Yuletide greetings everyone! Epcot has been ramping up its festival season and we have the full rundown on vegan options at this year’s Holiday Kitchens located throughout World Showcase during the 2023 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This year we have some new booths AND new VEGAN items for the Festival! Come on, let’s eat!
What’s Vegan at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays?
Vegan As-is Options at the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays:
Don’t forget to grab a Joffrey’s Peppermint Mocha with Oat (or your choice of plant) Milk to start your World Showcase stroll:
New last year and returning this year is the Nochebuena Cocina (by Test Track in the former Flavors from Fire booth for Food & Wine) which will be offering:
- Plant-based Chorizo Tamale with plant-based cotija cheese and spicy red Chile sauce (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) (Plant-based Item)
This year, they got the vegan cotija in time! I love a good tamale and this did not disappoint! This is a stellar returning option for the festival and I’m so glad it’s vegan as is! The Impossible chorizo has the tiniest little kick to it but not too spicy. The traditional red sauce was a perfect smoky/barbecuey flavor. From my photos last year, there appears to be less filling but it may have just been my serving, I’ll have to keep trying to see.
Here’s a look at the inside of the Impossible Tamale from 2022 – the inside of mine this year definitely didn’t have this much filling:
Also new last year and a huge hit – returning this year at the Refreshment Outpost:
- Peanut Stew with sweet potatoes, mustard greens, and roasted peanuts (Plant-based Item) (Gluten/ Wheat Friendly) This year they actually don’t have any peanuts for this dish, and it may be “a couple of weeks” before they do! 🙁
- DOLE Whip Raspberry
The flavors were still there, but the peanuts definitely make this dish so I missed them and may have to bring my own until they get them in! It’s a huge portion too, which you can’t really tell from these photos but you’ll see on our upcoming video.
The peanuts last year were huge, and crunchy. There was a little spice coating on them, but not overly spicy. The sauce itself had a peanut flavor, and the sweet potatoes and mustard greens were a nice accent. This may be my favorite dish of the festival, I loved these flavors. Here’s the updated photo from 2023, sans peanuts 🙁
Another returning favorite this year are the vegan Potato Latkes – available at the L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen. These are a fan favorite and with good reason. The dill really packed a punch this year, and I loved that!
At the Flower and Garden Festival these were topped with applesauce. For Festival of the Holidays you’ll find them drizzled with an herbed dairy free sour cream.
In 2023 the Holiday Cookie Stroll returns and with it comes the iconic black and white cookie. And we’re happy to report that it’s still vegan!
The Black and White Cookie is much improved from last year when it was SOOO thick.
The Black and White Cookie, if you aren’t familiar, this cookie is more like a little drop cake and not very cookie-like. Depending on the freshness, it may be more hard to eat than soft.
You can find the Black and White Cookie at the L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen in between Morocco and France.
In the Tangierine Cafe in Morocco, they have kept the Assorted Dips and Stone Baked Moroccan Bread that was here for the 2023 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival, and it is still vegan as-is.
- This is now vegan as-is! They listened to the many requests for a dairy-free bread here for Flower & Garden Festival, and continued that availability for Food & Wine, and now the Holidays.
These dips were delicious. The red one is an eggplant-tomato based dip, and the green is cilantro based, along with hummus.
EDIT: There does not appear to be a place for glazed nuts listed for 2023. 🙁
Modifiable and Accidentally Vegan Options at the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays:
NOTE this year it is NOT modifiable as the Black Bean Puree is made with chicken broth 🙁 🙁 🙁 At the Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen in Mexico.
This year, we can actually get TWO items at the Tuscany Holiday Kitchen in Italy – yes Italy – the booth we always have to walk right by!
The Montanara is fried pizza dough with marinara sauce – just order without the parmesan and it’s vegan!
Then the Dolce Pizza is the same fried pizza dough tossed in cinnamon and sugar for a nice sweet treat. Accidentally vegan as-is!
Yes, these are basically just fried dough balls, but if you like bread as much as I do, it’s a fun option. If you’re going to try just one, I recommend the Dolce Pizza.
