Tasting The World At Epcot’s Food And Wine Festival
2016 marks the 21st year for Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. It is the longest Food and Wine Festival to date, taking place from September 14th to November 14th. You only need to purchase a ticket for Walt Disney World’s Epcot to enjoy all that the Food and Wine Festival has to offer.
My mom (Melody), my fiancé (Blake), and I went to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival on September 30th. After four hours, we had walked three miles and eaten our way around the World Showcase. Here is a little bit about the Food and Wine Festival and our ranking of the food that we tried.
Pick up your Passport as soon as you enter the park. This will help you plan your day at the Food and Wine Festival plus help you remember what all you ate!
I have attended the Festival the past three years and this year’s Passport was my favorite. The Passport contains pictures of some of the featured food, the Festival Center’s schedule of events, a Kid’s section, descriptions of the festival’s merchandise, gift card offerings, dining plans, schedule for the Eat To The Beat Concert Series, stickers to be placed on each country after visiting, and a list of all food and beverages served at each destination.
We tried foods from 11 of the 30 locations and are looking forward to adding more during our next visit in November.
Ranking The Food That We Had
(From best tasting to least)
1. Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
You must try this dish! The succulent Lamb Chop was flavorful and zesty, and the crunchy bits were a nice contrast.
2. Farm Fresh: Loaded Mac’n’Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions
Another one of our favorites, this was a nice twist on a traditional dish. Melody liked the zing from the pepper and onion combination. The buttered Panko crumbs added extra richness.
3. Germany: Schinkennudeln (Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese)
The Schinkennudeln was incredibly rich and creamy. The portion size was perfect. We will pretend that it did not have any calories.
4. China: Chicken Pot Stickers
Blake is a huge fan of Pot Stickers and these did not disappoint. Although the plating was nothing special, the taste was wonderful.
5. Hops & Barley: Freshley Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing
Overall, the Carrot Cake was pretty basic but the Cream Cheese Icing made this dish worthwhile. The Cake contained both raisins and nuts. While it was a little crispy on the outside, it was super moist on the inside. The Cream Cheese Icing was a liquid consistency.
6. South Korea: Korean-style BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi
The BBQ was good, but it was not the best that we had ever had. The rice was bland and needed jazzed up.
7. Hops & Barley: Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast
The Brisket was a tad bit overdone. We liked the combination, but would have enjoyed more Pimento Cheese. (Pictured in #5)
8. Germany: Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
This was one of our favorite desserts of the day. The smell was enticing! The apples were baked to perfection and wrapped in a flaky crust.
9. Hawai’i: Spicy Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Rice
The Tuna was very enjoyable, but it was too spicy for our taste. We were glad to see Poke on the menu because it is all the rage right now.
10. France: Crém Brûlée Caramel Chocolat (Caramel and Chocolate Creme Brûlée topped with Caramelized Sugar)
We are big fans of traditional Crém Brûlée but this chocolate pudding like consistency did not impress.
11. Islands Of The Caribbean: Pescado con Coco (Seared Grouper, Pigeon Peas, and Rice with Coconut Sauce)
The Grouper was Blake’s favorite dish last year and he was over the moon that it was on the menu again. But the Pescado con Coco was not nearly as good and he was disappointed with it.
Also, food from two countries in the Caribbean does not make this “Islands of the Caribbean” kiosk title worthy.
12. Italy: Pennete alla Parmigiana (Baked Ziti and Chicken Parmigiana, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, and Parmesan Cheese)
As a huge Chicken Parmigiana fan, this dish was a big letdown. It was very basic and the ingredients tasted like they were straight from a can.
13: Canada: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup served with a Pretzel Roll
This dish was not what we expected it to be. Instead of tasting like cheese, it tasted more like beer, mustard, and flour.
The 21st Food and Wine Festival
It seems that the prices at the Food and Wine Festival have gone up tremendously. After paying park admission and parking, we could not justify trying $9-$15 alcoholic beverages, too. Thus, we opted to only try food on this visit.
The selections were not as good as last year. I like the idea of eating from countries around the world, and would like to see more countries represented.
I hope that our dollars spent for food can help you decide what to try and what to skip at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
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Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.
Check out some of our other Epcot posts:
11 Dates At Epcot’s World Showcase
Canada’s Le Celler Steakhouse
What To Expect At The Flower & Garden Festival