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Preview: New flavors for 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival continue to elevate annual Walt Disney World event

in Disney, Epcot, Events, Food, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

The 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival begins in two weeks, adding plenty of exciting new flavors alongside returning fan favorites. Yesterday I was invited to sample a variety of the newcomers during a private event tucked away in The Living Seas lounge.

Before getting to my thoughts on the delicious new dishes, it’s worth noting that any opportunity to enter The Living Seas lounge should not be missed. It’s like stepping into a time machine back to the 1980s, long before Nemo and friends moved in to the pavilion, complete with fabric-covered walls and ample appearances of a certain classic Epcot symbol.

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

Inside, my wife / videographer Michelle and I were welcomed with glasses of Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine from Brazil, a country not normally known for its wine. This semi-sweet drink was brought in especially for the Food and Wine Festival and is sure to be a hit for those looking for something cool and refreshing that’s not quite dessert, but sweet enough to almost get there.

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

From there, introductions were given by festival project manager Michael Jenner, Epcot executive chef Jens Dahlmann, and festival planner Marianne Hunnel, each introducing the variety of flavors available for tasting, almost all new for 2013.

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

Missing from the sampling was the vegetarian haggis from this year’s new Scotland dishes, not quite ready to serve yet. But Dahlmann did note that the culinary team worked with Scottish officials to develop this version of haggis, free of the internal organs often associated with it, instead describing it as a “grainy vegetable patty” but “really, really good.”

What was served up was a selection of food and drinks that are among the best the popular festival has had to offer.

Video: 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival preview with new dishes at Walt Disney World

From the newly reinvented Brazil marketplace returning this year, both Jennfer and Dahlmann believe one of the sure-fire favorites will be the Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Avocado, Onions and Cilantro – and I agree. It’s a very technical dish, prepared in many steps over the course of three days.

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival preview

The pork belly is fork tender and not as fatty as most servings of this meat. It doesn’t quite melt in the mouth but instead has the texture of a denser pulled pork with a great moist grilled flavor. The guacamole served with isn’t anything special but the black beans underneath are rich and complement the pork well.


  1. Natalia Moquete

    I enjoyed the article but as a person with an intolerance to milk and a severe allergy to seafood, I would have liked to see more information on dairy-free options. As more and more people have food allergies, it is more than a struggle to be able to eat without having to question every single ingredient at least twice. I will be attending for the first time in November 2013. I have read about the food allergy kiosk in Animal Kingdom but that’s of no help in the other parks. I just would like made accessible more allergy free foods. Let’s just say Terra is definitely on my list.

    1. JMA

      That’s terrible that you have food allergies. It must be so scary to know that if your food comes in contact with something that can potentially make you very ill you can be hurt by it and also it ruins your day. I also get very sick when I eat any type of shellfish but its not severe… usually benadryl clears it right up, however one time I did look like the guy from that movie HITCH. HA! But Dairy allergies that’s just terrible. Everything is so good with Dairy… Good luck to you.

    2. Alicia

      You should look at this blog, Natalia! http://glutenfreedairyfreewdw.blogspot.com/

      My youngest was dairy intolerant on our last trip, being exclusively breastfed, so I needed help! 🙂 Luckily he has outgrown it for this trip! Yay!!!!

  2. Andrew Prince

    My family and I can’t wait to try the s’mores drink when we are in for the Tower of Terror 10 miler! Everything looks good. Where do you find the map for all of the food during the festival?

  3. Mel

    Thanks for posting this! I can’t wait to go and try the new dishes. Definitely want to try the Haggis as long as its all vegetarian. Wish they had more vegetarian but meat-like dishes. All booths should have a vegetarian dish.

  4. Alicia

    Where is the Smores drink being offered? Is it at a Marketplace? I think I missed it on the menus, perhaps.


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