Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival Opening Weekend

2012 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival 

Taste Your Way Around the World

Epcot Spaceship Earth 30th Anniversary
EPCOT 2012 - Spaceship Earth

I’ve been to many of the annual EPCOT International Food and Wine Festivals but this is the first time I will make it to the opening weekend and the closing weekends.  Ridge and I went to Walt Disney World October 1, 2012 for the EPCOT 30th Anniversary Celebration.  Part of the fun was it was also the opening days of the 2012 Food and Wine Festival.  We were at EPCOT early and so Ridge was hungry by the time the International Marketplaces opened at 11.  We were sitting near Argentina waiting for the opening.

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Flag
Welcome to EPCOT Internation Food & Wine Festival 2012

As you enter EPCOT be sure to pick up your Food and Wine Festival brochure along with your EPCOT Park map.  It contains the schedule of the special Festival activities for each day of the week.  It also has descriptions of each Marketplace and a map showing where they are all located if you need to map out which ones you can stop.

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Map 2012
Don't Forget to get your map

DVC Epcot Food and Wine Festival Discovery Passport 2012
Marketplace Discovery Passport
Pick this up at a DVC Booth

If you are coming down for the Food and Wine Festival this year, don’t forget to stop at the Festival Center located in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World East.  Most all of the daily events are held here as well as merchandise and wine stores are located here.  Chase, who is sponsoring the Festival, also has their VIP lounge here.  If you have a Chase credit or debit card, like a Disney Visa, you are a VIP.  They issue armbands for VIP seating at the Eat to the Beat Concert as well as a VIP viewing area for Illuminations if you stop by early. 

Also don' forget to stop by a Disney Vacation Club booth and pick up a Marketplace Discovery Passport that you can have stamped at each Marketplace you visit and keep up with what wonders you have tasted.

At Argentina, Ridge got a Beef Empanada, which is a returning favorite, to begin his trip “Around the World”.  I waited until I reached South Africa where I got the Seared Filet of Beef with Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Braai Sauce.  The beef was tender and not overdone and the sweet potatoes were a flavorful accompaniment.   At Germany Ridge and I got Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll.  The roll was a wonderful soft pretzel with a flavorful bratwurst that stuck way out each end of the roll.  Yellow mustard completed the roll.

Growing Up Disney Minnie Mom
Growing Up Disney Contributor and Minnie Mom Janine and her daughter Tink

As we approached the American Pavilion we finally ran into Janine, who writes for GrowingUpDisney from Swindon, England, her husband Steve and daughter Felicity, aka TINK.  It was good to finally meet as she has been writing for Growing Up Disney for a while.  You will be getting a full report on her trip and you can catch up on her other posts here.

In front of the American Pavilion is the Hops and Barley Marketplace.  Here we got Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll and Angry Orchard Cider – Crisp Apple.  The Lobster Roll is a favorite and did not disappoint and the Apple Cider was something I had never tried.  Both will be something I will not miss on our next trip.

2012 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Hops and Barley Marketplace
The Hops and Barley Market

Later in the day after attending some of the 30th Anniversary events, I made it around to the United Kingdom Pavilion and found Ireland.  Here I had to try the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie and another of my favorites: Kerygold Cheese Selection.  The cheese selection consists of Kerygold Irish Aged Chedder, Dubliner, and Cashel Blue Cheese with Apple Chutney and Brown Bread.  After getting these two dishes, I sat down on a bench near a lady.  She took one look and wanted to know what I had.  Once I told her she went to visit Ireland.

The last Marketplace I stopped on this trip was Canada.  A soup course usually is at the start of a meal, but here I finished with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.  The soup is another favorite.  So much that I found the recipe on the Festival web site last year and we have made it at home several times.   Dessert was a little glass of Neige Premiere Apple Ice Wine.  I have never had ice wine made from apples so this was a new treat.

I only made it to a few of the 29 Marketplaces listed in the guide, but I knew I would be coming back to catch the end of the Festival to try a few more “tastes” from Around the World.


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