Epcot Festival Of The Holidays Cookie Stroll Ranking

There are plenty of items to collect when visiting Walt Disney World, from enamel pins to pressed coins. But during the winter season, there's no sweeter souvenir hunt for Disney fans than the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll. Though Epcot unveiled its International Festival of the Holidays event in 1996, it wasn't until 2018 that the first Cookie Stroll took place.

At this year's Cookie Stroll, guests can sample eight festive favorites, from the gleeful gingerbread cookie sold at Epcot's American Holiday Table to the plant-based black and white cookie carried by L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen. The biscuit bounty hunt draws in countless parkgoers at Epcot, and each cookie purchased earns guests one corresponding Festival Passport stamp. Once Cookie Stroll participants acquire five Festival Passport stamps, they can bring their completed passport page to the Holiday Sweets & Treats booth in Epcot's World Showcase Plaza for an exclusive — and rather tasty — reward.

We at Tasting Table had the great pleasure of visiting the 2023 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll to savor each seasonal sweet for ourselves (as well as the Disney holiday desserts and seasonal cocktails). After trying the delightful desserts at Disney, we then ranked our favorite offerings from the Festival. We'll fill you in on every last crumb of information you need to know about Disney's 2023 Cookie Stroll at Epcot.

If you want a preview of the seasonal Epcot experience, check out the best food and drinks with our Festival of the Holidays 2023 video review. (Even Mickey and Minnie make an appearance!)

8. Holiday Hearth Desserts: Peppermint pinwheel cookie

If we were to award points based on looks alone, the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie would surely earn a handsome score. The merry menu item features brilliant swirls of red and white cookie dough, edged with a festive array of red and green sprinkles. If you're after an Insta-worthy option from Epcot's Cookie Stroll, the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie is poised to attract plenty of likes from followers.

Mint lovers will go wild for the Peppermint Pinwheel, which offers fresh, invigorating flavor from the very first bite. Its retro appearance calls to mind pleasant holiday memories, as it closely resembles the type of traditional cookie you'd find at family gatherings. Since we aren't the biggest fans of minty sweets, its position in our ranking was based on little more than personal preference. Still, it's fair to say that peppermint is one of the most popular flavors found in seasonal dessert recipes, and we can see how it might easily charm fellow parkgoers. Should you wish to try the Peppermint Pinwheel on your next trip to Walt Disney World, you can at Holiday Hearth Desserts inside the Odyssey Events Pavilion at Epcot.

7. Nochebuena Cocina: Spiced chocolate cookie

There's no denying that the spiced chocolate cookie from Nochebuena Cocina is one of the most eye-catching biscuits of the bunch. However, it didn't hold our interest in quite the same way as other Cookie Stroll contenders that we sampled. Eagle-eyed Epcot-goers may notice some similarities between this new menu item and the chocolate crinkle cookie of previous years' Cookie Strolls. But while we consider ourselves massive chocolate fans, the spiced chocolate cookie wasn't one of our favorites at this year's Festival of the Holidays. However, your mileage may vary — especially if you're fond of cinnamon or spiced chocolate.

To us, the spiced chocolate cookie certainly tasted interesting, but it wasn't exactly our cup of tea. The cocoa confection has a very fudgy texture, and its cinnamon flavor is pronounced, both in the biscuit and the icing. It felt as if the chocolate element in this cookie was a touch overshadowed by its cinnamon spice. On that note, it's worth pointing out that this cookie from Nochebuena Cocina was one of the last ones that we tried, which may have skewed our perspective. Perhaps we were reaching the point of fullness by this stage of our Cookie Stroll, but we found it too dense for our liking. With that, we think you should give the spiced chocolate cookie a nibble and see what you think — it might turn out to be your top pick.

