Greetings Internet Stranger, and welcome to 24 hours at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. The Epcot Theme Park at Disney World is famous for its festivals in general and its Food and Wine Festival specifically. After all, Epcot is dedicated to showcasing cultures from around the world all the year round, so an international food and wine festival seems right up its alley.
Well, there are many more food booths than a person could fit into a single trip, I can promise you that! But I can also promise you that with me as your guide, you’ll be able to stuff as many delicious goodies down your gullet as you possibly can. Just follow me to find out how!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
What to Pack?
You’ll need comfy shoes for all the walking we’re going to do today around the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. It’s very frequently hot in Orlando, though not always, so it’s smart to wear sandals. I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes.
Also, don’t forget the sunscreen! The sun can get scorching! My favorite is the Neutrogena spray bottle because it’s so easy to apply. And as a solo traveler, I can actually use it myself on my own back. I just put it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.
Finally, since we’re going to be out all day, you’ll want a battery for your cell phone. I always use the Anker charger. It’s light enough to fit in even a small purse. You don’t want to sling a heavy bag all around Disney World. It’s tough to squeeze that bag into the rides. Plus the Anker lasts for several full charges of a phone, so you’ll never run out of juice!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
This is pretty much what we’re going to do all day. After all, you probably only get one day at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, and you’re going to want to stuff as much goodness in your face as you possibly can. In between bites, work off the calories by strolling around and admiring the scenery at Epcot, like the replica of Canada’s famous Butchart Gardens above. But mostly we will just eat, eat, and eat. And then eat some more.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did eat all of the following in just one day. I regret nothing.
Approximately Top 5: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Morning
1) Australia Booth
In keeping with Epcot’s international theme, the Epcot Food and Wine festival has many booths representing international cuisines. Many aren’t normally represented at Epcot, so this is an exciting time for us all. I suggest getting the pavlova as a kind of sweet breakfast treat at the Australia booth. The fruit was really fresh, and the meringue was sturdy, so the whole dessert wouldn’t melt in the Florida sun.
2) Refreshment Port
It’s everyone’s favorite Canadian treat: poutine! This dish is so popular at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival that it kind of gets its own booth and doesn’t have to share with the other Canadian treats, like ketchup chips, at the Canada booth. I ordered the duck poutine like a fancy lady, and I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised.
The duck was moist and you could really taste the yummy wine and bechamel sauces. The fries were thick enough to stand up to the massive amounts of drippings and moisture from the sauce as well. My one complaint is that the gravy was not quite thick enough, but over all, this is way better than I expected Disney World duck poutine to be.
3) Apple Booth
Yes, there’s an entire apple booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I guess they didn’t want any produce to feel left out, though technically the name of this booth is the Appleseed Orchard. I recommend alternating sweet snacks, savory snacks, and beverages, so it was obviously drinks time. (Yes, I drank everything you see on this itinerary, and no I didn’t fall flat on my keister.
This beauty you see above is the cider flight, and they fill it so full that you will definitely spill some as you stroll to your table. There was limoncello cider, strawberry cider, and cherry cider. The lemon was quite refreshing, the strawberry was the sweetest, and the cherry was definitely the most tart. So there should be at least one cider that apples to you, no matter what your taste is.
4) Chocolate Studio
Here we have one of the most popular treats at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival: the nitro truffle. The Disney chefs use the power of science to harden and then smash this decadent chocolate concoction before your very eyes. The caramel and nuts add some extra flavor to balance out all that rich chocolate. If this is Death by Chocolate, sign me up!
5) Wine Studio
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, Internet Stranger! That’s a pair of succulent scallops in front of you, not a glass of wine. But Wine Studio also serves dishes that are meant to pair well with their vino. Ordinarily plump sea scallops like this will set you back a pretty penny, so this is a great value for gourmet food lovers.
Disney has a reputation for being great with scallops, which I would not have expected, but then I wouldn’t have expected to find a Fox pretending to be Robin Hood attractive either, so I guess Disney is just full of surprises.
6) Cheese Studio
We’re done with the savory, so back to the sweet! This maple bourbon boursin cheesecake from the Cheese Studio was one of my favorite dishes of the entire festival, and cheesecake is not usually one of my favorite desserts. The texture was just insanely creamy, and the maple tasted like real maple–not too sweet.
