Disney World Reveals 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Menus
Walt Disney World’s biggest (culinary) event of the year is almost here, and today we have a preview of the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival, with a rundown of new menu items, returning favorites, and thoughts on everything coming to the Global Marketplaces.
Our first thought is that it’s hard to believe the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be here next week. It feels like Flower & Garden Festival just ended (because it did–three days ago!) and it doesn’t even seem like Festival of the Arts was that long ago.
In fact, we still vividly remember the first day of last year’s Taste of Epcot Food & Wine Festival. A day that’s etched into our memories thanks to it being when Epcot reopened. That’s simultaneously fresh in our memories and a lifetime ago, and a lot has changed since then.
The most noteworthy change is that the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is Walt Disney World’s first full festival since reopening one year ago. This has been facilitated by the gradual return to normalcy, which has kicked into high gear in the last few months. (While last July doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, there are ways in which this April now feels like the distant past.)
But you’re not here to hear me wax poetic about the paradoxical nature of time. Walt Disney World released a ton of new information about its flagship culinary event, and what we’re going to do here is take a look at the new booths and highlight some returning favorite dishes.
(If you want to cut to the chase, check out our Full Menus for the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival instead of what follows here.)
In addition to all the classics and fan favorites, there are SEVEN new Global Marketplaces at the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival:
- The Noodle Exchange (Near Starbucks Traveler’s Café)
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco)
- The Rotunda Bistro (American Adventure Rotunda)
- The Swanky Saucy Swine (Near Disney Traders)
- Brew-Wing (Inside EPCOT Experience)
- Lobster Landing (Near Mission: SPACE)
- Mac & Eats (Near Mission: SPACE)
Note that both Lobster Landing and Mac & Eats don’t open until October 1, 2021. As a reminder, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival starts on July 15, but will roll out in two phases, with the second beginning on the start date of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. October 1 is also the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, debut of Harmonious, and what’s likely to be the start of a huge spike in crowds.
Given that Walt Disney World will have lingering staffing woes throughout the summer, and the simple fact that this event is over 100 days long (!!!), it’s sensible to break it up into two parts. By the time October rolls around, many locals will be ready for the event’s soft reboot, and another round of booths–among other things–debuting that date makes sense.
As huge noodle fans (more specifically, ramenheads), we’re really looking forward to the Noodle Exchange. Probably not in the midday July heat and humidity, but it should be a solid option by the evening hours. A perfect bedtime snack to ensure you get a good night’s sleep!
The two dishes at Noodle Exchange that really have my attention are the Char Siu Pork Udon with Enoki Mushrooms, Bok Choy, Soy Pickled Egg and Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho with Shaved Beef, Enoki Mushrooms, and Thai Basil. Also a big fan of mushrooms, and happy to see them present in each dish.
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina is a little more bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s nice to see Tangierine Cafe return after a year hiatus. On the other, it’s unfortunate that the once-great counter service restaurant isn’t returning as a normal dining option.
Our most-anticipated items at Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina are the Stone-baked Moroccan Bread with Hummus, Zaalouk, and Zhoug Dips and Pistachio Cake with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Candied Walnuts. Really, all of it looks great, though.
We have mixed feelings about Rotunda Bistro, which will be located inside American Adventure pavilion (presumably, in the rotunda). While it’ll be nice to have some options in the air-conditioning, the precedent of food booths inside attractions makes us a bit uncomfortable (far worse is Appleseed Orchard, which will actually replace Canada’s film). Trying to look on the bright side, maybe this will convince some guests to see American Adventure? That’d be a win!
At Rotunda Bistro, the Wild Mushroom and Truffle Tart with Gruyère and Crème Fraîche sounds fantastic. The two chilled salads sound decidedly less appealing, but hopefully they surprise us!
The Swanky Saucy Swine sounds awesome. As an unabashed pork enthusiast, I’m really excited for this. It’s my most anticipated booth at the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
I don’t want to set hype too high, but my gut reaction to the Swanky Saucy Swine is the same as it was for Flavors from Fire before that debuted. That has since gone on to be our favorite food booth for the last several years running.
Brew-Wing combines beer and chicken wings–what’s not to love about that idea?
With that said, the Epcot Experience doesn’t have a great track record with cuisine, so my hope is that the wings are high quality. I’m a total sucker for Garlic-Parmesan Wings–really looking forward to those!
I’m keeping my expectations low for Lobster Landing. While I love lobster dishes, I don’t think Epcot’s events typically do them justice, and they’re usually overpriced (even by festival standards).
Setting that aside, my sights are set on the Baked Lobster Dip with Old Bay Chips.
Mac & Eats is advertised as new, but Mac & Cheese was a booth in the World ShowPlace at last year’s Taste of event and there’s decent overlap.
We absolutely loved it then, as the inventive twists on familiar favorites really delivered. Looking forward to trying the new options here–especially the Cowboy Mac & Cheese.
Now, let’s turn to some familiar favorites we’re happy to see return to the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival. This list could go on and on, but we’re going to limit it to our top 5.
First up, the Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake. We were disappointed to see Cheese Studio (and other Culinary Corridor favorites) cut from the lineup last year and this year, but at least our favorite dessert at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival found a new home! (On a related note, RIP chocolate liquid nitro desserts.)
Second, the Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash at the Hawaii booth. This is everything a dish at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival should be: inventive, unexpected, authentic, and delicious. Using SPAM inventively has been trendy for a few years now, and it’s nice to see Walt Disney World delivering a fun twist on the trend.
Truly, everything at the Hawaii booth could be included on this list of things we’re looking forward to eating. That Global Marketplace is a perennial all-star. (Arguably more consistent than France, but its menu changes far less.)
Third, the Griddled Cheese with Pistachios and Honey at the Greece Global Marketplace. Walt Disney World lists this as new, but it’s actually a classic throwback dish that has been gone since…maybe 2012 or 2013? (Don’t quote me on that.)
In any case, we used to love this, and are happy that the Griddled Cheese is making its triumphant return this year. If it can make a comeback after a multi-year hiatus, perhaps there’s still hope for our beloved Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce?!?!
Next, the Roasted Lamb Chop in Australia. This Global Marketplace has served excellent lamb dishes since as long as I can remember, and this incarnation with Sweet Potato Purée, Bush Berry Pea Salad and Pistachio-Pomegranate Gremolata is the best of the bunch.
This might be heresy to some Walt Disney World fans, but we’d take this over the Le Cellier filet mignon in Canada. They’re obviously very different dishes, but both are expensive meats. We’ve found this dish to be much more consistent than that steak.
Finally, everything at Flavors from Fire. That one should be self-explanatory. Our only “complaint” there is that the menu should be doubled in size.
There are a lot of other items for which we’re excited–don’t even get me started on the Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha-glazed Donut, which may not be the most “foodie” item but scratches me right where I itch–but this was supposed to be a quick preview. Suffice to say, we’re excited. For a more thorough rundown of everything and full menus, be sure to check out our Full Menus for the 2021 Epcot Food & Wine Festival!
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What do you think of the new foods and familiar favorites returning to the Global Marketplaces for the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Anything missing that disappoints you? Upset that the Italy booth is returning? Excited about any of the new options? Thoughts on the festivities kicking off in two phases? Do you agree or disagree with our commentary? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
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