Christmas Food Guide to Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studio has a huge lineup of Christmas snacks and desserts at its counter service restaurants for their holiday “Flurry of Fun” celebration. In this post, we’ll share some of our favorite Christmas foods at DHS, and discuss what you should buy and what to skip.
I’ll be honest: I was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of trying the dozen-plus holiday foods being offered for Flurry of Fun at DHS. As any Walt Disney World veteran knows, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not exactly renowned for its counter service or snack scenes. We’ve done Christmas snacking at this park before, and with few exceptions, it’s been a let-down.
However, as we note in our updated Guide to Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park has been making incremental improvements over the last few holiday seasons. Given that, we went in to this snacking experience with an open mind, willing to try the highlights of their culinary Christmas offerings. So, are things any different this year? Well, actually, yes…
Before we dig into the snacks and desserts, let’s start with the two big substantive offerings. First is the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam Dessert Party. This special event features holiday-themed snacks & desserts, beer, wine, and specialty alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages.
Additionally, there’s an exclusive meet & greet with Santa Goofy, and reserved viewing for both Disney Movie Magic and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Check out easyWDW.com’s review; we haven’t done the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam dessert party and have no intention of doing it.
Next is Minnie’s Holiday Dine, which we absolutely love. You can read the full details in our review, but suffice to say, the character interactions (and costumes!) are exceptional, and the holiday food options are better than expected for Hollywood & Vine.
Sarah and I are looking for an excuse to revisit Minnie’s Holiday Dine this year, so if you know of one (from a “very important research” perspective), please let us know. This is one of the best character meals at Walt Disney World. If Advance Dining Reservations are still available for your holiday trip, book it.
As for this year’s Christmas treats, first up is the Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land. This was the snack we were most eager to try, as we expected it to be delicious given the quality of the other ‘box tarts’ at Woody’s Lunch Box.
This was, unsurprisingly, delicious. As with the other box tarts, the flaky crust topped with vanilla icing gives way to a delicious center filled with apple cranberry. This is a good portion of a delicious snack, and is well worth the money–by Disney or real world standards. It’s probably only a matter of time before Walt Disney World realizes guests will pay more for these box tarts, so enjoy this good value while it lasts.
Our second favorite item at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this Christmas is the Chocolate Chestnut Cone offered at Backlot Express. Not exactly our favorite counter service restaurant at Walt Disney Word, but that could be said for almost everywhere at DHS.
Nonetheless, it was a pleasant surprise. This cone is a “cornucopia of textures,” as the kids say (I assume they say that–it’s a very hip thing to say). It’s quite elaborate, and not at all what you’d expect from Backlot Express. The top is a chocolate cone with delicate mousse underneath, and a base made of dense chocolate cake that’s surrounded by crispy praline shavings. This scores points both for originality and taste; it’s a must-buy.
Rounding out the top three is the Eggnog Panna Cotta. I’m a sucker for egg nog, and this dessert from Catalina Eddie’s that is a surprise hit. The smooth vanilla cream on top gives way to tart raspberries, which then “transition” to a mild eggnog flavor.
How this Eggnog Panna Cotta manages to meld all this flavors with each managing to stand out defies us, but the end result is a dessert that works and doesn’t suffer from the same “it’s just glorified pudding” verdict of another, similar dessert at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The Prep & Landing Cupcake is the unconventional definition of a ‘mixed bag.’ I actually enjoyed the flavors here; the gingerbread cake was moist and tasty, while the cream cheese frosting provided a nice sweetness (perhaps a bit too much, but reasonable minds can differ on that). Based solely on taste, I’d give it a ‘moderate’ endorsement.
Unfortunately, Sarah said I looked like a “festive vampire” after eating this cupcake. The red frosting had thoroughly stained my lips and teeth (…and hands, since I eat like a barbarian), forcing me to immediately race to the restroom for a thorough washing and mouth rinsing. That didn’t even remotely do the trick, so it looked like I was wearing lipstick the rest of the day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Next up is the Spiced Cold Chocolate at Rosie’s All-American Café. Disney describes this as being a chocolate verrine with house-made cinnamon marshmallows and chocolate cake. That sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
In reality, side from the bit of texture at the very bottom provided by the chocolate cake, we found this tasted a lot like ‘semi-spicy chocolate pudding.’ It’s not that it’s bad, and the rich flavor will be appealing to chocolate lovers, but it didn’t stand out to nearly the degree of our top 3. Perhaps more discerning taste buds will be able to differentiate the various layers better, but the top all sort of blended together for us, making for a fairly forgettable dessert.
On Disney Parks Blog’s post about food & drinks at Flurry of Fun, you’ll notice there are like 97 different “holiday” drinks, too. We didn’t review any of these. Buying all of the seasonal drinks at DHS would’ve set us back over $100, all so we could confirm what everyone already knows: the drinks taste weak, sugary, and laced with a surplus of artificial flavors.
You’ll also see that there are also a number of other Christmas snacks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, many of the packaged cookie and mousse variety. We didn’t try all of these, almost all of which likely taste exactly as you’d expect. While we’re warming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Christmas post-Osborne Lights, the park still has a ways to go before it entirely earns back our “trust” and convinces us all of its food items are worth buying and reviewing.
Overall, Disney’s Hollywood Studios deserves some credit for improving its holiday offerings each of the last several years, and that includes the food. There are 3 great holiday snacks and a couple others that are good, which should be more than anyone needs during a single trip to Walt Disney World. If you’re spending more time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios than that during your vacation, something has gone terribly wrong. 😉
Finally, a few plugs. First, the 2018 edition of our free Vacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook is now available for download! This free eBook is 90 pages, with 100+ photos, and tons of great tips & info for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here. Did we mention that it’s free?!
For comprehensive tips for planning your Christmas-time trip to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.
What do you think of the Christmas food at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? If you’ve already tried some of these (or other) items, what did you like and dislike? If you’ve yet to visit, which holiday snacks sound appealing to you? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
The Chocolate Chestnut Praline Cone was a Yuletide treat! Indeed one of the delightful highlights of my day at Hollywood Studios. Perfect breakfast for a vacation of course. I posted a photo on Instagram because I was impressed with the Presentation and unique flavors. Chocolate mousse hybrid buttercream icing meets Praline with a Sweet crunch. I’m heading back Soon and hope To try the new snacks you mentioned!
I tried the Chocolate Chestnut Cone & wasn’t thrilled with the texture of the “cone” elements and the mousse itself. The crunchy bottom was nice, but not enough of it to save the rest of the dessert for me. (Though I also don’t care for large amou ts of frosting on cake, so some people I know would argue that makes my arguments on dessert invalid)
Tangentially, I had the California club chicken sandwich at Backlot (because I felt I should at least try to make an effort to have something other than booze or sugar…!) and was pleasantly surprised at how not half bad it was. (Damned with faint praisw there, huh!?)
I love that Disney Parks can use the word verrine, but the supposed posh ski town I live and work in finds it intimidating.
I’m excited to try the tarts in two weeks! I love Apple and cranberry together.
I’ve never liked red icing/frosting for just the reason you stated above. You look like a vampire afterwards.