Saturday, November 10, 2012

Epcot Food and Wine Festival – New Booths, Climbing Prices and How to Save

If you haven’t experienced the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, you must.  Stat.  Except this is the last weekend for the event, so put it on your calendar for next year right now.

I make sure to attend every year.  In fact, this is the 6th year I have been.  And every year, I go with my dear friend, Amy.  She’s just as much of an economical explorer as I am.

The first year we went to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I was very testy.  Mainly because we had spent the whole morning at Animal Kingdom and were starving by the time we got to Epcot.  But, I was a hardcore vegetarian and there were very few vegetarian options. 

Perturbed in a pear!
Six years later, that’s changed.

Did you know "terra" means "earth" in Latin
and "Tara" means "earth in Celtic? This stand
was clearly meant for me!
In 2012, for the first time ever, Disney introduced a vegan booth.  The options were Tri’k'n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice and Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese.  I got the chili.

It was quite delicious!
Also, unlike back in 2007, Disney now notes whether an item is vegetarian on the country’s board. 

That green "V" means vegetarian.  Epcot started doing this in 2010
Also new this year was the Florida Local booth. Amy got the White Corn Arepa with Mangalitsa Pork Rillette and I got Florida Shrimp Ceviche. 

The food was a score.  We also got Florida Orange
Groves Hurricane Class 5, Florida White Sangria.
That was was too sweet for my liking.
The new stands were delicious, but you can’t forget the oldies, but goodies, like France, which has been around since Epcot Food & Wine started back in 1996.

I got the Escargots Persillade en Brioche; Amy got Coq au Vin and the Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait.  We both got the Sparkling Pomegranate Kir.

The Sparkling Pomegranate Kir is so awesome we started
making it at home.  Just mix sparkling wine with PAMA
Pomegranate Liquer.
Unfortunately, France is where we experienced the biggest shock of our Food & Wine experience.

Amy spent more than $17 at this stand.
I spent $13.
As delicious as the food tastes, Epcot Food & Wine is not especially economical.

These receipts total up to about $100 for each
of us.  Ouch!
Prices for Food & Wine certainly have increased over the years.


The price of Spanakopita in Greece has increased about 33% in just six years.  These days, you really have to use your discretion at Food & Wine.  Take Japan for instance.

The Spicy Tuna roll was $4.95, which I feel is a much better deal than I can get at most sushi places. 

At the Hops and Barley stand, we got a delicious dessert for just $1.50.

In Italy, the Ravioli di Formaggio all' Emiliana was a little pricey at $5.50, but check out the portion size!


Same goes for the alcohol.  The most we paid for a single drink was $8.75 for the Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvée in Scandinavia.

The rice pudding was $2.75 and very yummy!
We even saw some drinks go for more than $12 (Moët & Chandon at the Desserts and Champagne stand).  But we also wine as cheap as $2 at the Cheese booth and purchased wine for just $3 in Australia.

Another way to save money, besides just being particular, is through the Disney Dining Plan.

Anything with the little purple and white box is eligible for
purchase under the Disney Dining Plan

The catch?  You have to come to Disney through a Vacation Club Package.  Amy tried to explain to me how to use this plan, but I was a little confused, so I think this website explains it best (you need to scroll to the bottom).

Disney also offers free and low-cost seminars which you can find out about through The Disney Food Blog as well.  In fact, The Disney Food Blog has lots of ideas for eating at Disney!  But my best advice is to pick and choose until you find the perfect pair.

This is where I found the perfect pairing: Seared
Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and Marqués de
Cáceres ‘Satinela’ wine in Singapore for $6.75 

Total Cost: Approximately $100

Best Deal: Desserts like Yogurt Panna Cotta with Orange Cake, Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chili and Salted Caramel for only $1.50 each ($3.75 if you do the Dessert Trio)!

I think it’s worth it, but what do you think about the prices at Epcot Food and Wine?  Would you shell out the dough?

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