Active Eats is a booth at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. As with all the “Next Eats” marketplaces, this is located in Future World behind the former Innoventions building. In this updated review, we’ll share photos, thoughts on what’s worth the money or Disney Dining Plan credits, and more.
Walt Disney World touts Active Eats’ offerings as being “healthy, action-packed bites for pure taste bud bliss!” Because of course when I think of healthy living, loaded mac & cheese is the first thing that comes to mind. (On a serious note, the moment someone comes up with a gimmicky diet that includes unlimited mac & cheese, you can sign me up for that!)
Here’s the menu for Active Eats:
Loaded Macaroni & Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar and Leeks (KA)
Spice-crusted Verlasso® Salmon with UNCLE BEN’S® Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley, Crushed Avocado and Sherry Vinegar (GF)
Fruit and Nut Energy Snack: House-made mixture of Apricots, Almonds, Pecans, Coconut, Puffed Rice and Chocolate Chips (V) (GF) (KA)
And our photos and reviews of these items…
Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese ($5.25) – I’m a total sucker for loaded mac & cheese, so of course I enjoyed this. It’s a nice blend of bacon, peppers, green onion, and creamy cheese.
Taking a step back, this is pretty far from an envelope-pushing mac & cheese dish–it’s not even as ambitious as the loaded mac and cheese that used to be served at Magic Kingdom. I’m not sure whether such a ‘basic’ dish belongs at Food & Wine Festival, but if you’ve got kids or picky eaters, it’s a potentially solid choice.
Spice-crusted Verlasso Salmon ($5.75) – Perched atop a bed of quinoa & ancient grains salad and topped with a dollop of avocado, this salmon is a strong option from start to finish.
The fish we tried was perfectly-prepared, with the spice enhancing the natural flavor of the salmon and the crust providing a bit of texture. The salad is better than what they’ve used in the past, and avocado is always good. This is our recommended pick at Active Eats.
Fruit and Nut Energy Snack ($4) – My opinion of this depends upon the perspective. If being compared to the other desserts around Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, there’s really no comparison. These are bottom of the pack.
If being compared to protein/energy bars that I normally eat, I guess this is a bit superior. This is supposedly a “House-made mixture of Apricots, Almonds, Pecans, Coconut, Puffed Rice and Chocolate Chips” but really, it’s a lot like a glorified Nature Valley bar.
Normally, we don’t compare food at Walt Disney World to its real world counterparts, but since this exists in package form (and we regularly bring protein bars to the parks), we think that’s fair game here. For less than the price of this, you could buy an entire box of Nature Valley bars from Wal-Mart or a couple of significantly better (and presumably healthier) protein bars from Whole Foods.
Since nothing says healthy-living like some booze, here’s the alcohol menu for Active Eats:
M.I.A. Beer Company HRD WTR Key Lime Hard Sparkling Water, Doral, FL
L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc Old Vines, Columbia Valley, WA
Evolution by Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR
Overall, the concept of Active Eats is an interesting one, and we wish there were a more robust menu here promoting healthy living and educating guests on nutrition. In fact, we’d love to see this motif of the Next Eats area as one that the Epcot Food & Wine Festival delve into further. Sadly, we’re not sure Walt Disney World is actually concerned with healthy living–paying face to the idea while serving up a couple of menu options for those wanting lighter choices seems to be the more lucrative route for Disney.
What do you think of the Active Eats marketplace? Have you tried any of the three food items at this booth? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!