And now I have to go turn in my Native New Yorker card because I just admitted to liking Disney World Florida cheesecake better than NYC cheesecake. But New York is still better at bagels, pizza, black and white cookies, pizza rats, etc.
7) Canada Booth
It’s not every day that you can to visit two Canada-themed food booths in one day. But that’s just what makes the Epcot Food and Wine Festival so special, Internet Stranger! Now you get to try the cheese soup from Epcot’s fancy-pants Canadian steakhouse Le Cellier, without having to shell out the big bucks for a filet mignon or needing to make a reservation ten years in advance.
The cheese soup had a little heat in it–I wondered if it was from the black pepper. The whole soup is yummy, but the best part is the succulent bacon flavor. And don’t sleep on the dense pretzel bread because it’s perfect for dipping. Can you believe everything we’ve managed to eat this morning? And we’ve only got 14 more dishes to go! (Not a joke.)
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Afternoon: Keep Eating!
You thought I was joking about eating all day! I’m never joking, Internet Stranger! We’ll eat all day, and we’ll like it! (I admit this itinerary is easier to follow if you bring a friend who can share the snacks with you. Or just do what I did and make some friends at Epcot who admire your Maleficent-themed Minnie ears. Potato-Potahto.) And speaking of potato chips, it’s time to find more of the…
Approximately Top 5: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Afternoon
1) Ireland Booth
We’re going back to alternating sweet-savory-boozy, so let’s off to a country that is justly not-quite famous for its fine cuisine: Ireland! (I’m half-Irish myself, and I kid because I love.) Ireland is definitely not famous for chocolate desserts, so I was surprised to find that the star of the show here is the chocolate pudding.
But I needn’t have been worried to try this chocolate deliciousness. It was lovely and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, just like a lava cake should be. I guess the Irish part comes from the powerful whiskey hard sauce poured over top. Whiskey makes everything Irish, as my grandmother used to say.
2) Brazil Booth
Brazil is one of my favorite food countries in the world, but at this point you’ll be a little bit stuffed when you arrive, so you might not be able to go for something as large as the moqueca, a rich fish stew. Try snacking on some pao de queijo (Brazilian cheesy bread) instead. Just like the chocolate cake, it’s crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. And cheese is basically the chocolate of savory foods in that it’s amazing and delicious and everyone with sense craves it all the time.
Oddly enough, the France pavilion is famous for this La Passion martini slushy, which is odd because I don’t think Real France is famous for frozen drinks. Like, I would never tell you to go to Paris to get a great frozen marg or something. But France is famous for Grey Goose vodka, which is yumsville.
And so is this drink, which is so drinkable you could probably down three before you would notice you are drunk and the Disney Police have to pull you out of the Fake Fountain of Trevi in Fake Italy.
Since we’ve been eating literally all day, it’s time to slow down the pace a little. So I’ll be taking you to booths that have smaller bites and snacks you can nibble in between shopping and admiring attractions like Fake Eiffel Tower. That way you’ll have plenty of room for dinner.
The chocolate baklava at the Morocco booth is perfect for a little snack. It’s nice and crunchy even though it’s obviously soaked in honey. It’ll fill you up before you stroll off to watch Animatronic Mark Twain and Ben Franklin duel to the death at the American Adventure show.
If you want an even lighter snack, enjoy this spicy sushi roll in Japan. The spicy mayo is actually really spicy, which I appreciated. And it’s got fish and rice in it, so it’s basically a health food. That balances out all that chocolate and cheese we’ve been nomming today.
If there’s one country that knows beer, it’s Belgium! So lucky for us that we get to indulge in a whole flight here. I think the most popular beer here would probably be the Berlin ale. It is fruity but not too sweet, which tends to be crowd pleasing. The witbier was the most unusual, but I liked it because it was nice and bitter. It also tasted of coriander, which is unusual to find in a brewski.
Finally, the red fruit beer tasted a little like artificial cherry. I liked this because those artificial cherry cough drops were some of my favorite candies as a kid, which sounds kind of unsafe now that I think about it. But if you like artificial cherry + beer, you will definitely enjoy this drink.
