Continuing with the “Next Eats” 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival booths, we review Active Eats. As with all of the Next Eats marketplaces, this is located in Future World behind Club Cool and the Innoventions building. I forgot to take a photo of the booth, but it’s the beige one in the bottom right corner above, directly under the nose of the monorail.
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 Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers and Green Onions (KA)
Spice-crusted Verlasso® Salmon with Warm Lentil Power Salad, Crushed Avocado and Sherry Vinegar (GF)
Active Eats Energy Bar Bites: a mixture of Chocolate, Nuts, Dried Fruit and Dates (V) (KA)
And our photos and reviews of these items…
Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese – 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 – Perched atop a bed of lentil 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 lentil salad is better than the quinoa they’ve used in the past, and avocado is always good. This is our recommended pick at Active Eats.
Active Eats Energy Bar Bites – My opinion of this depends upon the perspective. If being compared to the other desserts around 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, these are infinitely superior. There’s a certain freshness to them, and the fruity notes come through the dense, brownie-like quality of the bars. Unfortunately, I have no clue whether these are actually healthy and protein-packed, or if they’re just as terrible for you as the other desserts around Food & Wine.
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. The Wonders of Life building would be the perfect location for this, since that was that pavilion’s aim, in the first place. 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? Would you like to see the Wonders of Life ‘Festival Center’ used to delve into the healthy living angle? 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!