We had a great day eating and drinking our way around the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays!
This year’s festival runs from November 26th through December 30th and has 14 food booths to try out. We spent our day getting our snack on at ALL of the booths and we have some OPINIONS.
That’s right! We made it through EVERY. SINGLE. FESTIVAL MENU. available in EPCOT today. Now that we’ve tried everything we can though, we’re putting our festival expertise to use and bringing you the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays BEST of the FEST!
We tried most of these items for the first time EVER at this year’s festival and they wowed us enough to make our list of bests!
Coquito Soft-Serve Waffle Cone at Refreshment Port
Our first new best comes from Refreshment Port, right at the start of World Showcase. This spot is serving up the Coquito Soft-Serve Waffle Cone for $5.25 and it is a REAL. WINNER.
The soft serve was FABULOUS. It had a very strong cinnamon flavor and we could certainly recognize it as coquito. This was a standout for us from the very beginning of the day. We didn’t doubt for a second that it would land as one of our bests!
Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail at Refreshment Port
Yep, Refreshment Port brought us TWO Best of the Fest picks! Killin’ it! We were WOWED by the Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail for $11 — and not just because it was served in a plastic Moscow Mule mug.
The ginger flavor was definitely the strongest flavor we noticed; in fact, we didn’t pick up on the pumpkin flavor much at all. Still, it’s not overly sweet and you can definitely taste the alcohol — a big plus when you’re dropping $11 on a drink!
Mini Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake at Funnel Cake Stand
The Funnel Cake Stand in The American Adventure Pavilion often wows us with its seasonal treats, but today’s was a whole ‘nother level. We think we might be in love with the Mini Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake you can find here for $9.50.
This treat is a Pumpkin Funnel Cake topped with Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, and Graham Cracker Crumbles. OMG. This is so good. This was a SUPER delicious treat especially for anyone who loves pumpkin. The fall vibes sent it soaring straight to the top of our eat-again list.
Grilled Kebabs at Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina
Morocco’s booth, Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina has Grilled Kebabs with Carrot-Chickpea Salad and Garlic Aïoli and you can select between Lamb Kefta Kebabs or Harissa Chicken Kebabs. These are available for $5.75 and WOW, were they good.
The flavors are SO unique and savory with BOTH of these kebabs. Festival of the Holidays tends to be known for sweets, so we were happy to see such an amazing savory option. The meat was perfectly cooked and our only complaint is that we wanted MORE.
Almond-spiced Cake at Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina
And the dessert at this booth is a real winner too! Tangierine Cafe is BRINGING IT. We were big fans of the Almond-spiced Cake with Ginger Mousse, Orange Ganache, and Sesame Tuile for $4.75.
This cake has a very strong almond flavor with slight notes of ginger to complement. The whole treat is brought together by the VERY rich ganache that sits in the middle. It’s a pretty treat and it has unexpected, amazing flavors.
These items are BACK and as TASTY as ever, once again landing a spot on our Best of the Fest list!
Giant Tostada de Chorizo at Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen
It’s Chorizo served on a Giant Tostada with Chipotle Black Bean Purée, Salsa Verde, Queso Cotija, Crema Mexicana, and Pickled Onion. YUM. This eat is SO good. All of the flavors marry perfectly and it’s a BIG portion.
New Year Celebration Soba at Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen
Next on our list is the New Year Celebration Soba for $8. As you might imagine, this combo of Buckwheat Soba Noodles in a Hot Dashi Soup with Shrimp Tempura, Fish Cake, Shiitake Mushrooms and Chopped Green Onion is one of the more unique dishes at the fest.
But, OMG is it good. You do have to be open to more unorthodox flavors but if you’re into seafood or Asian cuisine, you GOTTA give this one a try!
Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
No surprise here but liquid cheese in a container made of bread has made our best of the fest list…as usual. Just like it has at past festivals, the Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes for $8.25 has won our hearts!
Those veggies and potatoes are perfect for dipping and honestly, we have to stop ourselves from sticking a paper straw in the bowl. There’s a reason this has been a favorite for years! It’s cheese and bread…how can you go wrong?
Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
Another returning favorite is the Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce, Spätzle, and Braised Red Cabbage for $6.25. It’s got a yummy mushroom sauce and it’s a filling portion.
We are BIG suckers for spaetzle so this dish has definitely roped us in with this one. All the flavors and textures create a DELICIOUS combination in this delightfully savory bite!
Slow-roasted Turkey at American Holiday Table
Of course, we have to give a nod to an absolute classic. Seriously, can you go wrong with Slow-roasted Turkey with BEN’S ORIGINAL Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce?
This dish makes our list for being an outright holiday staple. It’s nice that you can have so many favorites in one dish, especially if you’re traveling and weren’t able to have it for the holiday. You can pick it up for $5.75.
Pastrami on Rye at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
This next one is for you deli fans! L’Chaim! typically has some tasty options and it has brought a returning winner this year. Take a look at the Pastrami on Rye with House-made Pickles and Deli Mustard for $5.25.
This is a pretty hearty little sandwich and that combo of classic flavors goes a loooooong way to making this one a favorite. Plus, do you see that hefty serving of meat?! Yes, please.
Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini at Le Marche De Noel Holiday Kitchen
The France Pavilion is no stranger to iconic frozen cocktails, and this returning fave from Festival of the Holidays past is no exception. Did someone say Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini for $12.50? Yes, yes we did.
Frozen hot chocolate may be an oxymoron but that doesn’t stop this combo of Grey Goose Vanilla, Vodka, and Chocolate Milk from being DELISH every time we have it.
