If I had a million dollars, I would stay at Walt Disney World for a week, minimum, during the International Food & Wine Festival and make it my mission to try every single food and beverage from every single stand. Since there are over 40 destinations, with each one having a food menu of three to five items, and a beverage menu almost as varied, I might actually need more than a week. Maybe two weeks. I have a million dollars in this thought experiment, so let’s say a month. With a full month and a million dollars I would be able to enjoy everything the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival has to offer.
And that’s just food and drink. I’m not including the demonstrations, classes, concerts and meet and greets. For that, I’d probably need another month.
What I had was one day, from rope drop to close, 9am-9m, to try as many delicious dishes as I could. My only obstacles? My stomach and the vengeful Florida sun. Y’all, it was so hot. Our day at Food & Wine wasn’t particularly crowded and I was told it was because none of the locals wanted to deal with the heat. I feel you, locals. It was a punishing heat. There were many soup based items I wanted to try, but the sun would not let me. Thankfully, there were many frozen, slushy type beverages to make up for it. Let’s get to it. I’ll be rating everything I tried on a scale of 1 to 5 Chef Figments. 1 being, “not my favorite, but I’m still at Disney World” and 5 being “my favorite thing I’ve ever eaten and I’m at Disney World.”
Rose Gold Hazelnut Minnie Cupcake, Sunshine Seasons
Not “technically” part of Food & Wine, if you thought I was going to be in the Land Pavilion and not get a treat from Sunshine Seasons then you’re crazy! This one caught my eye because it was so pretty and hazelnutty. The hazelnut flavor was more subtle than I would like, but the frosting was delicious. The bow and ears were made of fondant, which I usually do not like, but this was a more chewy, textured fondant. I give it 3/5 Chef Figments.
Frozen Mimosa and Blood Orange Mimosa, Shimmering Sips
Don’t get too excited, I didn’t drink both. I sampled both, but finished off the Frozen Mimosa. Both were delicious and refreshing, but I was more into the slushy vibe of the Frozen Mimosa. I wouldn’t have known it was alcoholic if it hadn’t been in this fancy (plastic) cup. The Blood Orange seemed the most popular, judging by the other patrons around us. Also of note, they had a mimosa flight where you could try all the options in small serving sizes. Next time I’m going for that. Frozen Mimosa gets 4/5 Chef Figments and the Blood Orange Mimosa gets 3/5 Chef Figments.
Ropa Vieja Empanada, Islands of the Caribbean
This was my second favorite savory item of the day. The shell was crispy, the sauce on top zesty, and the meat inside cooked to perfection. I should have gotten like, six more. 4.5/5 Chef Figments.
Jerk-spiced Chicken, Islands of the Caribbean
This was very good jerk spiced chicken. If you’ve had jerk chicken before, you get the gist. This was a slightly elevated version of that, but for my money, if you can only get one thing at the Islands of Caribbean, the Empanada is tops. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese, The Alps
Warm cheese over bread, potatoes, and pickles. I didn’t like this as much as I wanted to. The cheese was good, the bread was standard, the potatoes a bit bland…but the pickles were excellent. This is on many people’s lists as being a “best of the fest” but for me, it was just okay. 2/5 Chef Figments
Frozen Rose, The Alps
Another slush drink, this one a little drier and with more kick, which goes with the rose of it all. I liked this just fine, but found myself constantly comparing it to the Frozen Mimosa at Shimmering Sips. 2/5 Chef Figments.
Pork and Vegetable Eggrolls, China
Listen, this is a full on cheat, but I do not care. This is my favorite snack at Epcot, and even though it wasn’t from the special booth and you can get it year round, I regret nothing. These are bomb. 4/5 Chef Figments.
Roast Bratwurst, Germany
Put it on a pretzel roll and I’m sold. The brat itself was smaller than I thought it would be, but still had a good flavor. I enjoyed the spicy mustard and the delightful German band playing in the background while I ate. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Funnel Cake, Funnel Cake
Another cheat with no regrets. The Food & Wine offering from the Funnel Cake stand is mini funnel cakes, but why do I want to mess around with mini funnel cakes when I can have the real thing? The sugar was much needed, as as I was hitting that late afternoon energy slump. Disney classic, absolutely great. 4/5 Chef Figments.
