Snacking Around the World Showcase at Epcot

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Drinking Around the World at Epcot has long been a popular activity at Walt Disney World, which in a way is unfortunate, as it overshadows the far superior activity: Snacking Around the World! It is superior for two reasons: the options are better, and the options are cheaper. While boozing around the World Showcase is all sorts of fun, many of the drink choices are lacking, and like many things at Walt Disney World, all of them are overpriced. The situation is a lot better for competitive eaters, as snacks are still somewhat expensive, but significantly cheaper than booze. Plus, all of the snacks are unique whereas some of the alcohol choices are uninspired (Bud Light served at the American Adventure is the beer equivalent of a Little Debbie cupcake). Not to mention that you can use your Disney Dining Plan credits on snacks!

We started out our wildly popular (to date one of our most popular posts all time) “Drinking Around the World” post with a bunch of warnings about not over-drinking. The same is definitely not appropriate here. Not only is eating as many snacks as possible in a single day a commendable endeavor, but snacks are universally healthy and will probably definitely prolong your life. Or at least your quality of life. I’m no medical doctor and I know very little about science, but I’m almost positive that eating a lot of snacks is good for you when you’re on vacation. So eat as many of these as you can!

In that “Drinking Around the World” post, we promised a future article on snacks. That was almost two years ago and we’re just finally getting to this article. It’s not because we forgot, but because we keep adding snacks to our “list” of things to try. Just when it seems like we’re ready to write this post, there’s another excuse to try more on a future trip so the post can be more thorough. Rather than put it off indefinitely, we’ve decided to write the post and supplement it as time goes on. Otherwise, with the constant new delicious additions, we’d never write it!

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Some of the “rules” in that “Drinking Around the World” blog post still apply to this. Especially if you compete in what we’re dubbing the “LeFou Challenge” (sort of like the “Goofy Challenge” for the runDisney crowd, except this is more awesome), which involves consuming both snacks and booze.

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Namely, you should start early for this challenge, too (there’s no better breakfast than a cupcake), you should make it an all day affair, you should split snacks, you should do attractions along the way, you should “bite the bullet in France,” and you should finish the night with Illuminations. With these general tips in mind, here are our recommendations for things to grab in each country.

Mexico

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We recommended starting in Mexico for “Drinking Around the World,” so we’ll remain consistent and start here for snacking, too. Despite our snarky comments about eating as many snacks as possible, it’s probably unrealistic to expect to eat a snack in every country unless you really put some effort into it. If you don’t anticipate being able to eat a snack in every country, skip Mexico.

If you elect not to skip Mexico, go with the Churritos or the nachos for something more substantial. A lot of people like churros, but there are so many options that are far better elsewhere, so if you don’t plan on doing every country, this might be one to skip.

Norway

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Norway is one of the all-stars of the Epcot “snack crawl.” The snacks in Norway’s Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe are so good that you might just want to double up (perhaps to make up for skipping Mexico). School Bread is the obvious choice. It’s a cult favorite, and it’s cheap. I think School Bread absolutely lives up to the hype, and it’s one of my favorite snacks in all of Walt Disney World. I rarely go a trip without having it at least once. It’s pretty simple: sweet and soft cardamom breading filled with vanilla creme custard and topped with shredded coconut. If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, School Bread is not a good use of a snack credit because it’s so cheap, so save those credits until later in the “snack crawl” to maximize your snack credit value on the Disney Dining Plan!

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Another great choice here is the Cloudberry Horn, which is crispier than the School Bread, but still good. We also really enjoy the Berry Cream Puff, which is quite large and has some delicious whipped cream (and berries) in it. Any of these three options are excellent choices for the “snack crawl.” Kringla is also a great unheralded lunch spot, as a few of the sandwiches are excellent options for adventurous eaters.

China

There are only two snack options here: the Strawberry Red Bean Ice Cream and another ice cream. We’ve tried the strawberry one, and it didn’t impress us too much. We’ve heard the other ice cream actually has a bit of bite to it. I can’t imagine that would be any good, but if you’re adventurous with your ice cream, give that a try.

After stuffing yourself in Norway, this might be a country to skip. Or you might try something of greater substance at the Lotus Blossom Cafe, like the pot stickers, which are excellent.

Germany

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Karamell-Küche is the new hit here, and has instantly become a popular choice for Walt Disney World guests. We are fans of Karamell-Küche, but definitely not to the extent of many others. We recommend getting something unique here, as contrary to what many people claim, the standard caramel corn is nothing special. That is, unless you really like caramel corn and having some moderately fresh caramel corn is really important to you.