6. Connections Café: Holiday sugar cookie

We're forever fans of Epcot's Connections Café after sampling its Niçoise-style salad and were delighted to find a Cookie Stroll special on its menu. If you're a frequent visitor to the family-friendly restaurant, it's a convenient way to add another cookie stamp to your Festival Passport. Connections Café's holiday sugar cookie is one of the most timeless offerings on this year's lineup. The giant baked good is coated in a colorful medley of red, white, and green sprinkles, making it all the more endearing to hungry eyes.

While we prefer our baked goods loaded with extra toppings, like the M&M's found in the jingle sugar cookie, we have to hand it to Connections Café for its sugar cookie chops. This is a stellar version of the holiday staple, featuring rich, buttery notes and a satisfyingly chewy texture. It isn't overly sweet, and there is a whisper of sunny citrus zest on the finish that complements its delicate flavor. Sugar cookie connoisseurs, take note on your stroll: this sweet was made for the pages of your festival passport book.

5. Sunshine Seasons: Jingle sugar cookie made with M&M's chocolate candies

Sunshine Seasons is one of the most fascinating locations on the Epcot Cookie Stroll, thanks to its partnership with an iconic nearby attraction, The Land Pavilion, and its lush greenhouses. After you stop for a hyper-local bite to eat at the bustling eatery, you can stamp another Cookie Stroll section on your Festival Passport page. Sunshine Seasons is also home to the jingle sugar cookie, a massive, chewy treat dotted with dozens of red and green M&M's.

If you're traveling with little ones — or parties who prefer their meals on the milder side — the jingle sugar cookie is a safe bet on your Cookie Stroll. For our palettes, it was a little too tame, but that's not to suggest that it's unpleasant whatsoever. The jingle sugar cookie is just a straightforward snack, and if you've ever eaten a giant sugar cookie before, you'll likely recognize its familiar flavor profile. It's chewy, bendy, and slightly salty, and the neatly perched M&M's provide some lovely, chocolaty crunch along its surface. That said, you really can't go wrong with a cookie draped in bits of candy, but it wasn't quite as notable as the other options on our roster. Our advice is to pick a jingle sugar cookie up if you please — but don't worry for a moment if you happen to overlook it.

4. American Holiday Table: Gingerbread cookie

Gingerbread cookies are a festive favorite for many reasons. They're filled with the warmest spices of the season, and their friendly face is always a comforting sight. What's more, they can even double as decorative ornaments or, at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, the building blocks for a fully operational gingerbread-based storefront. Thus, it should come as no surprise that American Holiday Table's gingerbread cookie joined its sugary brethren near the top of our Cookie Stroll ranking.

We'll be the first to admit that this holiday classic can be hit or miss depending on the baker at hand, but American Holiday Table's recipe is spot-on. Our smiling Cookie Stroll friend possessed all the qualities that make gingerbread so special, from a snappy — but not brittle — bite to a masterful blend of spices. On top of that, he even looked pretty cute. If there's one thing we can say about the foods served at Disney, it's that attention to detail is everything. Epcot is no exception, and we felt sorry about biting into this biscuit's sweet little face. Still, we think our gingerbread man would be quite pleased with himself, as he proved to be one of the most delicious bites of the day. For those hoping to make a gingerbread friend of their own, mosey on over to Epcot's American Holiday Table. From there, it's easy enough to find — just follow the mouthwatering scent of the funnel cake stand near its home at The American Adventure.

3. Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer cookie

For many, there's nothing quite like a luscious Linzer cookie, especially around the holidays. At Epcot's Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, tucked inside the park's Germany Pavilion, you can treat yourself to a beautiful interpretation of this scrumptious sandwich cookie — and earn a Cookie Stroll stamp, to boot.

