Every year in October for my birthday (minus this one for obvious reasons), I take a special birthday trip to Disney World. For 3 reasons, 1) it’s my birthday and I don’t care how old I am Disney is still one of the most wonderful places on Earth, 2) The EPCOT Food & Wine Festival… one word- EPIC! And 3) Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party because frankly, I only enjoy the cute, fun version of Halloween and I absolutely hate the scary version everyone else seems to love! Haunted houses, not for me! Mickey dressed like a pirate waving to the crowd in the Boo to You Parade… magic. Bloody ghouls and decaying zombies, nope, gross. Trick-or-treating dressed up as a Disney princess in Magic Kingdom, much more my style. Disney’s version of Halloween just fits better with who I am. I don’t enjoy being scared. So, yeah, Disney Halloween is something I actually enjoy.
For this post I just want to talk about the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, because I’m deeply disappointed to miss it this year. It really is something I look forward to all year round. Now I’m not going to lie, it is completely serendipitous in my opinion that my birthday coincides with the glorious EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. It is absolutely one of my favorite annual events. I love a good wine festival as well as a food festival but when those two beloved things combine in the most magical place on Earth it just can’t be beat. Every year I get my EPCOT passport and try to check off more countries visited than last year. It takes several visits to complete the entire thing, my stomach is not that big. I try to alternate food and beverage between countries. But some countries I just HAVE to get both! You get samples of foods and beverages from around 30 countries. It’s also not just wine! I always get a wine and a beer in Germany because I love my German white wines and a good hearty German beer. And in Mexico, you gotta get one of their fabulous margarita options. Sadly, there are some countries I do have to skip every year because I can’t eat anything on their menu (I absolutely can’t handle spicy food, I literally end up in the fetal position in pain). But there is a wide variety of dietary options at the festival. I’ve frequently gone to the festival with vegetarians, vegans and people with gluten allergies and they have no trouble finding plenty of options! You also have lots of dessert options for my fellow sweet-tooths!
My favorite countries to visit in the festival are Germany, Mexico, Italy and France by far. Germany, well, as a German American I love the food and drinks. Mexico, you can’t go wrong with their fabulous margaritas and tacos. Italy, I always get a dessert and a nice wine there. And France they have beef options like mini filet mignons and I’m a sucker for red meat and steak plus I enjoy a nice champagne cocktail while we are there. But through the festival I’ve had the opportunity to try things I normally wouldn’t. The festival was my introduction to Thai food which I now LOVE! I’ve even sampled Brazilian, Moroccan, food from New Zealand, awesome Caribbean food, etc.! They also have African food and Indian for those who enjoy spicy foods, but I know my stomach and my body, so I have to skip these sadly. They’ve added countries over the years like Switzerland which always has awesome rose wine.
I’ve debated telling you all my favorite foods and beverages at every country, but I’ll save that for the many, many Disney foodie blogs. All I will say is I drink and eat until I literally can’t anymore, and everything is always fantastic. The joy of sticking another stamp in a country I’ve taken a culinary tour in is a wonderful feeling, like an accomplishment. I love revisiting my old passports from years ago and seeing what I ate and drank. Is that lame? Probably, but who cares! I WILL give an overview on the different stands, though, at the festival (Note: for 2020 some of these weren’t available and the menus do vary year after year sometimes):
The Alps (bread and cheese!)
Belgium (get the waffle)
Brazil (the pork was fantastic)
Canada (cheddar cheese and bacon soup)
Germany (I get multiple things)
Hawaii (the sliders… delish)
Islands of the Caribbean (passionfruit cheesecake anyone?)
Appleseed Orchard (lots of great ciders, located in the Canadian Pavilion)
Citrus Blossom (all your citrus food/beverage needs)
Chocolate Studio (I visit twice each time)
The Donut Box
a Dessert and Champagne stand (YES PLEASE!)
Earth Eats (healthy options)
Flavors from Fire (literally that)
Hops & Barley (seafood and beer)
Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar (always a favorite of mine)
and Active Eats
Getting drunk around the world at Disney is essentially a rite of passage, or it should be. I believe everyone should experience it at least once if you love to try new foods and enjoy drinking. You don’t have to love Disney, but I guarantee you will love Disney after this trip. EPCOT has always been one of my favorite parks because of the World Pavilion. One circle around and see how many countries you’ve “visited”, how many cuisines you’re sampled, how many tasty sips you’ve indulged in. I really hope to get “Drunk around the world” in 2021. Here’s to hoping! Cheers!