by Disney Magic Diva
Visiting Walt Disney World in 2020 is different for many reasons, but we hope many of the tasty treats of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays return this year, unlike Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Disney is doing everything they can to make sure we still have our magical moments and keep our social distance.
It’s the most magical time of the year at Walt Disney World Resort! Guests can celebrate the season with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom; Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and Sunset Season’s Greetings at Hollywood Studios; amazing new experiences at Animal Kingdom; the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs; gingerbread displays at several resorts; and, of course, a festival at Epcot. (Note: Many of these activities are on leave for 2020, we hope they return for 2021)
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays has so much to offer – but one of my favorite features is the Holiday Kitchens! We sampled as much as we could in the short time we had, but it would take several days to enjoy all the wonderful dishes available at the Holiday Kitchens. Here’s what we were able to savor:
Holiday Sweets and Treats (near Port of Entry) I’m a chocolate addict. Ice-cream ranks right up there too. So, a Chocolate Peppermint Shake was something I couldn’t pass up. It features Twinings Peppermint Cheer Tea and Whipped Cream Vodka. (There’s a non-alcoholic version too.) It was a little smaller glass than I was expecting, but the taste certainly didn’t disappoint. A delightful chocolate shake with a festive peppermint flavor. Add the vodka and it was perfect adult beverage!
Refreshment Outpost (“Africa” Outpost) The Warm Caramel Stuffed Salted Pretzel with Soft-serve Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce was probably the best thing we had from a Holiday Kitchen! Although the “ice-cream” tasted very much like “ice-milk,” overall it far exceeded our expectations. It was a sweet dessert, but the pretzel had enough substance that the flavor combination of sweet and salty yet not all “dessert-y” was amazing.
Diva Tip: If you order this, be sure to get lots of napkins as well as a knife, fork, and spoon. You’ll need all three utensils and maybe a wet wipe when you’re done. It’s messy!
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen (Germany) The Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce and Spätzel was good, but not outstanding. The gravy was really tasty and well-seasoned, but the pork schnitzel was just fair.
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen (Italy) It was a hard choice on what to order here, but we ultimately compromised on the Bianca Neve (Italian flatbread, mozzarella, and parmesan). It was basically cheese flatbread. The flatbread was slightly crispy on the edge, but soft and light in the middle. The cheeses were abundant and delicious (how couldn’t they be??!).
Diva Tip: It never seems to fail for us – the line here is always ridiculously long. If only the Italy kitchen would have more cashiers open! If you see a short line – jump in! Otherwise, acknowledge it will be a wait, and send others in your party on to the next stop to order food and bring it back. They will likely be done and back to Italy before you’ve received your food. Then you can enjoy bites from two countries at once!
American Holiday Table (The American Adventure) What could be more traditional than Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce? It’s an entire holiday dinner on one small plate! The turkey was best when you combined it with a bite of gravy. It was a rather large portion and a great value.
We also tried the Hand-carved Smoked Ham with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Casserole. It was a little more disappointing since the ham was cold and dry. But the beans seemed really fresh, and the sweet potato was delicious!
Our family is also a big fan of gingerbread, so we had to try the Gingerbread Cookie. It was as enjoyable as it was adorable. It had a wonderful spice taste, was soft in the middle and yet crunchy on the outside. Definitely would recommend it!
Saffire Holiday Kitchen (Morocco) “Sfenj” are warm beignets with cream, cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce. Hard to go wrong, right? The serving was just 2 bite-size beignets, about the size of a donut-hole, and they were very tasty. A crispy outside layer with warm cream inside. Yum! I wish the serving had been maybe 3 beignets: it didn’t really seem like a great value and I was surprised when there were only 2 on my plate. And more chocolate sauce would have been nice.
Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen (France) The Bûche de Noël au Chocolat – Christmas Log with Chocolate Cake and Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache was both awesome and disappointing. The ganache was awesome. It was smooth, rich, and absolutely scrumptious. The cake, though, was dry and forgettable.
The Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini was the perfect beverage for strolling around World Showcase. Made with Grey Goose Vanilla, Vodka, and Chocolate Milk, it was festive and fun!
Yukon Holiday Kitchen (Canada) The Canadian Wild Rice and Ham Soup with Almonds was exactly what you’d expect. A thick and creamy soup, served with a pretzel roll, is a wonderful choice for a cool evening.
The Maple Bûche de Noël is a Maple Mousse rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake with Cranberry Sauce and Pecan Crumble. It was moist, flavorful, and light. With most bites you got that “sweet and tart” flavor combination which was magnificent!
We also tried the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie since it was so gorgeous! It was similar to a shortbread cookie but had a light peppermint flavor which would make Santa very merry indeed!
That was all we had time for. There are so many delicious and unique choices at the Holiday Kitchens for Epcot International Festival of the Holidays! What have you tried? Or what’s on your wish list? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’d like some expert help in planning your next vacation, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel. She can give you a FREE quote and provide you with all the details you need to make your holiday magical!
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