Epcot Food & Wine Festival Snack Reviews
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival makes fall great at Walt Disney World. This post reviews the best Food & Wine Festival Snacks, and how to save money by getting the most bang for your buck and value from Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival snacks. This is a great foodie event, but let’s be real: it’s also an expensive event. These snack tips can help you save time, money, and valuable stomach “real estate,” while also aiding you in finding the best of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival snacks!
Even if you’re not a “foodie,” per se, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is still a lot of fun and a great way to spend a day grazing the World Showcase at Epcot enjoying good food and drinks, capped off with an evening of Illuminations. The downside to all of this is that grazing Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival can be expensive. Prices for these snacks range from around $3 to $7. Add beer or wine to the mix, and one person could easily spend over $100 on snacks in a single day. That may seem outrageous, but it has happened to us! Unless you have plenty of snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan or you are careful and only go for the snacks that are good values, expect to spend a decent amount of money at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
With these Epcot Food & Wine Festival reviews, hopefully you can better (and more economically!) experience the fun without breaking the bank by ordering the “duds” at the various Food & Wine Festival booths. We have ordered many, many items at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival over the past few years, and have gotten a great idea of what tastes good, what tastes bad, what’s a good value, bad value, etc.
Note that there is a bit of selection bias in these reviews, as we no longer order things we tried in our pre-blogging days (you know, before we started taking oddly dramatic photos of everything we ate) and didn’t like or thought offered poor value, and when new things are added to Food & Wine Festival, we generally only try those things that have a little buzz or sound good to us. Thus, there are proportionately more “Top Picks” in this post than there would be if we did a post reviewing every single item at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
NOTE: This post has not been updated for the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and some of these snack photos are a few years old. For this year, we will be covering every single food item on our Epcot Food & Wine Festival Menu page. What follows may be useful in some regards, but that menu page is much more current.
While the menus and booths at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival change each year, they don’t completely change. Some items are offered one year, removed the next, and return the following year. Based on our experience, the offerings are about 25% new each year, with the other 75% being returning favorites. These Epcot Food & Wine Festival reviews cover foods we have had at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival in the past few years. The items listed here may or may not be back this year, so make sure to consult the actual menus before you get too excited about a particular item.
With all of that said, here are our Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival snack reviews, in no particular order…
Canada: “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
We have heard people rave about this, and it’s regularly cited as the best/most popular item. My guess is that’s because of the “Le Cellier” name attached, as people seem to love that overrated restaurant. This ended up being the worst thing we tried a couple years ago, and based upon the reactions of others, it sounds like this is a very hit or miss item (from the perspectives of size, amount of sauce, and meat quality). For something this expensive, it shouldn’t vary this much in quality. We won’t be trying it a second chance. Order at your own risk.
France: Escargots Persillade en Brioche – TOP PICK
It should come as no surprise that escargots is expensive, so value for portion size here is actually pretty decent given the size. Just know that the portions are small. In terms of quality, I thought these were really good, although the butter flavor and breading did overwhelm the rest of the escargots. This is a great option for those on the Disney Dining Plan because it counts as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. If you’re on that, go wild, as this is a great way to maximize your snack credit value on the Disney Dining Plan.
Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop
This is one thing that seems to be tweaked from year to year. A couple of years ago we had it when it was served with potatoes and goat cheese, and was amazing (a definite top pick). The next year, it was served with mint pesto and potato crunchies. Not only were the accompaniments not as good, but the portion size seemed smaller. Both times we’ve tried it, it has been relatively fatty. So this one is definitely a YMMV item. This is on the more expensive end of the snack spectrum, but it offers decent value if you receive a large portion size.
Greece: Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey – TOP PICK
This was one of my favorite things at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, but take that with a grain of salt because I’m a sucker for cheese. This had great flavor, was nice and oily, and garnished with pistachios and honey that really worked well with the flavor of the goat cheese. In terms of value, it was moderately priced but my piece of cheese was on the large side (for cheese). Cheese is often more expensive than it seems it should be, so I think this was a pretty good value.
Greece: Chicken with Tzatziki
This gyro tasted pretty good, although the meat was a bit more mild than I would’ve liked. The dressing was great, but overall the item wasn’t that memorable. In terms of portion size, ours was relatively small, which is what prevents it from being a top pick.
