Adult food and beverages found at the Epcot Theme Park
Disney’s Epcot Park in Orlando holds an international food and wine festival in October and the first part of November each year. The international marketplace that surrounds the lake at Epcot has kiosks set up in each “country” where you can buy a beer or wine paired with a tapa-sized entree or dessert specialty from the 22 countries represented. So, you can start in Australia (which is number 1 on the map below) and drink and eat your way around the world. On an occasion or two I’ve made the unfortunate mistake of not pacing myself and halfway around the world I’ve found that I’ve had a wee too much to drink.
A map of the Epcot theme park with numbers marking all of the opportunities where you can try food and beverages from other countries during the Food and Wine Festival
In addition to the kiosks in the international marketplace, there are also events that you can purchase tickets for in advance. Some of these events include cooking demos and meals prepared by well-known chefs from TV cooking shows and upscale hotels and restaurants. There are also Italian and French food and wine pairing events, tequila tasting, and a chocolate tasting paired with spirited beverages and wines lead by a professional chocolatier.
This year I had an opportunity to attend a private dining event during the Food and Wine Festival. In the true magical Disney fashion, we were driven behind the scenes and led through the park to a huge decorative wooden gate that opened to a dining hall that looked like it was decorated for the arrival of Cinderella. Inside there were stations set up with chefs at each station that prepared a dish for us and we were served a glass of wine that had been paired with the dish. My favorite dish of the night was the lean spiced duck medallion that was paired with a Pinot Noir. My friends liked the seared scallops the best. Oh yeah, did I mention that I also had a cosmopolitan?
The entrance to the dining room where the private dinner event was held
A couple of the chefs
Lean marinated duck served with potato mash and mango chutney
Scallops served with a grilled lemon and garlic bread
Short ribs served on pureed parsnips
If you visit Epcot when the food and wine festival is not in operation, never fear–you can still eat foods and sample alcoholic beverages from other countries. Just to name a few of the opportunities available, in Mexico they are always serving margaritas, there is an outstanding Norwegian bakery and a fancy French restaurant, German beer is always flowing in Germany, and there is a great British pub just waiting for you in Britain!