Image Source: Eataly World
One of the greatest things about travelling is experiencing new foods. And having the option to nosh on different types of cuisine at one location is a huge draw for foodies today, so tourist destinations dedicated to showcasing various eats are continuing to grow in popularity. Denver’s Avanti food hall houses several restaurant concepts – offering a wide variety of dishes from arepas to poke. Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg open air market is renowned for debuting radical, Instagram worthy foods. Not to mention the countless consumer focused food and beverage festivals that are held year round.
Taking this food-focused location concept a few steps further, food and beverage based theme parks are popping up worldwide. The Epcot Theme Park at Walt Disney World has sort of fostered this movement, allowing visitors to travel the world with their taste buds and sample cuisine from different regions. But it’s clear that food alone can provide enough of an draw to structure an entire theme park around. Enter, FICO Eataly World – a massive park with 45 individual restaurants and cafés, 50 daily culinary workshops and classes, plus browse more than 100 traditional craft stores and organic markets (Forbes). This is a fully submersive experience that offers visitors the opportunity to sample the gamut of gourmet Italian cuisine, and learn about everything from food production to cooking techniques.
There are also theme parks dedicated to beverages. La Cité du Vin is France’s first wine theme park, which similarly offers a diverse selection of wines and provides extensive knowledge about everything to do with wine. The park has museum-like features such as a simulated boat ride which explores the history of wine, and information at the touch of a button from wine experts. Additionally, it houses two restaurants where visitors can pair a diverse selection of wine with their meals. Similarly, the Bierwelt beer theme park in Germany give visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of brewing as well as beer sampling, all while touring its whimsical grounds with interesting architectural structures and animatronic gnomes.
The trend of offering multiple types of ready-made foods in places like grocery stores, festivals and food halls has been prominent in the last few years. But destination food theme parks could gain even more popularity in the future. They satisfy the consumer desire for knowledge of where their food comes from by offering workshops and museum exhibitions, and provide a memorable experience of sampling many different types of food and drink in one location.