Desserts & Champagne: Dessert Trio – TOP PICK
If you followed Sarah’s travels on Instagram, you might have noticed that we purchase this snack a lot…and she shares photos of it each time! The individual desserts in this change each year, but are usually worthwhile. I could string together a list of superlatives to describe each of the snacks in the trio, but that shouldn’t be necessary. Buy this, you won’t be sorry. The desserts in this trio change each year, but it’s always a good value for the money.
Scandinavia: Taste of Scandinavia: Cured Salmon, Herring, and Shrimp Salad – TOP PICK
Up until 2013 when it mysteriously vanished (such is the nature of everything good at Epcot!), the Scandinavia booth was our favorite booth at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Seriously, this list used to have 4 Top Picks on it from the Scandinavia booth. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the booths so we’ve removed the other Scandinavia booth items from the list (it would just be mean to tease them!), but we REALLY hope it returns, so we’re leaving this one here as a reminder of the greatness that was the Scandinavia booth. Maybe when Dreamfinder returns to the Journey into Imagination pavilion, he will bring the Scandinavia booth along with him! 😉
Hawaii: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise – TOP PICK
Since Hawaii is one of the first booths you might encounter, this is a nice way to start out your snacking–it’ll set the bar high. The bun is a wonderful and buttery (unsurprisingly) Hawaiian roll, the sauce is rich and not too spicy, and the meat is moist and perfectly flavored. Since Hawaii was added a few years ago, we have really had to restrain ourselves each year from ordering more of these bad boys! Even though, as best I can tell, Hawaii is not a country, it was a great addition to the Food & Wine Festival!
Belgium: Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream – TOP PICK
The waffle here is good, but what makes this snack is the berry compote. I’m sure they weren’t, but the berries tasted fresh, and the syrup has a bit of an edge to it (perhaps a hint of lemon?). We feel that this is a great value, as its fairly reasonably priced and the portion is usually good.
Hawaii: Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips
The tuna is delicious and it tastes fresh, but I wouldn’t say this is an especially great option. The portion is on the small side and the seaweed salad is nothing memorable. The single lotus root chip is more garnish than anything. If you love seafood, you might give it a try.
France: Créme BrÃ»lée au Chocolat au Lait – TOP PICK
This was a surprise favorite for us. It was perfectly crip on top, with delicious chocolat au lait below. The portion size was about the same as you’d get from Le Cellier at dessert, and we thought this créme brÃ»lée was arguably just as good as Le Cellier’s. The French know how to do dessert!
Morocco: Kefta Pocket (Beef in a Pita Pocket)
The lamb kefta at Sanaa is great, so we figured this kefta pocket from Morocco would be worth trying. As far as value goes, I would say it did poorly. However, the taste makes up for that, as it was a meaty and very flavorful dish. The portion size was fairly large, too. On second thought, maybe the value wasn’t that bad, after all!
Canada: Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta
I refuse to eat soup in hot weather, so we pass over the Cheddar Cheese Soup about which everyone raves. All was not lost for us at the Canada booth, as we instead sampled this delicious snack, which offered good value and even better taste. The sausage itself had a bit of bite to it, but nothing that most palates can’t handle. The polenta provided the perfect compliment. This snack is not currently offered, but we hope it returns!
Japan: Any Sushi Roll
We don’t recommend any of the sushi at the Japan kiosk. Not because it’s bad (it’s okay), but because it’s pretty comparable to what you can get any day of the year at Katsura Grill in terms of variety and quality (not necessarily the exact rolls).
Hops & Barley: Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll
This is a difficult recommendation. On the one hand, this lobster roll is fantastic. It’s real Maine lobster, with big chunks of lobster in it, and not overly loaded with filler. However, it’s small and it’s the most expensive item in any booth at the Food & Wine Festival. Hops & Barley regularly rotates their lobster offering, but it’s always expensive. This snack is not currently offered, but we hope it returns!
