Festival season is here! I had the best time exploring new and old favorites at the opening day of Epcot’s 2018 Food & Wine Festival. I’m excited to show you all the menus items I tried PLUS I’m sharing some Instagram-worthy festival photo spots you definitely will want to visit!
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: The main entrance to the festival is a great location to snap some photos right at the beginning of your day before the food, drinks and summer heat kick in.
After snapping a few photos of the front area, I headed for the festival center. The Festival Center is located in the building to the left of Mission Space. Two things on my list for the Festival Center were the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar (new for this year) and my complimentary Annual Passholder magnet featuring Chef Mickey!
Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar had 5 mimosa flavors to choose from. I went with the Tropical Mimosa which was very good. It is on the sweeter side so keep that in mind depending on your tolerance for sweet drinks.
Free Annual Passholder magnets can be picked up at the Festival Center. You will need your Annual Pass and photo ID.
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: If you wait out the crowds for a few minutes you can snap some cute photos in front of the greenery wall, located inside of the Festival Center.
After leaving the Festival Center we headed toward The Land pavilion to try the new Chimichurri Skirt Steak at the Flavors From Fire booth.
The steak had very good flavor, but we were disappointed with the portion. (I know all the portions are smaller at Food & Wine but this seemed to be extra small.)
Next up was The Light Lab. It’s located indoors just behind the Flavors From Fire booth, near the Epcot character spot meet and greet. This is really a great escape from the Florida sun if timed just right, I’d recommend enjoying this during the hottest part of the day. One of the new menu items this year is the Phosphorescent Phreeze.
It’s a non alcoholic drink (although a rum floater on top would have been amazing!) in a slushy form. The drink is layered so the 3 flavors are separated.
Now it was time to hit the World Showcase! We usually start to the left with Mexico but this time we hung a right toward Canada.
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: Chef Mickey topiary at the entrance to the World Showcase.
First up was the Tuna Tataki at the Hawaii booth. I don’t eat tuna but Leo loves it so I’ll let him review this one. He says it was crisp and fresh with good color. Seared to perfection on the outside served with a tangy sauce.
Quick stop in Australia to try the Bush Berry Shrimp. The shrimp had a nice little spice to it and I really liked the small pieces of grilled pineapple in it.
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: In between England and France, at the International Gateway, is a perfect Festival backdrop for photos. Photo pass is sometimes stationed here too.
The France pavilion is always a winner for me, whether its festival season or not. But I love it even more especially during Food & Wine when they have the special Passion Martini slush and the Creme Brûlée with raspberry jam. Oui oui!
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: France is easily my favorite pavilion aesthetic-wise, with its beautiful fountains and floral walkways. (Morocco coming in second with its blue-tiled paths!)
Speaking of Morocco, we cruised into there next to get one of our festival favorites, the Kefta pocket! AKA the Moroccan Hamburger (hehe).
Coming into the America pavilion we stopped at Hops and Barley to try the new New Brunswick slider. We paired the slider with the Blue Star Wheat Ale. Nice portion and very flavorful.
If you’re not a huge horseradish fan, go light on the sauce or ask for it on the side, since it was a little strong.
Next up was Belgium for some beer braised beef, waffles with berry compote, and Leffe blonde pale ale beer. The Belgium line is always so long, especially on the weekends, so I was beyond excited to find the booth empty. I walked straight up to the cast member WITH NO WAIT and ordered my food!
It was my first time trying the festival favorite Belgium waffle and I loved it! I definitely plan to try the chocolate ganache waffle next time.
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: We always love stopping for a few minutes to enjoy the waterfront at the Italy pavilion and take in the world showcase views.
At this point we were starting to get full so we didn’t really eat too much more around the rest of the showcase.
BUUUUT on our way out the park we did make a quick stop at one of my favorite booths, Coastal Eats, for the shrimp scampi dip and crab cake.
FESTIVAL PHOTO SPOT: On your way out of Epcot, before you reach the fountains, be sure to snap some pictures in front of these pastel Food & Wine cake displays. It’s a great way to get some Food & Wine decor and another vantage point of the Epcot ball together in one shot!
I’ll be back in a few weeks to enjoy the festival with some family and friends so I made lots of notes on my passport for menu items I definitely want to try next time!
On my list for round two:
Active Eats – Spice Crusted Salmon & Loaded Mac n Cheese
Africa – Berbere-style Beef Tenderloin Tips
Flavors From Fire – Smoked Corn Beef
India – Warm Naan Bread
Ireland – Guinness Baileys Shake
Light Lab – RGB Flight
Mexico – Short Rib Tostada & Blackberry Mexican Punch
Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar – Blood Orange Mimosa
If I missed any of your Food & Wine favorites that you know I need to try, comment them below!
Sunshine & happiness,
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