Hawaii’s Global Marketplace at the 2020 Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in Walt Disney World is our next stop. In this WDW dining review, we’ll look at the menu prices, share food photos, and offer thoughts on what is worth your money.
Before we get to that, let’s begin with a brief synopsis of what’s happening with the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. As you’re no doubt aware, Walt Disney World’s theme parks were closed for 4 months. Upon reopening, this event began–over a month before the full EPCOT Food & Wine Festival would typically start. In short, the Taste of EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is a truncated version of the full event.
Menus have been scaled back, fewer new items have debuted, and some dishes are holdovers from the Flower & Garden Festival. Walt Disney World has not officially announced when this event will end or how it might evolve as the phased reopening continues, but there are signs that it’ll be expanded. Consequently, we’re updating our menus & reviews to reflect what’s currently available–but note that this is all subject to change. Additional items might be added and others removed. Stay tuned for more EPCOT updates!
The Hawaii Global Marketplace is in an interesting location, just off the main path at World Showcase Plaza, sort of near the Culinary Corridor. It’s not really tucked away, as it’s visible from the main drag. Either way, the Hawaii booth pretty much always draws a big crowd…and for good reason.
Note that for the 2020 Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival, Hawaii does not feature its traditional design (see below), instead replacing the Honey Bee-stro booth for Flower & Garden Festival (see above).
For the last several years, the Hawaii booth has been home to two of the best snacks in all of Walt Disney World. One of these, the Kalua Pork Slider, also contributes to the obsession with all things Dole among Disney fans, but rather than being topped with pineapple soft serve, this features a nice chutney. (Although perhaps one of the test chefs should pioneer a Dole Whip Slider!)
You’ll want to save your money for this booth, as Hawaii features delicious food items that offer reasonably good value for money, which is becoming increasingly rare among Epcot Food & Wine Festival booths. Let’s take a look at what’s on the menu, and what’s worth buying…
First, here’s a look at the Hawaii Global Marketplace menu:
Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet-and-Sour DOLE Pineapple Chutney and spicy Mayonnaise
Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and spicy Mayonnaise
Maui Brewing Company Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI
Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
AULANI Sunrise: Vodka, DOLE Pineapple Juice, and Grenadine
Now our photos and reviews of each item…
Kalua Pork Slider ($5.25) – If you’ve been to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival in the past several years–or even read coverage of the event–you’ve tried or heard of this. It’s a fan favorite, and for good reason.
Despite the relatively small roll, this sandwich comes with a heaping helping of moist pork, topped with pineapple chutney and a liberal coating of spicy mayonnaise. The mild zest of the sauce mixes perfectly with the pineapple, and the meat is always perfectly flavored. This is a can’t miss!
Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash ($4.25) – I love this. It’s everything a dish at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival should be: inventive, unexpected, authentic, and delicious. I know using SPAM has been a trendy thing for a couple of years now, and it’s nice to see Walt Disney World getting in on the act.
The hash is good because it is well-prepared, with a nice crispiness and teriyaki glaze that adds a light sweetness to the flavor of the SPAM. The spicy mayo plays nicely with this, and the end result is an excellent, complex dish. It’s fun, delicious, and a good value for the money–definitely get this.
Past & Potential Future Items
Grilled Tuna Tataki ($5.25) – Replacing the poke a couple years ago, I’m a fan of this seared tuna. Yes, it’s a relatively small portion for the price, but it’s a unique preparation as to what you’ll find elsewhere around Walt Disney World, and it “feels” somewhat ambitious.
Grilling the fish just a bit changes its flavor profile, and the wasabi cream gives it a nice kick. It’s certainly not the standout in a booth of all-stars, but it’s good enough for me to recommend.
Passion Fruit Cheesecake ($4) – There are a few similar desserts like this at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, so we don’t blame you if you want to skip this. That’d be understandable, as the passion fruit flavor is understated and you might’ve already filled up on sweets by this point in your grazing around World Showcase.
However, the macadamia nuts provide a nice texture, and there is enough fruit flavor to give this a sense of the tropics. We like it enough to order one every year. (In other words…you might as well order the entire menu in Hawaii, because the Passion Fruit Cheesecake is good enough to justify that move!)
Overall, the Hawaii Global Marketplace is always one of the strongest booths at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This booth has been solid for years, but we think it has come into its own in the last few years. It’s disappointing that 2 of these are gone (for now?) with the 2020 Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but we understand Disney’s predicament. Nevertheless, it’s really impressive that a single state is up there with culinary powerhouses like the country of France as one of the best booths of the fest, but that’s exactly the case with the Hawaii Global Marketplace.
What do you think of the Hawaii Global Marketplace? Have you tried any of the four food items at this booth? What did you think of them? What do you think of this booth–or the idea that a single state can hang with culinary powerhouses like France in producing some of the best items of the event? 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!