Festivals Eternal

Next up at Epcot: the food-filled Festival of the Holidays. Plus, check out some turkey day dining options.


Just when you thought it was safe to go to a theme park and not think of food … in comes the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays!

As I’m sure you well know, Epcot Food & Wine (the Musical) just ended this week, after a staggering 75 days of tastes from more than 35 stations spread around the World Showcase lagoon. Now that you’ve extended your belts a notch or two, put November 19 to December 30 on your diet plan calendar, because Festival of the Holidays spotlights 15 “Festival kitchens.” Included in the mix are Napoléon de saumon fumé, brioche á l’aneth from  Alsace; buckwheat soba noodle with spinach and shrimp tempura, courtesy of Hokkaido; tostada de tinga and buñuelo navideño from the Las Posadas booth; and grilled lamb kefta and grapes a'la the Tarabaki Holiday Kitchen from Morocco. And all those treats should whet your appetite for the food-packed Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which runs from February 28 to May 28 next year for a 25th anniversary edition that lasts, yes, 90 days! It’s a food world, after all!

Speaking of holidays:

* Last-minute holiday meal plans can still be accommodated at Raglan Road at Disney Springs, where Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with the rollicking sounds of Irish jigs and high-kicking step dancers.

* Winter Park’s Deadly Sins Brewing hosts a free “all ages family friendly” dinner on Thanksgiving Day, with interesting local brews and the spirit of the holiday.

* Winter Park cakery The Glass Knife opened this week and offers an impressive line of cakes, pastries and sweets for the family table.

* Hotelier Harris Rosen has always held buffets in high regard, no less during the holidays. Thanksgiving at Rosen Plaza includes turkey, salmon or prime rib with acres of fixin’s, parking, wine and no cleanup afterwards. Similar deals can be found at Rosen Centre. Rosen Shingle Creek’s buffet includes sushi from Banshoo.

* If you’re heading out or coming home on Thanksgiving Day, Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport will be open for “farm-to-terminal” dining, even at breakfast.

* For those cooking at home, what better gift than keeping the kiddos occupied while you prep? Consider the Orlando Science Center Thanksgiving Camp, where science rules, LEGO Mindstorming is an art, and campers can  be dropped off as early at 7:30 a.m. and picked up as late as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve.

* If turkey just doesn’t appeal this year, Indian eatery Tamarind will be open for the delight of dosa, bhindi and xacuti. And Taverna Opa puts out a spread of lamb, spanakopita and belly dancing on T-Day.

Enjoy the Holidays, and catch up on the latest from Orlando’s food scene over dessert. Stay in touch with Joseph at joseph.hayes@orlandomagazine.com. You can access a comprehensive list of his print and online reviews here!


Categories: Savor Orlando