Epcot presents a "Taste" of its Festival of the Holidays

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Walt Disney World is continuing with its roster of attenuated Epcot events with its current offering of Festival of the Holidays, now through Dec. 30. Or Dec. 31, whether you believe the Festival Passport or the website.

Officially it’s called Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, sort of the way Stephen Colbert’s program is currently called A Late Show instead of The Late Show. It’s a way of acknowledging that things are different during the pandemic.

And speaking of the ongoing pandemic, I should mention that this Taste of A Festival is sponsored by AdventHealth. Perfect marketing. Go directly to the people most likely to need your services.

I attended a media event to showcase the festivalette inside the social distanceable World Showplace where we were able to spread out and have our very own table. (Still, some of the attendees decided to cram in together around one small table, so I hope there was an AdventHealth representative there to hand out cards.)

The Showplace wasn’t just for our event. The venue has displays and entertainment open throughout the festival.

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For instance, there’s Gingerbread Capital City, a (technically edible tableau of Washington, D.C., landmarks. Because who doesn’t think of our nation’s capital when we thing about holidays? I do because our lawmakers always seem to be on one.

There’s the Capital Building, the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial and a five-foot tall Washington Monument. A plaque in front of the display, which you can walk around, states that 3957 gingerbread tiles were used as were 75 pounds of modeling chocolate, 25 pounds of chocolate rock, and 1697 feet of pipped royal icing, which I think is supposed to be piped royal icing, and which also looks like a different word on the plaque.

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Food inside the Showplace includes that traditional holiday staple blackened bass with white cheddar grits and okra with tomato and onion stew. I have to admit the green okra and red tomato made the plate look Christmasy. And it tasted pretty good, too.

So did the duck confit with dumplings and Brussels sprouts.

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The Holiday Hearth marketplace had an array of sweets, including snowball cookies, red velvet mini bundt cake (delicious) and something called mouse crunch, which apparently got past corporate watchdogs.

Out and around the World Showplace you’ll find a couple of new marketplaces, including Mele Kalikimaka Holiday Kitchen offering a taste of Hawaii with kälua pork and lomi lomi salmon. Just the thought of those dishes have me singing “We Wish You a Mele Kalikimaka!”

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And Yukon Holiday Kitchen in front of Canada, which does not offer cheddar cheese soup. Also L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen and American Holiday Table, as well as marketplaces in front of some of the country pavilions.

There is, of course, no Candlelight Processional this year. Not a good thing to have dozens of people singing and aerosoling on top of each other. But there are live performances on the main stage and inside the World Showplace.

And a cookie stroll – buy five cookies and get the sixth one, the one you really don’t need after eating five others, free.

Check out a taste of the webpage for more information, including park reservations (you can’t just show up and buy a ticket these days) and other guidelines.

Media attendees were provided admission to the park, food and drink samples and a gift card for additional purchases.

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