Belgium: Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream & Baguette
This dish is one of the best snacks, both from a taste and value perspective, at the Food & Wine Festival. The mussels were tender and tasted great. The cream sauce was utterly amazing, but the broth was no slouch, either. Much to Sarah’s chagrin, I discretely headed to a hidden nook and licked the rest of the garlic cream sauce off my plate when I was done with this one. Uncouth? Sure. Totally worth it? Double-sure. This snack is not currently offered, but we hope it returns!
Australia: Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze
This is an okay option, but it’s another one-and-done for us. The glaze isn’t all that memorable, leaving you with a pretty ordinary barbecued shrimp skewer. For shrimp, it’s a decent value, but if you are concerned with only trying the best of the best, you can safely skip this. This snack is not currently offered, and we’re pretty much okay with that…
New Zealand: Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad
The sea scallop was good, but it was a single scallop without much of the puree or salad, and was fairly pricey. We have seen photos from others who have ordered this, and they received a lot more of the red curry puree. Even with more puree, this is not a very good value. Not currently offered.
Hops & Barley (aka Beer+America!!!): Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce – TOP PICK
Before you get too excited, this exact snack isn’t available this year, but a different ‘craisin’ snack is available every year, so we hope this little gem (our favorite thing about the Food & Wine Festival) returns soon. Please, Disney, please! We love all things pumpkin. Heck, we do a yearly pumpkin beer sampling because we love pumpkins so much. Sarah makes pumpkin smoothies. A pumpkin candle (which we do NOT eat) sits on our coffee table in the fall. That said, we are both pretty discerning when it comes to pumpkin-cuisine. We don’t just love everything with the word pumpkin slapped on it that just happens to have a hint of pumpkin and an over-abundance of cinnamon (a common error in pumpkin-food preparation).
I think we ended up having about 5 of these over the course of our trip the first year this was offered. The perfectly balanced mousse was definitely the highlight, but the Craisins (this new Ocean Spray sponsorship is really proving to be a huge win for Walt Disney World guests!) were a surprisingly good compliment to the dish. Each year, we assume this is going to jump in price, but it has remained a good value since it’s introduction. This is easily the best mix of value and taste at Food & Wine Festival. Order this (or a few of this!) for sure.
Overall, we always have a great time sampling the different snacks at Food & Wine Festival. A few of our favorites aren’t on the list (like the Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney) because we haven’t tried them in the last couple of years and don’t have photos of them, but the “Top Picks” here do cover most of our current favorites, and the snacks we buy year after year (assuming they’re offered every year).
Many of our other favorites have disappeared over the years, but as the Food & Wine Festival continues to expand, it seems the good replacements usually outnumber the “extinctions.”
We stressed this at the beginning of the post, but it bears repeating: if you’re not on the Disney Dining Plan with Snack Credits to spare, you can spend a lot of money rather quickly in an afternoon wandering around the World Showcase. Portion sizes are typically small, and prices can be high. Dining at the Food & Wine Festival is not a good way to experience Walt Disney World on a budget, and you will spend far more on these snacks than you would on a counter service meal–especially if you add drinks along the way.
That said, there are some snacks that represent good bang-for-buck options, and most of the snacks are quite tasty. If you choose to order something not pictured here, we highly recommend that you ask to see it first at the kiosk (they will show you the items). We made the mistake of not doing this a couple of times, and were either underwhelmed by the portion size, or were disappointed to receive a pre-packaged snack. Most of the time this will not be an issue, and you’ll likely to enjoy most what you try!
If you’re attending Food & Wine Festival, make sure you read our full Epcot’s 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!
For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles. Also make sure to read our other Walt Disney World restaurant reviews and Disney Dining Plan resources.
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With literally hundreds of snacks at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, it’s impossible for us to review them all, so what are some of your favorites? Which snacks at Food & Wine Festival do you NOT like? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments!
Cannot wait to hear from folks in a few days, doing the 2014 FWF…. faves and suggestions. Will you all be going? If so, how do I get updates on comments? We are taking our first family trip, first wknd of Oct!!
Thanks for the advice! My family and I are going to be there this October and we will be on the Disney Dinning plan. We will be there for 5 nights with a 4 people in out family. That would give us 20 snacks as a family. I love the idea of using all the snack for our day at Epcot. However, you mentioned in your blog that there was a chance that Disney may wise up and not offer snack credits for these items any more. On the website it says Dinning Plans NOT excepted for the Food & Wine Expo. Do you have any further insight at this time as to weather they will be changing that this year or not?
