Epcot Food and Wine 2016 Roundup

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Epcot Food and Wine is my favorite Epcot festival. It’s the perfect time to enjoy what World Showcase is really about — experiencing different cultures — through food. Booths are set up throughout World Showcase and a few areas of Future World, highlighting different regions and countries and types of food.

The festival is included with admission to Epcot. Food and drinks are smaller portions, usually ranging from $4 to $9 per item. If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, Festival items count as snacks. You can also purchase a tasting sampler, which will help you save a little money if you purchase higher-cost items with it.

When we do Food and Wine, we like to visit as many booths as possible. So, the festival usually takes the place of lunch, dinner or sometimes both. We also share many items to be able to taste as much as possible. Be sure to grab your tasting passport (free and available at most booths) to keep track of what you’ve tried.

France

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What’s more French than French onion soup? This version was cheesy, gooey and had a nice touch of bitterness/acid from the cognac. It was heavy on onions, too, which I appreciate. I had this piping soup twice!

Hawaii

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I love ahi tuna, and the spicy tuna poke with rice and a seaweed salad did not disappoint. The tuna was fresh and delicious.

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I did not eat the Hawaiian pulled pork slider on a King’s Hawaiian roll (I’m not a big pork eater), but my husband loved it. He said this was his favorite dish all day. It was dressed with spicy mayo and pineapple relish.

The Chew Collective

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The Chew, which is my favorite daytime show (all hail Clinton Kelly!), has a heavy influence at Epcot Food and Wine. They have their own booth, and they film several shows from the festival. This zucchini and ricotta lasagna with a rustic tomato sauce and micro basil did not disappoint. This is some of the best marinara sauce I’ve had. This booth is located in Future World.

The Chocolate Studio

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The Chocolate Studio speaks to me on a personal level, mainly because I could eat chocolate every day for every meal. This red wine truffle was bitter at first. It’s dusted in cocoa powder, and the red wine adds to the bitterness, too. However, it has a rich, sweet finish, and I enjoyed this deeper flavor.

Craft Beer

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Craft Beer is an indoor pavilion located as Future World becomes World Showcase. It’s near First Aid and the restrooms. It’s a nice break from the heat, and it has lots of cool graphics on how beer is made and different types of beer. We enjoyed some pimento and cheese at this booth. It was okay, but I’m a huge pimento and cheese connoisseur.

Scotland

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We tried the traditional lamb stew, which is a traditional home-cooked meal in Scotland. This stew was served atop neeps (mashed rutabagas) and tatties (mashed potatoes). We were not fans of neeps, but the tatties were creamy and wonderful. This stew was okay for me, mainly because it tasted so beefy (I don’t really eat beef), but my husband loved it. I would consider this the Scottish version of pot roast.

Islands of the Caribbean

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I didn’t expect to love the quesito, but this Puerto Rican dessert quickly became an unexpected favorite… possibly my favorite dish I had all day. This cream cheese-filled pastry is topped with a guava drizzle. It’s sweet, but the cream cheese gives it a nice tanginess. It gets better the more I eat it, as flavors develop. This treat is part of the Islands of the Caribbean pavilion, a new booth for 2016. It’s a cute area tucked to the side of the entrance of World Showcase filled with calypso music and bright buildings.

Canada

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Canada’s cheddar cheese soup is a staple every year. It’s also included in the Food and Wine 2015 cookbook, and my mom made it for Thanksgiving last year. Though I don’t eat bacon (I know – who am I?), I usually will indulge in this soup because you can’t really taste the bacon. This year it was suuuuper bacon-y, so I only ate a few bites. My mom’s version is vegetarian, though, and I hope she makes it again. This soup is a favorite for most bacon-eating normal people.

China

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The pepper shrimp with garlic noodles is a fairly large portion packed with flavor. I added a little Sriracha to my plate, mostly because if I see Sriracha, I can’t forget about it. This was one of my favorites.

Brazil

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Pão de Queijo is Brazilian cheese bread; it tastes slightly doughy and undercooked on purpose. I loved this gooey bread, and you get two rolls! They do a good job keeping the bread warm, too. It was cool to have Brazilian food after the Olympics were recently there.

Greenhouse Guru

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Greenhouse Guru is located next to the Chew Collective in Future World. The area itself is cool; it’s filled with facts on greenhouses, tomato plants and unique seating. This heirloom tomato salad with balsamic and goat cheese was delicious. It was nice to have a fresh break from several heavy foods, too.

Morocco

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The hummus fries have become a social media favorite this year, and my husband loved them. Though I love hummus and most Mediterranean food, I was not a big fan. They are a different texture, for sure. The flavors are good (except for the diced cucumbers — bleh), but I couldn’t get past the texture. If you like these, there’s good news. Spice Road Table, the sit-down restaurant in Morocco, offers a version of these guys all year round. Maybe I’ll give them another shot there.

