It’s getting to the point where there is no part of the year that Epcot isn’t hosting some kind of festival that is based around food or at least has some form of culinary component. Winter now sees the Festival of the Arts, Spring has the Flower & Garden Festival, The International Food and Wine Festival is their big one in the Fall and now they have introduced the Festival of the Holidays.
There are some who feel that all these festivals are a bit of overkill but I’m always in favor of more. Every festival is different and explores varied culinary themes. The Festival of the Holidays saw 11 Holiday Kitchens focused on presenting traditional seasonal fare from the participating countries.
In America, from the American Holiday Table, a full Roasted Turkey dinner with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce and Green Beans.
For beverages they were slinging this incredible Eggnog White Porter from Shipyard Brewing Company. I don’t know where they located this because I’ve yet to see it anywhere else, but if you love beer and you love eggnog, this is a perfect holiday brew.
Also in America is BrewHub’s Pumpkin Spice Dunkelweiss. And since it was from the the Drum and Fife Tavern rather than a holiday kitchen this was available in a full size draft.
In Germany, from the Bavarian Holiday Kitchen a German Cheese Plate featuring a Butterkase w/Ham, Mushroom Brie w/Pretzel Crostini and a Tillamook Cheddar.
Also from the Bavarian Kitchen, Spiced Gluhwien. It was a somewhat chilly day when we were there and this was great for sipping while relaxing by the waterfront.
And again from the Bavarian Kitchen, the German Cheese Fondue in a Sourdough Bread Bowl with Steamed Baby Vegetables and Roasted Potatoes. This may have been my favorite dish from the event and the veggies were locally sourced to boot.
From the Alsace Holiday Kitchen in France was the Napoleon de Saumon Fume Brioche, a Smoked Salmon Napoleon on a Dill Brioche Roll.
Another from the Alsace Kitchen, the Petit Reveillon de Noel, a Turkey Breast stuffed with Mushrooms and Chestnuts with a Sweet Potato Puree. The Turkey Junkie in me loved this one.
From the Tarabaki Holiday Kitchen in Morocco was the Confit of Cheramoula Chicken Drum with Cinnamon Granny Smith Apples, Toasted Almonds, Brussels Sprouts and a Pinor Noir Syrup. This was a very unique dish and somehow the cinnamon apples and almonds made it feel very much like a holiday meal.
From the Tuscany Holiday Kitchen in Italy, the Panettone alla Milanese, a traditional warm Italian Fruitcake w/ Vanilla Sauce, Powdered Sugar and Cherry Syrup.
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And of course since it’s Disney the decorations and events are always done well.
Little touches like adding this “snow” man to the agricultural exhibit the Land make the ride festive without hitting you over the head with it.
One of the more interesting things they do is each country’s interpretation of Santa Claus. In France park-goers could visit with Pere Noel.
This Christmas tree in the American Adventure was huge…
…but paled in comparison to the World Tree in the center of the park.
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Disney does the holidays well. Epcot does these festivals well. The big bonus is that since Epcot is the most “adult” of all the parks you get to enjoy things that aren’t geared around kids quite so much. When you put all of that together it makes for an excellent place to enjoy this time of year and it’s easily worth it.
Visited Epcot during the Festival of the Holidays? Leave a message in the comments section!
And remember… beer is freedom… and the food abides…