New Brunswick Slider, Hops & Barley
I should’ve gotten the lobster roll. Hillary did and I was jealous the whole time. The tastes here were very understated, from the crispy onions to the pickled vegetables. It was a perfectly find brisket sandwich, but I didn’t come to Food & Wine for perfectly fine. I came for big flavor! 2/5 Chef Figments.
Lobster Roll, Hops & Barley
Light yet filling, a delicious sandwich that I was sad I only got one bite of. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Spicy Roll, Japan
My least favorite thing I ate all day. There wasn’t enough seaweed; my roll wasn’t even full covered in it. The sauce was bland, and the meat inside tasted more like carne adovada than anything that should be in sushi. Thoroughly unimpressed. 1/5 Chef Figments.
Worth noting: Hillary got the Frothy Ramen, which has been very buzzed about this festival. I pretty much stole it. She didn’t care for it, but I actually thought it was pretty tasty. It’s cold, which is unique, and just salty enough. Maybe it was because I was so disappointed in my spicy roll, but this was a pleasant surprise. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Beer-braised Beef, Belgium
The star for me here was the smoked gouda mashed potatoes. Y’all know how I feel about cheese. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip, Ireland
As you can see, only two measly pieces of bread were included with this dip. What was I supposed to do with the rest of the dip ocne the two pieces of bread were gone? Take it like a shot? What I ended up doing was sitting on a bench, sipping my cheese dip like it was a cup of tea because I loved it so much, but didn’t have anymore bread or a spoon. High points for taste, low points for execution. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Frozen Apple Pie, Appleseed Orchard
This one was a swing and a miss, but I appreciate a big swing. So, the middle portion is an apple slushie. Sounds great, right? Right. The top part is apple crumble, like you would find on an apple pie. Okay, an interesting chocie texturally, but I’ll play along. But the bottom was apple pie filling, like chunks of apple with a filling sauce. I went on such a journey with this drink. I didn’t like it, I did, I was confused, I was excited. Ultimately, it didn’t work for me. I think if they had done two of the three components it might have worked, but all three just created a very bizarre taste profile. 2/5 Chef Figments.
Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak, Flavors from Fire
Another buzzed about menu item that I was underwhelmed by. The steak was pretty good, but the smoked corn cake it came on was too corny, too overwhelming in taste and texture. Many bites it was just corn, I got no other flavor from the steak, the pickled slaw, or the cilantro aioli. 2/5 Chef Figments.
Chocolate Picante with Mango Lime Compote, Flavors from Fire
Overall, I was more interested in the savory items than the sweet ones, but this was the bomb. The dark chocolate mousse had a little heat, the texture was soft and melt in your mouth perfect, and the mango compote was a great contrasting, fresh flavor. My favorite dessert of the fest. 4/5 Chef Figments.
Loaded Macaroni & Cheese, Active Eats
This was good. It was macaroni and cheese with a load of stuff on it. Not re-inventing the wheel, but a pretty tasty wheel none the less. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Black Pepper Boursin Souffle, The Cheese Studio
The fig marmalade! The fig marmalade! These are the bold flavors I am here for. This was Hillary’s that I snuck a bite of. I’ve never had a souffle, and I enjoyed it, but the fig marmalade was the standout. 3/5 Chef Figments.
Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip, Coastal Eats
My best of the fest, the dish I am still dreaming about. The scallops were cooked to perfection. The creamy dip was full of shrimp and topped with textured breadcrumbs. There was enough bread to dip, and I had learned my lesson and also grabbed a spoon. The portion size was very generous for the price, and I still think I should have gone back and had seconds. But if you head to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, do me a favor and eat one for me. 5/5 Chef Figments.
Shout outs to all the food I wanted to try but didn’t get a chance : the Steakhouse Blended Burger, the Lump Crab Cake, the Maple Bourbon Cheesecake, the Duck Confit Poutine, the Paella, the Ravioli Carbonara, and the Crispy Pork Belly. I’ll be back for you next year.
Have you been to this year’s Food & Wine Festival? What was your favorite dish? Which one of the ones I tried looks the best to you? Let’s talk food in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!