The menu usually has at least one cupcake on it, and this is a good option if the cupcake is fresh. You don’t want to get stuck with something that’s overly hardened. Luckily, this place is usually busy enough that you should have no problem with that.

If caramel doesn’t appeal to you, another option in Germany is the soft pretzel. We’ve never had one of these, mostly because they don’t look like anything special.

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Note: these pickle ornaments are not an edible snack option from Germany… ;)

Italy

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There are several different options in Italy, with the most popular option being the gelato stand. It’s debatable whether the gelato is authentic, but it’s undeniably tasty. You can even get it as a homemade ice cream sandwich! As with the ice cream sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow, the Main Street Bakery, and Fountain View, these sandwiches can be hit or miss. Make sure you ask for cookies that are soft, as it seems like these cookies are hard or burnt around 50% of the time. That, or we have really bad luck.

Another option here, and our sleeper pick, is the Tiramisu or Cannoli served at Tutto Italia cart. We’ve found that this cart is often closed or absent, so your luck with it might be hit or miss, but if it is there and open, make sure to stop. The Tiramisu and Cannoli are each fairly reasonably priced (especially compared to the table service Tutto Italia, which charge over twice the price for the desserts), and are excellent.

American Adventure

The American Adventure has a funnel cake stand with a variety of ways to customize a funnel cake. This stand has become a cult favorite with Walt Disney World guests, and some of the options (like ice cream or chocolate sauce on top of the funnel cake) are quite popular. I’ve only tried the Disney funnel cake once, and I was unimpressed. I’ll probably give the pumpkin funnel cake a try at some point, since I love all things pumpkin, but for now, I put this in the “overrated” column.

If you really like funnel cakes, give this a try. Alternatively, we highly recommend going into the Liberty Inn and ordering a S’mores Mousse Brownie. The name is a bit deceiving, as this is basically a cupcake. This cupcake takes the best elements of the S’mores cupcake at Roaring Fork at expands upon that, with a moist brownie serving as the base. This is an infinitely better option than the funnel cake!

Japan

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The popular snack here is the Kaki-Gori, but we’ve never tried this snack. Well, we’ve never had it at Epcot, actually. We had plenty of Sno-Cones when we were kids, and while we enjoyed them growing up, they aren’t something we continue to eat. Although there might be some minor difference, the Kaki-Gori appears to be a Sno-Cone by a different name.

For a better option, head to Kabuki Cafe and order the Green Tea Ice Cream. Yes, it sounds weird, but it’s not bad. Tastes like a cross between vanilla and green tea.

For a better option still, try something that isn’t a sweet–try sushi instead. It’s not the best sushi on property (that distinction goes to California Grill in our experience), but it’s the best snack option in Japan.

Morocco

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Tangierine Cafe is your option in Morocco, and while this is a great counter service restaurant for regular food, we’ve been consistently underwhelmed by its desserts. So underwhelmed, in fact, that this is on our “do not revisit” list. However, plenty of others disagree with us, and we’ve been told by fans of baklava that Tangierine Cafe’s is delicious. So your mileage may vary on that.

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In addition to baklava, there are a few other desserts at Tangierine Cafe, one of which is pictured above. I don’t know what this dessert is called, nor was there a name for it in the case, but this mystery dessert wasn’t good, either. With France right around the bend, it’s difficult to stop for a lackluster dessert in Morocco, especially when the options in France are amazing.

France

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Although Norway is the country known for trolls, it’s almost as if there’s a troll guarding the bridge from France to the United Kingdom preventing guests from passing to complete the final leg of the “snack crawl.” In fact, it’s the many delicious options in France that lead to the demise of many snackers (and by many, we mean us…we assume it happens to others, though!).

The top option in France at Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles is the Napoleon cake. The Napoleon very well might be the greatest counter service dessert at Walt Disney World. It’s filled with custard, but somehow (magically, I assume) the layers of pastry in between are light and airy. I’m no pastry-architect, but it doesn’t seem like the pastry layers are load bearing. Yet, they manage to hold the custard just fine. It’s all topped off with powdered sugar, which is like icing on the cake.

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With around 20 other dessert choices at Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles, there’s a lot to try. Just about everything looks delicious, which doesn’t help! Sarah loves the Citron Tarte, which is a great option if you like lemon. I prefer my sweets to be sweet, so I’d probably recommend the Chocolat Tarte instead. We have yet to try everything on this menu (we will…in the name of research!), but it’s doubtful that you can really go wrong here. Our tip here is to have a couple of snacks before seeing the underrated Impressions de France, and then having a couple more after seeing Impressions de France. Maybe you should just “Snack Around France” instead of around the entire World Showcase!

