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epcot food and wine festival 2021

Source: Courtesy of Disney / other

Whether you want to make it a family trip, a girlfriend’s getaway, a baecation, or a solo trip, traveling to Orlando, Florida to visit Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival this year is the best place to go if you’re in need of a vacation.

Although necessary, the COVID restrictions of the past year have really limited many of us from taking international trips at our leisure. That said, they’ve also stopped us to an extent from exploring and experiencing the world and its array of cultures. While the concept of traveling domestically and taking “staycations” have risen in popularity, the joys of visiting a favorite restaurant or discovering a new one with exciting and bold flavors have both proven to be things we often took for granted before the pandemic hit.

With those things in mind, a trip to Epcot for its annual Food & Wine Festival gives you the chance to feel transported to different places around the world. Global locations featured at the park are researched, executed and designed with immense precision. You’ll really feel like you’re wandering the globe, from city to city, all while enjoying great food and drinks.

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While chatting with MADAMENOIRE, General Manager of EPCOT Merchandise Karla Baker shared that there are over 30 food and beverage global marketplaces at the festival this year. In addition to the park introducing three new air-conditioned spaces for visitors to relax while chowing down, there’ll also be relevant goodies and souvenirs for you to bring back as mementos from your “worldly” travels.

For those who have experienced the festival before — or go every year — you’ll be happy to hear that 50% of the dishes served during this year’s gathering are “new or reimagined.”

MN also got the chance to chat with Courtney Jackson, a chef who works on the food development team. According to her, all the team’s preparation boils down to showcasing the cultural roots of each of the dishes served while adding a Disney spin.

“What we do in order to cultivate the different offerings and dishes at all our locations is try to pay homage to the cultures, cuisines, and unique cooking techniques that we pull from,” Jackson said. “That’s how we go about making all of the different global marketplaces we have here at Epcot really feel like the global places they represent. Our guests can come here and enjoy all that and not have to buy plane tickets to go all over the world.”

For those more interested in the liquid offerings, an alcohol and beverage sommelier MN spoke with estimated a whopping 70% of drinks served this year will be new to the festival.

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Presented by Corksickle, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival runs for 129 days this year — from July 15 to November 20. That gives attendees all the time they’ll need to go enjoy the destination’s innovative dishes and cuisines from around the world.

Our recommendations: Visit France for the Crème Brûlée au Grand Mariner; Italy for the Italian White Sangria with Prosecco; Morocco for extra flavorfully spiced meals; Mexico for yummy empanadas and margaritas with a kick; and Earth Foods for the best plant-based Impossible Food sliders you’ll ever have.

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