Shimmering Sips is our next stop at the 2020 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 not.
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 are 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!
You might recognize this Global Marketplace in a couple of different ways. Visually, this was previously the Almond Orchard Hosted By Almond Breeze Almond Milk. Name-wise, Shimmering Sips was previously in the Wonders of Life Festival Center, which is now being converted to the Play Pavilion.
Basically, the end result is a booth that has a bunch of almond-centric items plus mimosas and a ton of sparkling wine. I’m guessing the idea is that you’ll get loaded on booze so that the almond-based ice creams don’t taste so awful. As the official Shimmering Sips online menu suggests, let’s “get the party started!”
As I noted in our past review of the Almond Orchard booth, I think it could potentially be cool to learn more about Almond Breeze as a milk substitute in recipes, but I’m not a fan of using a corporate sponsorship to force this stuff where it doesn’t belong.
I say this as someone who (unfortunately) uses almond milk with regularity due to lactose intolerance. For some reason, people in my position generally pretend that almond milk is just as good as regular milk–or maybe believe it because they seldom taste the real thing?
It’s sort of like when you see a vegetarian restaurant with a 4.5/5 star review on TripAdvisor or Google. Sure, it could be exceptional…or those reviewing it could have limited perspective or be over-compensating. This is something I’ve learned the hard way as we’ve “embraced” plant-forward diets, and something I guess I’ve also learned when it comes to almond milk.
As someone who regularly dabbles in the dark arts of (glorious) real dairy, I have no problem admitting almond milk flat-out isn’t as good. But once again, I digress.
Here’s the menu for Shimmering Sips:
Shimmering Strawberry Soft-Serve in a Waffle Cone
Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote (Plant-based)
Shimmering Sips Beverages:
Tropical Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juices
Key Lime Mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice
Blood Orange Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Blood Orange Juice
Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red, Piedmont
Now our photos and reviews of each item from the 2020 Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival…
Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote ($4.50) – In the history of Disney Tourist Blog, we’ve never reviewed an item from Shimmering Sips or Almond Orchard positively. Never.
That all changes with this banana bread. The “bread” is fairly dense but not overly dry–it’s almost like a fruity coffee cake. The mixed berry compote doesn’t taste overly artificial, and works perfectly with the cake base. Then there’s the whipped cream, which is delicious and pushes it over the top. One of the best desserts at the 2020 Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival. No joke!!!
Shimmering Strawberry Soft-serve in a Waffle Cone ($5.25) – This is ordinary soft serve ice cream. You’ve probably had this countless times. It’s tasty, refreshing, safe, and predictable.
It’s also not something that belongs at a foodie event. We can’t recommend this.
For years, Shimmering Sips has been the worst booth at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in terms of cuisine/desserts. That’s not true for 2020 thanks to the Banana Bread, and the removal of a couple other dubious menu items (the soft serve is still highly questionable, but we’ll give it a pass). Plus, Shimmering Sips has the mimosas and champagne to redeem it.
What do you think of the Shimmering Sips booth? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? Think I’m too hard on the ice cream and desserts here? Any thoughts on these items? 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!