United Kingdom

Unfortunately, it’s all downhill after France. United Kingdom doesn’t have anything in the way of tasty sweets. Basically, your only options are beer or fish and chips. A black and tan makes for a great “snack” for Rose & Crown, or you can grab an order of fish & chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop. This is a location that a lot of people love, but we think is highly overrated. There is absolutely nothing special about the fish & chips. Nothing. It’s ordinary, battered fish with ordinary, battered fries. Definitely not “so very British.”

More importantly, fish & chips is a meal, not a snack. Perhaps the side of chips is a snack, I guess. This is one to potentially skip.

Canada

Here is where you’ll want to bust out your time machine to conclude the “snack crawl” with the best snack of all–the Beaver Tail! I mention this snack from time to time on this blog, and there’s significant buzz about it in the fan community. I’m convinced that if the buzz remains strong, Disney will bring it back like it has brought back other lost favorites like the Citrus Swirl. So if you’d like to see this delicious snack return, mention it on Twitter, Facebook, and in Disney Parks Blog comments. Who knows…maybe it’ll return in 2013!

For those of you without a time machine, Canada is another good place to skip. It has no counter service restaurant and the snack stand only serves popcorn. I guess the best option here is maple candy from the gift shop? That’s pretty lame, though, so I’m really hoping you have a time machine to end your Snacking Around the World with a bang. Alternatively, you could head to Sunshine Seasons for an excellent Key Lime Pie (another great option for those without a time machine).

As is evident from some countries on this list, not all countries were created equal from a snacking perspective. While there are clear standouts like France and Norway, there are a couple of duds, making it a bit more challenging to have a snack at each country. Fortunately, most countries have at least a couple unique and delicious options, so “Snacking Around the World” at Epcot can be a lot of fun!

Your Thoughts…

Have you tried “Snacking Around the World”? If so, what did you try? Did you opt for something from each country, or did you skip the lackluster ones? Thinking of giving it a try? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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44 Responses to “Snacking Around the World Showcase at Epcot”

  1. Betsy says:

    Great list! I love snacking around the world. Word of warning: do not try the pretzel in Germany – they look pretty, but they are dry and hard. If you’ve ever had a Philly soft pretzel (I was practically raised on them), you will be even more disappointed.

    Some locations in WS make for better for snacking than others. I love the tranquil seating outside of the Katsura Grill in Japan, the patio tables by the Yorkshire Fish Shop, and the shade and coziness of Kringla. Sometimes it doesn’t matter so much what you eat – it’s where you’re eating it.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Totally agree on locations–those are all great. Although we’re not at all fans of the food at Katsura Grill, it’s a GREAT place to sit!

  2. Melissa says:

    I know you seem to be focusing on sweet snacks with this post, but I recommend giving the China pavilion a second look if you’re ever in the mood for a savory bite. I would never give their full restaurants the time of day, but the items at the Joy of Tea stand were surprising hits for us. I really enjoyed the chicken curry pocket on our last visit!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I tried to focus on sweet snacks/desserts here, but that’s only because once you open it to general snacks, there are so many more options, a lot of which arguably are full meals. You’re right, though, there are plenty of non-dessert snacks that are far better than desserts in some locations. We’ll have to check out the Joy of Tea stand.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Very timely article. We go in May and are staying at Beach Club! My 9 year old adventurous eater and I just salivated reading about all the amazing snacks we plan to try! We already love Norway, but can’t wait to try France and Germany now, too!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If you’re staying at Beach Club, it might be a good idea to *start* in France and eat as much as you can there. You definitely won’t finish, but it’s so worth it.

  4. Melisa says:

    I was super excited when I saw the name of this article, pretty bummed by the contents. We plan to do dinner one night by “snacking” around the world, so I was pretty pumped to get some reviews on some good choices. This would have been better titled “Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth around the World”. It’s a great list, but I think of “snacks” as being savory. I would really love to see a savory version in the future!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      In our experience, there are limited options for savory snacks outside of World Showcase unless you split entrees or smaller options from the counter service restaurants. Still, I can see your point and will have to do an article like that later.

  5. DizneyFan says:

    The creme brûlée at Les Halles in France is THE BEST ANYWHERE! It is not to be missed.

