Our Food Guide to the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays features full food both menus, and reviews the snacks and desserts you must try, plus the ones you should probably skip. (Updated November 5, 2020.)
This year, the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays at Walt Disney World runs from November 27 until December 30, 2020. The Holiday Kitchens are all located throughout the World Showcase pavilions and the World ShowPlace event center. These food booths open each day from park opening until park closing.
In part, Festival of the Holidays is a continuation of Food & Wine, and is Walt Disney World’s Christmas “foodie event.” Unlike Food & Wine, the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is not primarily about the cuisine. Additionally, it features decorations, live holiday music at various EPCOT stages, family-friendly activities, and more. You can read about the modified slate in our 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Entertainment, which covers what’s been announced thus far.
Even this year you could spend an entire day in Epcot just enjoying the holiday entertainment without ever purchasing a snack (and we will do exactly that later in the season…well, maybe just one Yule Log). If you’re interested in knowing what not to miss in terms of the Christmas and holiday free offerings, read our EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Tips & Strategy post.
One hybrid food-and-entertainment offering during the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is the Gingerbread Capital City! This distinctly patriotic culinary creation will be on display in the World ShowPlace special events pavilion (between Canada and the United Kingdom), with gingerbread replicas created by EPCOT’s pastry chefs. Highlights include some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks including the United States Capitol Building, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and a 5-foot tall Washington Monument.
Last year, we purchased every dish from the Holiday Kitchens, in order to bring you comprehensive coverage. Shortly after the event begins this year (on November 27, 2020) we’ll fully update the reviews once again to account for menu additions, removals, and recipe tweaks. So stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, we’ll start with newly-released menus for the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays:
Refreshment Port (Showcase Plaza)
Turkey Poutine French Fries with Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Relish, and Crispy Onions
T.G. Lee Eggnog (non-alcoholic)
T.G. Lee Eggnog with Spiced Rum
Citrus Blossom (Showcase Plaza)
Orange Cream Shake in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup (non-alcoholic)
Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini: Grey Goose Vanilla, Vodka, and Chocolate Milk
Sapphire Holiday Kitchen (Morocco)
Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebab and Grapes with Euro Cucumber, Red Pepper, Pickled Pearl Onions, and Harissa-Cilantro Dressing
Confit of Chermoula Chicken Drum with Cinnamon Granny Smith Apple, Toasted Almonds, Brussels Sprouts, and Pinot Noir Glaze
Sfenj: Warm Beignets with Cream, Cinnamon-Sugar, and Chocolate Sauce
Kasbah Prestige Red Wine
The Andalusian “Poinsettia” Cocktail: Sparking Wine, Orange Liqueur, and Cranberry Juice topped with Orange Blossom Water
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen (Italy)
Biancaneve Italian Flatbread with Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmesan
Sacchetti alla Boscaiola: Four-cheese Mini Beggar’s Purses filled with Sweet Sausage, Caramelized Onions, Pancetta, and Cremini Mushrooms with a Creamy Sauce (New)
Cannoli Siciliani: Crisp Pastry filled with Sweet Ricotta, Chocolate, and Candied Orange
Peroni Nastro Azzurro Pilsner
Italian White Sangria with Prosecco
Italian Red Sangria with Cabernet Sauvignon
Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila
Shanghai Holiday Kitchen (China)
Red-stewed Beef Rice Bowl (New)
Curry Chicken Rice Bowl (New)
House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons
“Panda” Bubble Tea: Classic Milk Tea with Black and White Bobas (non-alcoholic)
Jasmine Draft Beer
Dragonfly: Jose Cuervo Tequila Gold, Vodka, Mango Syrup, and Orange Juice
Marco Boba: Amaretto, Iced Coffee, Milk, and Boba
The Lucky Mo: Peach Schnapps, Peach Syrup, Orange Juice, and PiÃ±a Colada Mix
Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen (Japan)
New Year Celebration Soba: Buckwheat Soba Noodles in Hot Dashi Soup with Shrimp Tempura, Fish Cake, and Chopped Green Onion
Chirashi Sushi Tree: Sashimi-grade Tuna, Salmon, Ikura, and Yellowtail with Vegetables decorated on a bed of Rice
Ichigo Mont Blanc Tart: Strawberry and Bavarian Cream-filled Tart sprinkled with Konpeito (New)
Ichigo Milk Boba: Cranberry and Yuzu Cream Drink with Japanese Calpico and popping Strawberry Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)
Sapporo Draft Beer
Tsubaki Whiskey Sour: Plum Wine with Whiskey, Cranberry Juice, Sugar, and Lemon
Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen (Mexico)
Giant Tostada de Chorizo: Chorizo served on a Giant Tostada with Chipotle Black Bean Purée, Salsa Verde, Queso Cotija, Crema Mexicana, and Pickled Onion (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)(New)
Tamal de Pollo: Braised Chipotle Chicken served in a Corn Masa topped with Mole Verde, Queso Cotija, Crema Mexicana, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (Gluten/Wheat Friendly)
Dulce de Leche Churros: Dulce de Leche filled Churros sprinkled with Cinnamon-Sugar (New)
Tulum Mexican Craft Beer with a Blackcurrant and Ginger Liqueur Floater
Pumpkin Spice Margarita: Tomba Blanco Tequila, Ojo de Tigre Mezcal, Nixta Corn Liqueur, Pumpkin Spice Purée, and Lime-Agave Juice with Cinnamon-Sugar Rim (New)
Horchata Margarita: Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, Abasolo Corn Whiskey, Horchata Rum, Agua de Horchata, and a hint of Cinnamon-infused Mezcal Liqueur
As noted, we tried every food item at last year’s Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. We also actually waited in line and purchased “real” versions of all these items, meaning that what you’ll find in our reviews is not simply “ideal” stock photos provided from Walt Disney World of what this food can look like when it’s perfectly-plated with a generous portion.
