We’re at the end of November here at Walt Disney World which means it’s time for EPCOT to have a new festival. The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays officially began on November 26th and will run until December 30th. When the festival menus were announced a few weeks ago we noticed the vegan options this year are the same as last year. This is a slight disappointment as we were hoping there would be some additional ones.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays offers more than just outdoor kitchens though. Each country celebrates their winter holidays with shows, storytellers, and musicians. It’s a great way to see how other cultures celebrate this time of year.
A big thing this year is the return of the Candlelight Processional. This is a staple for many families during the holiday season and every few days is a new celebrity narrator. You can also catch Joyful back on the main stage at the entrance of World Showcase. They are super fun to watch and the music is really great.
We will be bringing our little dude with us next trip so we can complete the Olaf scavenger hunt. These are always my favorites with each festival, it’s a great way to explore World Showcase and keep the younger kids excited while you snack around the world. Enough about that, let’s talk about the food options.
As I said before, the three main options this year are the same as last year. The Holiday Pot Pie is a plant-based option that can be found at the American Holiday Table in America.
This pot pie features a flakey pastry on top of a bowl of a very runny filling. The filling of the pot pie is jackfruit, mushrooms, peas, carrots, and onion. Our pastry was pretty under cooked and the inside was so wet and thin, but I will take that over the sliminess from last year. The flavor of the actual pot pie is pretty good with heavy notes of earthy flavors. But just like last year, I am not a fan of pot pie, and I am definitely not a fan of this pot pie.
At L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen between Morocco and France you can find two plant-based options. My favorite this year (again) are the Potato Latkes from here.
You get two latkes with this dish and the top one has a drizzle of vegan sour cream. The texture of the latkes are a mix of mushy and chunky potatoes. The edge is pretty crispy and the flavor overall with this was great, it was also well seasoned with the perfect touch of salt.
The only vegan cookie from the cookie stroll can also be found here, the Black & White Cookie. This year it was a bit better than some I’ve had the last few years. It was still pretty thick, and has more of a crumbly cake-like consistency while being a little dry.
The flavor of it though is very good. The white side of the cookie has a hint of lemon and the black side is a nice chocolate flavor. Overall we actually enjoyed this one on the first day of the festival.
Those are the only marked plant-based options this year. But I did noticed there was a whole booth for various roasted nuts. I hunted down two chefs and asked them if those options were actually vegan. They told me the cinnamon-glazed nuts there are the same as in the parks (which are vegan) and the chestnuts are made in house and also vegan. I have no idea why they’re not marked that way, but we made a stop over at Chestnuts and Good Cheers to try them.
When we went to this booth, which is by Disney Traders, we asked for them to check again if they were vegan. They made a call for us at the register and we were told again they were vegan. We opted for the Cinnamon-Glazed Cashews, and the Fire-Roasted Chestnuts. You can also get Cinnamon-Glazed Pecans or Almonds here.
The Cinnamon-Glazed Cashews were delicious. They had big chunks of the sugar and cinnamon with them and were a nice softness for the nut. I always smell these in the parks but usually want savory, but I will be getting these again now that I’ve had them!
The Fire-Roasted Chestnuts were awfully dry. They were grilling them out in the open, so you get them fresh. But oof those were too dry for us to enjoy. Plus all the sugar that they have on them comes off when you peel the shell, which kind of ruins it.
As a whole, this is about what we expected for this festival for food. To me this one is more for experiences and shows than eating. But it is nice that we have a few options. I am just hoping we get a new option in America next year and some added options in general.
The next EPCOT Festival will be the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts which will run from January 14th – February 21st, 2022. You can read about the vegan options from last year here.