A couple of years back, we also discovered another unique modifiable option for the 2022 Festival of the Holidays. The Turkey Poutine over at the Refreshment Port next to Canada and Starbucks. Now stay with us here…If you order this without the turkey, and without the gravy, it is vegan! You end up with hot french fries, topped with cranberry sauce and crispy fried onions. This sounds strange, we know, but it was kind of fun! This year for 2023, it is made with Sweet Potato Fries, so that will add some flavor if you choose to modify this. We did not get it as it isn’t really worth the price in my opinion, but you can also order just fries for $5 here and you can request sweet potato fries if you’d like.
The cranberry is sweet and tart and the onions are crispy and savory. Combined with the fries, it really is like a unique twist on Thanksgiving and fun if you want a unique snack on your journey around World Showcase. Now we attempted to order this as the Turkey Poutine without the turkey and gravy, for $9, but the cast member actually said they would ring us in for the Traditional Poutine for $7 and they just told the cast assembling the dish to add the cranberry and onions. So we saved $2, which was great since we aren’t getting the meat or cheese or gravy. I wouldn’t demand that if you try it, but if you ask nicely, they may accommodate you as well.
This year they are also keeping Char & Chop which was a late addition to the Food & Wine Festival for 2023. There is a modifiable Impossible dish here:
- Grilled IMPOSSIBLE Spicy Sausage with herbed polenta, puttanesca sauce, and ricotta – remove the polenta and ricotta and it is vegan as-is. We will confirm it’s the same recipe for the polenta, which did contain dairy and eggs during Food & Wine.
Lastly, in perhaps the most bizarre modifiable option, Shanghai Holiday Kitchen features a Veggie Spring Roll again this year. HOWEVER – the “citrus sauce” it comes with is not only not vegan, it’s not even vegetarian. The spring rolls themselves are vegan (cross-contamination may occur). The citrus sauce contains chicken stock?! yes, really, as well as OYSTER SAUCE. So not only not even vegetarian, but a shellfish allergen as well. So you may want to avoid this just to be safe, but if you are in the mood for a basic spring roll, order it without the sauce. We note in our video you can add sriracha at the counter, or head to Lotus Blossom Cafe to grab some packets of condiments of your choice (soy sauce, orange sauce, hot sauce, or mustard sauce). It boggles my mind that they would create a sauce like this when a simple sauce would taste amazing and could be vegan too.
We hope you enjoyed this list and review of all the vegan and modifiable options for this year’s EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Be sure to check back for our updated video and follow along on instagram @VeganDisneyFood for more content throughout the season!
Video Review of the Vegan Options at the 2022 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays – will be updated with a new video after opening day!
We haven’t seen any updates on souvenir cups or holiday popcorn buckets, aside from the music-box-cookie-tin-style bucket available at Magic Kingdom, so we’ll check when the Festival opens and report back.
Living with the Land Glimmering Greenhouses is a holiday overlay within the greenhouse portion of this classic opening day attraction which has changed minimally in 40 years.
WARNING: If you are unaware, this ride features images of farming practices, and in the outdoor portion, a section on aquaculture or fish farming. As with many other experiences in Walt Disney World, this section is not vegan in nature so we advise doing research before experiencing things in person if these images or visuals will cause you distress.
After the sun sets, ride the Living with the Land attraction for a special sparkling tour. You can find Living with the Land inside the Land pavilion in the former Future World West, now World Nature.
Enjoy a peaceful evening cruise and view twinkling holiday light displays throughout the greenhouses here.
This overlay is magical and we are so happy that Epcot is bringing it back this year. Also making its triumphant return this year is the Candlelight Processional.
The 2023 festival will run from November 24th through December 30th.
For more information on the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays visit the official Walt Disney World website. Happy Holiday Eating!
LOOKING FOR VEGAN OPTIONS IN THE THEME PARKS, WATER PARKS AND DISNEY SPRINGS?
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LOOKING FOR VEGAN OPTIONS IN THE WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOTELS?
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