Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Epcot holds a special place in my family’s hearts. It was the very first Disney park we ever went to, and it’s definitely the one we go to the most since getting annual passes.
We’re not big fans of fall (though Florida barely gets a ‘fall’ season) or Halloween, but that’s okay because this time of year brings us something even better. Epcot’s Food and Wine festival!
This week we headed over for our first F&W adventure. We had the most ideal weather – it was high 80’s, but super cloudy with an incredible breeze so it never got too hot and we didn’t even need to slather ourselves in sunblock. We had such a good time, so I wanted to tell you guys all about it AND share a few food recommendations from this year’s marketplaces!
Our first stop in the park was to buy ourselves a map for Remy’s Hide and Squeak! If you’ve never played, it’s essentially a short scavenger hunt around the different countries. You find the different Remy statues and mark each country with the matching sticker. It’s not usually very hard, so it’s great for little kids and lazy adults like me who want a cute prize.
You get your choice of 4 different Remy keychains, all of which are adorable. They’re not the best quality – they’re foam, so I don’t know if they’d be worth the money for everyone. I personally think they are, but I have a soft spot for Remy.
Once we got our map, we were ready to eat. This year, Disney is going all out for Food and Wine with 35 marketplaces! 35! Be still, my heart. My brother and I love exploring all the different booths and scoping out all of the different menus. Neither of us are big eaters, so the small portions and low prices are perfect for us.
In Future World, there are a few different marketplaces. We stopped at Earth Eats, where I got a grilled beef skewer and my mom got ricotta and zucchini ravioli! The beef skewer was super good. It came with romaine lettuce, apricots, and feta cheese. There was some sort of sauce on the beef, but it was pretty mild. I’d definitely get it again! The ravioli looked delicious and my mom said it’s worth trying!
While in future world, we also stopped in at the Light Lab! It’s over by Club Cool and it’s a really cute little area. It’s dark and the whole room is lit up like a science lab, test tube drinks and all. I wanted a glownut – a massive ‘glowing’ (not really) donut! Even though they were cheap (less than $4) I wasn’t ready for dessert so early in the day. I’m absolutely going back next time, though. I’ve heard good things and I need that glownut.
We passed through France, and my mom decided to get the Crème Brûlée. Not my type of food, but she really liked it. She did say that this year with berries wasn’t as good as last years with white chocolate, but she’s a picky one.
My brother decided to try the traditional Spanish paella at the Spain marketplace. He really liked it! There was only one shrimp, which wasn’t surprising giving the small portion sizes, just a little disappointing. He had never had mussels before and wasn’t a huge fan of those. The rest of the dish was a success, though!
My next purchase was one I have literally waited all year for. Brazillian cheese bread! Ugh. You guys, if I had only one recommendation to give, it would be this cheese bread. It’s so warm and gooey inside, and it’s incredible. I get it every single time I go, and if they ever stop having it I think I’ll be heartbroken. The Brazil marketplace is near Morocco, and ugh. I love it. It’s also a cute little area to stop and eat or take pictures!
Finally, we headed through to one of my favorite pavilions, China! I got the spicy chicken bao bun, and my brother and I got a kung fu punch to share. Honestly, it’s not a food and wine trip unless we get the kung fu punch! It’s vodka and triple sec with (I THINK) mango and orange juice. I love this drink because it honestly just tastes like juice and I hate the taste of alcohol. Perfect for my sensitive baby taste buds.
I really enjoyed the spicy chicken, too. It’s a little crispy on the outside, but nice and tender and not dry at all. The bun is soft, squishy, and lovely. For those a little wary of spice, it’s not overwhelming. I’ve had a few different variations of their spicy chicken and I’ve liked them all!
Hanging out in China was one of my favorite moments of the day. There was a beautiful sunset and we were just in time to watch the acrobats perform. Well, we kind of watched them. We had to sit behind a few trees, but it was still fun because it’s my favorite show in Epcot.
When we arrived at Epcot it was already late in the day, so by the time we were leaving China it was pretty dark. We didn’t stop for any more food and I finished my hide and squeak map so I could turn it in for my prize. I have it hanging on my cork board near my pins, and it makes me smile every time I see it.
Before we decided to head home, we stopped by the festival center! It was pretty empty, but we wanted to grab our passholder buttons. They’re nothing spectacular, but they’re free, and we’re a family who believes if someone offers you something free, you take it! Plus, they have Remy on them!
We wandered around the building and checked out the different little areas. A lot of the building was set up for the different presentations and seminars, which we never go to, so there wasn’t a ton to see. There was some cute merch, and I definitely recommend checking out the art on display. There were a few food stations as well, and my favorite was the Ghirardelli chocolate one! They hand out a free piece of chocolate and inside they have these amazing chocolate sculptures. I had a real moment over the Wreck It Ralph scene, it’s one of my favorite movies!
The Food and Wine Festival is honestly one of the best times to visit Epcot. Yeah, the crowds aren’t great, but it’s worth it. If you have a chance to go this year, I absolutely recommend it. With 35 marketplaces, plus gluten free and vegetarian options, you should definitely be able to find at least a few things you’ll enjoy! I’ll be heading back soon, so if there’s anything you’d like to see, let me know!
Are you going to the Food and Wine Festival this year? Which food item would you most like to try?