Our tour of the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Kitchens continues with Feast of the Three Kings, located in World Showcase Plaza. In this review, we’ll share photos of every snack and dessert item on the Feast of the Three Kings menu, and offer our food reviews & tasting notes.
Located near Mexico at the entrance to World Showcase, Feast of the Three Kings features more Spanish or Latin American flair (hence the ‘Feast of the Three Kings’ name) than the Caribbean-inspired dishes found at this same booth during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
While a marginal improvement over Las Posadas, the dishes here are reminiscent of the offerings at its next-door neighbor at the Mexico pavilion in terms of flavor profile and taste. For those who didn’t read our Las Posadas Review (spoiler alert), we ranked it #11 out of 12 Holiday Kitchens, so “marginal improvement” isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement.
Here’s what’s on the food menu at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen for 2018:
Pastelón: Sofrito-marinated Beef with Sweet Plantains and Olives (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Queso Fresco-stuffed Arepa topped with Shrimp, Crushed Avocado Aji and Tomato Sauce (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Arepas topped with Melted Queso Fresco (Vegetarian) (Gluten/Wheat Friendly) (Kid-Approved)
Tres Leches Rice Pudding with Pumpkin Seeds (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Green and White Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian)
Coquito: Tropical Eggnog (Kid-Approved)
Now our photos and reviews of each item…
Pastelón – Taste-wise, the only things that really stand out are beef and layer of plantains. I was looking forward to this, as Pastelón is described as the Puerto Rican version of lasagna, but I felt like it was pretty far from that.
In looking at online recipes for Pastelón, I’m guessing this is a dramatically scaled back version, with most of the seasoning and base flavors omitted. Too bad, because it sounded promising. I’d still consider this the best item at Feast of the Three Kings, and if you’re looking to try something familiar but different, this is a safe option.
Arepas – Never one to miss the chance at a self-deprecating joke, I questioned whether these were “cheesy mashed potato cookies” before trying them.
The thing is, they tasted like cheesy mashed potato cookies (whatever that even means) as much as they tasted like anything. These were almost entirely absent flavor; they totally missed the mark.
Queso Fresco-stuffed Arepa topped with Shrimp – This is better than the other Arepas thanks to the addition of shrimp, crushed avocado aji, and tomato sauce, but that’s still not saying a ton.
The Arepa itself is still bland–although not as decidedly so thanks to the queso fresco stuffing. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s an interesting option if you’ve never had an arepa, which is a staple of Colombian cuisine.
Tres Leches Rice Pudding – If we were regular guests, I would’ve sent this back after being handed such a comically small portion. I don’t know if this rice pudding is supposed to be this small, but if so, that’s pathetic.
Flavor-wise, this is good; the pumpkin seeds provide a nice texture. I’d still go with the one at Las Posadas instead, but I’m a sucker for anything cranberry this time of year.
Green and White Sugar Cookie (Vegetarian) – I thought this cookie was fine (just as all of the cookie stroll options are), but it’s not particularly interesting or compelling of an option.
Thanks to the liberal drizzle of chocolate on the top, this tastes as much like a chocolate chip cookie as it does a sugar cookie.
Coquito: Tropical Eggnog – I forgot to get an individual photo of this drink, but it’s in the back left of the above group shot.
It’s an interesting idea, and potentially worthy of consideration if you want a lighter, more refreshing twist on eggnog. Not really my thing, though.
Here’s the Feast of the Three Kings alcohol menu:
M.I.A. Beer Company Trey Reyes Mango Golden
Coquito: Tropical Eggnog with a Bacardi Gold Dark Rum Floater
Ultimately, there are some good ideas on this menu, but the execution on everything leaves something to be desired. I’m not sure why Walt Disney World struggles so mightily with any type of cuisine from countries to the south of the United States. (That’s casting a wide net, but it’s apt.) There are bright spots like Frontera Cocina and the new restaurants at Caribbean Beach Resort, but pretty much everything else plays it way too conservatively, resulting in flavor profiles that are often bland and boring. We’ve said this before–and will probably say it again–but by playing it safe in attempting to appeal to everyone, some of these dishes appeal to no one.
What do you think of the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen? Have you tried any of the food items at this booth? What did you think of them? Do you agree that these are bland and uninspired, or were you pleased with what you tried? Questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!