World Showcase at EPCOT is one of my favorite places in all of Walt Disney World. The architecture. The food. The shops. The music. It’s all just … delightful.
Our boys are still a little too young to fully appreciate all the beauty that World Showcase offers, so World Showcase needs a little interest boost during our Disney trips. Two weeks ago, we improved World Showcase’s kid appeal by eating in every country. And so, Eating Around the World began.
Adults can wing this challenge on the fly, but we wanted to make sure the day would be free from any unnecessary stalling and decision delay. If walking around 11 different represented countries might not hold enough interest for the kids, then staring at several menus in each of those 11 different countries was definitely a bad idea!
So I researched ahead of time, analyzing the clean, concise menus at AllEars.net. By the time we arrived, I knew exactly where to go in each country and the boys wouldn’t lose interest as we perused menus on site.
trip date: Monday, January 30, 2017
[CANADA] KETCHUP CHIPS
We chose to tour World Showcase counter-clockwise starting with Canada for one reason. Canada is the only pavilion in World Showcase without a quick service restaurant or kiosk of any kind. The only food options are Le Cellier, a table service restaurant requiring reservations, and packaged snacks in the shops. Since we would have plenty else to eat during the day, a Le Cellier meal was out and we didn’t want to take a valuable ADR at this popular restaurant just to have an appetizer or dessert.
There are a few options at the Northwest Mercantile shop. Maple candy is common, but we wanted to try to stay away from sweets (especially straight up sugar!) as much as possible or we’d all get stomach aches quickly! Ketchup-flavored potato chips seemed like the best, authentically-Canadian choice.
If we had started in Mexico and proceeded clockwise during the day, we would’ve ended with Canada … and a bag of chips. No matter how good those chips might have been, we didn’t want to end our delicious day of gluttony that way! So, we chose to begin in Canada and eat the chips first.
We chose to dine on our lovely bag of chips near the back of the pavilion at the top of the steps by the waterfall. We had no plans to capture a rating system of any kind and spontaneously chose to take a thumbs up/down photo to document our opinions. The trend didn’t catch on in other countries, but, hey, there’s another idea for you! Jasper was the only one to give ketchup chips a sideways thumb. The rest of us thought they were great, similar to BBQ flavor, and wondered why ketchup isn’t a standard chip flavor in the U.S. We regularly dip our potato fries in ketchup, after all, so why not our potato chips?
[UNITED KINGDOM] FISH AND CHIPS
Yorkshire County Fish Shop
Ordering fish and chips in the UK is a no-brainer. Our basket of fish was piping hot, fresh from the fryer as the time had barely passed 11:30 AM so we were still slightly ahead of the lunch rush. We took the basket to the UK’s quiet inner garden to enjoy them away from the hustle and bustle of the main World Showcase loop where the fish and chips shop is located.
The boys aren’t crazy about fish, but enjoyed the fries while Mom and Dad agreed that we need to stop for this quick meal more often when visiting EPCOT.
[FRANCE] CHOCOLATE CREPES
Crepes de Chefs de France kiosk
France is one of the only countries where we stop to eat during every trip. It’s very much a tradition to get pastries at the Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles, usually enjoying them at the park overlooking the International Gateway.
Since this endeavor was partially an effort to try new flavors, I wanted to stay away from the very familiar Boulangerie and chose the crepe cart instead. I expected the boys to devour the crepes while the parents would barely get a bite, so we bought two to share. Chocolate, of course.
The crepes were good, but the Boulangerie pastries are much better so we’ll stick with our tradition during future visits.
[MOROCCO] CHICKEN SHAWARMA PLATTER
I was prepared to get baklava as our traditional Moroccan choice, but Gavin was looking forward to eating “Moroccan chicken” most of all the countries. Apparently, I made a recipe for dinner once that he remembered. Gotta find that recipe again! Thanks to Gavin, this was a great choice and our only quick service restaurant meal order of the day.
The Moroccan Chicken Platter at the Tangierine Cafe comes with chicken shawarma, a pile of hummus with pita bread, couscous, and tabouleh. Everything was delicious and provided a nice solid contrast to the fried and sweet foods up to that point.
[JAPAN] TERIYAKI CHICKEN
In Morocco, the traditional chicken meal could only be ordered as an adult meal, skimping out on nuggets and burgers on the kids menu. However, in Japan, Katsura Grill offers the authentic variety as a kids meal which was great for our purposes with a smaller serving size for everyone to sample.
We agreed that we’ve had better teriyaki chicken but the rice was delicious!
[USA] CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
The Artist’s Table kiosk (EPCOT Festival of the Arts)
I’ve read other Eating Around the World accounts where the USA, being the home country, is skipped. Nope. It’s a World Showcase pavilion, so we couldn’t skip ole USA!