Anyone who has ever attended an Epcot festival can attest to the fact that there’s a huge difference between what the official stock photos look like and what is served to actual guests. It’s probably also safe to assume there’s a difference in taste between the free food provided at media events, and what we paid to buy.
Many of the items at the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays are returning from last year (essentially, everything that doesn’t have “new” next to it above). For reviews of those items, consult our Holiday Kitchen booth reviews from last year. For the new items, check back in late November 2020 for an update to this food guide.
We’ll start with our booth rankings (ordered from best to worst), and then offer some commentary (note: all of this is based upon last year’s event):
Each one of those links above opens a new window with our full review of each Holiday Kitchen. We would strongly encourage you to read those rather than just blindly follow these rankings, as there are bad items at the good kitchens and good items at a few of the bad kitchens.
The only exception to this is Yukon. Just order everything on the menu there–it’s all fantastic.
It probably goes without saying for Epcot regulars, but in case you’re new to the Epcot ‘Festival Scene’, almost everything at the Holiday Kitchens is overpriced. This is not just by real world standards, but by “normal” Walt Disney World standards. You’re unquestionably paying a premium for the festival experience, which is a fun one, to be sure.
It’s fun to graze from the booths, but worth noting that these portions are generally small and pricey. There are a few exceptions to this “rule,” and it’s very important (we think) to buy these items first as “stomach filler” before grazing around World Showcase. We’ve identified these as ‘good value’ options in each of our reviews.
Starting with the good value items as stomach filler is great strategy. This will make you far less likely to ‘casually’ drop $100/person as you slowly taste your way through World Showcase. You might laugh at the idea of spending over $100 in a day on snacks, but it is far easier than you might think if you’re not paying attention.
We obviously spent way more than that to taste and review all this stuff (don’t bring it up–I’d prefer not to think about it), but on other days when we’ve gone ‘just for fun’ we’ve been surprised by just how much we spent. (Learn from our mistakes!)
In terms of other strategy, here are some quick hits…
Order Turkey: There are 3 turkey dishes at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and they’re all very good.
Yule Log Overload: This festival features approximately 37 different varieties of Yule Log (slight exaggeration). The best options are at Yukon, Le Marche De Noel, and the Boulangerie Patisserie Les Halles bakery in France.
Egg-ceptional Desserts: I liked or loved every single egg nog dessert (not drink) option we tried. Others in our group were far less enthusiastic about most of these choices, but they were admittedly not egg nog fans.
Skip the Holiday Cookie Stroll: Unless you’re doing it solely for fun, pass on these cookies. Yes, they’re all cheap and you get a “free” one at the end, but nothing here is better or more interesting than what you could get at Publix.
Comfort Foods Are Best: We love the ambitious ‘foodie’ dishes at Epcot’s festivals, but by and large, this event does comfort foods and variations thereof best. There are certainly exceptions, but generally the more daring items often fall flat or are bland.
That’s a wrap on our food coverage from the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. We’ll return throughout the event for updates here and there, but this post coupled with our individual booth reviews cover pretty much everything you need to know in terms of what to buy and what to avoid.
We’d again stress that you don’t need to purchase anything to have a great time at Epcot this Christmas season. If you choose to do eat your way around World Showcase (or just have a few desserts!), hopefully our resources help you make wise decisions so you don’t waste any money or Disney Dining Plan snack credits!
Do you have any favorite snacks from Epcot International Festival of the Holidays? Do you plan on completing the “Yule Log Challenge” by eating every single Yule Log in the same day? What are you looking forward to trying at the Holiday Kitchen food booths? Any questions? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments!