We ate all of the snacks and desserts from the Food Studios at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts, to bring you this best of list for Walt Disney World’s top festival of the year. In this post, we’ll share some of our favorites, compiling a list of what we consider the must-try items at “Artful Epcot.”
Since we’ve already reviewed about three-quarters of the booths individually, we’re going to do this a bit differently. First, we’ll offer rankings of the booths we’ve reviewed along with links to each such review, and the best item at said booths. Then, we’ll share this ‘best of’ list with items from Food Studios, snack stands, and counter service restaurants we have not previously covered. Here’s the list of Food Studios, from best to worst overall:
Each link above opens in a new tab, so you can read the full review and plan on the fly for what you want to eat at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. We’d recommend that, as several of those booths have multiple items worth buying, and we also discuss best uses of Disney Dining Plan snack credits in those full Food Studio reviews…
Before we go any further, we want to reiterate something we’ve been saying about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts: buying food is not even remotely essential to enjoying the event. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is not about the food. At all.
Okay, the culinary arts do play a role, but a small one and you can embrace that aspect of the event via free seminars, without buying pricey snacks. We want to put that out there now because we won’t want to come across as disingenuous with a whole list of stuff you should try now, only to say you should that none of this matters later.
Anyway, let’s start with the best-of Epcot Festival of the Arts food list…
Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta, Masterpiece Kitchen – I’ll lead things off with a weirdly personal one, because why not? In our Top 10 Walt Disney World Scents post, #1 is the flowery ‘Morning Mist’ scent from the original Journey into Imagination. About once a year, I catch a whiff of this scent and am instantly transported back in time for a fleeting moment.
Why do I mention that here? Because this dessert is that scent in edible form. Or, at least the same mental trigger for it. I’m a big sucker for desserts, but I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever gotten “emotional” eating one. Each bite was like some real-life the Notebook material. There’s a part of me that wants to go back for this again and again, indulging in those memories at excess…but another part that wants to appreciate the once a year trip down memory lane and let it be at that. (Okay, I should probably buy one–or seven–to freeze just in case they don’t return next year, right?!)
It’s impossible for me to set this aside and judge this panna cotta on its objective merits. Sarah gets no such likewise loves the taste, finding it to be more nuanced and subtle, with a really unique range of flavors that you won’t find in other desserts. If you’re used to heavy flavors, this may not be for you, but we both love it.
Wild Mushroom Risotto, Masterpiece Kitchen – Another item from Masterpiece Kitchen, one booth that probably could have its entire menu on this list (I’m not sure why we didn’t review it in full–laziness, probably). This risotto is sophisticated, with the truffle shavings and wine reduction giving it richness and depth.
If you can get past the price, this Wild Mushroom Risotto is an excellent dish. Unfortunately, none of the items at Masterpiece Kitchen are listed as snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan.
Lobster Chips, Refreshment Port – These are almost certainly a “your mileage may vary” item. Our order of these was exceptional–a heaping portion of lobster, and generous portions of both the bisque cheese sauce and citrus cream. All topped on well-seasoned house-made chips. It was a fantastic and high quality dish–the closest Walt Disney World has gotten to Disney California Adventure’s legendary Lobster Nachos.
The next day, we returned with friends, raving about this. The portion of lobster was about half the size of what we received, and the other toppings were less abundant. It was still delicious, but no longer did it quite live up to the hype. Nevertheless, we’d recommend taking a chance on it, as all portions are small for the price, and you just might win the lobster lottery.
Lobster Bacon Macaroni & Cheese Bread Cone, Taste Track – It’s a scientific fact that old school EPCOT Center fans are suckers for Handwiches. A couple of years ago at Food & Wine, there was a delicious zesty cheeseburger bread cone, and now we have this.
On its own, the lobster mac & cheese is fantastic. Good texture, ample amount of lobster, and plenty of cheesy goodness. The cone doesn’t do much for me, though. It was good and rubbery, which is a common problem with these. We ended up eating the mac & cheese with a fork, trying a couple bites of the cone, and discarding the rest. Still worth it.
Beef Wellington, Artist’s Table – Let’s start with the pastry itself, which is crisp on the outside and doughy once you get closer to the beef inside. That beef is perfectly seasoned and prepared, and it’s a hearty portion that tastes fantastic.
The Mushroom Bordelaise and Fennel Cream sauce really drives this dish home, delivering one of the absolute best savory snacks at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The Roasted Baby Vegetables are just “whatever,” but they’re not the reason you’re ordering this in the first place.
Callebaut Belgian Sipping Chocolate Flight, Artist’s Table – Simple, yet decadently delicious. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this is incredibly rich.
The Callebaut Belgian Sipping Chocolate Flight is the chocolate equivalent of drinking (very good) maple syrup or honey, which might sound like a glorious idea, but is something that should be enjoyed in moderation–so share this.
Artist’s Cake, Sunshine Seasons – When going for “fun,” our game plan with these festivals is always to eat a hearty meal for ‘stomach filler’ before hitting the booths, so we don’t inadvertently drop $100 or more. Sunshine Seasons is usually the home of our pre-gaming fun, and it was there that we discovered this cake, without even a sign to identify it (or price–which made me a bit nervous).
It ended up being the best $6 we spent at the entire 2019 Epcot Festival of the Arts. The cake was moist and perfectly balanced with the frosting, which was fresh and creamy. Despite the colors, the flavors here are peanut butter and chocolate. Together, this reminded us of Butterfinger, which is absolutely not what you’d expect by looking at the cake, but it was nonetheless fantastic.
That covers it for the Best Snacks of the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! As we said at the top, you’re not missing much if you skip the Food Studios entirely. It’s a nice enhancement and the foods are definitely nicely done, but you can rack up a costly tab pretty quickly, and the event stands well on its own, minus food. You’ll also want to read our full 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Guide before you go to get an idea of what to do, strategy for the festival, and much more.
Do you have any favorites from the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Anything you’re excited to try? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!