2020 Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Epcot’s 2020 International Food & Wine Festival. What’s different & unique that makes this worth listing to?
- It’s starting earlier than ever, making it the longest festival ever held
- It’s combining some components of the International Flower & Garden Festival, which ended prematurely.
- It’s a “Taste of Epcot”, which references many favorites from the past It’s a “Taste of Epcot”, which references many favorites from the past, as well as the idea that it’s not as big as in years past.
- Many aspects have been re-positioned, given ongoing construction in former Future World
We review over two dozen dishes and offer some 80 photos showcasing this event. I’m your host, J. Jeff Kober. You can find our podcast here on Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, MyTuner, and ListenNotes. For any dishes tasted after the podcast, I offer my review here in the show notes.
We focus on just the food (not the wine) portion of this event. We offer you are thoughts and impressions, best laid out on the podcast. An itemized list of what food & non-alcoholic offerings are below, along with ratings. So please visit both.
The traditional festival guidebook is not to be found this year, largely due to the pandemic and to budget challenges. But they do offer much of that information on the My Disney Experience app in a digital form.
There’s merchandise to be found, but note that it belongs more to the Flower & Garden Festival, not to Food & Wine.
The Food & Wine components typically found during this festival were either missing due to construction, or simply not opened–yet. What you see are several booths, but they appear to be opening later in the season. Add to it are some playgrounds, but because of the pandemic, they are not open.
Finally…we have a kiosk to cover. Let’s do Hawaii!
- Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet-and-Sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
- Teriyaki-glazed Spam® Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Spicy Mayonnaise*
Just thought if you haven’t seen it yet that the utensil dispenser is entirely changed out across property.
This has and probably always will have the longest queue–Starbucks.
World Showcase North Promenade
We’re going to move clock-wise from Canada all the way around to World Showplace. Let’s do it.
- Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup served with a Prop & Peller® Pretzel Roll**
- “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)***
The photo for the Filet Mignon is not impressive, especially in the lighting of the World ShowPlace. It was carried over there with a napkin on top while navigating a rain storm. Still, it was considered to be a great tasting filet mignon, and worth the price.
- DOLE Whip® Pineapple (Plant-Based)**
- Traditional Poutine*
The Citrus Blossom
- Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)**
- Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)**
- Beverage: Orange Cream Shake in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup***
The lobster tail is expensive and the citrus touches do little to really enhance the experience. Better to go for the lobster macaroni at World Showplace which is more filling and less expensive.
Not covered in the podcast is the “must have” Orange Bird sipper cup. It’s the same as last years, which ran out early before being resupplied. The orange cream shake is great as well, perfect for a hot day.
Note the seating tables with a dot underneath each for social distancing.
- Shimmering Strawberry Soft-Serve in a Waffle Cone
- Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote (Plant-Based)
Islands of the Caribbean
- Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aïoli
- Jerk-spiced Chicken with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
- Flancocho: Passion Fruit Cake with Coconut Flan**
Here’s Disney’s photo version of that dessert:
Here’s what I actually ate:
It tasted good enough, though the honey was a little over the top–literally. It’s nothing I would hurry back to have again.
Earth Eats Hosted by Impossible™
- Impossible™ Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread, Spinach, Marinated Vegetables, and Creamy Herb Dressing (Plant-Based)
- The Impossible™ Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and Spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun (Plant-Based)
- Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream, Matcha Crumble, and Baby Herbs (Plant-Based and Gluten/Wheat Friendly)*
- Ribeye Taco: Ribeye Steak with Ranchera Salsa in a Corn Tortilla topped with Onions, Chives, and a Lime Wedge*
- Pork Tostada: Fried Corn Tortilla topped with Chipotle Black Beans, Roasted Pork, Fresh Salsa Verde, Onions, and Cilantro
I note the San Angel Inn on the podcast. The setting is amazing in the grand tradition of Disney Imagineering. The food itself isn’t bad, nor is it fantastic. The problem is that they put tables so close that you feel like you’re in a chow hall. Fortunately, the pandemic has forced management to separate the tables out. Add air conditioning and this becomes a much more interesting dining experience.