7) Hops and Barley
I always make fun of the American Pavilion at Epcot because it is lacking in so many ways, even though I believe technically that Florida is part of the United States. The American Adventure show is great, and so are the a Capella singers, but it’s just lacking in terms of food and shopping.
That’s why I was so excited to eat this delicious carrot cake at the Hops and Barley booth. It was beautifully spiced, moist, and topped with a toothsome sugar frosting. Oh, American Pavilion, you might just make it after all.
One of the best things to eat in Barcelona is a little paper cone stuffed with amazing Spanish ham. (Please only eat the ham, not the paper.) So it was perfectly fitting that the Spanish booth at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival had a HAM CONE of its own, with chorizo and olives to boot. After so much beer and a rich carrot cake, the tanginess of the dressing here really hit the spot.
Also, I’m sorry I managed to make HAM CONE all blurry and get the background in focus. I’ll never disrespect you again, HAM CONE!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Evening: EAT! EAT LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!
We’re almost there, Internet Stranger! We’ve arrived in the home stretch. Just six more dishes and you can retire for the night, safe and snug in your hotel bed, with dreams of HAM CONE dancing in your head. But first!
Approximately Top 5: Epcot Food and Wine Festival Evening
Again, trying to give your stomach a break here, we’ll be sample a beverage at the China booth for our sweet snack. You might be wondering why I am classifying milk tea as a sweet, not a drink, and my answer is that it IS sweet, but it also has no booze in it.
There are approximately a flobbityjillion boba tea places in NYC, and the best boba for me is one that is sweet, but not too sweet, has firm boba, and retains a recognizable tea flavor. You don’t want to have so much milk and sugar that you can’t taste the tea. This boba milk tea scored three out of three for me, plus it has a very cute panda cup, so that makes it a winner.
I usually think of Germany as being one of the weaker pavilions, food-wise, at Epcot. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this nudel pudding, which was quite interesting in terms of flavor. You had the crunchy, cheesy crust on top, salty ham, and a slight sweetness from what tasted like cinnamon. If you can’t finish the whole thing, concentrate on the crust, which is the best part.
PS. It was this photo that convinced me that I needed to get a better quality cell phone camera.
3) Block and Hans
Most people wouldn’t be able to handle a flight of four beers at this point in the evening, but most people are not us, are they? Each beer had a distinct flavor; the Kentucky bourbon beer was almost like a boozy cream soda.
wheat ale was crisp and refreshing. The IPA was hoppier than wheat ale, just as it should be.
Finally came the stout, which had a wonderfully toasted taste. You can drink one at a time or you can alternate sips to contrast the different tastes of the beer. Don’t let any snobby beer-meliers tell you there’s one right way to drink a beer flight. Just don’t ask any of the Disney cast members who Block and Hans are because no one seems to know. I decided they must be Statler and Waldorf’s nephews.
Our final dessert of the day is at the Caribbean booth. All the young ladies staffing the booth raved to me about this quesito filled with guava and cheese. It tasted just like Miami to me, which is definitely a compliment, or so Will Smith tells me. But the quesito itself comes from Puerto Rico. I gather the guava-cheese combo is a big hit in the whole region, which is just one more reason to visit the Caribbean.
This beef tenderloin was definitely one of the better dishes at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. It tasted like something you could find at a quality restaurant, not something I’d expect at a massive event like this. The meat was tender, and I loved the surprise of the coffee flavor. Plus there are so many yummy elements to the dish, like the creamy grains and the crunchy vegetables. Since this is our last bite of the evening, it’s a good thing it’s so tasty because it will make it easier for us to finish the whole thing.
I was absolutely horrified to discover that this is the photo I took of my margarita, the last thing we will consume this fine evening. It looks like I murdered the margarita and am now being haunted by its ghost. My notes say that the marg was smokey and got sweeter as you sip, but I’m not sure you should trust anything written by someone drunk enough to take this picture and not notice how blurry it was.
That’s a Perfect 24 Hours at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
What would you do with 24 hours at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Is 21 things too many things to eat in one day? And what noise does the ghost of a margarita make? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Epcot. If you want to add itineraries for the Magic Kingdom I’ve got one here, one here and another one for Epcot over here.