Happy Holidays from Epcot's UK Pavilion

A Visit to Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays

Another season, another Epcot Festival is underway! The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays started on November 18. We’ve already been there twice and decided on favorites.

This year’s holiday popcorn bucket

This is a fun festival. In addition to the Holiday Kitchens (food booths) there are story tellers in the country pavilions sharing holiday traditions. For example, in the France pavilion, Pere Noel makes an appearance and shares the holiday traditions that are observed in France.

Plus, in permanent locations around the World Showcase there are holiday treats. The Ice Cream shop in France has gingerbread ice cream, the popcorn stand in Canada has a maple pecan bark, and there are fun popcorn buckets all over.

The most popular question we get about the Epcot festivals is what was our favorite food. Here’s our list of good food and drink at the festival this season.

  • Canada Yukon Holiday Kitchen: Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whiskey
  • France Le Marche de Noel Holiday Kitchen: Turkey and Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce served on a Puff Pastry, the Chocolate Christmas Log, and the Holiday Kir made with Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Syrup
  • L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen: Pastrami on Rye (beware – this is much smaller than the Disney photo indicates)
  • Italy Tuscany Holiday Kitchen: Cavatappi ai Quattro Formaggi and Bacio ai Ciocclato (basically a chocolate lava cake)
  • Germany Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl, and the Peppermint Sugar Cookie
  • Holiday Sweets and Treats: Hot Cocoa with your choice of cordial

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen

We really, really wanted to love the Black and White cookie at L’Chaim since we love New York City and Black and White cookies, but we tried it twice here. Both times were disappointing and did not transport us to New York City. The first cookie was too small, and the chocolate was not right. The second cookie was too thin, and actually burned on one side.

We also completed the Cookie Stroll this year. This is a new program this year, and you purchase five $2.00 cookies at five different holiday kitchens around the World Showcase. This involved a lot of standing in line for $2.00 cookies. Plus, the cookies were basically grocery story cookies — nothing worth writing about (except the Bavaria Peppermint Cookie). When you complete the stroll you get a free completer cookie that was also disappointing. This is a really good concept, and it just needs some work to be carried out better — maybe Disney will work on that — as well as the quality of the cookies.

In addition to the food are all of the decorations around the park. We love seeing returning favorites like the giant teapot in the UK pavilion, as well as newcomers. Plus, there’s the US Capitol made out of Gingerbread!

The holidays are one of our favorite times in Disney. We always make sure to make at least one, usually two trips to the parks to see all that is going on.

There’s a tree trail in Disney Springs, giant gingerbread displays in the resorts, a train layout in one resort, a Christmas party in Magic Kingdom, snow and special shows in Hollywood Studios, and the Candlelight Processional in addition to the Festival in Epcot. We are getting to a lot of these events this year, and I will be sure to post about more of the holiday events in Disney as we celebrate the season!

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