However, we wanted to keep trying new(-ish to us) foods and didn’t want to throw a burger or standard chicken into the middle of our journey, so I was fully prepared to buy a funnel cake as our USA offering. They’re distinctly American fair food and I’ve probably only eaten one in my life, so it seemed like a good choice.
However, the Festival of the Arts pulled through for us by placing a kiosk in the American courtyard that sold the cutest artist palette-shaped chocolate chip cookie. Since chocolate chip cookies were invented in the USA and are a quite American (and are quite frankly my favorite food ever), it became our USA choice.
As far as a review? It’s a chocolate chip cookie! Of course it was delicious!
What goes better with cookies than ice cream? A kiosk outside the Italy pavilion offers delicious gelato in several flavors, two of which can be included in every two-scoop cup. We chose chocolate and cookies and cream.
At this point in our culinary adventure, we began to worry after realizing how quick and easy it is to eat so much delicious food while in World Showcase. We simply won’t be able to pass this gelato kiosk again without ordering at least a cup! From this day forward, EPCOT will forever be a grazing day for us during our Disney trips.
[GERMANY] NUDEL GRATIN & APPLE STRUDEL
Our options in Germany seemed nearly endless. There’s bratwurst, of which neither Jeff nor I are fans. The Werther’s caramel shop is legendary, but Gavin’s braces were still on for another week so he couldn’t eat caramel. The pretzels are delicious, I’m sure, but not terribly unique as pretzels are a dime a dozen around Disney World.
Tucked back in Sommerfest, we found our winners. I’d heard rave reviews of the nudel gratin (basically, German macaroni and cheese) while Jeff was drawn to the apple strudel so we got both. The boys enjoyed neither. That left more for Mom and Dad.
[CHINA] EGGROLLS & POTSTICKERS
Lotus Blossom Cafe
We ordered two Chinese classics off the appetizer menu at the Lotus Blossom Cafe, China’s quick service restaurant. Next time, I will skip the potstickers and have more of the pork and vegetable eggrolls instead which I much preferred.
[NORWAY] SCHOOL BREAD
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
Remember what I said back in France about not visiting the Boulangerie because we ALWAYS stop there on trips to EPCOT. Well, somehow that frequency rule didn’t apply to school bread because … it’s school bread!
We’ve been getting this delightfully sweet but not-too-sweet, custardy, cardamomy pastry of perfection for over 15 years. A Norwegian cast member recommended it then over all other options in the bakery case when we arrived at Kringla undecided one day and we haven’t visited EPCOT without school bread ever since. When in EPCOT, school bread is a must and, as usual, it did not disappoint.
La Cantina de San Angel
Mexican food is very familiar to our taste buds. It would have been easy to cop out and get the usual taco or loaded nachos here. We chose something new-to-us on the menu, empanadas. We picked the kid’s meal variety which also came with simple nachos, much to the delight of the boys.
Despite selling empanadas to the boys as “Mexican grilled cheese,” their sensitive taste buds weren’t very impressed. Mom and Dad again disagreed and vowed to get the full adult meal order next time.
Overall Impressions and Cost
Eating Around the World is an activity I absolutely recommend. Where else will you be able to sample foods from 11 different countries in a single day? It’s a fun way for the kids to try new foods, even super picky eaters like ours who typically resist trying new flavors.
Despite stopping 11 times to order and eat, the total time that the eating process required was quite small, usually taking mere minutes to order and finish off the typically small plates between the four of us. Planning and taking the photos seemed to take the more time than ordering and eating in several countries!
And it wasn’t as expensive as it might seem. The total amount of food purchased for the day was one adult quick service meal, two kid’s meals, and the rest snacks and desserts. Surprisingly, grazing all day long ended up costing the same, if not less, than purchasing our typical four quick service lunches and dinners.
Prices including tax:
- Ketchup chips – $3.68
- Fish and chips – $11.71
- 2 chocolate crepes – $9.50
- Moroccan chicken platter – $13.99
- Teriyaki chicken kid’s meal – $8.52
- Palette cookie – $5.50
- 2 scoops gelato – $6.93
- Nudel gratin and apple strudel – $9.68
- Eggrolls and potstickers – $9.85
- School bread (and tea) – $6.69
- Empenada kid’s meal – $8.51
- Total – $95.47
I do believe that this Eating Around the World adventure has forever changed the way we eat at EPCOT. Perhaps we won’t make an effort to eat in every country again in a single day, but we will definitely limit our large meals in favor of eating more smaller meals and sharing plates so that we can all enjoy a greater variety.