Going for the first time this year 2014, how is the best way to approach the days venue, is one day enough of time?
I just came back from the Food and Wine Festival and it was the best time ever!! I did the Italian Wine Pairing Lunch and it was out of this world!! It was a 5 course meal with a different wine per course. Highly recommend. I also did the Culinary Demonstration, it was duck. We had duck two ways, and it might have been the best meal I have ever had in Disney! It was seriously that delicious!! It came with a glass (half) of pinot noir and for the $14 it was well worth it!!!
Interestingly, I tried many foods around the world but NONE of the same ones you mention above, lol!! There were just sooo many different booths. I loved the shrimp taco from Mexico, and the Mongolian beef in steamed bun from China was delicious!! I also really liked the potato and leek waffle with braised beef from Belgium. I also tried the scallop with ragout of tomatoes from Brazil – it was just okay.
I cannot wait to go back next year for an even longer trip so I can try everything! I was there on Friday 10/4 and then again on Monday, 10/7. Friday was not too crowded. At one point, around 11:30, I was only 1 of 2 people in the whole German Pavilion! It was great to be able to walk around the shops without people in my way! Monday was very, very crowded, however. Though since that was the day I had all my reservations (Italian lunch, demonstrations), it didn’t bother me much. And I loved the gift cards with the bracelet to wear! Made paying at the booths so much easier!
Not sexy but oh so good was the ravioli snack at the Italy booth last week.
Great photos! I too loved the mussels in Belgium. I agree that the 2011 version was better, but I’m sad to see they are not on the menu at all this year 🙁
No Scandinavia booth. 🙁 Why do you tease?
Ha, sorry! I write these articles for the long term, and I suspect we haven’t seen the last of the Scandinavia booth. That’s why I caution you not to get too excited when reading the reviews. It sounds like a few things praised here are not present in 2013, unfortunately. 🙁
My husband and I are heading down for our first EVER Food and Wine Festival (for a whole week)! We are so excited as we love food…and wine..and the World Showcase is our favorite part of Disney. I was reading your list and wanted to try the pumpkin mousse with the craisins, but I headed to Disney Food Blog and it seems this year there is a craisin bread pudding instead. Darn!
Ahh…I see that Craisin Bread Pudding on the menu over on DFB. That’s tragic! I know the pumpkin mousse was really popular, so I wonder why the change was made? Hopefully the mousse returns next year!
Hi Tom! What a fantastic, mouth-watering post you’ve put together here. I love the vibrant colours in these photos. It looks like Epcot have pulled out all the stops this year.
Best wishes, Alex
Just came back from Disney last week (not the best vacation experience…many, many miss-communications from resort to parks–but that’s not what i want to write about here). We had a GREAT experience at the Food & Wine Festival. We had 20 snack credits and used 18 there.
The two big bummers: Shrimp Ceviche (more like shrimp cocktail and salsa — not my expected citrus-based ceviche) AND the Dole Whip…I had many high expectations about this from many blogs and Pinterest but ours seemed nothing more than Orange Sorbet/sherbet. 🙁
Our top picks were from Australia: (which we went to twice and ordered the same thing twice) the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and the Grilled Garlic Prawns. the second helping of each was not as good as the first (either fatty or slightly smaller looking portions).
Others we REALLY enjoyed: Canadian Filet with Truffle Sauce (ours was excellent), Ireland’s Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie, Hops & Barley’s two Lobster dishes were tasty. and the Pork Sliders were tasty too. OH and one of the bests was the Crispy Pork Belly with Guacamole.
Using the snack credits is a great way to try these somewhat expensive foods for “free”. My wife and I (and sometimes son and daughter) would/could easily split each dish. and this was our lunch that day. We were there for the testing night and had 3 bites and looked over the passport to circle the items we wanted to try. This was a great experience and one we’d love to try without children in tow.
It is a great time and good conversations with other line guests.
So you favor the value of the DDP to buy snacks at the festival. How do you feel about converting counter service credits to 3 snacks to buy festival foods? How does that stack up in terms of value? Never done DDP before. Thinking about a plan for a future trip. We left to go during the festival to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Depends on what you’d get in each case. A single CS meal could have a value exceeding $21. The most value those three snack credits could have is $22.50, and that’s if you used all three on lobster rolls.