Italy

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Holy chicky chicky parm parm! This chicken parm was cheesy and packed with flavor. The chicken itself was cooked well, too. You also get a pretty large portion of this, especially of the chicken.

Mexico

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The taco de camarón is a version of a similar dish you can enjoy at La Hacienda de San Angel, the sit-down restaurant in Mexico on the water (not inside the Aztec building). It’s one of my favorite entrees in all of Walt Disney World, so I always enjoy snagging a mini version during Food and Wine. Fried shrimp, red cabbage, cilantro and spicy mayo atop a flour tortilla provide a spicy, creamy and crunchy dish.

Australia

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This lamb chop with mint pesto and tomato crunchies was packed with flavor, but it did include two of my favorite things: lamb and pesto. The pesto was not super minty, and the potato crunchies add a nice element. The lamb was cooked about medium/medium well. I wouldn’t have minded it closer to medium well, but it still had a great texture and flavor.

Ireland

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This is a terrible, terrible photo of a delicious dessert. The warm chocolate pudding with Irish cream was rich, warm, gooey and sweet. It was like an amped-up, high-brow version of a molten chocolate cake.

 

 

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We be grammin’

I created an Instagram exclusively for this blog. Follow along @themepark.princess!

Feel free to follow/continue following my personal Instagram account, @tarabullburton. I’ll still post plenty of theme park info there, too.

As the year closes, I’m looking back at some of my favorite theme park memories of 2015. One of the best parts of the year was traveling to Epcot for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. I had not been to this festival in over ten years, and my husband has never been. All the food was so delicious, and there was a great variety. I’m a fairly picky eater (I don’t eat beef or pork), but I found something at nearly every stand. Vegetarian, vegan and allergy friendly options also abounded.

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I began my feast with a cheese plate from Ireland. It’s impossible to go wrong with cheese in my book. Check out the festival passport! You received a stamp for every country you got food from.

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The chicken sausage with peppers, onions and polenta and cheese soup from Canada were amazing. I later found out the soup had bacon in it, which I do not eat, but I really didn’t care. It was that good.

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The yummy cheese soup again. My mom made this soup (minus the bacon) for Christmas. She got the recipe from the Epcot cookbook I bought her!

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I took a break from the heavy options with a Greek salad at the Greek booth, of course!

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The shrimp tacos in Mexico featured a spicy creamy sauce and pickled red onion. Yum!

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The buttered chicken in African, served over naan bread, was very flavorful. The cilantro on top added a nice texture.

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This shrimp from Australia was spicy, and the veggies were crisp and delicious. I accidentally got some of the sauce in my eye while eating (how? I wish I knew) and had to rush to the bathroom to flush out my eye. All part of my glamorous life, folks.

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There was an entire area dedicated to CHEESE. This spot was made for me. My favorite is probably that lovely cheese triangle soaked in honey.
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The chicken dumplings in China were delicious and were served with a sweet and spicy sauce.
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I had to have a cannoli in Italy. It’s one of my favorite desserts, and this one did not disappoint!

In short, I came. I ate. I conquered. I did not eat breakfast or lunch on this day, and I probably should not have eaten dinner. I highly recommend visiting Epcot during this festival. Be sure to bring your appetite!

What to wear for New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Star Wars Edition

One of my favorite places to spend New Year’s Eve at WDW is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This park is usually less crowded than Magic Kingdom, but they still participate in the New Year’s fun with hats, horns and fireworks. I put together a Star Wars NYE outfit that embodies both the Light and Dark Side, my favorite colors and plenty of sparkle.

NYE DHS

  1. Tee, Her Universe, $35: I can’t express how obsessed I am with Her Universe. This Yoda tee is the perfect mix of luxe and geek.
  2. Sneakers, Forever21, $29: These gold sneaks are flashy and comfy, two things you’ll need for NYE at the parks.
  3. Ears, GlamBowtique, $29: Sparkles and Star Wars on one set of ears? Is this a dream?
  4. Bracelets, Disney Store, $39.95 each: I loved the Disney Alex and Ani bracelets pre Star Wars line, but the SW options now increase my love so much it hurts. Here are the links for both the Rebel and Imperial Officer in you.
  5. Bag, Mod Cloth, $54.99: This bag gives you the right to call anyone’s lack of anything, but especially faith, disturbing. Use your power.
  6. Joggers, Forever21, $17.90: These sparkly joggers look put together while achieving the peak of comfort.

 

Theme Park Princess is Universal Bound!

I’ll be at Universal Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights this week! Be sure to follow along on Instagram @tarabullburton and Snapchat @just_raptar.

SnapchatThis is will be my first time at Diagon Alley in Unversal Studios and my third time to pee my pants in fear at HHN.