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2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

by Meghann on October 13, 2013

It’s back!

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I <3 the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

After taking a year hiatus (see visits: 2009, 2010, and 2011), I couldn’t wait to return for the 2013 festival. I even renewed my annual pass for the occasion (and upgraded! my annual pass now includes free parking with no blackout dates – sweet!).

I know it doesn’t change much from year-to-year, but there’s something about the tradition of the Food & Wine Festival that keeps me coming back. Well, that, and the delicious food and drinks. I was particularly pleased that the festival fell during peak Ironman training when my stomach is a bottomless pit (meaning I get to try more food!).

I met my parents at Epcot today so we could eat and drink our way around the world for lunch.

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(Hi Mom and Dad!)

We started in Hawaii with the pork sliders.

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I thought the spicy mayonnaise was a little overwhelming (next time I would ask for it without), but the pineapple was a nice touch.

I let out a little squeal when I discovered each booth had Seagrams Sparkling water as a drink option this year.

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I didn’t squeal as much when I saw the price ($2.75 for a can?!), but I did like that they had a sparkling water option for guests that don’t drink soda and grow really bored of plain water.

One of my favorite booths was up next, Greece.

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My dad and I split the tasting plate, which included eggplant dip, feta, olives, grilled calamari, and pita.

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This was definitely a favorite of the day. I really enjoyed the variety of little bites that came on the plate.

We almost stopped in France for escargot, but it had a long line and my favorite booth was right next door with one of my favorite items from the past.

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The berry waffle from Belgium is a classic. It’s one of the few dishes I refuse to share and must order one just for myself (we usually share the other plates).

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Delicious and sweetly satisfying, especially on such a hot and sunny day!

My parents ordered the savory leeks and potato waffle, which was also amazing. I’m just sad I didn’t get a photo of it.

We stopped in Japan for sushi and split the California Roll.

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We needed a little air conditioning break when we reached America. I saw a sign for the Chase Lounge, which I remembered seeing on the Disney Food Blog. Perfect timing, right? The Chase Lounge is a little hideaway for Chase cardholders, all you have to do is flash your Chase credit card and take the stairs up to the entrance. Inside there are drinks, charging stations, seats, TVs, clean bathrooms, and the view isn’t bad either.

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I think the free soda was what really won us over. Not just any free soda, but free soda from the coca-cola freestyle machines (I think that’s what they’re called?).

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I downed three glasses of Seagrams sparkling water – take THAT $2.75 a can! I also plugged my phone in to let it charge a little while we put our feet up. I have to say, I’m a big fan of the Chase lounge. It’s pretty sweet that anyone can take advantage of it (as long as you have a Chase credit card!).

After our mini siesta, we were back on the eating trail with another yearly favorite of ours; cannolis from Italy.

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It was one of those few stops where we all ordered our own. We’re each petty selfish when it comes to cannolis. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next to Italy, we found Germany (with one of the longest lines of the day!) and ordered some beer and brat in a pretzel bun.

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Another annual favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

My mom’s favorite was waiting in Australia.

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She’s a big fan of the lamb chop. I ordered my own and loved it too. The crispy chips on top gave it a nice crunch and the meat was tender and full of flavor.

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Yum.

I know I forgot to take photos of some things, but those were the majority of the eats we tried at this year’s festival. Please keep in mind we didn’t even try half of what was being offered! I’m hoping to go back during Wine & Dine and sample a few of the things I missed (like the cheese booth!). Unfortunately the prices for each sample do add up (averaging $3-4 a piece) and the little bites are surprisingly filling. Try as I might to limit myself, I still left feeling pretty full.

Before I left I did have to try out the new Starbucks they just put in at the old Fountain View in the middle of Epcot.

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I think I’ve said this here before, but I’m so happy that Starbucks is invading Walt Disney World. I know there’s a lot of fight out there over it, but the truth is that coffee at Disney is just plain awful. It would be one thing if Disney had awesome coffee and then Starbucks moved in, but they don’t. It’s bad. Really, really bad. At least with Starbucks here I know there will at least be drinkable coffee within WDW walls. This way I was able to get a caffeine fix in before I left and made the 1.5 hour drive home back to Tampa.

Have you been to this year’s Food & WIne Festival? Which dish was your favorite?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diana October 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I’m heading to food & wine this weekend. And I’ll be back for it for wine & dine too. Can’t wait!
Diana recently posted..Happy Haunted 5k

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2 Kadye October 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Next time you’re at EPCOT you should stop by Sum of all Thrills and visit me. Just saying.

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3 Meghann October 14, 2013 at 7:19 am

I was there! Is that a new ride? That was my first time in that side of Innovations in years and I didn’t recognize it.

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4 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm

This looks like an amazing time! Wish I lived near Disney ๐Ÿ™‚
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..Weekend Links

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5 Ashley October 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I’ve never been, but my lord it looks like a great time! And hello perfect timing with the IronMan stomach.
Ashley recently posted..A Bake That Didnโ€™t Bake

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6 Ashley October 13, 2013 at 11:22 pm

This looks incredible. Epcot is my favorite already. Must make it for this some some year!
Ashley recently posted..Everyday cleaning list for the lazy person.

