What’s New at Epcot’s Food & Wine Fesitval

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We just got back from visiting the first week of the 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!

As always, we had a ball.

The weather was great, and the crowds were not bad during the week.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the new additions along with a few of our old favorites among the Global Marketplaces:

Dominican Republic

We thought last year’s Puerto Rico marketplace was extremely well done, and we were disappointed to learn that it was no more. Disney really scored a home run though with Puerto Rico’s replacement, the Dominican Republic (a former marketplace that’s been absent for a few years).

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The food was good, the drinks were great, but the Dominican Republic marketplace itself was beautiful, among the largest, and definitely the most rockin’ of all the Global Marketplaces.

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The Dominican Republic marketplace had plenty of space to enjoy the food, perfect plants and landscaping, information on visiting the Dominican Republic, and even live music.

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The Dominican Republic marketplace is located near the entrance of the World Showcase and Showcase Plaza, along the sidewalk next to the Refreshment Port.

If you follow that sidewalk towards Future World, you’ll find four new marketplaces based on themes as opposed to places.

Next Eats

They are grouped in twos and the first group, we think of as Next Eats based on the sign near the entrance.

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Next Eats has a few displays about the future of food production and includes the two marketplaces Chew Lab and Sustainable Chew.

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As with the Dominican Republic marketplace, both are well designed and comfortable spots to try the selections on offer.

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We couldn’t tell weather the grass in the above shot was live sod that had been placed or some sort of life-like astro turf, but don’t be afraid to slip your shoes off and enjoy it.

We did and it was a great relief, especially late in the day.

Wine and Cheese Studios

My personal favorite of the new offerings this year is the next set of two marketplaces, along the same sidewalk and between Next Eats and the Dominican Republic you’ll find the Wine Studio and the Cheese Studio.

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Similar in design to the Next Eats marketplaces (including the cushy grass), the Wine and Cheese Studios never seemed crowded while we were there, and Jenn and I slid in for a quick bit of cheese and a glass of wine a number of times during the week.

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My favorite was the Trio of Artisan Cheese and a glass of the Spellbound Petite Sirah.

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The trio included:

Karst cave-aged cheese served with honey
La Bonne Vie goat cheese served with Craisin bread
Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue Cheese with berry port compote

All three were great, but the blue was my favorite – it was perfect with the berries. Be sure to grab a fork or spoon to help eat it.

That’s a sampling of the new for this year.

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Relax…you CAN get to Food & Wine from here!

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