World Showcase East Promenade
Not a lot of restaurants are open in China so your best choice is the F&W kiosk:
- Chicken Dumplings with Chinese Slaw**
- Mongolian Beef Bao Bun**
For some reason I thought this would be like the bao bun you get at Satuli Canteen, which is similar to how it’s packaged in Asian countries I visited. When I received this I remembered tasting it last year. It was better than the previous visit, lots of beef. But I wouldn’t rush to try it again.
This is the one kiosk not yet open. Also note that neither UK or Norway have kiosks this year.
This is for the collectors out there:
Frozen Slushy Coca-Cola® or Minute Maid® Lemonade in a Souvenir Spike the Bee Sipper Cup (Non-Alcoholic)
- Spicy Kenyan Vegan Corn and White Beans with Pigeon Peas, Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley, and Kachumbari Slaw (Plant-Based)
- Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-Scented Couscous
- Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions, and Cheese
- Roast Bratwurst in a Prop & Peller® Pretzel Roll
- Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce**
World Showcase South Promenade
- Margherita: Rustic Italian Flatbread with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese*
- La Classica: Cheese Tortellini with Ricotta, Provolone, Fontina, Parmesan, Vodka Sauce, and Crispy Bacon*
- Cannoli Siciliani: Crisp Pastry Filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate, and Candied Orange**
In the podcast I talk about these two photos. The first was from Food & Garden.
The next photo is what it looks like currently.
These flowers are one of the few places where you see much of what was part of the Flower & Garden festival.
This is what entertainment looks like during the food & wine festival. I’m glad to see both of these groups brought in to work during this time.
Hops & Barley at American Adventure
- New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll
- Southern Seafood Boil: Shrimp, Mussels, Crawfish, Potatoes, Corn, and Andouille Sausage*
- Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing
- Tempura Donburi: Two Pieces of Tempura Shrimp and Kakiage Vegetable Tempura with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce served over Sushi Rice*
- Frothy Ramen: Chilled Noodles in a Dashi Broth topped with Egg White Froth***
- Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot: Fresh-cut Salmon, Salmon Roe, and Spinach served over Sushi Rice with Furikake and topped with Poke Sauce***
- Beef Kefta Pocket with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, and Spicy Tomato Concassée
- Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Tzatziki, and Chipotle Sauce** 1/2
- Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce
- Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato, and Onions (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
- Pão De Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)**
- Tarte aux Oignons Caramelises Et Chévre: Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a Flaky Pastry Crust**
- Canard Confit À L’orange: Braised Duck Confit À L’orange with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Tarte Tropezienne, Coulis Framboise: Brioche Cake Filled with Light Pastry Cream and Raspberry Coulis
Our podcast focuses on why this is probably the best part of the entire food & wine festival. Some of the funnest food, plenty of seating, and did we mention, air-conditioning?
Wine & Dine Featuring Festival Favorites
- Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream, Poland
- Seafood Fisherman’s Pie, Ireland
- Spanakopita, Greece
The following were featured last year when these offerings were available in the Canada 360 theater.
- Charcuterie and Cheese Plate featuring Burton’s Maplewood Farm Applejack Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
- Caramel-Apple Popcorn**
- Frozen Apple Pie ***
Maple Syrup Tasting
Mac & Cheese Hosted by Boursin® Cheese
- Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin® Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese topped with Herbed Panko***
- Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin® Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce topped with Carrots, Celery, and Blue Cheese Crumbles
- Lobster Macaroni and Cheese with Boursin® Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce and Lobster Cream topped with Herbed Panko***
- Macaroni & Cheese with House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers (Plant-Based)
We’ve tried the Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese as well as the Lobster Mac & Cheese and both were great.
Desserts & Champagne
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops with Crumbled Twix® Original***
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate Cake Pops with Crushed M&M’S® Milk Chocolate***
- Beverage: Frozen S-Mores
Note that both cake pops got 3 stars, but the M&M is probably the better of the two since the liquid nitro creates more of a texture as the M&Ms are frozen.
Thanks for joining us. Make sure you check out the following:
It’s where we take best-in-business ideas from the “Happiest Place on Earth” and help apply them to your business organization. Visit DisneyatWork.com
It’s our place for videos and more at my YouTube channel J. Jeff Kober