Eat Your Way Around The World At Epcot
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!