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Epcot Festival of the Holidays - Part 1

Raise your hand if you still have Christmas decorations up!  Me too, so I think it's still fair that we can chat about Festival of the Holidays over at Epcot which runs from about Thanksgiving to Christmas each year.  Similar to other Epcot festivals, this event brings food booths with specialty items around World Showcase along with themed entertainment, decor and merchandise.  There is also a holiday cookie stroll, which you can learn more about here


First, I love all the red floral that the holidays bring to the park.  It just pops and really helps it feel more like the holidays when it's 80 degrees outside in mid-December.  But of course, I'm here for the food so let's dig right in!  

We loved the food from Morocco at Food and Wine so much, we actually put the beef skewers on our wedding menu, so we were excited to see the booth (Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina) back for the holidays and headed there first.  This "booth" is inside the old Tangierine Cafe quick service location so make sure you don't miss it! We tried a chicken skewer and a cider flight to kick off our day of eating around the holiday world.  This food once again did not disappoint, the chicken was moist and the sauce is just wow.  The cider flight was fun because they were very holiday flavory with nutmeg and ginger, but could definitely take it or leave it. 

Grilled Kebabs with Carrot-Chickpea Salad and Garlic Aïoli: Harissa Chicken
Cider Flight   
Now that we had some savory food it was time to dig into some sweets.  L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen had some great options we wanted to try so of course we got both to share.  The mini donuts were just the right amount of sweet but be ready to have powdered sugar everywhere!  The black and white cookie is a classic but this one is plant-based!  A great choice for those vegans out there, you won't feel like you're missing out at all as we loved it. 

Sufganiyot: Mini jelly-filled donuts
Black and White Cookie
Now it wouldn't be an Epcot festival without a huge line at the France booth, so I hopped in for Le Marche De Noel Holiday Kitchen and the line thankfully moved pretty regularly.  I pretty much got one of everything for our group to try.  The food was so good and that frozen chocolate martini was our favorite of the drink choices. 
Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini: Vanilla vodka, vodka, chocolate milk, and whipped cream
The Festival of the Holidays also comes with holiday storytellers throughout the countries.  We caught Pierre Noel while we were nibbling on our treats and he was a great storyteller and definitely helped give us those holiday feels!

We continued on and came to the Canada and Refreshment Port area.  Once again we had so many options we wanted to try so we got quite a few things and shared between our group.  At the Yukon Holiday Kitchen the scallops were a huge hit but the beef was a very close second.  We actually tried every single food item from this booth, and the yule log was great as well.  We also got both poutines from Refreshment Port and were surprised at the size of these snacks, we had so many fries!  
Seared Scallops with Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney, and Hazelnut Croquant
SNICKERS-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS bar pieces 
Maple Bûche de Noël: Maple mousse and cranberry rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake
Traditional Poutine and Turkey Poutine – French fries with turkey gravy, cranberry relish, and crispy onions
We were filled up on savory for the moment which was perfect timing because we were coming up on quite a few sweet options! From Holiday Hearth Desserts we tried three of the six desserts to choose from. 
Red Velvet Mini Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie, Gingerbread Cookie and Cocoa Candy Cane: Hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps 
Even though we had quite our fill, we soldiered on and headed back into the World Showcase to try a few more items after dark.  Bavaria was a big hit with the delicious cookie and bread bowl of cheese.  Yep you read that right, a bread bowl full of cheese.. yum!
Linzer Cookie
Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes
We rounded out this evening with a stop in Japan for the most festive sushi I've ever seen.  We also tried the delightful sparkling plum wine and the soba noodles.  
Chirashi Sushi Tree: Sashimi-grade tuna, salmon, ikura, and yellowtail with vegetables decorated on an artistic bed of rice to celebrate the holidays
Sparkling Plum Wine and New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat soba noodle in a hot dashi soup with shrimp tempura, fish cake, shiitake mushrooms, and chopped green onion

Overall it was a full afternoon and a delicious one!  We accomplished all of this from about 4pm-9pm but did have quite a few people to split the items between so we could try more.  What is your favorite part of Festival of the Holidays?  Let us know in the comments!

Maci Schau
Maci is an avid foodie and loves trying out new restaurants and seasonal food offerings in the parks.  You can email Maci at maci@kingdomkonsultant.com.

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