This past weekend, my sister and I traveled down to Florida to visit my grandma. We had been planning the trip for a while. It all started when the Giants released their schedule back in April. They’d be playing the Buccaneers in Tampa and with my grandma living in close proximity, we decided that we’d plan a trip around the game. That got us thinking – not only is grandma in close proximity to Tampa, but she’s only two hours away from Disney World!
So my sister and I went down to to Walt Disney World last Friday for the Food & Wine Festival. This Friday, I’ll provide a full trip report and review of the Food and Wine Festival. Sticking with the theme of food and drinks at Disney, today I’ll start highlighting the top holiday snacks at Walt Disney World.
If you’re looking for the best holiday-themed snacks at Disney, then EPCOT is the place to go! EPCOT hosts Holidays Around the World, an interactive and educational experience at each of the pavilions throughout the World Showcase. Each pavilion hosts a storyteller, who tells of the country’s holiday traditions. Many of the pavilions serve customary holiday treats – unique to the country. It’s slightly similar to the Food & Wine Festival, in that each of the pavilions serve customary treats; but you won’t find any additional booths and most food is served within the pavilions. In truth, if you don’t know about it, you’ll probably miss it.
My family can spend an entire day roaming the World Showcase, stopping at each pavilion to learn about the country’s tradition and sample its holiday fare. Start your day by grabbing a holiday passport. The passport can be found by the park maps and within each pavilion. It includes a list of every pavilion and its offerings.
We start our tour at the Promenade Refreshments. It’s easy to walk right past the stand, located at the start of the World Showcase. The Promenade is home to the very popular waffle sandwiches. It serves both a savory and sweet waffle sandwich. At its inception, the savory option featured a waffle made with stuffing batter, filled with turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy. I think the 2014 version featured turkey and green beans.The sweet option is a sweet potato casserole served on a sweet potato waffle. It’s definitely sweet!
The popcorn cart in Canada carries pecan maple bark. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard great things. What I have tried, however, is the hot Applejack Cider at the United Kingdom Beer Cart. I’m not usually a fan of liquor or mixed drinks – give me a beer and I’m happy. But this is like a holiday in a cup. The hot cider with whiskey and seasonal spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) is perfect on a cooler night, right before Illuminations starts.
France is one of my favorite spots for snacks. Home to the famous French Bakery, Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie, the France pavilion is a fantastic spot to grab some delectable baked goods. The bakery serves a Chocolate Christmas Log. The log is different from the Disneyland and Sunshine Seasons version. I think it has a cream cheese topping, but I can’t remember. If cake isn’t your thing, head to L’Artisan des Glaces for the Chocolate Gingerbread ice cream. The gelato spot serves an interesting spin on an ice cream sandwich – a heaping scoop of ice cream served on a fresh brioche bun with your choice of syrup, then toasted on a panini press. It’s warm and cold at the same time. The sandwich is toasted and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. It’s reminiscent of fried ice cream. At the very least, go to the gelato shop and grab a scoop of the gingerbread ice cream – and thank me later!
We’d normally walk right past the American Pavilion, as it doesn’t really excite us. Last year, we decided to explore. The American Pavilion offers gingerbread and chocolate chunk cookies, peppermint bark, and a hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps. You can find the cookies almost anywhere, but I’d totally recommend the spiked hot cocoa! On a side note – make sure to head into the building and meet Santa! It’d be a really cool experience for kids on the days leading up to Christmas. The quick service location is beautifully decorated, too!
Germany really, really packs a punch during the holiday season. If you’re a fan of caramel, then Germany will be your favorite pavilion. The highlight here is the Caramel Apple Cookie. It’s a huge oatmeal cookie, filled with pieces of apple and topped with Werther’s Original caramel sauce. It’s moist, soft and packed with buttery flavor.
The Joy of Tea cart at the China pavilion isn’t just home to my favorite drink, the Tipsy Duck in Love, but it’s home to Happy Face Fried Cakes. I like to get both and call it my “Tipsy and Happy Meal.” The Happy Face cakes are interesting. You get three to an order and they’re around the size of a golf ball. They’re crunchier than expected, and reminded me a bit of the almond cookies that you can find at your local Chinese take-out.
La Cantina de San Angel features a sweet tamale. We usually venture over to Mexico for some nachos, as it’s my sister’s go-to at the World Showcase (not counting the croissant donut!) I’ve always been tempted to try the tamale, but never have. Maybe it’s because the pink sauce reminds me of Pepto Bismol. I think I’ll finally try it this year. I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews and I rarely turn down dessert!
Overall, EPCOT is my favorite spot for unique food offerings at Disney. You can find a lot of the holiday snacks throughout the parks and resorts, but can only find these cultural holiday treats in EPCOT.