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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Guthrie

My Best of the Fest at Disney's Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

I don't know about you but as soon as I hear the announcement for a food and wine festival, I'm looking to book my weekend getaway and make all my plans for a foodie trip. My Weekend Trips to Disney try and get the most out of my Disney trip without breaking the bank, without running myself into the ground exhausted, and without feeling like I missed out.

My Goal: On this weekend solo trip my focus was on eating as many of the different foods on my 'MUST EAT' food list and the cheese crawl during the 2021 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Since I'm from Michigan and a #mickeygander, my other goal was trying all the Michigan ciders offered at this festival. When I travel and see a Michigan offering, I'm going to support #Michigander businesses.

Mickeygander Blog: For this blog I’m sharing my best of the fest and best of fest Michigan beer and hard cider during my weekend getaway at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

My Stay: BoardWalk Inn and Resort which is walkable to Epcot and perfect location for the fest.

My Budget: Annual Pass Holder card (Best Bang for Buck), DVC Member points and Delta frequent flyer miles. I did not create a budget for food since I used points for everything else and utilized free Disney transportation.

My Planning: For this trip I started planning as soon as the event was announced in mid-May. Booking my flight, use of DVC points, reserving the park and having a house sitter plan takes some time that I'll save for a different 'How to Plan Weekend Getaway to Disney' blog.

I also am way more mindful of healthy eating prior to going on any road trip. I try and be really good about my weekday consumption at least a month in advance of a weekend getaway.

No matter which trip I take to Disney, I'm watching Disney youtubers AJ with Disney Food Blog, Molly with All Ears, Tim Tracker and Michael Kay. Sometimes I watch Pete with DIS and Prince Charming with PC DEV but not typically for festivals.

Pro Tip: Disney's Food Blog has a map of all the festival booths. I take this on every food fest trip!

Park Opening/Entry Tips: Typical hours for Epcot are from 11 am to 10 pm but you want to check their app as hours can change frequently.

Check your hotel to see if there are early entry hours if staying on property or at a Good Neighbor hotel. Please note that most booths are not ready for early park entry hours. Plan on getting in a few rides at this time before everyone else arrives at the park making those ride wait times long.

There are a few hotels where you can walk to Epcot International Gateway (backside of Epcot) like the Boardwalk I stayed at, Yacht and Beach Club and the Swan and Dolphin. This entry has way fewer guests and for me has been a much quicker and easier way to enter the park.

Don't bring your glasses case! The hinges trip off the security alarm when you walk through and you will have to have your bag searched. This has happened to me several times before I finally wised up.

My Eats: Let's get to the good stuff!!! Do I travel for food? Absolutely! I have eaten at food festivals all over the United States from the San Fransisco 'SF Street Food Festival' to Chicago's 'Taste of Chicago' and 'Chicago Food Truck Festival' and even across the border to Toronto's 'Toronto Taste'. Disney's Epcot Food and Wine Festival is a favorite of mine because of the fantastic variety of food, price point, tapas style and other things you can do during the fest. While I had several dishes during my weekend trip at Epcot, I'll share with you my favorites that would have me flying back for more.

Food I'd Fly Back For: There are three dishes you couldn't pry out of my hands if you tried! I practically licked the plate on all of these and wanted more before I was even finished with my eating. My taste buds literally never wanted these dishes to end. Which #bestofthefest eats are these?

  1. Pistachio Cake with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Candied Walnuts from Tangierine Cafe (formerly Morocco)

  2. Griddled Cheese with Pistachios and Honey (gluten/wheat-friendly) from Greece

  3. Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha Glazed Donut from Donut Box

Pistachio Cake with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Candied Walnuts from Tangierine Cafe (formerly Morocco)

You don't hear too many bloggers talking about this cake and so this was a subtle surprise hit in my book. This Pistachio Cake was heavenly! It is a light and delicate treat, not too sweet but with enough hints of sweetness that it doesn't fall flat on it's face. You'd think maybe there are nutty bits in here being made out of pistachios but the nuts are ground so fine its like pistachio flour. this cake is full of nutty flavor and ticks off all the boxes for me. It truly is refreshing after having so many other rich and sweet dishes at Disney. I immediately wanted another slice when I was done with the first. I did not eat the fondant as I am not a fan. I guess if you eat that, it will be sweet.

Griddled Cheese with Pistachios and Honey (gluten/wheat-friendly) from Greece

OH. My. GOSH! This griddled cheese was AMAZING! I wanted to eat twenty of these! I stood under a shaded tree with the Epcot ball behind me and the Princess Cavalcade going by savoring every bite of this dish for as long as I humanly could. If you don't like cheesy goodness, this dish may make a lover out of you. I left nothing on the plate and resisted all temptation to go back for seconds. My husband and I love saganaki. We order it at every greek restaurant we go to. This dish ticked all the flavors of delicious, creamy, flavorful and warm yumminess my husband and I know to love. Is it exactly like saganaki, well no but it ranks up there on my list!

Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha Glazed Donut from Donut Box

Every food blogger I watched raved about the sriracha chicken donut so I had to add it to my 'must eat' list against my better judgement of trying to not eat a larger sized item!

At first bite I fell in love! I was so happy I purchased this! As soon as those flavors hit my tongue, I was a goner. You'd think this combination might be a bit strange but the crispy spicy chicken and sriracha with the soft, sweetness of the donut was an out of the ball park experience. In fact, this should be at every ball park. Most people around me was eating this item with a knife and fork. I dug right in with my hands. So messy and so worth it. When you talk about food dishes worth the calories, put this on your list can you can't miss this one.

Best Drink: Of all the drinks I tried during the festival, I actually fell in love with a non-festival beer that is a regular beer in several Disney locations. But of the Michigan ciders I tried during the festival, the one I loved the most was Blake’s Hard Cider Saint Chéri Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry, from Armada, Michigan at Appleseed Orchard. I actually had this for breakfast with the Apple Crumble Tart which I found was a great breakfast dish.

Coming in at close second was the Saugatuck Brewing Company Bonfire Beer from Douglas Michigan at the Flavors From Fire Booth. There was a time in my life about ten years ago when I went through a dark beer phase tasting Michigan dark beers all around the state. I was in love with them. But, being a foodie, the desire to eat was greater than the desire having a beer that filled me up too much. Having this dark beer from Saugatuck took me back to those days and how much I love dark beer. It is a classic American Brown Ale with rich, malty body and a touch of light smoke to the finish... and yes. I did finish this in 90 degree Florida heat and loved every drop.

Well, there you have it. Those are my favorite eats from this years' 2021 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. On this particular trip, my husband met me down in Florida where we kicked off our 18 year wedding anniversary month. He was happy to hang out in the room and watch Olympics while I galavanted Epcot and came back to tell him all about it. Future blog on our couple's weekend in Disney coming later.

Deborah and her family are DVC Members and love spending time together at home or on vacation. Deborah is a frequent tag along traveler with her husband writing blogs about weekend trips. She is also a Disney travel expert. A Mickeygander are Michiganders who go to Disney.

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