Turkey Poutine at Refreshment Port
And our final returning favorite is the Turkey Poutine from Refreshment Port. We’re talking French Fries with Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Relish, and Crispy Onions all piled high to our delight.
If you love loaded fries and Thanksgiving flavors, RUN don’t walk to try this eat for $9.
Kālua Pork at Mele Kalikimaka
Over at Mele Kalikimaka, a booth themed to a Hawaiian Christmas, you can find the Kālua Pork with Okinawa Purple Sweet Potatoes and Mango Salad for $5.25.
This booth AND eat debuted at the festival last year and we are SO GLAD they’re back. The pork is just amazing. The texture is tender and all of the ingredients mary for an absolutely delicious plate.
Haupia at Mele Kalikimaka
This booth is also home to the Haupia for $4.50. Coconut lovers and macadamia nut fans alike will really enjoy this dish. We especially like it when this fest is so cookie-heavy otherwise.
Haupia is a Hawaiian Coconut Pudding with Candied Macadamia Nuts and Coconut. If you like those flavors, it’s worth a stop at this booth to give them a try!
BEST Booth of the FEST
Alright, now that we’ve gone through ALL of the worthy items, it’s time to take things a step further. We’re revealing our picks for BEST of the booths at the fest. If you’re only visiting a few booths, we say these should be the ones!
We’re talking the AMAZING bests of Cheese Fondue AND Pork Schnitzel, plus our favorite cookie of the whole Cookie Stroll with the Linzer Cookie. Add an awesome lineup of ciders, wines, and beers; and it’s no wonder this spot takes the crown.
Runners-Up for Best Booth of the Fest
Of course, we’ve got to give some love to our runners-up. Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina is an often overlooked booth in the Morocco Pavilion, but at this fest, it came out SWINGING!
Two of the new items on this menu made it to our bests list. The flavors were complex and delicious and this booth had winners on BOTH the sweet and savory sides. We had to give it some love!
Unique flavors grace the food options AND the drink options so you’re sure to get an interesting bite. Whoever said tropical flavors can’t be Christmas-y? This booth is worth a stop for those looking to try something a little different from the holiday classics available around the fest.
Though not TECHNICALLY a booth, we had to give a shoutout to one of the additional locations serving up festival eats!
Refreshment Port is a quick-service location that serves up a few limited-time eats for the festival. This spot deserves a stop if the menu sounds interesting! It had two new bests AND a returning best!
Whether you opt to try the Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail, the Coquito Soft-Serve Waffle Cone, or the Turkey Poutine; you have a good chance of coming away happy.
Best of the Fest for Kids
Now let’s talk about the best option for kiddos!
We have to say, Festival of the Holiday’s progressive offering, the Cookie Stroll, is GREAT for kids. Basically, you buy 5 cookies from the different Holiday Kitchens, and when you’ve collected 5 stamps you can head to the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to snag your FREE prize.
Kids will LOVE the game aspect of this activity and the free cookie AND ice cream sundae at the end, so it’s a great option for the fam!
Plus, you can split the cookies so they don’t get to be too much. Some of our favorite cookies this year were the Chocolate Crinkle and the Linzer Cookie!
Best Plant-Based Item of the Fest
We’ve got a winner for those who don’t eat meat too!
Black and White Cookie at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
Now, it’s important to note: Festival of the Holidays is NOT the best fest for plant-based eaters. There are only a handful of options across ALLLL the booths, but we did find a winner for plant-based eaters!
The Black and White Cookie for $2.50 at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen was delicious! In fact, our reporter liked it better than many of the NOT plant-based cookies. Bonus! It’s a part of the Cookie Stroll!
It’s true, we tasted some SERIOUSLY amazing flavors today, but some of these eats and sips had some seriously good looks too. A few years back, we introduced the most Instagrammable item of the Fest to give some love to the PRETTIEST items with the best presentation or “wow” factor, even if they may not taste that great.
Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie at Holiday Hearth Desserts
Honestly, we weren’t wowed by the presentation of many of the eats at this fest, but we DID find a returning eat that’s pretty eye-catching. The Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie can be found at Holiday Hearth Desserts for $5.50.
This cookie was eye-catching last year because of some…questionable toppings. This year, the cookie gives us Spaceship Earth vibes and has a cleaner design, perfect for holding up with Spaceship Earth in the background! Plus, it’s a tasty bite for caramel lovers.
Coconut-Pineapple Cake at Refreshment Outpost
And we’ve got another Instagram winner! The Coconut-Pineapple Cake topped with Dole Whip Pineapple is available for $5 at Refreshment Outpost. This treat is tasty! It’s just not the most exciting since we do get to have Dole Whip a LOT in Disney World.
But, there’s just something so appealing about a spiral of Dole Whip reaching towards the sky. SO appealing, you might say, that you just want to put a pic of it on your Instagram.
Worst of the Fest
Well, they can’t all be winners and this year’s fest had a particularly notable worst.
Yes, you read that right! Our WORST of the fest item at Festival of the Holidays is BEES. We get it, there’s a lot of sugar to attract these stinging little guys to EPCOT around this time but OMG, there were so many bees (and even some wasps!).
We caught pictures of bees crawling ALL OVER a lot of our festival eats and drinks. Let’s just say, that wasn’t the garnish we were expecting on our snacks and we were NOT fans.
Phew! It just might be time for a food-fueled nap! We love us an EPCOT festival and EPCOT Festival of the Holidays certainly put us in a jolly mood. This festival is sticking around for a few weeks so we’ll have more chances to grab seconds (and thirds!) of all our favorites.
Which of these bests do YOU want to try? Tell us in the comments!