We wouldn't ordinarily reach for a Linzer first on a cookie platter, but Bavaria Holiday Kitchen's version changed our minds completely. The nutty shortbread crumb of this Linzer was simply outstanding, and we adored the finely crushed almond pieces studded throughout it. But even better is the raspberry jam center, a delightfully tart match for the soft, powdery cookies. Some berry jams can lean too sweet or sour, but Bavaria Holiday Kitchen's is a perfect mix of bright and fruity flavors. It's also just the right consistency, similar to the tangy, slightly chewy filling found in popular British biscuits like Jammie Dodgers. Succeeding in virtually every category, this sophisticated snack rose to third in our ranks. As such, we'd strongly suggest you grab a Linzer cookie during your next Epcot visit — and if you're anything like us, you'll find yourself dreaming about it days later.

2. Yukon Holiday Kitchen: Snickerdoodle Cookie made with Snickers bar pieces

It's not often that a cookie takes us by surprise, but the Snickerdoodle cookie from Yukon Holiday Kitchen did just that. You can spot Yukon Holiday Kitchen by its log cabin-like exterior, located near the Canada Pavilion at Epcot. And if you're looking for the perfect cookie to net another stamp on your Festival Passport page, trust us: You won't want to skip the Snickerdoodle.

Whether you're a fan of thin sugar cookies or crunchy candy bars, chances are you'll be smitten with the Snickerdoodle cookie from Yukon Holiday Kitchen. At first glance, we were intrigued by the busy-looking biscuit, which looks quite different from the standard snickerdoodle. After tasting it, we were instantly hooked. It has a pleasantly fluffy, sticky crumb, and it pulls apart just like a Rice Krispie treat. Despite its unique texture, it's not at all crumbly or messy — so it's perfect for visitors on the go at Epcot. True to its name, the Snickerdoodle cookie is topped with real pieces of Snickers and dressed with ultra-thin ribbons of chocolate icing, which only add to its appeal. As one of the most memorable bites we tried on the Cookie Stroll, it easily secured the second-place spot on our list.

1. L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White cookie

As soon as we sank our teeth into L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen's Black and White Cookie, we knew we'd found our Cookie Stroll winner. As New Yorkers, we've tasted plenty of these half-and-half confections in our lifetime, and we can confidently say that L'Chaim!'s version was one of the finest we've ever had. We also learned that there's more than meets the eye to L'Chaim!'s classic treat — it's also the only plant-based selection on the 2023 Cookie Stroll a Disney.

The first thing you'll notice about this delectable dessert is its airy, melt-in-your-mouth base. It's substantial enough to give you something to chew on, but it has an amazingly soft and tender crumb. We also couldn't get enough of its glossy chocolate icing, filled with real cocoa flavor. The vanilla frosting portion had a slightly denser consistency, but it tasted equally delicious. As with some of the other Cookie Stroll specials that we sampled, the Black and White Cookie has a slight lemon flavor in its crumb, which works wonders when teamed up with chocolate and vanilla icing. All in all, we adored everything about the Black and White Cookie, earning the striking-looking sweet first place in our lineup. If you'd like to give our top choice a try, be sure to stop by L'Chaim! Holiday Kitchen, nestled between the France and Morroco Pavilions at Epcot.

How we chose the best Epcot Festival of the Holidays cookies

As we close the chapter on our guide to the 2023 Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays Cookie Stroll, it's only right to discuss how we selected our top-ranking cookies. A good biscuit should beckon you to take another bite straight away, and L'Chaim Holiday Kitchen's Black and White Cookie did just that. Other memorable menu items, like the Linzer Cookie from Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, had distinctive qualities and flavors that set them apart from the rest of the pack.

Above all, we thoroughly enjoyed trying each item on this year's Cookie Stroll menu as we explored Epcot's Festival of the Holidays. Even the honorable mentions on our list were fun to track down, and we can't forget to mention the grand prize: The Holiday Cookie Stroll Completer Treat. Interestingly enough, this bonus bite turned out to be one of the tastiest of them all. Baked in the shape of Star, a lead character from Disney's "Wish," the final reward struck a chord with us. The celestial cookie was filled with nostalgic notes, like marshmallow fondant, and a mild, salty sweetness akin to crunchy animal crackers. We might go so far as to say it was the 'Star' of the stroll.