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The time has come Disney family, to once again, talk Food and Wine Festival! The time of year when foodies of all shapes, sizes and taste buds, descend on Epcot in Walt Disney World to experience flavors from all over the world in various custom made shirts discussing their excitement to consume food and drink from every corner of World Showcase and beyond!
Food and Wine Festival is almost here folks and on July 31, menus were released for this monumental event and boy are we excited! Can’t you tell?!
Full disclosure, I have been checking sources daily for the release of this year’s menus to be released and they finally have been! For this post, we are going to give a full overview and then in posts we will dive in to the ones we are most excited about, new and returning and highlight some things that have really stood out to us this year.
Let’s get started!
First, let’s talk logistics. This year’s festival will run from August 30 – November 12, 2018. Many of the booths and events from last year will be returning including the ever popular Active Eats and Flavors From Fire which made their debut at the 2017 festival.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the “start” of festival season at Epcot. Food and Wine is the most popular and the original festival in the park and is followed directly by Festival of the Holidays and two more festivals after that. Food and Wine includes exclusive merchandise highlighting the event, a concert series that is included with park admission and the center of the festival are the booths or kitchens.
The kitchens are located all over the World Showcase and in the past couple of years the kitchens have begun spilling over into the other areas of Epcot. This is good for a few reasons; this means more booths, more options and more options mean that the lines may be shorter at the booths meaning you can try a wider variety of tasty treats.
If you are familiar with the booths from last year, most are returning for another year with a few surprises and there are some new and exciting things coming to this year’s festival, so of course, we are going to start with that.
New for 2018 is the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar! Yep, you read that correctly! A mimosa bar is coming to Food and Wine and I am really excited. Several varieties of this popular brunching beverage will be available including a key lime version and a blood orange version. You can find me here, if you me, this booth is where I will be. The kitchen will also feature several varieties of pastries and a take on the Frozen Apple Pie, which for those who remember, was an option at the Polish kitchen several years back.
Also new this year, Taste Track, the kiosk over by Test Track will be transformed for the festival and will feature cronuts and, get this, a pancake milkshake.
Old favorites will be returning to some veteran booths including the Happy Peach drink at the China pavilion; if you are looking for a full-sized beverage and to get a little more bang for your buck, this is a popular beverage at the festival and is full-sized (or at least it was last year).
Other returning favorites include the Loaded Mac and Cheese from Active Eats, the cheddar cheese soup served with pretzel roll from Canada which is probably one of, if not THE most popular dish at the entire festival year after year. Also in Canada is the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce, which is an incredibly popular dish at the Table Service restaurant Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion.
The Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip is returning to Coastal Eats for the second year, the Smoked Corn Beef and Piggy Wings are returning to Flavors From Fire and have no fear, the Passion Martini Slush will be coming back to the France Pavilion. Another favorite coming back for an encore in 2018 is the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel from the Chocolate Studio.
Whoa whoa whoa hold the phone, stop the presses, Houston WE HAVE A PROBLEM! There is no handwich on this menu. There has to be some mistake! The Handwich was hands down, hubby and my favorite thing from Food and Wine in 2017 and it is not on the menu. Disney, you brought back the RGB from the Lightlab but got rid of the handwich! This can’t be! You all are going to have to give me a minute while I deal with this catastrophe.
Ok, I’m back. Still shaken, but I am back.
So, I guess I am going to have to find a new favorite this year. Let’s take a look at some options.
First off, don’t forget to stop by the Almond Orchard for some Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rosé Champagne. I will absolutely be having one of these, as champagne is my jam. A standout for me at the Brazil kitchen is the Moqueca: Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-lime Sauce and Steamed Rice. That sounds amazing! Also in Brazil, you can wash that down with a Frozen Caipirinha which is a super refreshing alcoholic drink that will taste amazing on a hot Orlando day.
At the China pavilion, the Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles sounds full of flavor and is another returning dish. New this year from Earth Eats will be The Steakhouse Blended Burger, which is a blended beef and wild mushroom slider with brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and blue cheese potato chip on a brioche bun. That sounds like a awful lot of deliciousness to stuff into one little slider.
For all you Kombucha folks out there, Earth Eats will be where you will want to go to get your Kombucha fix. They are featuring several varieties including pink lady apple and beet-lime.
Also be sure to stop by the Festival Center Wine Shop for the Bloody Mary Seafood Cocktail. a combo of shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, olive salad and crisp lettuce in a bloody mary vinaigrette.
Hawai’i is bringing back the Kalua Pork Slider with sweet and sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. Fun and random fact about Hawaiian pineapples, they aren’t DOLE, Maui Gold pineapple is who produces almost all of the pineapples consumed on the Hawaiian islands!
A couple of other highlights for this year’s festival include the Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread and Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard both from Ireland and the Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Basmati Rice from India (everything from the India kitchen was amazing last year).
The Frozen Mojito from Islands of the Caribbean is a must try but don’t get it right at 11:00 am when the kitchens open because it typically isn’t quite frozen yet. Last but not least, head over to the Wine and Dine Studio for the Seared Scallops, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce and the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds.
That is our initial preview of the 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We are so excited to experience the festival here in a few weeks and almost as excited to check out everyone else’s reviews of this amazing festival. What are your thoughts on Food and Wine Festival? Are you going to be experiencing he 2018 festival? What are you most excited to try? We would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for more posts coming soon for this year’s festival! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse.
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