Kenya is another Global Marketplace in World Showcase during the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. In this Global Marketplace review, we’ll look at the menu prices, share food photos, and offer thoughts on what is–and is not–worth your money.
Before we delve into the info and our review of the Kenya booth, a brief synopsis of what’s happening with the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s event started much earlier than normal–in mid-July–for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this food booth info post.
Consequently, the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival will occur in two phases. The second phase starts on October 1, 2021. This date is Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, and when the event kicks into high gear. That day is when Epcot attendance will likely skyrocket due to the debut of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Harmonious. It’s also when the Kenya food booth will debut…
Kenya replaces the Africa food booth, quite literally. It’s the exact same structure, just with a different marquee and modified menu. While this booth has been around since almost the beginning of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, Africa was actually supposed to have a permanent presence in World Showcase. The Equatorial Africa pavilion was supposed to be ‘coming soon’ to EPCOT Center’s World Showcase, and was so far along that it wasn’t just announced by Walt Disney World, it was heavily promoted in media.
In fact, during the EPCOT Center Opening Day Celebration TV special, host Danny Kaye spoke with Alex Haley, author of Roots, about the Equatorial Africa pavilion, which would be opening in “about a year” as they stood over a detailed model of the pavilion at its future site. That never came to fruition, and instead we ended up with the “temporary” Outpost plus this “temporary” food kiosk for several months per year.
In fairness, the lack of a presence in Epcot did open the door for a larger Africa area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as representation in Animal Kingdom Lodge. Thanks to dining options like Tusker House, Boma, Jiko, Sanaa, and the Mara, Walt Disney World guests have a lot of exposure to authentic African cuisine.
Here’s the menu for the Kenya Global Marketplace:
- Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato & Corn Mealie Pap and Kachumbari Slaw (gluten/wheat-friendly)
- Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous
We’ll update the reviews below once the Kenya food booth opens on October 1, 2021. Now our photos and reviews of each item from this Global Marketplace during last year’s EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival…
Spicy Kenyan Vegan Corn and White Beans with Pigeon Peas, Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley and Kachumbari Slaw ($4.50) – This is very similar to the booth’s previous vegan dish, which Sarah loved and towards which I was indifferent.
Frankly, after 4 months of eating healthy quarantine food that’s very similar to this, I’m probably the worst judge of it. I’m not visiting a theme park right now to subject myself to more beans, peas, quinoa, and ancient grains. Hard pass.
Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous ($6.75) – In our Australia booth review, we shared the general rule that you should “get the scallops or salmon, skip the shrimp.” Shrimp dishes are almost always overpriced, undersized, and what is present is rubbery or tough.
This is the lone exception to that rule. These shrimp were perfectly-prepared, mildly spiced, and the serving size is fair. (You probably can’t tell, but there are 5 on the skewer.) I’m not a huge fan of couscous, but this is an undeniably ambitious dish. The price does make it slightly difficult to recommend if you’re paying out of pocket.
Past (& Potential Future?) Items
Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato and Corn Mealie Pap and Kachumbari Slaw ($5.75) – The coffee rub here gives this both an interesting texture and flavor–making it almost, oddly reminiscent of lamb.
That’s not criticism; I loved the flavor of this, and the pap provided an interesting sweetness, while the slaw offered yet another texture to the mix. It’s a nuanced and varied dish that really comes together well. Highly recommended regardless of whether you’re on the Disney Dining Plan or paying out of pocket.
Spicy Kenyan Vegan Githeri with White Beans, Pigeon Peas, Curry Rice Pilaf and Kachumbari Slaw ($4.50) – Sarah really loved this vegan dish, finding it surprisingly spicy by Walt Disney World standards and an interesting mix of flavors.
I was less keen on it. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, we just eat a lot of bean/pea/rice/curry dishes at home (yes, really), so this isn’t the type of thing I’m after at Walt Disney World. It’s definitely unique and more adventurous than 90% of the items at Food & Wine Festival, though! Recommended if paying out of pocket.
Overall, Kenya ranks as one of the more skippable booths at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Not that the food is bad–it isn’t. It’s just not what most guests are going to be looking for right now. It’s not as envelope-pushing as the best dishes at any of the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants, but the vast majority of Walt Disney World guests aren’t making the trek out to dine at those spots.
Nevertheless, this Global Marketplace is a great way to expose yourself to new and different cuisine that’s still relatively safe. The three dishes offer a surprising amount of range, and the beer and wine list present some intriguing options, too!
Check out our Global Marketplace Booth Menus & Photos for the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booth Menus post if you want to see and read more about every menu this year! You’ll also want to read our full 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Guide before you go to get an idea of what to do, strategy for the festival (yes, you will need a strategy), and much more!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of the Kenya Global Marketplace? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? Any thoughts on these items? Portion-size or quality-wise, did you have better or worse luck than us with what you ordered? Are you a fan of this booth, or would you prefer to just eat at an authentic Animal Kingdom/Lodge restaurant? 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!