Food & Wine Festival
If you’re a foodie and planning a trip to Walt Disney World, make sure it’s during ! I hadn’t heard of this annual event until I realised that our trip fell over the same dates, so incase you are also uninitiated, I’m going to let you know what it’s all about – and it’s TASTY.
From September 14th to November 14th (there’s still time! But keep in mind that dates vary each year), Epcot is the place to go for all things food at Disney. From talks and seminars with celebrity chefs to unique dining experiences and even concerts, there’s a huge amount happening, so I made sure to read up beforehand in order to tick off everything I wanted to do. Both and have fantastic guides to help you, as the breadth of events happening over the festival period is huge!
Our first stop was the Festival Welcome Center, full of food-related shopping, culinary and mixology demonstrations that you’re able to book ahead of time and the festival’s Wine Shop. Wandering through here was certainly enough to whet our appetites, so we made our way to my favourite part of Epcot; the World Showcase.
The World Showcase at Epcot usually features eleven countries for you to visit, complete with their cuisine and traditional products (I get strangely excited visiting the UK and couldn’t help but take a picture outside the phone box!), but during Food and Wine, there are double the amount of nations to experience, as this year there are an additional 29 food and drink stalls to be found, from Belgium to the Islands of the Caribbean.
Each of the stalls serve small, sample-size portions, meaning you don’t need to panic about choosing which to go for your lunch or dinner, as you can tick off more than one place and try food from around the world. That being said, I do advise that you turn up with an empty stomach, as despite trying our best, we still weren’t able to hit each of the stalls between us during our two trips to Epcot!
To help you plan, make sure to grab a Marketplace Discovery Passport and Map at the Festival Welcome Center, as this outlines both where each of the countries’ stalls are located, and what they are serving there, with spaces to tick the dishes off as you go. Whilst it might seem like that ruins the element of surprise, it’s important to plan ahead so you can ensure you still have space to sample all of your favourites.
Between Alisha and I, we tried potato pancakes and smoked salmon in Scotland, Korean BBQ beef and rice in South Korea, waffles in Belgium, Pão de Queijo in Brazil (much to my delight!), Schinkennudeln in Germany, Pennete alla Parmigiana in Italy, Taco de Camarón in Mexico and Hummus fries in Morocco, so I think we did rather well!
If you enjoy drinking, you’ll also find local beers, liquors, cocktails and wines at each of the locations too.
Because of the Food and Wine focus during the festival, whilst the park remains family friendly, you’ll find that it’s occupied mostly by adult foodies who are looking to try out new flavours, so it has a slightly different atmosphere from the other parks.
By nightfall, it really did feel like we were at a festival, with groups of friends grabbing drinks from around the world before finding a spot for the fireworks. It felt as though people had travelled here specifically for this, and I can understand why, because what better way is there to spend a day?