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7 Anne @strawberryjampackedlife October 14, 2013 at 1:06 am

I’m heading to Disney on Wednesday for a long weekend! Can’t wait to try all of these eats!! SO EXCITED!!
Anne @strawberryjampackedlife recently posted..Two Year Anniversary

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8 Lauren October 14, 2013 at 3:05 am

I’m going for the Wine & Dine half and I can’t wait to try some of the booths, especially the waffle, it looks so yummy! For the lounge does it have to be a Disney Chase card or any Chase card? I have a Southwest card from Chase and the lounge looks awesome (free drinks at Disney?!)

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9 Meghann October 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

It’s any Chase card. ๐Ÿ™‚

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10 Runner Girl Eats October 14, 2013 at 6:42 am

I went to the Food and Wine Festival a few years ago and LOVED IT! I am hoping to make it back some time soon. Everything looks delicious!
Runner Girl Eats recently posted..MNFF: Spicy Cilantro Shrimp

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11 Lesley October 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

I completely agree with you on Starbucks at Disney. In the morning, I don’t want to think about my caffeine, I just want something that’s familiar and comforting. I’ll be at Disneyland next month and I will certainly be stopping at Starbucks.
Lesley recently posted..Random Sunday Musings 10/13

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12 Becky October 14, 2013 at 8:58 am

We hit up the festival this past weekend too! We had a group from our CF box and had a blast. I need to go back though- didn’t try nearly enough of the food yet. Lucky my office is behind Test Track… ๐Ÿ™‚

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13 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun October 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

Wow this looks like such an amazing festival! I need to live near Disney so I can enjoy all these awesome events!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Weekly Recap: 10/7 โ€“ 10/13

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14 Jillian @ Reshape Your Life October 14, 2013 at 9:33 am

Looks like you had a fun filled day! I wish I lived closer to a place like Disney! I may have missed it, but did you announce the winner of the giveaway the other day?

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15 Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat October 14, 2013 at 9:50 am

That looks like the best day ever. I need to be near Disney to enjoy these awesome events!
Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted..Hartford Marathon: First DNF

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16 Amy October 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Thanks for the recap! I will be heading to Disney a week from today HOORAY!!!! Thanks for the info on the Chase lounge! I will have to check it out!!! …and keep up the great blog! I enjoy following it!

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17 Jelena October 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

All that food looks really awesome! I don’t want to sound negative, it still looks amazing, but this kind of waffle makes Belgian people laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ Real Belgian waffles are having very few topping, just a powdered suggar or a bit od dark chocolate. One should focus on the taste and texture (foam) of the waffle. The whippend cream can be found only on tourist stands, and I have never seen berry topping even there.

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18 Jackie @ MomJovi October 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Two things:

a) We tried to go to the Chase lounge last weekend and the line was SUPER long. So we passed. Maybe next time.
b) If you hit Greece again, you HAVE to get the griddled cheese with honey and pistachios. It was my favorite thing last year and my favorite thing again this year so far. So freaking good!
c) OK, I lied, three thing. Annual? Look at you! Once IM training is over, if you ever plan on a weekend visit, let me know. I missed our annual (or one time) Christmastime visit last year!
Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..All My Ex(Cuse)es in Texas

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19 Meghann October 14, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I decided to splurge for the free parking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And my weekends will be wide open after IM training. Let’s plan something fun!

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20 Kaitie October 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I splurged on an annual this time around too – that parking is killer and as a seasonal holder I went way too many times to not upgrade. I did my first round at Food and Wine last week – I thought the veggie haggis was FANTASTIC. I love when they introduce new things! Thursday is my birthday and I am headed back for more ๐Ÿ™‚
Kaitie recently posted..Color Me Rad Tallahassee 2013

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21 sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com October 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

all that food is making me hungry…and I JUST ate dinner! ha!
sounds like a fun event!
sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com recently posted..“I’d Like To Quit The Gym” and Ten Things Tuesday

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22 Adrian October 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

I have to be honest….I was very disappointed in the festival this year. We’ve gone for five years straight now and this is the first time we felt let down. Being annual passholdes we normally go 3 to 4 times during the festival, but I doubt we’ll be back this year.

The new Scotland Kiosk was average. Haggis was pretty bland and the salmon was okay.

Brazil’s pork belly was way too fatty and greasy.

The major downer and the one that almost had my wife in tears was France. You could always count on those snails in brioche being amazing. Between the wife and kids we normally get 5 orders. For some reason they changed the way they make them. They use to be a buttery, garlicky deliciousness. This year they were in some form of garlic / pesto paste that had the consistency of plaster, and the snails were very chewy to make matters worse. Also they use to keep the little piece on top of the brioche bread making look like a little hat, minor thing but they did not include that this year.

The tuna poke in Hawaii now only has 4 small pieces of tuna. Use to be a martinni size glass loaded with tuna and seaweed.

When you add that prizes have increased across the board anywhere from 50 cents to 1 dollar you start getting that bad feeling like you’re being ripped off here.

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