The annoyance associated with rising early had long been forgotten as people lined the entrance of Epcot an hour before the park opened eagerly basking in the anticipation of getting to participate in the magical Disney experience. Once the clock struck nine, people began trickling into the park and started their hunt for the best possible spot in line to reach each attraction. The theme park has, for the time being, made an addition to their attraction list by hosting Disney’s annual Food and Wine festival since August.
Originating in 1995, Disney has continued to carry out the event by catering various drinks and dishes for a few months at its Epcot park. The purpose function is to attract guests with the promise of food and drinks from various cultures belonging to countries all over the world. The cost of admission is the same as always, but once inside guests must pay for any of the festival’s extra activities and meals they would like to enjoy, which can make for a costly trip.
Epcot is known best for two things, its large golf ball and world showcase that allows for people to immerse themselves in other countries while roaming the grounds of the park. The world showcase housed the majority of the festival’s food stands with each country’s treats residing in the corresponding sector of the park.
Towards the front of the park, the first stop on the sampling journey was the Earth Eats stand that produced a scrumptious peanut butter and white chocolate Mousse with a caramel drizzle. Placed in a small container and portioned so that every component of the sweet was tasted in each bite, it is easy to say that the mousse was thoroughly enjoyed despite the high price-to-food ratio.
Active Eats, positioned next to Earth Eats, presented a twist on a childhood favorite, macaroni and cheese. The loaded mac and cheese served incorporated pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers and green onions into the traditional dish to create a smoky flavor that slid down the throat but still provided a much-needed crunch for texture.
The last of the “Eats” trio visited was Coastal Eats that stayed true to its name by serving seafood dishes. The baked shrimp scampi dip accompanied by a sourdough baguette first appears to be unappealing due to its mucus like color and consistency. However, the dish was very tasty and proved itself upon further inspection.
A quick detour to Flavours of Fire proved to be disappointing. When ordering from a place with such a loaded name, one would expect that its food would be hot, however, when receiving an order of the sweet pancake with spicy chipotle chicken sausage, onion jam and maple butter syrup it was, in fact, cold, soggy and untasteful. The chocolate picante dark chocolate mousse with cayenne pepper, chili powder and raspberry dust did not prove to be much better with a spongy texture and little flavor.
The most anticipated stop, at least in the eyes of the children and struggling chocoholics, was The Chocolate Studio. This particular stand twisted things up a bit by freezing one of their dishes in nitrogen. The liquid nitro chocolate-almond truffle topped with warm whiskey-caramel topping resembled the texture and flavour of ice cream and melted in the mouth.
Eventually, America was found and the the Hops and Barley kiosk along with it. The New England Lobster Roll there was another disappointment. The plate was served cold and became difficult to eat without the warmth the dish is typically characterized by.
After sampling many of the meals the park had to offer a conclusion had been reached. While much better than overpriced food of a typical theme park, it is still overpriced food that does not entirely appease one’s appetite. Perhaps some of this can be attributed to where someone lives.
For those who live here in South Florida, the event may not be the best way to experience other cultures because of the many cultures that currently reside here in homes and restaurants that have better quality products at a lower cost. It is easy to rack up a large tab ordering things when the small plates cost an average of at last five dollars.
For those who live in away from exposure to other types of food and have a large budget, this event would be a perfect fit.
Disney’s Food and Wine festival is nice in theory but can lose its appeal for those who are exposed to various types of food. Overall it was fun to roam the park and try the meals on sale but may be more appealing to a wider audience if the extra activities were more affordable. It was a nice experience but attending once was enough to satisfy one’s curiosity.
- -Great atmosphere for groups
- -Great staff efficiency
- -Average tasting products
Photo by Alexandra Sansone