Festival of the Holidays Highlights

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holiday festival Epcot

During the end of this November, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Epcot for the Festival of the Holidays. It was my first time at this festival, and I was able to see the sights, decor, and of course, TREATS, available for this event. I was actually present for the first day of the festival, and I came prepared with a list of foods I needed to try.

I am a pescatarian, which is virtually a vegetarian who also eats fish. This fest is dessert and sweets heavy, and when it comes to savory dinner-like treats, many of them incorporate meat. Thus, I found myself on sweets and beverage overload. (Not all boozed, I swear!) I’d love to share with you some of my highlights.

Crab and Cheese Wontons (aka Rangoon) from the China Pavillion

At the Shanghai Holiday Kitchen booth, we made sure to try the crab and cheese wontons. They were everything great about a crab rangoon. Equal parts salty and creamy, with a perfect sweet sauce on the bottom. It was a great snack and came with three wontons. This is a must if it meets your dietary restrictions.

Crab and Cheese Wontons from Shanghai Holiday Kitchen
Crab and Cheese Wontons from Shanghai Holiday Kitchen

Cookie Stroll

Each festival has a “stroll” of sorts where you get a chance to collect stamps in your festival passport as you eat specific foods around Epcot. For this fest, the goal was to eat five cookies around the world. These consisted of a pinwheel, gingerbread, black and white, chocolate crumble, and a linzer cookie. The prize is, you guessed it, a cookie! It was a cute and decorative peppermint Minnie Mouse sugar cookie. Doing this in one day was a hefty undertaking, but they were all very delicious. I recommend pairing your gingerbread with the coquito from Festival Favorites. I’m not a huge gingerbread fan, but loved this one. They’re definitely filling, especially when you’re eating other treats, but it was really fun. I would certainly encourage you to do the stroll over a few day, or one if you’re crazy like me!

Prize from the Epcot Cookie Stroll
Prize from the Epcot Cookie Stroll

Favorite Beverages

I found an amazing hidden gem in the Norway pavilion as we were heading to exit the park for the day. The Troll Kreme was a spiked cranberry and dragon berry slush, and while I don’t think it’s a festival exclusive, it was phenomenal and the alcohol was hardly evident. It also comes in a cute Norway-themed cup which, if you have space in your suitcase, is worth getting!

P.S. When I looked up this drink’s name, it seems that it sometimes comes with whipped cream. Maybe they ran out for me but I think I’d prefer it without!

Troll Kreme from Norway cart
Troll Kreme from Norway cart

The rum-spiked coquito was another great drink! It’s available at the festival favorites booth and can also be served up virgin. It was a great festive drink and had a delicious spice to it.

Gingerbread with Coquito from festival Favorites
Gingerbread with Coquito from festival Favorites

For an alcoholic or virgin option, the Yukon Holiday Kitchen has a really tasty frozen coffee. I personally got it virgin and hot tip: this is the one that gets topped with whipped cream!

One last recommendation is to hit up Citrus Blossom for the orange creme shake in the orange bird sipper. Not only is the cup adorable, but the actual shake was stellar. It wasn’t overly heavy but still very sweet. It was available for the past few festivals, (Maybe they had too many sippers!) but I’m so glad it stayed around!

Non-Dessert Standouts

I definitely felt a touch more limited with my options this fest than I did at food and wine and even Fest of the arts. I had a lot of sweet options, but not as many savory ones. Regardless, I got to try some delicious potato latkes from the L’Chaim booth. (This is also home to the black and white cookie) It was actually all vegan, including the yummy sour cream drizzle on top.

Potato Latkes from L'Chaim Kitchen
Potato Latkes from L’Chaim Kitchen

The Italian booth is always pretty solid, and they typically offer flatbreads at multiple festivals. At this one, they had a white pie with various white cheeses called “bianceneve” which means white snow! (I speak some Italian I have to use it when I can.)

The Bavaria booth has a really yummy cheese fondue. While I prefer the brie one from France during the Fest of the Arts, this one was much bigger. It came with some steamed veggies and baby potatoes and the cheese filling was VERY rich. This could totally be split between two people, I wish I did!

Poinsettias and Trees all over!

Needless to say, Disney goes all out for decor for the holidays. They have beautiful, towering trees all over and a lot of poinsettias that take the place of other flowerbeds in Epcot this season. They made a beautiful backdrop and maybe-just for a second- you can forget its 1000 degrees in Orlando.

Thank you so much for reading about my experience, I really enjoyed the fest and hope to return next year, and the year after that, and th-

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