Let's start with the general vibe of the festival. It is colorful and casual, it really did feel like we were walking around a local arts festival at times (just with a lot more Mickey Mouse in the artwork.) There were a few topiaries up but not anything like Flower and Garden, and of course the food booths were around but not as many as Food and Wine, it actually felt a lot more manageable. The food is all inspired by art in some way so even though it's around the World Showcase, it isn't all exactly tied to the countries nearby. There were of course the typical Epcot rides and a few fun character appearances we spotted as well. And with the festival occurring in January and February, the weather was close to perfection for us which was so nice.
The Deconstructed Dish
Of course what makes this festival stand out is the art itself. You can create your own art, be a part of the art, watch masters at work and purchase art to take home of many different types and styles. There were so many gorgeous options to choose from, but I didn't think photos of the art would really do it any justice so you'll have to visit for yourself to see the art for purchase. In the World Showplace throughout the day, you can even catch an artist creating a masterpiece on stage while you dine on some festival favorites!
|Create your own Spin Art|
|Be a part of famous masterpieces|
Now let's talk about the food. I was constantly WOWed by the dishes we tried at this festival. It took us three days to try all these delights but we didn't stay all day/night so I think it could be done in a day in a half if you were really motivated. This was easily some of my favorite festival food from Epcot.
Goshiki — Japan
|Vegetable Gyoza: Vegetable-filled Spinach Gyoza with Tofu atop Mashed Potatoes with a Kamaboko Fish Cake, Pepper Strings and Tonkatsu Teriyaki Sauce & Pink Snow: Sake, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, and Calpico dusted with Snowflake Confetti|
|Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings of London® Chai Tea Shake with Cream Bourbon garnished with a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon|
|Deconstructed BLT: Crispy Pork Belly, Soft-poached Egg, Brioche, Watercress Espuma and Tomato Jam & Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped New York-style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries and Sugar Cookies|
|Tomato Soup with French Onion and Bacon Grilled Cheese, Almond Frangipane Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Belgian Chocolate & Tomato Soup Can Bloody Mary|
Vibrante & Vívido
|Blue Corn Pupusa-stuffed with Cheese and topped with Shredded Pork, Guajillo and Árbol Chile Sauce, Cabbage Slaw, and Aji Amarillo Crema (Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – Blue)|
|Frozen Piña Colada|
|The inside of the winter truffle croissant|
What can I say? The booth outside France just never disappoints at a food festival in Epcot and this was no different. The portions were surprisingly large and everything was decadent and delicious.
El Artista Hambriento (The Hungry Artist)
|Frida Carrot Margarita: Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, Carrot Juice, Ginger Cordial, Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar|
|Chile Relleno: Fried Poblano Pepper filled with Flank Steak, Black Beans and Tomatoes drizzled with a Poblano Cream Sauce & Taco de Chocolate: Chocolate Candy Shell filled with Mexican Chocolate Mousse with a touch of Chile topped with Tropical Fruit|
The Masterpiece Kitchen
These two dishes were definitely masterpieces. The risotto was warm and comforting while the panna cotta was almost too pretty to eat. I didn't think something so pretty could also be so tasty, but my oh my it was so good as well!
|Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta (Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – Pink)|
|Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesan, Truffle Shavings and Zinfandel Reduction|
|Remy’s Ratatouille with Eggplant, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes and Red Pepper Piperade (Plant-based) (Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – Red)|
|Prime Steak Tartare with Pickled Vegetables, Parsley Salad, Béarnaise Anglaise and Sous Vide Quail Egg|
|Pistachio Cake with Cherry Mousse and Morello Cherries (Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – Green)|
This dessert was one of my favorite bites of the whole festival. I loved the hidden surprise of chocolate under the bright orange and the flavor combination of orange, chocolate and cinnamon just sang together. Yum!
|Mouskoutchou: Orange Cake with Cinnamon-Chocolate Mousse (Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine – Orange)|
L’Arte di Mangiare — Italy
This meatball was huge and another favorite of mine. I'm a meatball fan in general, and this was such a unique twist on them! Everyone was asking about this drink too, it was fruity but not too sweet and definitely had a bit of a punch to it - a definite winner for me!
The Artist's Table
The Painted Panda
|Old Shanghai Shi Zi Tou: Pork and Water Chestnut Meatballs served with Taro Root & Sea Butterfly: Butterfly Pea Flower infused Cocktail with Lychee Syrup, Vodka, Light Rum and Magic Boba Pearls|
|Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes and Aged Balsamic & Opera Cake: Almond Joconde, Coffee Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache|
|Beef Wellington: Mushroom Duxelle, Prosciutto, and Puff Pastry with Red Wine Demi-Glace and Fennel Cream|
What dish looks best to you? Let us know in the comments below!
Maci is an avid foodie and loves trying out new restaurants and seasonal food offerings in the parks. You can email Maci at firstname.lastname@example.org.