It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of Disney World, or theme parks in general. Things that go fast freak me out, as does giant animal mascots dressed in bizarre costume. And standing in line up for hours just confuses me. My recent trip to Disney World, however, coincided with the annual Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.
Incidentally, I really like to eat and drink.
What I DO love about Disney is its efficiency. It’s amazing to me how a park can filter people so flawlessly, and how easy it is to get things done. I complain about the line-ups for rides, but in reality, it moved pretty quickly considering there were thousands of us there. We picked up our pre-loaded bracelets and hit the marketplace, where over 30 international destinations were featured with their local dishes. Although the place was SWARMING with people, we never had to wait longer than five minutes in line-up.
I’m also constantly amazed by the Disney diehards. We met at least five groups of people donning t-shirts celebrating their fifth or more years at the festival. It was like one big party.
From Singapore I slammed back a Singapore Sling and devoured some lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice. From Morocco there was Baklava and Ksar white wine. I sampled beef empanadas from Argentina and, of course, spent considerable time at the Cheese booth. Yes, Cheese is a destination. Also known as heaven.
I found bliss when I stumbled upon the Brewer’s Collection, however. I can’t even pronounce half the beers available – Altenmunster Oktoberfest, BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer – but it’s here that I tried Schofferhofer Grapefruit beer and my life was forever changed. I don’t even like fruity beers, but grapefruit beer? Stunning. I ordered two tall glasses. You can imagine how my afternoon went. Obviously, I have no real images of the food. Go figure.
You can see I enjoyed myself quite a bit.
My recommendation? Show up early. By the time we hit up the festival we only had a few hours to enjoy the scene, but I could have spent all day there. Prices vary, but I spent about $40 to sample a good amount of food and drink.