Mac & Eats is a booth serving inventive macaroni and cheese 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 this mac & cheese 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 this food booth will debut…
The Mac & Cheese marketplace was one of our favorites last year. It’s also one of a few with corporate sponsors, something that I often find groan-worthy as it means the unnecessary inclusion of almond milk into recipes or the booth selling overpriced plastic bags of tomatoes. Not so with Mac & Cheese, which is presented by Boursin Cheese–a logical and tasty fit for this booth.
After all, Boursin is a fine cheese that’s beloved at social gatherings in France (per Bousin, and since their corporate website says so, it must be a fact). It’s sophisticated stuff for discerning palates, not some swill like Babybel. Never mind the fact that they’re both made by Bel Brands USA (and also the reality that Babybel is a delicious guilty pleasure). But I digress!
The Mac & Cheese booth is essentially the spiritual successor to the Cheese Studio. It may not be so obvious on the face, as there’s zero menu overlap, but closer investigation reveals it to be true. First, both have “cheese” in the name. Second, both are sponsored by Boursin Cheese. That’s the smoking gun–maybe detective was my true calling, and not Disney blogger. Guess we’ll never know.
As its own thing, the Mac & Cheese booth would score high marks. As a replacement for a top 3 booth at last year’s Food & Wine Festival…not so much. I’d trade all of this for that glorious Maple Bourbon Cheesecake or even the Braised Beef Stroganoff. But again, I digress.
Anyway, let’s start with the 2021 Mac & Eats food and drink menus:
- Traditional Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Panko
- Truffle Macaroni and Cheese with Herbed Panko
- Cowboy Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Pork Belly, Brisket Burnt Ends, Pickled Peppers and Onion Straws
- Macaroni and Cheese with House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers (plant-based item
Mac & Eats Beverages:
- 81Bay Brewing Co. Lemon Hazy IPA, Tampa, FL
- L’Ecole No. 41 Chenin Blanc Old Vines, Columbia Valley, WA
- Evolution by Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR
Now our photos and reviews of each item at the Mac & Cheese marketplace from last year…
Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese ($5.50) – This mac & cheese is topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce plus carrots, celery, and blue cheese crumbles.
I really wanted to love this–I’m a sucker for buffalo chicken mac & cheese. However, it was a bit dry and lacking in buffalo sauce. That should be relatively easy for Disney to remedy; if that happens, this one would catapult up the list as everything else about it is fantastic. As is, I’m tempted to bring my own sauce so I can order this again.
Macaroni and Cheese ($5.50) – This is the plant-based option, featuring with meatless house-made Italian “Sausage” and peppers.
This would rank as Sarah’s second-favorite mac & cheese and my third-favorite. The Italian “sausage” is fantastic, making for a hearty and satisfying dish here. It’s probably among the best dishes at the event if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese ($6.50) – This mac & cheese is topped with lobster chunks, plus Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce, lobster cream, and herbed panko.
This ranks as my second-favorite and Sarah’s third-favorite. Her primary complaint was that the lobster didn’t compare quality-wise to other restaurants around Walt Disney World. My response: “yeah, but there’s a lot of it!” You’re getting significantly more lobster than you would at a table service restaurant, and for around half the cost. All things considered, I was pretty impressed by this dish, and would order it again in a heartbeat.
Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese ($4.50) – This mac & cheese is topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese plus herbed panko.
This is our unanimous #1 pick from the Mac & Cheese Marketplace. It’s also the cheapest item on the menu! It turns out that the simplest dish is the best, as this dish is befitting of its “gourmet” name. The removal of other ingredients allows the creaminess of the Boursin coupled with the texture of the herbed panko to really shine. It’s decadent and indulgent, truly an “adult” mac & cheese.
Ultimately, Mac & Cheese is an excellent Epcot Food & Wine Festival booth. That’s simultaneously high praise for this specific marketplace and an indictment of the event as a whole. As much as we love mac & cheese, it’s hardly the pinnacle of culinary ambitiousness, and not what you’d expect as the highlight of a “foodie” event.
On the other hand, some indulgent comfort food really hits the spot right about now, especially after a rough few months. Plus, I’d purchase every single one of these dishes again, and feel like I’m getting pretty good value for money in the process. I’m still hopeful that Cheese Studio makes a triumphant return with the full Epcot International Food & Wine Festival next year, but for now, this’ll do!
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 Mac & Cheese 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? Does it live up to the quality of Cheese Studio, or is it an inferior replacement? 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!