Food & Wine Festival 2017

Hi and welcome back to my blog! Today I’ll be sharing with you what we’ve tried so far at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival this year. The Food & Wine Festival is one of my favorite times of the year to be at Epcot, and this year is even better for me since I get to be part of it by working at Epcot Guest Relations during the festival! I wrote a post about it last year as well and I’m excited to show some of the new things (and old favorites) we’ve tried in 2017.

me

Something I am OBSESSED with for this festival is that the mascot/inspiration for the festival is Remy from Ratatouille!! You may remember from my D23 post that I ADORE Ratatouille (there seriously aren’t words for how much I love that movie and that RAT!!!!) so it was like this festival design was made for me. I love seeing Remy get the representation he deserves!!!

i love france

Obviously the festival has only been going on for less than a month at this point, so we’ve only made a little dent in all the things we want to try! We’ve been twice so far and can’t wait to go again. Before we start however I’d like to have a moment of silence for some of our favorite things from the festival that did not return this year:

This year we regrettably did not see the return of the Poland booth along with its pierogies, and my favorite drink, the Kung Fu Punch in China. May they rest in peace 💔

Now on to this year’s goodies! Here’s what we’ve been loving so far…

Our first stop on our first day at the festival was to check out some of the new booths, starting with Flavors from Fire. This kiosk is themed around spicy or hot foods. Here we’ve tried two things – “Piggy Wings”: Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds and Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions, and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue:

Both of these are EXCELLENT and Chris has actually already gone back for seconds on the piggy wings. I was amazed by the corned beef – it was perfectly cooked and the fondue served with it is the perfect complement. All of the food at this booth looks good though, I honestly look forward to trying everything!!

Moving right along – there’s a little spot in Future World where three new booths sit together in the grassy area outside Innoventions. Here you’ll find Coastal Eats, Earth Eats and Active Eats. Coastal has a bunch of seafood dishes and an obvious water/aquatic vibe, Earth will offer healthier (or at least, healthier-seeming) options and vegetarian based dishes, and Active Eats…not sure what’s going on there tbh but they’re all new and they’re all good haha

Starting with Coastal Eats, where I’ve tried two things so far!

scallops

First there’s the Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce. I LOVE scallops and I think it’s something that Disney does right over and over again. This dish was so good I’m salivating thinking of it again haha…I love corn and I love scallops though so this was practically made for me!

crab cake

Then I also tried the Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Lemongrass Cream. UGH this one was so good too!! I love a good crab cake and this one did not disappoint. I wasn’t crazy about the slaw but I’m usually not crazy about slaws. Overall a treat though. I can’t wait to go back to Coastal Eats and try the third dish on the menu, a shrimp scampi cheesy dip…it looks heavenly!!

Next up at Earth Eats we sampled two things as well:

earthy

This is the Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce and Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle. Other people we were with ordered these items, and while I liked both, they’re probably not things I would have tried on my own. The ravioli was good but missing cheese for me…haha. And the mousse was tasty but I’m the only person on the earth that doesn’t like peanut butter so it kind of missed the mark in my opinion. They certainly weren’t BAD though and I’m glad I tried both!

Finally at Active Eats, we had a surprise favorite in the Sweet Avocado Crema with Strawberries, Yellow Cake and Tortilla Streusel:

avo

This is NOT something I would normally have picked up but it was surprisingly delicious? Like, really delicious??? It doesn’t taste like what you’d think an avocado/strawberry/cake/tortilla parfait would taste like at least. It’s a super light and fresh-tasting dessert that I enjoyed quite a lot. I think it makes a nice treat when the weather is warm especially, it was really refreshing!!

Moving on towards World Showcase, we made some stops along what I guess they’re calling the “Culinary Corridor” aka that stretch of path in front of the Imagination Pavilion. Here you’ll find the Chocolate Studio, where we picked up my favorite thing from festivals past: Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.

truffle

This is the best thing at the festival!!!! It’s like a scoop of chocolate mousse that they solidify in liquid nitrogen, and then crack open with a little hammer before serving. It’s delicious and super cool too! This is definitely a must try imo!

