Happy #tastytuesday friends! Over the last 2 weeks, I have been able to participate in the the 2020 Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This is the first time I have really been able to take my time to try food and drinks at the booths for the festival, so I wanted to share about my experience! The Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a combination of some of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival with some of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. The Flower and Garden Festival was only open for a short time before the parks closed due to the pandemic, and so you can still see some Flower and Garden food and merchandise as you walk around World Showcase.
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of what is at each booth and the allergens in each, but more about what I chose to order based on my own food allergies/sensitivities (milk/eggs/sometimes wheat). Either way, I hope that this post can help with those who may be a little unsure about if they would like to try Food and Wine Festival booths because of their food allergies and/or sensitivities.
I had a very positive experience at the Mexico booth at the 2019 Food and Wine Festival, so I decided to try it out again. Corn tortillas are a safe bet for me most of the time because they are naturally gluten/wheat free. As neither the taco nor tostada had a dairy topping (i.e. cheese, sour cream), I decided to try the Pork Tostada.
Right off the bat, you can see how juicy the pork is, as it is running down the plate and down my arm (oh what I sacrifice to get a good food pic!). I would honestly rate this dish as an 8/10. It was crunchy, flavorful, and the pork was cooked perfectly. I would have liked a little more spice in the chipotle black beans, but otherwise, this was a great dish and also pretty filling!
Last year, I missed the Earth Eats booth altogether, so I was determined to try 1 or 2 dishes from the booth this year. Earth Eats is sponsored by Impossible Burger, so it is a great booth for both vegans and those with egg/dairy allergies/sensitivities. I chose to try both The Impossible Burger Slider and the Chocolate Pudding Terrarium.
Both items looked delicious and beautiful! The Impossible Slider was a 7/10 for me. The burger was cooked and seasoned well, which is more difficult than it may seem (believe me, we have had some fails at home trying to make a quality Impossible burger). I was a little disappointed with the slaw and wasabi cream, as I couldn’t really taste either. On the flip side, I would give the Chocolate Pudding Terrarium a 9/10. This plant based dish is a dark chocolate lovers dream, and the matcha on top added to the depth of flavor in a way that really surprised me.
Edit 9/29/20: On a more recent visit to the Food and Wine Festival (which is the festival that the Epcot World Showcase has now officially transitioned to) I decided to try the Impossible Farmhouse Meatball from Earth Eats. Overall, I liked the creamy herb dressing and the meatball itself, but I found the lentil bread wrap to be dry, and it broke before I had even taken a bite of the dish. 5/10 for me.
Moving on to the Africa, this was another booth that I had had positive experiences with in 2019. To be honest, I’m not really surprised because I can have most African and Indian inspired foods, which makes it very easy for me to find food options at both Animal Kingdom park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. I decided to try the Spicy Kenyan Vegan Corn and White Beans from this booth.
If you like beans, veggies, and curry, this dish is perfect for you! I honestly could not stop eating it, even though I knew I wanted to leave some room to sample more food around the world. Everything was cooked perfectly, and the vegetables had both a nice crunch and added a zing to the dish. Plus, I got SO MUCH food for $4.50. This dish is a 9/10 for me.
Morocco was the third and final booth that I had tried last year that I very much enjoyed. The Spicy Hummus Fries are a known dish in the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, so I knew that I needed to try them again. This dish is not necessarily allergy friendly, as the tzatziki is made with yogurt, but I knew I would only have a minimal stomachache if I tried them. If you have a dairy allergy, I would recommend ordering the fries themselves without the sauce.
And they did not disappointed! The hummus fries were crunchy on the outside and soft and most in the inside. The cucumbers and tzatziki added a cool balance to the warm dish, and the chipotle sauce brought the heat! 11/10 for me. So so so good!!
Now, one of the great things about food allergies and sensitivities is that, most times, you can still have a mixed drink. I knew going into my visit that I wanted to try the La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy from the France booth. I was a French major in college and the drink is extremely Instagram-able, so of course I needed to try it!
Everything about this drink was delicious. It was sweet and a little floral and so very welcoming in the heat and humidity that is Orlando, Florida. And, I told you how Instagram-able this drink is, right? 10/10 for me!
The last set of booths that I wanted to visit were actually located in the World Showplace during the current festival. Normally, all of the booths for each Epcot festival are located outside and special events will occur in World Showplace pavilion. As of right now, no special events are planned for the Food and Wine Festival, and so there are 3 booths located in the World Showplace instead, which is the perfect place to grab a seat or a table in the AC. You can find World Showplace in the middle of the Canada and UK pavilions, and cast members may start a virtual queue for entry if the pavilion reaches capacity throughout the day. I decided to try the Bleu Spectrum drink from Festival Favorites and the Plan Based Macaroni and Cheese from Mac & Cheese.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with the Bleu Spectrum, but it was much more tart than I had anticipated. The boba on the bottom added a nice sweetness to the drink, but I wasn’t able to get to them until my drink was almost finished. This drink was a 6/10 for me. But, that mac & cheese was OMG DELICIOUS! It was creamy, had a nice crunch on top, and the house made sausage and peppers added some fat and spiciness to the dish. 8/10 for me!
Edit 9/29/20: One of the booths that I hadn’t tried during either the Taste of Food and Wine Festival or the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival was the Japan booth. My husband and I had walked by there the week before and both knew we wanted to try the Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the menu to show you that’s in the dish, but I looked it up online and the sushi flowerpot consists of fresh cut salmon, salmon roe, and spinach served over sushi rice sprinkle with furikake and topped with poke sauce.
I originally ordered this dish without the Poke sauce, as I assumed it would have mayo in it. The cast member who took my order was so nice and spoke to the chef personally to make sure I got a sushi flowerpot without the poke sauce. When I walked over to the window, I could see that the sauce was a brown mixture and did not look like it contained mayo. I spoke to the chef and he confirmed that the sauce was made of soy sauce, vinegar, and ponzu sauce, none of which contained mayo, but may contain gluten. He was kind enough to put some of the sauce on the side for me to try if I wanted to. Honestly, this dish knocked it out of the park for me. It was sweet, tangy, and fresh, and everything you expected from the description. 10/10 for me!
As I already mentioned, this blog post does not encompass all of the booths nor all of the offerings, but rather the ones I tried and enjoyed. I also would suggest asking about cross contamination when ordering food at any of these booths, as they may or may not be run by Disney directly and may have different standards when it comes to cross contamination.
Overall, I had an excellent time eating around the world, and I was very impressed with the amount of allergy friendly options offered this year over last year. I noticed that almost every booth had a plant based sign (the little green leaf next to the dish name marks that it is plant based), which meant that I had many egg and dairy free options to choose from. Gluten free options are much harder to find during the Epcot festivals, but I am impressed that Disney continues to take food allergies, sensitivities, and dietary restrictions into consideration as the years progress.
Here’s to living our best and most delicious Disney lives! <3
Meagan has been living with many food allergies and sensitivities since she was 19 years old. She is currently a Personal Vacation Advisor for Magical Vacation Planner, specializing in helping her guests book trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Meagan enjoys researching fitness and nutrition and has taken a special interest in finding allergy friendly options at Walt Disney World.
Interested in having Meagan help you plan your next trip? Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get a free quote at https://magicalvacationplanner.com/staff/meagan-slone/!