2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Celebrating 20 Years) – Walt Disney World

Hawaii Showcase: Kālua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise

The 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival took place from September 25 to November
16 of this year in Orlando, Florida. The entire festival took place at the Walt
Disney Epcot Theme Park. But 2015 is a special year because it marked the celebration
of 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings
at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. It was a great honor for me to be
invited to cover this special 20th Anniversary of the Epcot International Food
& Wine Festival.

At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, there were so many food stations around the entire theme park. They categorized the food stations based on countries and splitted them into two main sections. The first section was called “World Showcase” section that ranged from Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada had their own “Global Markets” stations to showcase their culinary skills for the public to try.
And the second section was called “Showcase Plaza” section that featured cultural food from countries such as Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Australia, Scotland, Greece, New Zealand, etc. Thus, there were plenty of food and beverages samples for everyone to try and enjoy. It’s a super great way for the public to be able to try cuisine from around the world in one spot at Epcot.

The moment we were
near the entrance, we were given a Walt Disney card, that was the card that
grant us access into the Epcot. Since it was many of
our first visits, the hosts gave us a surprise by getting the Walt Disney
“First Visit” pin for us to pin on. That was a special moment.
Totally unexpected and my dream came true! I was so excited that I immediately
took a photo of my pin and posted onto my Instagram account. A few hours later,
Walt Disney Instagram account reached out to me and asked for my permission to
use my photo with credit given. Of course, I replied with a “Yes!

I think at this point,
I was a bit overly excited, can’t believe I was here! At the entrance, it was
an unforgettable experience. You hold up the Disney card, tab it against a
Mickey Mouse logo machine, it spins with colours and then it stopped. Then a
light blinked and informed you to put your index finger so it could scanned
you, then the Mickey Mouse logo machine lit up again and spinned. Finally, it will
stop with a green light and meaning you now had access to the Epcot. I highly
recommend you to soak up this moment because it’s so magical from the get-go.

Once we walked in at
about 30 steps, you could see the signature looking landmark, the white sphere
which I referred it as the “White Golf Ball”. We posted a few photos
there. Then, along the way, we saw some graphic signage with one that showed
Canada. Since majority of our Social Media Bloggers were from Canada, we got to
pose one in front of it.
Canada Showcase – Photo Credit (@Zamlos)

By the way, what I
like about Walt Disney was its free Wi-Fi everywhere around various theme
parks. For Social Media Blogger like myself, it was KEY. We always need data
usage and especially we were not from the States, international data roaming
could be extremely costly, so free Wi-Fi was very welcomed and appreciated.
Thanks Walt Disney!

As we walked further
into the Epcot, we could see a staff dipped into a cranberry bath, it had tons
of cranberries in it. It turned out it was a display made by Ocean Spray and showcasing how they were harvested in real life. In fact, they were given out samples and it was delish.

Rasberry Exhibit

Then, we walked past a
display that was sculptured by plants and shaped like a Mickey Mouse
barbecuing. I referred that as “BBQ Mickey”! In fact, it was a good
reference point for me to meet up with other bloggers.

BBQ Mickey

As I scanned on the
map of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I could see the
“Global Showcase” was nicely spread out in a sphere. So, as long as
we walked in circle, we will be able to check all out the food stations. We
decided to walk to the Canada Food Station and took a photo of our beautiful
Canadian display. Then, we all decided to split up in groups so we can all walk
around and explore at our own pace and the food stations that we wanted to try.

Basically, each
“Showcase Plaza” or “Global Showcase” food stations
specialized in a few food sample items along with a few special beverages,
wines or beer for people to order. With a swipe of the Walt Disney card, you
are all set to try the food. I highly recommend you load up your card instead
of paying cash, it’s much faster and less hassle to pull out your cash for
every station.
After you ordered, the
friendly staff will give you a receipt, then you move on to the food kitchen
counter and they will examine your food orders and assemble all the items for
you and within minutes you get to try the food and beverages, it’s that simple!
Let’s “Taste My
Way Around the World” via my MoVernie vs Food photos below, let’s start
the journey!
Dominican Republic – Top Right: Seared grouper, pigeon peas and rice with coconut sauce,
Bottom Left: Yuca soufflé topped with griddled cheese

MoVernie Approved: Croissant aux escargots with garlic and parsley

Morocco World Showcase
Help us find Aladdin & Jasmine
Japan World Showcase
Japan World Showcase
United Kingdom World Showcase
Brazil Showcase: Crispy pork belly with black beans and tomato
Poland Showcase
Joy of Tea at the China World Showcase
China Showcase
Mexico World Showcase
New Zealand Showcase: Steamed green lip mussels with garlic butter and toasted bread crumbs
New Zealand: Seared venison loin with wild mushroom marsala sauce and kumara dumpling
Australia Showcase: Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies

MoVernie Tips &

The following tips
& recommendations will
hopefully help maximize and make your experience an enjoyable one at the Epcot
Food & Wine Festival:
  • Epcot is such a huge
    place that I suggest you plan to spend a full day there, a few hours wouldn’t
    cut it or allow you to fully experience the entire theme park. Besides, you
    don’t want to spend the day pass by just spending only a few hours there.
  • Go against the
    crowd: most people tend to go clockwise starting at Mexico/China food stations.
    But instead, try counter-clockwise and start right when you enter the park, you
    should see the Scotland section. By doing this, you will be less crowded, have shorter
    lineups and eventually you will visit all food stations.
  • Before you enter the
    theme park, discuss with your family and friends where you should meet if you
    got lost. The park is huge, pick some landmarks such as the entrance, the
    sphere or any landmarks that you all agreed upon. This would benefit your crew
    to meet up in case someone does get lost. For our crew, we chose the “BBQ
    Mickey” as a meeting landmark.
  • The Disney Passport
    is for you to stamp at each country food station as a memory to remember. It’s
    a nice idea but I highly recommend you to bring a pouch or something handy so
    you can easily bring out the passport to stamp and put it back in the pouch.
    Imagine you are holding a food receipt, passport, a few food samples,
    beverages, where are you going to have enough hands to hold that many items?
  • I really enjoy my
    experience when entering the Epcot. The Disney Card that I  tabbed into the Mickey
    Mouse machine with my index finger scan was super magical. So, make sure you
    take your time to enjoy and soak up the moment!
  • Pace yourself when
    ordering food. I mean, try not to front load ordering all the food and beverage items at the beginning. Order some food samples & beverages, then walk
    around and explore the exhibits each country has to offer. If you just keep
    stuffing food, soon or later, you will be over stuffed and you won’t be able to
    try other food samples from the rest of the other world food stations. Besides,
    your card will soon use up, then you will either spend more than your
    anticipated budget or you will not have enough money to spend for the rest of
    your day.
  • Pack comfortable shoes as there will be lots
    of walking (this Epcot theme park is huge and you are travelling around the
  • The regular Epcot
    admission ($103.31) included the Food & Wine Festival entrance, Discovery
    Passport, attractions and park entertainment, but food and beverages purchases
    at the food stations (ranged from $4.00-$10.00) were not part of the regular
    admission. Walt Disney provided a load up gift card that you can pre-load any
    amount (sold onsite) and the card came with a wrist band that you can wrap it
    around your wrist for fast & easy payment around the festival.

    FYI – At the end, I
    used up my funds in the card but I wanted to try the lamb chop at the
    Australian food station. Since I could only pay cash, only certain cashiers
    carry cash and could take my transaction. Meanwhile, the load up gift card was
    so much faster and easy with just a swipe, highly recommend you get a card and
    load it up

  • If you are looking
    to save some cash and wanted to stay at somewhere different than a Disney Theme
    Resort or hotel, I highly recommend you to stay modern and spacious vacation
    homes such as the Global Vacation Homes. It’s either cheaper or relative
    similar prices but vacation homes such as the Global Vacation Homes allow you a
    different vacation experiences, can accommodate more family sizes and you can
    utilize the kitchen to cook if you don’t want to eat out every day
  • Wear a hat, bring sun
    screen, wear comfy clothing and make sure you drink lots of water especially
    during mid-day when Florida weather can be super HOT!
  • There were tons of festival’s
    premium events (there are 193 this year) ranging from signature dinners to food
    & wine pairings you can explore (if you want to explore and experience
    something more than the regular food sampling at the food stations)
  • If you want to get
    some hands-on experiences, there were about 400 demos and mixology seminars
    during the festival
  • There were also a
    number of rides and entertainment, including live concerts and shows for you to
  • My favourite part at
    the Epcot was the fireworks presentation. It is super beautiful in the dark sky
    and it’s a perfect activity to do before you call it a night!
Our park admission and food expenses were covered by Experience Kissimmee as part of a press trip to Kissimmee, Florida. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely my own.

NOTE: Any dollar amount that I stated in this blog, it’s referring to American currency (US Dollar).

Suggested Hotspots to do your selfie or groupie photos:

  • Entrance of the Epcot Centre with the white sphere as your background
  • The pond across the white sphere, perfect background for a photo
  • BBQ Mickey


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