This is a horribly misleading article. We already have the list of 2013 booths and menu items and many of these aren’t on it. There isn’t even a Scandanavian booth at all. Why recommend things that aren’t even going to be available?
From the article: “The reviews below are based on some of the items we have had at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival in the past few years. These may or may not be back this year (most will), so make sure to consult the official menus before you get too excited about a particular item.”
Oh no, no Scandinavian Booth?? Dang it, I was looking forward to that cured seafood salad! Hopefully they bring it back in 2014 🙂
Hi Tom! Love your blog! My husband and I are planning to take a quick trip to Disney for the F&W Fest next year. Do you have any tips about what day of the week would be best to go? We’re making it a quick trip – just 3 days/2 nights. We plan to arrive early afternoon on Day 1 and attend the Halloween Party that evening, spend all of Day 2 at the F&W fest (will stay at either the Beach Club or Boardwalk), and then head home on Day 3. So should we make this a mid-week trip or go on a weekend? Do weekends tend to be busier and more crowded? Thanks!
Jamie–avoid weekends @ all cost! We are going in October and did a ton of research. Everything we read recommended Tuesday as the least crowded night for Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party. And attendance at The food and wine festival are significantly higher on weekends. I guess that’s when all the locals come out.
Yes, DEFINITELY do a weekday, ideally middle of the week. Weekends are almost unbearable, and have a much rowdier (college) crowd, too.
Thank you both, Tom and Tammy, for your replies! I figured weekends were busier b/c of locals. There is a tequila tasting/lunch event at the Mexican pavilion we want to attend, although that seems to be held only on th/fri/sat, so Thursday would be the best choice but the Halloween party is never held on a weds (at least according to this year’s schedule) so I guess if we want to avoid the crowds we’ll have to skip that event. Not the end of the world, really, we’ll be happy just grazing all the booths!
This post is immediately being shared with my October traveling group. We will be at WDW for 3 nights/2 days and doing both F&W and the Halloween party. I fully intend to use all of my snack credits at F&W, even if it means breaking out the cash for a Dole Whip the next night.
The pork slider and lobster roll have both been marked for likely consumption.
Thanks for another great article!
Good call. You’re much better off paying for that Dole Whip out of pocket than paying for many of these snacks. Even though we don’t recommend it, you might give that Le Cellier steak a try if using credits. Perhaps you’ll get lucky with it. (If so, please report back!)
Goat milk is often consumed by young children, the elderly, those who are ill, or have a low tolerance to cow’s milk. Goat milk is more similar to human milk than that of the cow, although there is large variation among breeds in both animals. Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. Because goat cheese is often made in areas where refrigeration is limited, aged goat cheeses are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay. As a result, salt has become associated with the flavor of goat cheese.`
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Can’t count how many times I’ve been to Disney (20+) & I will be going to my first Food & Wine Fest this year. I really enjoyed reading your posts & the pics look great. I can tell you really thought out your shots so that they would show the food up close and have nice backgrounds. Thanks for all the hard work!
Yum! My husband and I are heading to our 2nd F&WF and this was great warm-up 🙂 Gorgeous photos and great reviews. I too am a pumpkin food enthusiast, but for some reason was thinking of passing over the mousse, you’ve changed my mind and it’s definitely on the list!
Your photos have the best lighting and composition. I know you are not a food stylist, but this food looks darn tasty in your beautiful shots. Keep up the good work!!!
I love to indulge with your posts since I can’t be there in person
Thanks! I’ve been working at improving my food-photography skills, so hopefully it has paid off!
Tom, your pictures of the food are so delicious looking! My wife and I will be experiencing our very first Food & Wine next week, and I’ll definitely be sure to grab some of these suggestions. (To be honest, coming from Massachusetts, the idea of craisins doesn’t excite me all that much, but I guess I should give it a try based on your glowing review.) The picture of the lamb chop in particular is amazing. Ah, if only we had more time to try them all!
For $1.50, even if it’s bad (it’s not), the Pumpkin Mousse is worth trying!