The “Ultimate Disney Christmas Package” Christmas Eve dinner in Epcot was an unforgettable family experience that we were lucky to enjoy! We went during Christmastime in 2017, and it remains an unforgettable memory.
We used our park passes to enter Epcot on Christmas Eve. While the event was part of the Ultimate Disney Christmas Package, the tickets to get into the theme park were not. The festive holiday dinner was held in the World Showplace in Epcot (between the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions). A brightly lit building welcomed us to the feast.
See our review and itinerary update of the Ultimate Disney Christmas Package.
Disney always decorates well! The lights were dim upon entry with bright cartoon characters and snowflakes dancing across white canvases. While it was busy, we had a lot of space away from our neighbors. Throughout the open floor plan, holiday music blared through the speakers, and friendly cast members helped us find our seats.
The “Ultimate Disney Christmas Package” Christmas Eve dinner in Epcot had a customized menu that I still drool over! The menu featured a variety of buffet tables, including soup and salad, hot food, pasta action, kids, and dessert stations.
The soup and salad station provided seafood bisque, Canadian cheddar soup, tomato basil salad, grilled vegetable salad, and holiday almond crackers. My absolute favorite was the medley of winter greens with green apples, pumpkin seeds, and lite pomegranate vinaigrette.
The hot food station provided guests with:
- green beans with stewed tomatoes,
- buttered corn off the cob with edamame and peppers,
- smashed potatoes with roasted garlic,
- parmesan-crusted chicken breast,
- oven-baked cod with lemon caper sauce,
- holiday raised beef with mushroom and onions
- rolls with butter.
The pasta action station featured penne with either roasted garlic marinara and parmesan cheese with pancetta, four-cheese cream, and peas. The table also had gluten-filled Foccacia bread with olive oil that we had to pass on.
Since we are gluten-free, the chef brought out a plate of gluten-free pasta for us to adorn with the sauce of our choosing from the pasta station. A majority of the salads were safe, as were the green beans and the grilled veggies. For picky eaters, the chef brought out chicken wings for my husband and chicken tenders for my son.
After a long day in the park and hard work fighting crowds all week, there was fantastic news from the bartender. For the first time in my Disney experience, the alcohol was free! The menu featured domestic beer like Bud Light, Corona, Yuengling, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The wine list included Beringer White Zinfandel and a variety of Hogue wines like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The holiday specialty cocktail was the “Christmas Colada”- pina colada mix combined with cranberry juice, sprite, and Amsterdam Vodka. While delicious, this was far too sweet and creamy when combined with rich meat and plentiful pasta plates.
We chose between the Angry Orchard hard cider, Christmas Colada, and wine. The bartender assured me that each of them was gluten-free.
For kids, there weren’t any specialty children’s cups. Since our daughter was 20-months-old, she drank her milk out of a coffee cup.
Each table featured a festive centerpiece of floating candles, red table cloths, fancy water goblets, and heavy silver table numbers. The tables created a celebratory motif with candlelight, wine goblets, and table cloths.
Why we need Autism acceptance
While I loved the idea of the experience, we had a rough time. Our table was next to the kid’s buffet. It’s hard to pin my son with autism down into a chair. He stood within a three-foot radius of our space (not interfering with anyone else, as we were on the outskirts of the meal). Loud music was playing, and he was giggling and stimming.
A woman came up to me to tell me that my son was ruining her night. She thought his behavior was obscene. I am not an unrealistic mother who thinks her children behave flawlessly- my children behave poorly at times.
This was NOT one of them. Apparently, it disturbed her to listen to him hysterically giggling while getting chicken fingers off the buffet table.
When I explained he had autism, she told me, “those kinds of people shouldn’t be allowed in public.” Kinds of people? My child, one of the most incredible humans that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, is being dismissed for being joyful in public?
It was Christmas Eve in Walt Disney World. I will never get over how cruel that behavior was.
Wrapping up the Christmas Eve Dinner
Despite our rough experience, my children were in love with Disney during the holidays. Every single event was more magical than the last. I was concerned that the crowds would ruin it for them, but we worried less about attractions and rides. Instead, we focused on festivities and admiring all of the festive decorations. On our way out, we had an exclusive view of Epcot and the fireworks.
Note: As of 2020, the “Ultimate Disney Christmas Package” Christmas Eve Dinner in Epcot is no longer offered. I am sad that we may never get to enjoy a holiday feast in the World Showplace again.
Does anyone know of any current holiday meal options in the World Showplace? Please leave it in the comments.
See our article about the best holiday decorations in Walt Disney World resort.