Eat Your Way Around The World At Epcot

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY KARYN LOCKE

There’s one thing that I learned very early on in my trav­els to Walt Dis­ney World: go for the at­trac­tions—keep go­ing back for the food and drink. Don’t mis­take me, we love the at­trac­tions and rides and look for­ward to them when plan­ning each new visit, but our pri­or­i­ties have changed from rac­ing from at­trac­tion to at­trac­tion to mo­sey­ing to the restau­rants and kiosks.

As for Epcot? With its eigh­teen Ta­ble Ser­vice restau­rants, twelve Counter Ser­vice restau­rants, and twelve snack stops (not to men­tion seven bars and lounges!), it’s a foodie lover’s dream! In my hum­ble opin­ion, if you’re all about food and drink, Epcot is THE park for you. In fact, there are two an­nual fes­ti­vals that fo­cus on gas­tro­tour­ing around the world, tried and true fa­vorites, and even a soda foun­tain that urges vis­i­tors to “try the Bev­erly.” As a gal that plans a cou­ple of trips a year to my fa­vorite place on earth, I can ab­so­lutely write that our park days are based on which Ad­vanced Din­ing Reser­va­tions (ADRS) we can score, and then plan­ning around them.

So let’s dive right in and give you an easy how-to guide for both sam­pling and in­dulging in de­li­cious Epcot food and drink.

Tie a Nap­kin Round Your Neck

There’s no deny­ing that Epcot is fab­u­lous for feed­ing your ap­petite but, with so many restau­rants to choose from, where do you be­gin? Are you a light eater or do you want the most bang for your buck? Would you rather pick and choose or is your style more of a full, well-rounded meal? Or maybe it de­pends on the day?

While you’re think­ing of the an­swers, there’s one thing you must do, and that’s: do your restau­rant re­search. No mat­ter what type of din­ing that you choose, there’s truly some­thing for every­one. If you love an all-you-care-to-en­joy style of meal, Ak­er­shus Ban­quet Hall in Nor­way Pavil­ion and Bier­garten Restau­rant in Ger­many Pavil­ion are good choices. Want a

classier din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence? Le Cel­lier in Canada Pavil­ion and Mon­sieur Paul in France Pavil­ion are the go-to spots. Crave seafood? Co­ral Reef Restau­rant is the place for you.

The pop­u­lar restau­rant reser­va­tions go quickly (think Ak­er­shus Ban­quet Hall in Nor­way Pavil­ion and Le Cel­lier in Canada Pavil­ion) so, as soon as you have your dates locked down, at 180-days out you can be­gin scor­ing Ad­vanced Din­ing Reser­va­tions for Ta­ble Ser­vice restau­rants. While you’ll need a credit card to hold each one, you have up to 24 hours be­fore each reser­va­tion’s time slot to can­cel with­out penalty. Need to make a quick can­cel­la­tion? You’ll pay a $10 per per­son fee.

A Fes­ti­val of (Food) Fan­tasy

While any time of year or sea­son you’ll find more than enough food and drink to sat­isfy ev­ery ap­petite, there’s a rea­son why my fam­ily vis­its in the spring and au­tumn: the Epcot In­ter­na­tional Flower & Gar­den Fes­ti­val and its later-in-the-year coun­ter­part, the Epcot In­ter­na­tional Food & Wine Fes­ti­val. Both times of the year Epcot puts on the prover­bial dog and pony show as kiosks fea­tur­ing cuisines from all around the world pop up around the World Show­case.

If you’re in­clud­ing the Dis­ney Din­ing Plan on your trip, you may want to save your snack cred­its for the World Show­case kiosks: not only are there de­li­ciously deca­dent small plate of­fer­ings, but most of the time, each can be bought for one snack credit a piece. De­li­cious and af­ford­able!

Get Your Drink On

As a gal with a hus­band that loves try­ing new types of beer and liquor, he finds Epcot to be the per­fect spot to sam­ple all of the above with­out ever hav­ing to pull his pass­port out of stor­age. You’ll be able to pur­chase beer in both Fu­ture World and the World Show­case, but as for the oth­ers? You’ll need to make the trek back to World Show­case.

You’ll also have the plea­sure of in­dulging in pop­u­lar beer, wine, and liquor from coun­tries around the world when you visit the World Show­case’s Quick Ser­vice and Ta­ble Ser­vice restau­rants and kiosks. Ger­many Pavil­ion is in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar when it comes to beer, and France Pavil­ion is très chic when it comes to wine, but make sure to mo­sey around the en­tire Show­case and try a lit­tle bit of every­thing. You’ll prob­a­bly end up sur­pris­ing your­self with some new fa­vorites.

If you’re into a more laid­back drink­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, pop into one of the bars or lounges in World Show­case to re­ally sam­ple some fab­u­lous al­co­hol-in­fused palate pleasers.

I’ll Just have a Bite…

If you’re all about sam­pling, you’ll love the abil­ity to try a lit­tle bit of every­thing at the World Show­case kiosks. Year round, there are plenty of small bites that will de­light your culi­nary pal­ette and will give you in­sight into what you’ll like to dive into when it comes to Quick Ser­vice and Ta­ble Ser­vice restau­rants.

Quick Ser­vice Restau­rants are good spots to stop for a quick snack or drink, or keep an eye out for snack carts for clas­sic WDW treats like the Mickey Pre­mium to get you through un­til your next meal.

Brand Name Bev­er­ages

While 90% of the time I’m all about try­ing drinks I’ve never heard of, there’s that 10% that makes me beg for the well-known: Star­bucks and Coca Cola! Both a Star­bucks and Coke-themed drink spot can be found in Fu­ture World and in very close prox­im­ity to each other, they’re both great spots to head to for a caf­feine-in­fused pick me up. Club Cool of­fers free sam­ples of Coke prod­ucts from around the world, and change their bev­er­age op­tions fre­quently—ex­cept for the Bev­erly. That one is a must-try at least once (or only once de­pend­ing on your level of brav­ery!).

I’ve only just tipped the scale on eat­ing and drink­ing at Epcot, but here’s one last tip that I can pro­vide: this is the park to be at your culi­nary bravest and sam­ple on (or in­dulge in) foods that you may not have even con­sid­ered in a dif­fer­ent time and place. It’s my fam­ily’s go-to spot for de­li­cious dishes, fine foods, and tasty treats!

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