It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
No, it’s not Christmas: It’s the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This year’s event will be a record 75 days long – stretching from the August 31 to November 13, 2017
If you are like me, this festival has taken the love I had for Epcot and kicked it up a notch! (Sorry for the old-school Emeril-esque food pun, but it really does apply here!) Food is the attraction and Epcot becomes a Wonderland of Flavor.
Grab you passport (yes, literally, grab a complimentary Epcot International Food and Wine Festival passport booklet with stickers) from any of the kiosks around World Showcase and start eating you way around the world.
New Highlights for 2017
Select Food Offerings – With so much to see, eat, and savor, here are a few of my favorites from the upcoming festival menu:
At the Active Eats Marketplace: A loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese (How could you go wrong?) topped with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon (Think: the-best-you-have-ever-tasted, thick-cut, sweet and smoky bacon), cheddar cheese, sautéed peppers, and fresh green onions. This is heaven on a plate!
At the NEW Coastal Eats Booth: Lump crab cakes with Napa cabbage slaw and avocado cream; baked shrimp scampi dip served with a baguette; and seared scallops with roasted corn succotash. This booth was added to honor Epcot‘s 35th Anniversary.
At the Farm Fresh Marketplace: Crispy fried chicken with butter grilled cornbread and red eye gravy (made with the chicken pan juices and real black coffee).
At the NEW Flavors from the Fire Booth: Roasted pork piggy ‘wings’ (ribs) with Korean BBQ sauce; smoked corned beef & crispy potatoes, pickled onions and cheese fondue; a sweet pancake with chipotle chicken sausage; and a sweet and spicy chile chocolate mousse. I may have to go back for seconds at this new stop!
At the Caribbean Marketplace: Mojo Pork (Pork tenderloin marinated with spices and mixed citrus juices) with black beans, cilantro rice, and pickled red onions.
The Cheese Studio is back after a 1-year absence. This year, it is hosted by one of my favorite brands, Boursin Cheese. Dishes include a braised beef stroganoff with egg noodles, mushrooms, and a Boursin garlic and fine herbs sauce; a caramelized onion and Boursin tart; and a cheese trio with a selection of Boursin’s best cheeses, a smoked salmon pinwheel and a savory and sweet strawberry macaron filled with Boursin pepper cheese.
I am so excited for these offerings! The full list of all of the Booth Menus can be found at on The Disney Parks Blog Website.
Enjoy either the Mix it, Make It, Celebrate It! cocktail classes classes or the fabulous Culinary Demonstrations at the Festival Center. (My favorite Maine chefs Shanna and Brian O’Hea of the Kennebunk Inn are back in November for their culinary demo and are sure to cook up some of their signature seafood dishes.)
No matter when you go, these classes are an amazing treat and the perfect way to get off your feet and enjoy the Festival Center, home to great event shopping, a wine cellar, The Ghiradelli chocolate room, bookstore and chef meet-and-greets.
Chefs from around the world come to cook for the Culinary Demonstration classes. The price is $17 per person. Guests get up-front-and-center with chefs while they prepare food and discuss wine pairings. Guests are treated to the dish and a glass of perfectly paired wine.
The Mix it, Make It, Celebrate It! cocktail and cooking classes go a little more in-depth and are $49 per class. Learn how to mix up sweet cocktail spirits from start-to-finish and improve you home bartending skills. Tastes the entire collection of Woodford’s Reserve Bourbons from Master Distiller Chris Morris, or work side-by-side with Chef Amanda Lauder of The Ganachery in Disney Springs to craft your own Raspberry Ganache Pixie Pops.
Games for the Kids
The popular, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt returns with a few updates. Kids can search for 15 charming Remy statues using a map and matching stickers. My kids love this hunt far more than any other scavenger hunt offered around World Showcase. Unique statues of Remy are hidden around the pavilions at World Showcase. Maps can be purchased at the International Gateway and kids (and adults!) have fun by matching the Remy statues and their locations. Upon completion, kids get a signature collectable pin for their efforts.
(Photos are from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Kristin and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.