The Alps is our next booth as we continue around World Showcase during the 2019 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 Disney Dining Plan credits.
For starters, “the Alps” is another booth that’s technically not a single country. Much like “the Riviera” is a nebulous term that allows flexibility as it encompasses multiple countries, the Alps here could describe cuisine from France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, or perhaps even the great nation of Arendelle. We’d probably never know for sure–except DisneyWorld.com described this as “the delicious tastes of Swiss-inspired dishes!” Mystery solved.
The Alps is located across from the Norway pavilion, and is one of the few new Global Marketplaces to join the lineup in 2019. Unlike other new-ish booths you’ll find around World Showcase, like Shimmering Sips or Appleseed Orchard, what’s here is not simply moved over from another booth or location. Well, for the most part…
When the Alps booth was announced, I was pretty excited. There are some interesting things that could be done with Swiss cuisine, and the Alps has the potential to be a fun, inventive, and crowd-pleasing booth all at once.
However, like in the real Switzerland, cuisine at the Alps Global Marketplace feels like it never lives up to its full potential, with a menu that sounds more interesting than it is in actuality. (Hey, at least these dishes are downright cheap by Swiss standards!)
Here’s the food menu for the Alps:
Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons and Baguette (V) (KA)
Venison Stew with Crushed Potatoes
Blueberry and Almond Frangipane Tart with Crème Fraîche Cream and Blue Diamond® Almonds (V) (KA)
Now our photos and reviews of each item from the Alps Global Marketplace at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival…
Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Baby Potatoes, Cornichons and Baguette ($5) – There are some dishes at the various festivals that deserve points for edutainment or culture value, in addition to their culinary quality. This is one such dish.
The Alps Cast Members are shaving this cheese by hand and using a raclette machine to warm the cheese wheel and plate the cheese in full view of guests. It’s really cool to watch, and this aspect of the dish is what makes it interesting and authentic.
The fun of the presentation and preparation is superior to the taste, which arguably is true of a lot of dishes like this from the actual Alps (so there’s that element of authenticity, too!). The cheese itself is good, as are the baby potatoes; unfortunately, the baguette is low-quality. While we’d prefer to see the similar fondue bread bowl from the Bavaria booth at Festival of the Holidays, this is a worthwhile “filler” dish, and one we tepidly recommend.
Venison Stew with Crushed Potatoes ($6) – Venison is definitely an acquired taste–lean meat with a wild, gamey flavor that some people try to season away. Being from the Midwest, I ate venison about 5 times per week in the winter, and actually have come to love its natural flavor.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really venison. Isn’t not really crushed potatoes, either. It’s more like glorified mashed potatoes with beef gravy. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but I felt like this dish could’ve been more than just sophisticated Dinty Moore. It’s possibly worth tasting with a Disney Dining Plan snack credit, but we’d skip this if paying out of pocket.
Blueberry and Almond Frangipane Tart with Crème Fraîche Cream & Almonds – The Alps’ standout item, the bluberries here are abundant and punctuate the art, with the Crème Fraîche Cream provided a rich and decadent topping.
Ideally, you’ll want to pay out of pocket for this, but it’s a must-order whether you’re using cash or Disney Dining Plan snack credits to fund your World Showcase culinary tour.
In terms of alcoholic drinks, here’s what’s served at the Alps Food & Wine Festival Global Marketplace:
Domaine CARREL et Fils Eugène Jongieux Blanc
Cave De La Côte Rosé Gamay, Romand
René Favre Dôle, Chamoson
Wine Flight also available
Overall, the Alps Global Marketplace at the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival didn’t quite live up to our expectations, but it’s not a total disappointment, either. These are dishes that are good in theory, and it’s fun to watch the preparation, but they could executed with a bit more ambition. The one exception is the dessert, which is the highlight. With all of that said, we’re hoping the Alps makes a return in 2020–this booth has a lot of potential, and hopefully nails the execution next year!
What do you think of the Alps Global Marketplace? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? Any thoughts on these items? Portion-size or quality-wise, did you have better or worse luck than us with what you ordered? 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!