We already knew that Disney World and Disneyland would both excel when it came to holiday meals for their Guests, but EPCOT’s upcoming holiday offerings have just been announced on the Disney Parks Blog — and these culinary confections are in a league of their own!
The main event at EPCOT this year is the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth, which is beginning on November 26th and will last until December 30th. This event “celebrates cherished holiday traditions from around the globe, with a variety of yuletide decorations, family-friendly activities, and the return of the beloved long-standing tradition of ‘Candlelight Processional’.” With Disney World’s 50th anniversary festivities and EARidescent decorations in full swing, as well, this December will be a particularly good time to visit!
During the International Festival, there will be 14 Holiday Kitchens in the World Showcase. There will also be a crowd-pleasing Holiday Cookie Stroll; Disney Guests will receive a “Festival Passport” to stamp at each Holiday Cookie Stroll location and be rewarded with a “50th-anniversary celebration cookie” once they’ve gotten all the stamps!
If you want savory and exotic flavors that will mentally sweep you away to the tropics, then start off your EPCOT visit at the Mele Kalikimaka location (which is near Port of Entry). The Kālua Pork (topped with Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes and Mango Salad), the Lomi Lomi Salmon (with Tomatoes, Onions, Salmon Roe, Yuzu-Mayonnaise, and Yucca Chips), and the Haupia (which is Hawaiian Coconut Pudding accompanied by Candied Macadamia Nuts and Coconut) are sure to make you feel like Moana!
If you want a more wintry holiday experience, head to the Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen (which is located near Disney Traders) for Gourmet Hot Cocoa (with the option of added Peanut Butter Whiskey, Whipped Cream, and Candied Nuts for the adults) or some T.G. Lee Eggnog with Peanut Butter Whiskey. The Holiday Sweets & Treats Kitchen will also be wonderful for Peppermint Sundaes, Eggnog White Porter, and a bold Chocolate Peppermint Shake that features Twinings Peppermint Cheer Tea and Whipped Cream Vodka. You’ll also be able to get your bonus cookie here after you’ve filled out your Festival Passport!
Disney Guests who want a small, on-the-go holiday snack will want to check out Holiday Hearth Desserts (near Port of Entry) for light fare like Snowball Cookies, Peppermint Bark, and an intriguing snack called Mouse Crunch. There’s also Cinnamon Apple Cider here!
While Turkey Poutine (French fries with turkey gravy) might not be everyone’s favorite Canadian entree, EPCOT’s addition of cranberry relish and crispy onions is sure to elevate the dish. The Yukon Holiday Kitchen (located in Canada) also has Seared Scallops (with Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney, and Hazelnut Croquant), Beef Bourguignon with Crushed Potatoes, Maple Bûche de Noël (which is a decadent maple mousse with cranberry that’s rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake), a sweet Peanut Butter & Banana Porter, and the uniquely chilling Icewine to make Guests feel like they’re on Canada’s northern tundras.
If you want to celebrate Hanukkah while in EPCOT, head to the L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen between France and Morocco! With Smoked Salmon Potato Latke, Sufganiyot, and a special plant-based Black and White Cookie, you’re bound to find something appealing.
After snacking on some latkes, head next door to the Tangierine Café for Flavors of the Medina. This Kitchen’s Grilled Kebabs with Carrot-Chickpea Salad and Garlic Aïoli or stone-baked Moroccan Bread with Hummus, Fig Tapenade, and Zhoug Dip will definitely pack a savory punch!
For classic American fare, head to the American Holiday Table for slow-roasted turkey with BEN’S ORIGINAL Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce, then finish off the comforting meal with a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie. In Germany’s Bavaria Holiday Kitchen nearby, Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce, Spätzle, and Braised Red Cabbage (complemented by the Glühwein) can also provide additional flavor if you’re craving more food!
Specialty donuts have become increasingly popular at Disney World, and The Donut Box Kitchen near the Test Track (presented by Chevrolet) has an Eggnog-Cream-filled Donut that will definitely get you into the holiday spirit! It also pairs nicely with a Gingerbread Milkshake there.
We would be remiss not to include French cuisine in a festival of cuisine, and Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen (in EPCOT’s France) definitely deserves a spot on our list! The Napoleon de Saumon Fumé en Brioche (which is smoked salmon napoleon with layers of smoked salmon, dill mousse, and crème fraîche mousse served in brioche), the Dinde Forestière, Patates Douces Rôties (essentially turkey with bacon, mushrooms, and onions in a mustard cream sauce served with roasted sweet potatoes), and the luxurious Bûche de Noël Chocolat Blanc, Framboise (which is a chocolate Christmas log with chocolate biscuit, white chocolate mousse, raspberry cream, and chocolate fudge coating) are definitely holiday foods that you and your family will remember.
If a visit to France has made you crave more European meals, try Italy’s Tuscany Holiday Kitchen for signature ravioli dishes and the unique Bomboloni alla Cioccolato-Nocciola, which is a chocolate-filled Italian doughnut with chocolate-hazelnut spread and powdered sugar.
Seafood lovers should head to the Lotus Blossom Café in EPCOT’s China Pavilion for Cheesy Crab Wontons, or perhaps stop by the Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen in Japan for some unique sushi. Japan’s Mont Blanc Tart (a matcha mousse tart with a sweet red bean center sprinkled with konpeito sugar candy) will be a standout on the menu, as will the Chocolate Banana Boba drink that contains cocoa, a Japanese milky drink, banana syrup, and strawberry popping boba pearls!
While there is plenty more to sample and eat during EPCOT’s holiday festival, this abridged guide will help you locate the highlights that are not to be missed. And after reading those menus, are you hungry yet? If you’re visiting EPCOT for this Festival of treats or trying to recreate some of the dishes at home, use the hashtags #EPCOTHoliday or #DisneyWorld50 to share the experience online!