2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Reaction

Earlier this week, Disney released all of the menus for the 2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.  Since I am not much of drinker, I focus more on the food and less on the wine when looking over the menus.

One of  the things that I did when go through the menus is search out for new or missing food items.  It didn’t take me long to find that there has been a lineup change on the Belgian (one of the better menus in my opinion).  The popular potato and leek waffle has been replaced a similar item but no waffle or leek.

2015: Potato and leek waffle with beer-braised beef and smoked gouda cream

photo courtesy of the disney food blog
photo courtesy of the disney food blog

2016: Beer-braised beef with smoked gouda mashed potatoes

This is a bummer because when I think Belgium, I think waffles and I liked the fact that the booth offered both a savory and a sweet waffle option.  Both sweet waffle options remain unchanged.

My next disappointment came just a booth later in Brazil where the Cocada which is basically a candied ball of coconut.  It was really really and I was looking forward to having one again this year but it is nowhere to be found on this year’s Brazil menu.  😦

The Chew Lab booth has been replaced by The Chew Collective.  Nothing really of note here.  Disney just changed the name of the cross-promoted booth from the ABC show, The Chew.  And with a new name comes a brand-new menu but sticks with a beef, vegetarian, and dessert option.

The press release claims that The Chocolate Studio booth is new but is really the desserts from the Desserts & Champagne booth in a new separate location.  The 2016 Desserts & Champagne menu is all drinks and no desserts.

The Dominican Republic which was on hiatus from 2007 to 2014 but made a return in 2015 has gone back on hiatus as The Dominican Republic booth.  2016 sees the debut of The Islands of Caribbean booth.

While The Farm Fresh booth has dropped with “Griddled” Yard Bird menu item in favor of a chicken and dumplings option.  I liked the yard bird especially when paired with one of the spicy sauce options that were available.  It had a light, summery flavor while I fear the chicken and dumplings will be too heavy and winter-y for early fall in Florida.

France has added an onion soup menu option to its already stacked menu lineup.

Boeuf Bourguignon from France
Boeuf Bourguignon from France

Greece has completely revamped its menu.  The 2016 menu focuses heavily on items made with Oikos (probably a booth sponsor) Greek Yogurt.

The only holdover item from the 2015 Italy menu is the chocolate canoli.  2016 sees a baked ziti and chicken parm menu item along with Tuscan-style stew.  Gone are the ravioli and chicken marsala.  This is probably a change for the better because these new items will be able to move people through the line fast.  The 2015 items made the line one of the festival’s slow movers.  Wish the sausage and peppers item would return.

Sausage and Peppers Italy 2013 Food and Wine Festival

Scotland finally got rid of menu item that I criticized from the second the booth and menu item made it’s debut.  The vegetarian haggis.  Haggis, by definition, can not be vegetarian.  So, maybe the item didn’t sell.  The vegetarian haggis has been replaced with a lamb stew.  As well, the seared sea scallop disappeared from the menu and was not replaced.

The Wine Studio has been upgraded to a Wine and Dine studio.  The booth still has the cheese plates but a pork tenderloin as well as a sea scallop item has been added to the menu.  Maybe the sea scallop item that vanished from the Scotland menu has reappeared on the Wine and Dine Studio menu.

Rankings:

The loss of the Potato and Leek Waffle has shaken up my personal top five booths for the 2016 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

  1. Germany – returns a solid lineup of traditional German cuisine.  Typically, one of the longest lines at the festival.  Get there early.
  2. France – Also returns a solid lineup with no real additions or subtractions.  Long line but the line moves faster than most.
  3. Belgium – There’s just something about this section of Europe which creates great food.  The loss of the waffle has hurt Belgium in the top 5.
  4. Ireland – Cheese and chocolate are always a winning combination.  Just have to deal with a longer than average line because of the Guinness on the drink menu.
  5. Canada – Cheddar cheese soup and snack-sized filet are two solid food options especially when paired with the ice wine.

That’s my top five.  What’s yours?

Full 2016 menus can be found on the Disney Food Blog.

Thanks for reading!

 

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