The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is currently underway at Walt Disney World. This eclectic festival features holiday traditions from 11 countries around World Showcase. From November 29 to December 30, guests can enjoy seasonal food and beverages, lively holiday music, and theatrical performances demonstrating holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. One of this year’s tastiest options is the Holiday Cookie Stroll. This sweet treat scavenger hunt features five holiday cookies from around World Showcase. Guests who purchase all five then receive a special free bonus cookie as their prize.
To begin the Holiday Cookie Stroll, you’ll first need to grab a Festival Passport. These can be picked up at various locations all around Epcot and list all of the festival’s offerings including entertainment, Holiday Kitchen menus, and more. Holiday Cookie Stroll locations are listed in the back, with a stamp area for each cookie. Each cookie costs $2.50 (plus tax). Once you’ve tasted all five cookies, you can return your completed checklist to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to receive a complimentary Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie. You don’t have to purchase all cookies on the same day, and can receive your prize cookie any time before the festival ends. We just returned from a holiday visit to Epcot and tried all six of this year’s cookies, so let’s take a look at each one.
Our first stop was for the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in the Canada pavilion. This brightly colored treat is a peppermint-flavored sugar cookie lined with festive sprinkles. The cookie was soft and chewy, but a little stale at the same time. The peppermint flavor was pleasing, but could honestly use a bit more kick as it gets washed out by the overwhelming sugary taste. We brought along our 7-year old professor in training to get a kid’s perspective, and he commented that it would have been improved by replacing the sugary sprinkles around the edge with peppermint pieces, which we completely agree.
Up next was the Black-and-White Cookie at L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen between the Morocco and France pavilions. This may look like a standard offering, but has the distinction of being completely plant-based. We were a bit skeptical on how this would taste as it’s not always easy to make plant-based baked items taste good. We were definitely pleasantly surprised to find this cookie to be one of the best on the list. The cookie itself had a soft cake consistency and was much larger than the other offerings in the stroll. The chocolate and vanilla frosting was rich and thick and had a hint of lemon flavor. While this isn’t usually a flavor included in a classic Black-and-White cookie, it added a refreshing touch that cut through the sweetness.
The Holiday Cookie Stroll’s most classic offering is the Gingerbread Cookie at American Holiday Table in the America pavilion. This one is a cute gingerbread man with a little festive icing. Our cookie had a decorating mistake that resembled a tear which made it a little harder to eat the poor guy! We apologized to the gingerbread man for our transgressions but quickly devoured him anyway. We found this cookie to be thin but delicious with the slightly spicy kick you’d expect in gingerbread. The cookie was soft on the inside with a little crunch to the outside. Our only complaint was the size, as we would have gladly enjoyed much more.
If you like a bit of fruitiness in your baked goods, you’ll probably enjoy the Linzer Cookie at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany Pavilion. This classic Austrian dessert is a thin pastry with raspberry jam filling. This cookie was a refreshing change from the rest of the lineup and the raspberry filling added a tart kick to the somewhat subtle pastry. Linzer cookies are usually a crisp if served right away, and this one had already lost a lot of that crispiness. This is to be expected though as the kitchens have to prepare a lot of items in mass ahead of time, and didn’t really take much away from an otherwise well-made dessert.
Our pick for the real winner in this year’s Holiday Cookie Stroll is the Chocolate Crinkle Cookie at Feast of the Three Kings near the Mexico Pavilion. This cookie is a rich and chewy chocolate lover’s dream! The outside is perfectly crunchy and coated in powdered sugar, while the inside is fudgy and packed with cocoa. It’s like a giant hot chocolate cookie and we gladly ate every crumb!
Your prize for completing the Holiday Cookie Stroll is this cute Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie. After turning in our completed checklist to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen in Showcase Plaza, we were given the cookie and an 8-ounce bottle of reduced-fat milk. The cookie itself wasn’t that impressive but seemed to be a hit with our younger professor. The sugar cookie was thin and crunchy but didn’t have a lot of flavor to it. This was slightly improved by the chocolate coated ears and white chocolate Santa hat, but not enough to make this one rank high on the list. We honestly could have better used the free milk with the Chocolate Crinkle Cookie, but this fun little treat did help add to our Christmas cheer. All in all, we found Epcot’s Holiday Cookie Stroll to be a fun and festive way to add a bit extra to our holiday park experience and would recommend it to all Disney Parks snack lovers.
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