  6. Tim says:

    A suggestion for the countries listed as duds. I strongly suggest trying out the local candy offered in many of the shops. UK is always a must stop snack location for me because of the Cadbury treats not available in the US. Japan also has some great candy if you are feeling more adventurous.

    On another note, the Lefse bread in Norway is a highly underrated, not too sweet, snack that gets overshadowed by the far more popular School Bread and Cloudberry Horns. I love the School Bread and Cloudberry, but if you are looking for something more subtle Lefse is my choice.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Your first suggestion is excellent, and something we often forget to try. The maple candy in Canada is awesome, so I’m sure other countries have similarly great options.

      As for the Lefse, someone else told me this (can’t remember who) but I’ve yet to try it. I guess it’s another thing to add to the list! Thanks for the suggestion.

  7. dr. john says:

    tom, during our stay two weeks ago, i consumed six of the snacks listed above. great minds think alike.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      You, sir, are a true patriot!

      If you don’t mind me asking, which ones did you have? Which did you like?

      • dr. john says:

        school bread, pot stickers, chocolate gelato, funnel cake, napoleons (2), and the black and tans (3). all were good. i listed them from least favorite to most favorite. i’m a beer guy.

      • Tom Bricker says:

        School Bread last? Wow. I guess when there are so many good things on the list, it makes sense!

      • dr. john says:

        usually it’s the first snack i get at epcot. this batch was kind of dry. still good though.

  8. David says:

    The churros in Mexico are incredible, and the caramel sauce is divine! Definitely not skippable, Mr Bricker!

  9. Samantha W says:

    Ask and you shall receive! Thanks Tom!

  10. Charles B says:

    Germany also offers Black Forest Cake Roulade, Bavarian Cheesecake, and Apple Strudel for snack credits. Any of those would be a better selection than something from the caramel corporation, in my opinion anyway. Admittedly you can get all of them on the all-you-care-to-eat dinner buffet as well.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The “caramel corporation” – ha! When it first opened, I was reluctant to try it, because it seemed unoriginal. Then I realized Epcot has long had sponsored restaurants, and it didn’t bother me so much.

      I don’t recall trying the snacks you mentioned (besides the strudel), but I’ve had every snack at Biergarten, so I guess I have…

  11. Kelly says:

    Great article, but comparing a kaki-gori to a snocone is a travesty of epic proportions. You’ve had snocones, yes, but a kaki gori isn’t even in the same realm as one of those crunchy ice artifically flavored sugar bombs. I would encourage you to try one next time you’re at Epcot…I promise that you won’t be disappointed! It’s one of my favorite snacks in all of Disney World.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Part of me wondered if there was more to it, but it just seemed like a mistake to try a glorified Sno-Cone when so many incredible snacks were around. Now that I hear it’s not a glorified Sno-Cone, we’ll have to give one a try. Thanks!

      • Bethany says:

        I agree with Kelly! Having had an authentic kaki-gori AND one at the stand in Epcot, I urge you to try it. Just remember to say “yes” to the sweet milk on top – that’s what really separates kaki-gori from sno-cones of yesteryear. It is a delightful treat. The primary difference between Disney’s and the reality in Japan is they typically come with fruit and some red bean paste which is very tasty, but Disney hasn’t quite gotten there yet. But please give it a try!

  12. Valerie says:

    What about the Tutto Gusto wine cellar in Italy? Have y’all been there yet? Probably not, as I remember you saying you weren’t big wine drinkers. I haven’t been yet, but cannot wait to check this place out on my next trip. It looks like you can get wine and beer, small plates of meat and/or cheeses, panini’s, desserts, and you can apparently order full meals from Tutto Italia.

    This might not fit into this list since you can’t use dining credits, the prices are a little high, and it looks like it offers more savory foods than sweets, but still it looks like an awesome lounge to check out with some good snacks!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We went in there last May while waiting for our Tutto Italia reservations. It seemed really nice. I can’t comment on the wine as we didn’t try it. (Even if we had, I know nothing about wine.)

  13. Kevin says:

    I am a baklava fan… and I would that Tangierine Cafe’s bakalva is absolutely terrible. Then again, I don’t really like the school bread, so maybe I’m not a trustworthy source!