The corridor continues with the Wine & Dine Studio, where we picked up the Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese:

I actually liked last year’s cheese & wine selection better than the ones from this year, but this is still such a fun little dish imo. The pairings are still really great – my favorite is the first one on the left. We enjoyed all three and it makes me wish I knew anything about wine and cheese pairings haha

pairing

From here we move into the World Showcase! We’ve only tried a few things back here so far but we definitely plan to come back and get more. Our first stop is actually Morocco, where we enjoyed the classic fav Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce.

baklava

We get this every festival because Chris and I are baklava stans. It’s not necessarily something you have to get, but it’s something we have to get haha

It’s not a Food & Wine-specific thing but it’s worth mentioning that in Italy I got a peach moscato that I really enjoyed:

moscato

It’s super light and fresh and a perfect thing to sip as you make your way around the world. It’s not at the food & wine kiosk, but instead at the little wine cart just at the front of the pavilion. I was actually peer-pressured into trying it the first time because Italy is one of the areas that Chris works over so he wanted me to give them money but I really did enjoy it and ended up getting it a second time haha

In Germany, however, no peer pressure was needed for the Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese –

nudel

This was good, and I’ve had it before, but it was just a little too onion-y for my taste. I must have forgotten that it has onions in it because I am a strong onion-hater and I feel like I would have enjoyed it a lot more without them. But it was still good, so no regrets here.

That was actually our last stop specifically in the World Showcase, so let’s loop back around to the front part to…

bougatsa

Greece, where we tried Bougatsa – Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup, and Cinnamon. This was amazing! It’s flaky, warm, and sweet but still tastes very light and airy. It’s not too rich or overwhelming and I actually enjoyed that it was warm despite it being very hot outside. We loved this and I wouldn’t mind getting it again!!

Near the front of World Showcase, we made a stop at another new booth called The Almond Orchard, which is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All the items in this booth were made using Blue Diamond’s almond milk! I’m a fan of almond milk so this seemed like a good stop. Here we tried Cauliflower Risotto with Pulled Chicken, Artichokes, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese and Aged Balsamic.

risotto

This was certainly a unique dish – I can’t say I’ve ever had cauliflower risotto before. It was such a weird and interesting mix of flavors but I can’t say I disliked it. I actually enjoyed it more on each bite and I thought though the texture was kind of weird, the flavors made up for it and tasted good together. Not something I’d get again, but still good!

Our final stop is the Epcot Legacy Showplace, which is in the Odyssey building kind of near Test Track. They have a special set up in there this year for Epcot’s 35th anniversary, which we adored like any good Epcot lover would:

just begun

It’s got some cool walkthrough exhibits about the history and future of Epcot, along with a constantly running slideshow with photos of Epcot’s past. They also play old Epcot music in there which was fun. It’s such a cool place to hang out and chill for a bit while enjoying some of Epcot’s finest memories.

me posin

I took the opportunity to model my beautiful new rose gold ears there as well ❤ You all probably know that I am not normally one to go for the ears but I’m pretty obsessed with these, they’re so cute!!

They also have the craft beer location in there this year as well as a small menu, featuring my next pick (and the final one for this post!): the Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich.

handwich

I wasn’t sure what to expect here but I really enjoyed what I got! It’s basically a bread cone with delicious “cheeseburger” mac & cheese inside. It’s a bit messy to eat and I ended up using a fork to finish it but I actually liked it a lot and wouldn’t mind getting it again, especially if it means I get to hang out in the Legacy Showplace for a while again 🙂

While that’s all my food pics so far, I also wanted to touch on one more thing…in my post last year I also wrote about some of my favorite tips & tricks to enjoying the festival. If you want the full scoop you can go check out 2016’s post, but here’s the basics of how I like to get the most out of food & wine:

  • Get a gift card!!! This is like the #1 tip to having a fun and efficient food & wine experience!! It helps you limit your spending if you want to and just makes it so much easier than having 235 charges on your credit card after going to all the different booths. Plus this year’s designs have Remy on them and are SO CUTE!!!!
  • Go with multiple people and share things! You’ll get to try more and spend less! Yay!
  • Get creative with eating surfaces – don’t be afraid to eat on top of a trash can.
  • Try to go when the weather is cooler, because it’s not fun to eat soup when it’s 90 degrees.
  • Plan ahead and have a rough idea of what you want, and check out easywdw’s full reviews of everything if you need some inspo!
  • Get the liquid nitrogen truffle.

And that’s all I have so far! Like I said, we’ve only been twice so far this year but I’m itching to get back to Epcot and try even more things. I’m so happy I get to spend even more time there this year working at Epcot Guest Relations, especially for the 35th anniversary coming up on October 1! It’s sure to be a great time and I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

signs

I hope you enjoyed this post!! What are you looking forward to trying at this year’s festival? My Disney posts tend to get the most hits so if you haven’t visited my blog before, be sure to check out some of my older Disney content as well. Thank you so much for reading as always!

❤ Kaela

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