The first month of 2022 is coming to a close, so it’s time to recap the best and worst things we tried in January around Disney World!
January is one of the months of the year where we try a ton of new dishes at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, so there were some top (and bottom) picks that you’ll find on this month’s list. But there were a few additional items we wanted to make sure we included as well! Let’s dive in and review the food and drink items that stood out to us from this past month, for better or for worse.
Tomato Soup with Bacon, Apple, and Brie Grilled Cheese – Pop Eats, Festival of the Arts
If there’s any location in Disney World that knows how to make a mean grilled cheese, it’s the Pop Eats booth at the Festival of the Arts. Last year’s Tomato Soup with French Onion and Bacon Grilled Cheese made our Best of the Fest list as well as being one of the TOP picks for food items we ate in 2021. And this booth handily delivered once again with their Tomato Soup with Bacon, Apple, and Brie Grilled Cheese.
Pop Eats was the place to be the first weekend of the festival, as it was the singular spot you could purchase the now-infamous Figment Popcorn Bucket. The souvenir sensation has since sold out, but you can still find this winning food combo for $6.25.
Deconstructed Key Lime Pie – The Deconstructed Dish, Festival of the Arts
One of our top dessert picks from the Festival of the Arts is the Deconstructed Key Lime Pie, which you can find at the aptly named Deconstructed Dish booth. The components of a Key Lime Pie are all present in this dish, including flexible key lime curd, a “Key lime” mousse, graham cracker cake, and meringues. But it’s the “deconstructed” presentation that makes this dish as memorable as it is tasty.
At $4.75, this dessert is sweet, tart, refreshing, and delicious. Definitely don’t miss out on this dish if you find yourself at the Festival of the Arts before it concludes on February 21st.
House-made Chorizo and Potato Empanada – Vibrante & Vívido, Festival of the Arts
One of the booths we were looking forward to visiting the most at this year’s Festival of the Arts was Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina. The booth is inspired by Disney’s new animated film, Encanto, and it features a variety of Colombian-inspired dishes, including the colorful and savory House-made Chorizo and Potato Empanada.
Not only did we enjoy the taste of this dish, but it’s also a great value. At $6.50, you’re given a rather large empanada that you could easily share with a friend!
Hei Hei Cone – Snack Shack
Let’s take a short break from chatting about the Festival of the Arts to talk about some of the other memorable items we tried in January! Typhoon Lagoon reopened this month after a nearly two-year-long closure, and it brought with it the return of our beloved Hei Hei Cone!
This frozen treat inspired by Moana’s fine-feathered sidekick is made with a blue cone, pineapple soft serve, raspberry soft serve, sugar “eye” pieces,” and a sour candy “comb. You can find the cone at Snack Shack for $5.29.
Doodle Muffin – Boardwalk Bakery
We knew a few Festival of the Arts dishes would wind up on our “Best” list for the month of January, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the Doodle Muffin from Boardwalk Bakery on this list as well!
Boardwalk Bakery comes up every now and then on our “Best” list for the month, and for good reason! You can find a lot of freshly baked goodies here. The Doodle Muffin is inspired by snickerdoodle cookies and is made with a vanilla cake muffin with a cinnamon-sugar coating all over the outside. It only costs $3.99, making this a truly sweet deal.
Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Tea – Cheshire Cafe
This month, Disney World released several new 50th Anniversary Celebration treats, including the Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Tea at Cheshire Cafe! This frozen beverage is a mixture of frozen black tea with mango and frozen sour apple on top, garnished with whipped cream and a white chocolate 10/6 piece to resemble the Mad Hatter’s hat.
This drink comes in at $5.99 and is a great mixture of flavors — but you have to make sure you actually mix them all together with your straw. We will mention that this drink is probably even more well suited for the warmer months, so hopefully, it sticks around through the summer.
Crooning Flower – Aloha Isle
While the Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Tea was an example of a new 50th Anniversary Celebration treat that we enjoyed, we, unfortunately, cannot say the same for the Crooning Flower. Aloha Isle had a strong showing this past October with their anniversary treats, which included our fave Tropical Serenade.
This Dole Whip float is made with lime and vanilla soft-serve swirl over pineapple juice and topped with a blue chocolate feather (ours came with a pink sugar flower). While Dole Whip float flavors typically go well together, we couldn’t get ourselves to enjoy the lime and pineapple combo. If you’re curious and want to give it a try, it costs $7.49.
Frozen Rusty Nail – Gourmet Landscape, Festival of the Arts
We’re back at the EPCOT Festival of the Arts for a few not-so-pleasant selections. Gourmet Landscape in the Canada Pavilion is where you’ll find the Frozen Rusty Nail — which in all honesty isn’t doing itself any favors with a name like that.
This cocktail is made with bourbon, tea, and topped with a chocolate nail. Its very strong chai tea flavor was too overwhelming, and the overall flavor came across as medicinal. Definitely not what you want as an aftertaste, and for a whopping $15, you’ll want something at least halfway pleasant.
Gnocchi Poutine – Refreshment Port, EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts
This next item ranks high on our “most disappointed” dishes for the month of January. Refreshment Port is open year-round at EPCOT, featuring their signature Poutine. But for the EPCOT festivals, they typically add a special poutine dish to the menu (and it’s usually pretty stellar!). That’s why we felt so let down by the Gnocchi Poutine.
This plate of deep-fried gnocchi with red wine-braised beef, cheese curds, basil, and burrata came off as really dry, and the cheese curds and burrata combo left us with a very odd texture. A for effort, but the execution kind of fell flat. If you want to try it at the festival this season, it costs $9.
Cherry Blossom Funnel Cake – The Funnel Cake Stand, EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts
Another huge letdown this month was the Cherry Blossom Funnel Cake from The Funnel Cake Stand! This location has had some bold funnel cakes in previous EPCOT festivals, and we’re always curious to see what they’ll come up with next. This season’s creation is a chocolate-chip funnel cake topped with cherry ice cream, rainbow whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a maraschino cherry.
Our biggest issue with this funnel cake was the cherry ice cream had a very “fake” flavor to it, though fortunately, it blended with the other flavors. If you’re big into artificial cherry flavors, then you actually may enjoy this! But for us, we prefer the real deal. This funnel cake costs $10.50.
Click here to read our full review of the Cherry Blossom Funnel Cake from EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts!
That’s a wrap on the best and the worst items we tried in the month of January at Disney World! We’ll be back next month with another roundup of the top and bottom
Are you visiting Disney World in 2022? Let us know in the comments!