Today, Themed Park Insider, along with other media and Tables in Wonderland members who purchased a ticket, got to attend a preview event which enabled us to sample some of the food and wine they plan on featuring at the Festival. We plan on telling you about some of the amazing food and wine along with some of the fun culinary events they have planned, including some of the new selections for this year. So get excited!
The Hops & Barley booth is bringing back the New England Lobster roll. No more lobster mix, this year they are going back to the basics with pure fresh lobster on a nice soft buttered roll. Last year it was a lobster mix which was good, but not great. Way to bring it back.
Wine & Dine Studio will have a new dish featuring a seared scallop, truffled celery root puree, Brussels sprouts, and wild mushrooms. The seared scallop is amazing to begin with, but everything goes so well together. The truffled celery root puree does not taste anything like celery and the Brussels sprouts have a nice crisp to the outside as if they were pan roasted. The wild mushrooms make a nice addition as well.
Disney hasn't named the booth for this, but be sure when they do, we will find out and circle it on our map. This dish was absolutely delicious. Duck confit is seasoned and slowly roasted in duck fat. It's placed on top creamy and I do mean creamy, polenta. Topped off with fire roasted salsa, it makes one savory dish we kept coming back to.
The desserts are plenty at this festival. A lot of people, including us, loved the Chocolate Studio booth's Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel sauce. The chocolate-almond truffle had the consistency of mousse and the sauce was to die for. We personally also liked the new-to-the-Festival food booth Islands of the Carribean's “quesito.” The quesito was a puff pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese and topped with guava sauce. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied with these two alone.
As for beverage highlights, the Desserts & Champagne booth has Moet & Chandon Ice Champagne that is perfect for a hot summer day. It's light, fruity, and served over ice with a nice mint leaf for added flavor. It can also be served alone, but having it on ice makes it that much more refreshing.
In addition to the Chocolate Studio, Wine & Dine Studio and Islands of the Caribbean marketplaces, Epcot will be introducing that marketplace to be named and The Chew Collective to this year's marketplace line-up. Returning marketplaces will be getting some new dishes, too, including this vegan Loaded Greek "Nachos," made with pita chips, meatless sausage crumbles, and vegan Tzatziki.
The Festival will offer more than just food booths, it will feature many culinary events and demonstrations. Everyone can visit the Festival Center for cooking tips, book signings, and more. They are bringing back their 45-minute culinary and beverage seminars, which are reasonably priced at $15 per person.
Celebrity chefs such as Cat Cora, Graham Elliot, and Bryan Voltaggio will be on hand to share their favorite dishes at the “What's Cookin' With…” seminar. For $129 + tax will get you and others a chance to see these chefs, partake in a question and answer session, and sip on sparkling wine in these morning only sessions.
In addition, there are cheese seminars ($89), Wine and Spirit Boot Camps ($129), country specific dining events ($40-$160), Rockin' Burger Block Party ($99-$199), Party for the Senses ($169-$329), along with many others. An event for every preference.
More information about these events and more will be posted on Disney's website July 11th. Then they will announce when you can buy tickets to the events. If you're interested in attending a celebrity event, buy them early as they often sell out fast.
Overall, we were impressed. Every year seems to get better and we cannot wait to attend this fall. Make sure to check back here for more updates, event, and concert information, along with our Insider tips on attending the Festival. Let the countdown begin!
FYI: Festival access is included with the price of your Epcot admission. Each dish and beverage is separate. Dishes average $5-$9 and come in sample sizes.Tweet
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