Hello again fellow Disney lovers! We are back from our October trip and I have tons of new articles for you! The first one on my list, without a doubt, is my review of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. This was the first time we were lucky enough to experience the festival and let me tell you – it did NOT disappoint!
Chris and I both did research on what we wanted to try before we went. Since we unfortunately had only one day to experience it, we had to prioritize what we wanted. I read numerous blog posts on the top dishes – and the biggest disappoints. We both had ours lists ready to go as we headed to EPCOT – and it was time to eat!
What did we try and what was the verdict? Hope you’re feeling hungry, because here is my Food and Wine Review 2019!
**this post contains affiliate links! This means I may receive some sort of financial compensation from my recommendations. Please see my disclaimer for more information!**
Flavors from Fire
The first stop on our food and wine tour? Flavors from Fire. Chris had read about the Smoked Corned Beef and had been determined to get it. So, we headed there first and got two plates to share – the Smoked Corned Beef and the Steakhouse Blended Burger.
First thing we noticed was that the portions were nice and small, which is what I had been expecting. This was perfect as we wanted to hit as many stands as we could!
The Smoked Corned Beef was the first thing I had a bite of – and it was AMAZING. I was able to get a nice big scoop of corned beef, beer cheese, and a cheese curd on my chip and it was (and I’m not exaggerating) one of the BEST things I’ve ever eaten. There was just enough beer cheese on the dish to make it nice and cheesy, but it was very light and didn’t weigh everything down. We had to use a fork to get the rest of the beef out of the dish, along with the cheese curds.
We loved the Smoked Corned Beef SO MUCH that we actually came back a second time to get another one with Michelle! Michelle also tried the Edmeades Zinfandel as well. She said that even though it was a darker wine and she prefers white wines, she actually really enjoyed it.
The slider was not as amazing as I had been hoping. A brie cheese sauce was used on the slider, but other than that it wasn’t much more than a piece of meat on a slider bun with mushrooms and a potato chip. It was thicker than an actual slider patty, more like a cut of steak, making it kind of hard to eat. Overall it was underwhelming, especially when the corned beef was an option.
The Chocolate Studio
It wouldn’t be Food and Wine if we didn’t get some sweets while we were there! Chris was very intrigued by the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle. After serving it, they “cracked” it open and drizzled with caramel. It was delicious! The fact that it was freeze dried with the liquid nitrogen created a very interesting texture that wasn’t too heavy in the hot Florida sun.
The Cheese Studio
Next door at the Cheese Studio, we got what was probably my favorite dessert of the day. The Maple Bourbon Cheesecake at the Cheese studio was fantastic. It was super small so Chris and I were able to share a few delectable bites without getting too stuffed. I would 100% eat this as a full sized slice of cheesecake in a heartbeat. Not only was the cheesecake base extremely moist and the perfect consistency, but the pecan crunch and maple bourbon drizzle added the right amount of sugary caramel goodness to the dish!
If you’re a huge fan of bottomless mimosas, Simmering Sips has to be on your Food and Wine tour list. It’s not your typical mimosa bar, though. Many of the mimosas featured on this menu have specialized flavors like key lime or blood orange. Definitely a switch up from the basic orange juice base! Chris tried the Frozen Mimosa, but was ultimately underwhelmed. Maybe it was the White Claw base? It was so forgettable to us we forgot to even take a picture of it before we tossed it!
Islands of the Caribbean
Caribbean food is not something we usually get to experience, so of course we made sure we stopped by here! I was saving some room for some drinks at this point, whereas Chris was still hungry enough to keep going! He got Ropa Vieja Empanada with tomato aioli sauce. I took a bite of two of it as well, and it was very flavorful, especially the aioli sauce. I’m not a huge empanada fan to begin with (for the same reason I don’t really like calzones – too much of the crust!) but Chris really enjoyed it!
While we were there, I got a Frozen Mojito. I’m not a huge mojito fan to be honest, and it was kind of hard to drink as it was still mostly slush until it melted, but I really enjoyed the flavor. It was tart, but sweeter than a normal mojito!
