Get excited for the holidays with the exclusive preview of one of the seasons’ most festive events: the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. Special thanks to our guest writers for giving us this virtual taste of what’s to come!
Story by Austin R. Vaughn. Photos by Austin R. Vaughn and Morgan E. James from our friends at Boardwalk Times.
The finale of the Epcot festival rotation is almost here: in fact, the 2019 edition of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays kicks off on November 29.
But before you’re dashing past Spaceship Earth to sample all the wintry favorites World Showcase has to offer, take a sneak peek at some new offerings and returning favorites you won’t want to miss.
Food & Drink:
The heart of Epcot festivals are the limited-time flavorful delights coming from the temporary kitchens around World Showcase. Here’s a look at some new dishes coming to this year’s Festival of the Holidays as well as a returning activity that’s a favorite among those with a sweet tooth.
Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce and Spatzle, Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, Germany Pavilion
A traditional German favorite, this breaded and fried porkchop served over buttered noodles and covered with a rich, flavor-packed mushroom gravy is hearty enough to keep you warm and moving through the Black Forest in winter, much less around World Showcase. This dish gives a very convincing impression of a home cooked meal, with a filling portion size and full flavor as well.
Canadian Wild Rice and Ham Soup with Almonds & Pretzel Roll, Yukon Holiday Kitchen, Canada Pavilion
The almonds in this soup offer a surprising crunch. Overall, the soup warms and refreshes the body, and it absolutely pleases the palate. The almonds don’t take away from any of this, but you would want to know there were almonds in the soup before you tucked in, lest you worry the rice had simply been undercooked. And the pretzel roll is so good, I would buy it separately if possible.
Smoked Salmon and Potato Latke, L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen, between France and Morocco Pavilions
An amazing savory treat, the smoked salmon is bursting with flavor, mingled well with the dill creme and perfectly complemented by the buttery, crisp latke. This dish is light, perfect for dining and dashing around the World Showcase, and offers the perfect touch of winter. The smoked salmon and potato latke will have Epcot guests returning to the L’Chaim! Kitchen more than once.
Chocolate Peppermint Shake ft. Twining’s Peppermint Cheer Tea with Whipped Cream Vodka
Here’s a solid, typical chocolate milkshake. However, the peppermint flavor wasn’t present, and neither was the whipped cream flavor. This shake is available without vodka, but I doubt it is any better. If you want an inoffensive, unremarkable chocolate shake, save your money and hit up McDonald’s on your way home.
Gluhwine: House-Made Hot Spiced Wine, Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, Germany Pavilion
A festive holiday party in a cup, the flavors in the Gluhwine shine bright and often, making each sip a journey of joyful tastes. Sipping this will make you feel as if you’ll never be sad again. They should sell this in pitchers.
Holiday Cookie Stroll, World Showcase
At various holiday kitchens around World Showcase lagoon, special holiday cookies are offered. With each cookie purchased, guests can have their passport stamped. When all six holiday cookie stamps have been collected, you’ll receive a complementary completer cookie: a Santa Mickey cookie!
This year, guests can purchase a cookie jar to store their holiday cookies just in case they find it hard to eat seven cookies in one visit. *Raises Hand*
Throughout World Showcase, musical acts and holiday storytellers entertain and educate Epcot guests about holiday traditions and celebrations from around the world.
Returning favorites include JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season, a traditional Gospel choir who also share Kwanzaa traditions and celebrations, Mariachi Cobre, a Mexican Mariachi band joined by salsa dancers sharing Mexican holiday traditions and songs, and Chinese Lion Dancers, an eye catching and traditional Chinese dance troupe.
During the holidays at Epcot, guests can meet with many characters sporting unique seasonal costumes including Belle, Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale and Goofy.
Of course, no Epcot festival would be complete without limited-time merchandise, including Passholder-exclusives. Take a look at some of the great new merchandise offerings for the 2019 Festival of the Holidays:
*Prices were not available at time of publication
- 2019 Holiday Spirit Jersey
- Limited Edition Candlelight Processional Pin
- Limited Edition Festival of the Holidays Pin
- Limited Edition Passholder-Exclusive Holidays Pin
- Passholder-Exclusive “Joy to the Small World” Ornament
- Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree: Map and stickers scavenger hunt for hidden Chip and Dales around World Showcase. Guests can return their completed map in exchange for a special ornaments.
- Passholder-Exclusive Holidays T-Shirt
- Festival of the Holidays hooded, long sleeve shirt
- Festival of the Holidays Tea Set
- Festival of the Holidays Christmas Light Purse
- Festival of the Holidays Limited Edition Magicband
- Festival of the Holidays Ornament
Guests can enjoy all of these experiences, treats, merch and more at the w running from Friday, November 29th through Monday, December 30th 2019.