fireworks show, I was too busy eating. I laughingly called this dish “Illuminations: Reflections of Boeuf Bourguignon” to illustrate how it had taken over my plan to watch “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.”
Now for the drinks, also listed in order of least to most favorite!
Mexico: Mexican Mule Drinks from the Mexico stand are pretty reliable not only for good taste, but good bang for your buck. This drink tasted horrible. Truly all I could taste the whole time was my plastic cup. No idea what went wrong here but I definitely would not recommend it.
Light Lab: I wish I remembered what drink this was but I was legitimately so excited about the glass I don’t remember. This is Epcot’s 35th anniversary and it just so happened that we were there on October 1st, the actual anniversary date. That on top of the fact that there were no pass holder glasses this year, it seemed like a perfect fit. The drink…was ok. The cup…so awesome. It lights up!!!!! I shall love it forever!!
Italy: Frozen Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila This drink was a nice crisp refresher during a hot afternoon.
France: St-Germain Sparkling Kir: Sparkling Wine and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur I got this delicious drink to go with my Boeuf Bourguignon and it was a fun one. Fresh and bubbly, a great way to end the night.
Light Lab: Blue Spectrum: Blanc de Bleu Cuvee Mousseux with Boba Pearls. It was fun and tasted good! The Light Lab itself is a unique concept…kind of like you walked into someone throwing a college glow in the dark party with information about food and drinks on the walls. The verdict was that the non-alcoholic drinks on the menu were straight junk (sugar).
Mexico: Mexican Style Red Sangria As previously mentioned, Mexico’s drinks are usually nice and strong. I got the Sangria thinking it would be more on the subtle side. A few sips of tequila off the top later, I realized oops, Mexico ❤ tequila. Overall great taste!
Chocolate Studio: Banfi Rosa Regale. Rose of the day, so delicious. 🙂
France: La Passion Martini Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, and Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice A perfect combination of alcohol and flavor! Definitely recommend!
If you loved my review, make sure to share it with fellow food lovers!! See you real soon!