Epcot’s Holidays Around the World offers guests the opportunity to experience holiday traditions from around the globe through music, stories, and (our favorite) cuisine!
So, grab your passport… (yup — they have passports this year!)
…because we’re about to take a trip around the world! Epcot’s World Showcase, that is!
First things first: be sure to pick up a Guide Map at Epcot’s entrance for this experience.
Even if you know your way around Epcot, this map — unique to the festivities – shows you which treats are available and where you can find them (it provides times for special holiday performances as well).
Let’s take it one country at a time, starting in Mexico, where La Cantina de San Angel is serving Sweet Tamales!
While the corn-based dough in this dish isn’t at all sugary (with just the slightest hint of cinammon spice), the strawberry glaze on top delivers a nice bit of sweetness. The filling is tangy, with a guava puree (and I believe a hint of pineapple, as well).
Holiday Waffles and Drinks at Promenade Refreshments
Now, before we hit the rest of the countries in World Showcase, Promenade Refreshments is offering a few treats exclusive to the holidays, too!
We’ll be back soon with a full review of both waffles and some of that peanut butter hot cocoa, but here’s a pic of the Savory Waffle to whet your whistle!
Portable holiday dinner!
Rice Cream in Norway
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Norway has featured a favorite treat for the holidays… Rice Cream!
Usually available at Kringla Bakeri year-round, I hadn’t seen it in quite a while. This gem of vanilla rice pudding topped with a generous helping of strawberry sauce is the perfect blend of creamy-and-tart.
It’s wonderful when an old friend returns for the holidays, isn’t it?
Kaikouxiao (Happy Face Fried Cake) in China
China’s Joy of Tea wins the grand prize for “Favorite Name of Anything I’ve Eaten in Disney World, EVER”! (Not exactly an Oscar, perhaps, but an honor nonetheless!)
Behold: Happy Face Fried Cakes! Otherwise known as Kaikouxiao :).
While the name is “fried cakes,” the Cast Member I spoke with called them “fried cookies,” and that seems more appropriate, as they are quite dense and crunchy. And these fried cookies are unlike anything I’ve ever had.
The flavor is truly unique. While it’s got a taste all its own, I’d equate it to the level of sweetness of a shortbread… only a bit more buttery and a little less vanilla-y . The flavor of the sesame seeds is very pronounced, and adds a truly unexpected element.
From the first bite, I was expecting something sweeter. But with each additional taste, I enjoyed it more and more. By the end, I could’ve happily gone for one or two more!
By the way, if you’re looking for a review of Tipsy Ducks in Love, you can find it here.
Holiday Drinks and Eats in Germany
Christkindlmarkt in the Germany Pavilion is featuring a few fun beverages: the must-have Werther’s Original Hot Salted Caramel Drink, and Werther’s Original Caramel Mocha Iced Coffee Drink.
You can find them in the Prost! stand, along with a few other drinks and Werther’s caramel treats.
We can highly recommend the Caramel Apple Cookie! LOVE!
Hot, spiced Gluhwein is available again this year; however, it is sold in Sommerfest. Stollen (holiday fruit cake) can be found here as well.
Gluhwein is also available in a 6 ounce pour in the Weinkeller.
Holiday Drinks in Italy
Buona Festa is the name of this stand in the Italy Pavilion, where you can enjoy a Hot Chocolate with Caffe Espresso Liquer.
Holiday Eats at American Adventure
In the American Adventure Pavilion, the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop is your one-stop-shop for all manner of traditional Christmas cookies, Peppermint Bark, Hot Cocoas and Apple Cider.
We can definitely recommend the peppermint bark!
Teriyaki Chicken Karaage in Japan
Hot Mint Tea in Morocco
Tangierine Café in Morocco is the place where you can grab a Traditional Hot Mint Tea. (Be sure to head to the Pastries and Coffee Bar, as opposed to the regular counter service line.)
While this is usually always available — especially at Marrakesh — it’s a fun addition to the holiday specialty menu as well.
Gingerbread Ice Cream and Yule Log in France
Aaah, France… while this Pavilion offers an abundance of magical treats any time of year, it has managed to bring two more to the table for the holidays: Housemade Gingerbread Ice Cream at L’Artisan des Glaces…
…and this beautiful Chocolate Christmas Log (Buche de Noel au chocolat), shaped to represent a seasonal Yule Log, found at Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie.
This Epcot twist on this French dessert is a chocolate cake topped with dark and white chocolate mousse (as opposed to a more traditional log-roll pastry).
Hot Applejack Cider in the UK
I can think of few better ways to warm up before a viewing of Illuminations than with a Hot Applejack Cider (hot mulled cider with whiskey and seasonal spices) from the United Kingdom’s Beer Cart!
Pecan Maple Bark in Canada
Speaking of carts, the Popcorn Cart in Canada is carrying an additional treat for the holidays: Pecan Maple Bark. Yum!!
While I am definitely all for warming up with a good ol’ cup of cocoa and a gingerbread cookie for the holidays, I absolutely loved having the chance to experience holiday traditions and flavors from other cultures. Holidays Around the World is a wonderful opportunity to consider and appreciate a few of the ways other countries celebrate this special time of year.
Which holiday treat from around the globe would you like to try? Please let us know with a comment!