    I’d also advise you that the Napoleon in France appears to have changed after the remodel to the bakery. It now has icing on the top instead of powdered sugar (perhaps the same as the Starring Rolls one?). Copy of DHS or not, it was one of my favorite snacks from 2011 and when we went in 2013 it was probably my least favorite.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks for the heads up about the baklava. You’ve got me worried about the Napoleon, though. I’m hoping your experience with that was an anomaly. Really hoping so…

  14. Mrs.Flaherty says:

    With the 20th Flower & Garden Fest starting this weekend, I will be able to snack around the world with magnificent topiaries, amazing snack options and phenomenal libations combined to create the ultimate AROUND THE WORLD triumph:

    Indulging Aroung the World!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The perfect storm of random snacking, drinking, photographing, experiencing, enjoying and INDULGING in all that is to be offered in the World Showcase! Without adult supervision ;)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Going to finish the day with a Flower Power concert? Sounds like some groovy 70s tunes might be the perfect cap to the day of indulgence!

      You might also want to rethink the adult supervision thing. Don’t want to fall into a fountain without anyone to help you! ;)

  15. Jack Reynolds says:

    Great list. Many of the options listed are baked goods/breaded. Any recommendations for the gluten free crowd?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Sorry, can’t help there. We love baked goods. :(

      Stay tuned. I’ll see if I can find someone who can make some recommendations…

    • Kate says:

      In Germany there are salted caramel chocolate candies and caramel corn options, both of which are gluten free.

      I think that France serves a creme brûlée to go that is gluten free as well.

  16. Tori says:

    Hi Tom!

    Thanks so much for the post. My hubby’s birthday surprise coming up in 10 days has been dubbed HDDAWBBBT (pronounced Huddahwubbut, if you need to pronounce it. Try it. It’s fun!) It’s short for the “Hats Desserts Drinks Around the World Bob’s Birthday Bash Tour”. I admit, it doesn’t have the panache of LeFou Challenge.

    Between the all of us sharing drinks and snacks, our additional mission will be hats and anything birthday related brought into the group picture of each country (and any CMs willing to hop in with us.)

    Anyway, in planning, I’d made notes on the desserts and drinks to try from other reviews, as well as traditional birthday items, and your post came long at just the right time.

    Thanks again!
    Tori

  17. Kerry says:

    In response to the gluten free request, our daughter has multiple severe food allergies (I know it’s not the same, but the care taken in addressing it at WDW is the same). Start by contacting ‘special diets’ at least two weeks ahead of time; this gives them a heads up as to what you’d like to do / where you’d like to eat. We spoke to the chef at each establishment and they went out of their way to produce great dishes (we were there for two weeks on the DDP). Apologies if I’m telling my grandmother how to suck eggs (is that just a UK / Irish expression???) and good luck with your gluten-free snacking around the world :)

  18. Lisa says:

    You have to try the Kaki-gori, they are amazing!! Definitely not your everyday snow cone. Not by a long shot! The rainbow one is the one to get. We also love the candy in various shops, especially China and Japan.

  19. Nate says:

    So basically, stay in northern Europe?

  20. Laura Diane Peters says:

    Oh my gosh, I’ve read most of your posts (including your packing list, which indirectly lead to a proposal from my boyfriend, which I shared with you on Facebook!) but none of them have ever made me soooo “homesick” for WDW. Fiancé and I “drank around the world” for the first time this last trip, but we were so focused on the booze, we overlooked the snacks.

    I agree with Betsy; the pretzels in Germany are a waste of time, money, and room in your stomach.

    Have you tried the Exotique in France? It’s a mango and coconut mousse cake? By far, the very best dessert I’ve had in Disney World, and in my top three desserts ever!

    Thanks for the post!

  21. Angela says:

    Thanks for this great article Tom! I read that the World Showcase (with rare exceptions) opens at 11am. Do these snacking places open earlier for breakfast? (e.g. grabbing a croissant from Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie with a Snack Credit for breakfast would be awesome)

  22. Sorry to disappoint you about the Napoleon Tom, but I also read on the Disney Food Blog that the Napoleon has definitely changed with the remodel and now tastes like something you’d get in your grocery store bakery. YUCK!! I am so disappointed as I had that the first time I went to Disney back in ’92 and then had it again in ’12…..for the last time I guess…..*sigh.

  23. Michelle says:

    THE CRONUT should be on here! It is so amazingly light yet sweet. It’s new so you may have not had one yet but they’re in canada

    • Tom Bricker says:

      It’s actually not in Canada, but at the Refreshment Port kiosk just past Canada. But I agree, it’s excellent and I need to add it to this list! :)

  24. Jenni says:

    This was such a fun article! Another great snack at Germany is the gingerbread cookies at the food carts. They’re individually wrapped and make great souvenirs as well.

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