A TRIP TO THE EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

What is the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Disney World? Most people would say Mickey Mouse, Magic Kingdom and loads of kids with their parents in tow. Oh, and let’s not forget about strollers! Yes, I will admit that I love taking the whole family to Disney World.

And, I fall into all of those categories with my kids and their meltdowns from the overstimulation of a huge theme park. It is certainly one of my favorite places to go for a fabulous family vacation. Now what if I told you that there are a couple of months out of the year when Disney World can be a fabulous destination for adults, with or without kids?

Now I have your attention.

I decided to take the family down to Orlando for yet another Disney vacation, but this time it was all about the adults.  Sure, the kids came along for the ride, but this was not for them. Some might find that to be a bit selfish. However, sometimes mama and papa bear have to have some fun, too.

Personally, I think that it is good for our kids to know that even though we love to bless them with fun experiences, we are people too. Parents deserve to have a little fun.

So instead of the usual trip to Magic Kingdom and the like, we decided to hit Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival 2017. I have become such a foodie over the past 5 years that I was excited to see what goodies I would find at the Food and Wine Festival. Not only does Epcot do a fantastic job of offering a glorious variety of culinary delights from around the globe, but they offer wine pairings for their dishes, too.

There was one small wrinkle in my plan. My husband is a traditional meat and potatoes kind of guy but my recent decision to partake in a plant-based diet would limit the variety of dishes that I would be able to consume.  I even had to ask myself if I would be able to eat anything other than a salad.

Once again, Disney World did not disappoint!

First thing is first! This mama bear will always find a way to entertain her little cubs, so we registered the boys for a scavenger hunt. Now that the boys were sufficiently entertained and distracted, it was time for us to begin eating our way around this culinary Epcot world.

One place that is only available to eat at during the Food and Wine Festival is their Africa region. There I was able to thoroughly enjoy the spicy Ethiopian red lentil stew with vegan yogurt and quinoa. This dish had me wishing that I had some take home containers in my bag.

Due to my dietary restrictions I have learned, albeit the hard way, that it is always best to do a little menu research prior to heading out to eat. To my delight, Epcot had a couple of vegan/vegetarian options at each food spot around the park.

If you plan to visit the Epcot Food and Wine Festival it is best to go in the middle of the work-week and plan to arrive as close to opening as you can. I failed to adhere to my own advice and went on the weekend. It was packed with tourists as well as local Floridians taking advantage of the weekend to get their grub on.

Nonetheless, this event is a must for adults who wish to visit the most magical theme park destination in the world.  The festival offers so many options to parents taking a break from the traditional Disney experience. If you plan ahead, you can book your spot to participate in cooking demonstrations and seminars led by well-known chefs and television personalities. That said; plan your visit well ahead of time.

As for our family, we will be back! The kids had a great time and they were happy to see that mom and dad had a magical time, too.