Picture this: trying dishes from countries around the world all within walking distance of each other. It’s the most eclectic and easiest progressive dinner ever! Well, that’s precisely what happens at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. From August 31 to November 13, 2017, Disney guests will be wowed with marvelous munchies from global gourmets. In its 22nd year, the Food & Wine Festival is going strong. Find out how to prepare for the festival as we share 5 tips and our 5 favorite eats.
What has 35 global marketplaces, lasts 75 days, and serves over 1.5 million samplings? If you guessed the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, then you nailed it! Although no prior planning is required, here are a few pointers on how to approach the festival as well as our 5 Best Eats at this year’s Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
5 Tips for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Plan Your Attack
Read up ahead of time on the best (and worst) selections. Several blogs are very reliable on this information, most notably the Disney Tourist Blog and Disney Food Blog. Decide on the dishes that appeal most and save room for them. I’ve found that I like to pick my favorite 3 samples that I’d like to try, then make sure I don’t fill up on other food before I get to those. This Epcot map helps locate each food venue.
Snag a Festival Passport
No time to plan ahead? No problem! Grab a Festival Passport. It outlines all the cuisines, merchandise, and special events like the artists performing at the “Eat to the Beat” concert series. (We had 10,000 Maniacs during our days at the Festival.) Included are passport stickers which are fun for kids and grown-ups to keep track of all the culinary countries visited. Also be sure to take photos of your favorites with the page open to the description-makes it easier to remember at the end of the day!
Look for What’s New
While the tried and true kiosks are a staple, look for the newbies and give them a try. New this year were the Light Lab, Active Eats, Flavors from Fire, and Coastal Eats.
Go with a Group
Better way to sample many dishes and not break the bank is to do the Festival with a group of friends or as a family. While it’s impossible to try everything, having friends and family to share with means more morsels. I’d say that’s a GREAt thing! If you can, scope out a table or bench to eat. Makes it easier to share food and talk between mouthfuls.
Eat What You Like (and Try New Stuff)
At the end of the day, taste buds are personal. What I like may not be what you like. That’s more than okay. With over 35 Global Marketplaces, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival has diversity covered. Dishes usually range $ 4-7 so it’s a small investment. I’ve really expanded my palate by trying new dishes.
So without further ado, here are my 5 Favorites from the 2017 event.
5 Best Eats at the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
1. Patagonia: Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree
So while not the most visually appealing dish, it was out of this world! The meat was cooked perfectly and the chimichurri made it all sing!
2. Africa: Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Vegan Yogurt and Quinoa
My friend raved about this dish, so I knew I had to try it even though it is spicy. It is pure comfort food. Although better suited for a winter’s day than a hot afternoon in Florida, it was totally a standout.
3. Ireland: Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liquor Custard
I’m from the South and when we really like food, we say it’s so good, it will make you want to slap your mama. No not really, but it definitely grabs attention, doesn’t it? And this warm chocolate pudding is worthy of this description. Oooey gooey chocolate goodness with a kiss of Irish creme. Preach it, Ireland because I’m going to say “Amen!” to this one and say it can’t be missed.
4. Belgium: Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
Everyone in my group was super impressed with the execution on the Belgian waffle. Crispy on the outside and softer in the center, it had the perfect texture. When covered in chocolate ganache and whipped cream, that certainly helps!
5. India: Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Basmati Rice
India returns to the festival after several years with a winning dish: the Madras Red Curry. Every ingredient is harmonious and when served over rice, it is both filling and satisfying. I hated that I was finished and wished I had a whole bowl full!
Although this review has been all about the FOOD, we cannot forget about the beverages. While I won’t try to take those on in this post, let me tell you that Food & Wine is as much about the drinks as the food. So don’t forget about the drinks!
My friend Didi breaks down her Best Beverages at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that should quench your thirst. Bon appetit and cheers!
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