After a quick break to ride Mission: SPACE we headed back to World Showcase for the next stop on our tour – the Alps!
Because I’m a sucker for anything centered around cheese, we got the Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese. Although to be honest, “warm” was kind of stretching it. It was slightly warmed up from room temperature, so it wasn’t as gooey as I would have liked. It was hard to spread on the bread, and the potatoes were just too heavy for a hot Florida day. I would have liked it ACTUALLY warmed up, with some more bread. Forget the potatoes!
If something is presented as a pie, Chris will eat it – which is why he got the Nigerian Meat Pie at the Refreshment Outpost and gobbled it down so fast I didn’t even get a picture of it! So it was safe to say he really enjoyed it! I didn’t even get a bite of it before it was all gone!
As for me, I went towards the dessert and got myself a No Worries Panna Cotta. I’m gonna be honest – I’m still not 100% sure what a panna cotta is but it was delicious. The name refers to The Lion King of course, and a printed piece of white chocolate decorates the top of this dessert. From layer to layer, the flavors all kind of blended together. The chocolate crumbles at the bottom, combined with the fruity layers, was excellent. Definitely enjoyed this one!
Out of all the stands at the Food and Wine festival, Italy is by far where you get the most for your money. We loaded up on dishes here – Chris got the Costine di Maiale, and I got the Ravioli Carbonara and the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake. It should be noted that this meal could count as 1 Quick Service meal on the Disney Dining Plan! That’s right, the plan now allows you to roll over 3 snack credits to 1 Quick Service meal – and vice versa. For more information on the Disney Dining Plan – which you CAN use at Food and Wine – be sure to read my full Q&A on the program!
The Costine di Maiale (which is basically just a rack of ribs) were the best value out of everything we got, no question. Look how much Chris got for just $7!
Not only was it a TON of food, but they were cooked to perfection. The ribs fell right off the bone, and the sauce was fantastic. If you’re going to get these ribs, be sure to make sure you have an empty stomach. Chris was officially out after this stand due to the sheer amount of food we got!
As for the ravioli, it was the perfect portion size. It was just a few raviolis, but they weren’t very heavy which was perfect. The sauce and the cheese were an Italian food lovers dream! The bacon bits on top were a nice touch as well.
Finally, the hazelnut cake was pretty underwhelming and a little dry. The chocolate shell really saved it, otherwise I don’t think I would have eaten the whole thing. I didn’t really get much of a hazelnut vibe from it either. If you’ve ever had the cake by Pepperidge Farm, it was very similar but a lot drier.
Block and Hans
Finally, before meeting up with the family and hitting some rides, I stopped by Block and Hans for my favorite beverage of the festival – the Arendelle Aqua Lemonade! This alcoholic drink was my favorite drink of the festival. It’s frozen lemonade spiked with cotton candy flavored alcohol, as well as a bit of blackberry moonshine. MMMM! The cotton candy flavor really stood out. It’s also, by far, the most Instagramable drink at the festival! I drank just about the whole thing and didn’t feel more than a little buzzed, which was perfect. The drink is obviously inspired by the Arendelle Aqua color of the year sweeping across Disney, so grab this drink while you can!
The Final Verdict
Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to do ALL the stands at Food and Wine. The only way you could achieve that would be to spend multiple days at the festival, and we only had one morning. However, out of what we did have, I enjoyed just about everything. There wasn’t anything that I absolutely HATED. The corned beef brisket, however, blew everything else out of the water. It was my absolute favorite and I’m trying to figure out how to dupe the recipe back at home!
If my Food and Wine Review 2019 peaked your interest in planning a Disney trip, be sure to check out the Unofficial Guide to Walt DIsney World. This encyclopedia to Disney travel planning is by far the BEST guide I’ve found to Disney parks. They even have a version for Disneyland!
What was YOUR favorite dish at Food and Wine festival this year? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter! You’ll receive my FREE WDW Prep Checklist as a thank you when you sign up!