So apparently there’s a semblance of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival going on right now. It’s being called Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and is a mere slip of the usual culinary extravaganza that occurs each fall. Still, there are 20 marketplaces socially distanced throughout the park and some inside the ginormous World Showplace, which allows for social distancing galore.
France is one of the marketplaces, even though the restaurants in the pavilion haven’t reopened yet. Canada’s kiosk is available, too, which means another year of that cheddar cheese soup that is so mysteriously popular.
This is the 25th year of the festival and probably isn't the way Disney would like to have celebrated, I’m sure. There’s talk that the full festival can be up and running later – it usually doesn’t kick off until the end of August anyway – but I’m even surer that won’t happen.
By the way, you can’t just pop out to the park and take in the Taste of... You’ll need to purchase an admission ticket in advance – no walkup windows – and have a reservation to attend. You can get details at the Epcot website.
The catchphrase for the festival is “Sip, Savor and Stroll,” but you mayn’t do them at the same time. Walt Disney World has a mandatory mask policy but allows people to remove the mask to eat and drink, of course. But many people were choosing to eat and drink as they walked, with masks pulled down, which defeats the purpose. So now the rules state you have to stay stationary. So sip, savor THEN stroll.
I don’t know why Disney is just figuring this loophole out, it’s been an obvious problem since Disney Springs first opened in May. I saw lots of people walking around maskless with a beer in hand.
Walking and chewing gum is still allowed for those who wish to show off.
- SeaWorld’s annual Seven Seas Food Festival is also taking place, weekends only, through Aug. 9. This year, you won’t be surprised to learn, it’s being called Taste of Seven Seas. SeaWorld also has reservations- and masks-required policies, but it’s unclear if you may walk and eat.
- Apparently there’s a restaurant in Windermere with a grilled cheese sandwich that’s to die for.
- OpenTable may want to change the name of one of its popular-restaurants lists. I’m not sure any restaurant wants to be in a list of “Hot Spots” just now.
- Three weeks after closing its downtown Orlando location, Wahlburgers has pulled the proverbial plug on the Waterford Lakes location as well. That leaves Florida Wahlburgerless for now, though a Key West location is in the works.
- When Baldwin Park restaurant Osprey dropped Tavern from its name, it also dropped its executive chef, Elek Kovacs, and pastry chef, Kristy Carlucci. Now Gideon’s Bakehouse, which is developing a location at Disney Springs, has signed Carlucci on to oversee quality control and new product development.
American Culinary Federation and ACF Central Florida Chapter are offering a third local produce giveaway on Friday, July 24, at the Orange County Convention Center, lot 4 by the West Concourse. Truck to Trunk will give 10 pound boxes of prepackaged fruit, vegetables, greens and salad mixes to anyone in need, beginning at 9 a.m. and until the boxes run out.
The effort is cosponsored by Farmers of Florida, Five Star Gourmet Foods, and Center of the Plate.