Africa is another longtime booth in World Showcase that returns for the 2019 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 or Disney Dining Plan credits.
Epcot and Africa actually have an interesting and somewhat sad history together. 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, hostDanny 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 Africa Global Marketplace:
Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato and Corn Mealie Pap and Kachumbari Slaw
Spicy Kenyan Vegan Githeri with White Beans, Pigeon Peas, Curry Rice Pilaf and Kachumbari Slaw (V)
Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous
Now our photos and reviews of each item from this Global Marketplace at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival…
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.
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.
For the 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, 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, but it’s a strong use of a Disney Dining Plan snack credit.
In terms of alcoholic drinks, here’s what’s served at the Africa Global Marketplace at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival:
Cederberg Chenin Blanc, South Africa
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, Western Cape
Groot Constantia Pinotage, Constantia
Wine Flight also available
Overall, Africa ranks as one of the best booths at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. 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. As such, 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!
What do you think of the Africa 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!