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"Hi, I'm Rain!"

I’m a freelance editor, writer and creative leader who has spent my entire career in journalism and digital media — and now I’m creating only about Disney parks!

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A Failed Attempt at Epcot's Holiday Cookie Stroll

A Failed Attempt at Epcot's Holiday Cookie Stroll

Some people love to sip margaritas around Epcot’s World Showcase. My husband, daughter and I opted instead for a cheaper option that we wouldn’t have to struggle to remember: The Holiday Cookie Stroll.

Using good ol’ fashioned Epcot passport stamping technology, this cookie collecting mission took us around World Showcase to discover six holiday cookies. By laying down the $2 for each cookie in Showcase Plaza, Germany, The American Adventure, Morocco/France and Canada, we could earn the 6th cookie for free! It’s like a sub card, but for cookies, so I was definitely on board.

Our Journey Begins

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Our first stop was the Feast of the Three Kings booth at Showcase Plaza. The Red and Green Chocolate Chip Cookie was delightfully chocolately, but overall unremarkable. I say that, but sure gobbled it up before we reached Mexico.

In case you’re wondering, the Showcase Plaza is just at the entrance to World Showcase. Feel free to also call it the Showplace Plaza, Playplace Caza, or Showtime Goodtime. It doesn’t matter, this is just a name they made up to say it’s where World Showcase begins.

Thank You, Next.

Thank You, Next.

We also tried the Queso Fresco-stuffed Arepa ($5.75). This came with shrimp, tomato sauce and a kind of guac piled on top. Sounded like a good bet, but it was the kind of thing you bite and think about how ‘fresh’ it tastes, not actually how delicious it is. At that price, I’ll skip it next time.

It’s Sauerkraut!

In Germany, we were lured in not by the promise of the Peppermint Sugar Cookie on our passport, but by the sound of the German punk band Durch & Durch belting out our favorite “SAUERKRAUT” tune.

And bravo to Marcus, a cast member that enthusiastically waved a his light-up bubble wand and explosively danced across the front of the stage at key points in the performance. You never know how a cast member is going to make your night. But Marcus knew:

I love mint, but during the holidays, it can be turned into a downright nuisance, so I was wary of this one. However, the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen delivered a delicate peppermint flavor, and the tiny candy canes were perfect for flying off while jumping up and down to what I can only guess are traditional German punk holiday favorites.

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A repeat favorite at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays was the Cheese Fondue in a Breadbowl ($8.25). This was some hearty eating for a chilly (lolz, 65 degrees) Florida night. The cheese had a tangy saltiness to it that was worth dipping fingers into when the veggies were gone (hey, no shame in my game).

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On to the New World

A happier, younger me before I knew what it tasted like.

A happier, younger me before I knew what it tasted like.

We didn’t realize it yet, but the American pavilion would be our last (honest) cookie stop. The cookie from the American Holiday Table, unfortunately, tasted like Play-Doh.

First and last bite. Grace Adler face says it all.

First and last bite. Grace Adler face says it all.

After one bite, I was done, then lured my husband and daughter into tasting it too (just to make sure… and see their faces). But then I figured out what to do:

The Japan pavilion was really where we botched the Cookie Stroll.

There wasn’t a cookie here to try, but the Mitsukoshi store is here, and I had a hefty amount of Christmas shopping to do for the kids. Mitsukoshi has bulked up its curious snack section lately, and it was tough to pass them up for stocking stuffers.

Laden with Ramune and green tea Kit Kats, we emerged from Mitsukoshi at about 15 minutes before all of the cookie booths closed shop as part of Disney’s clever strategy to get everyone to look at Illuminations and then gtfo of the park.

With visions of Sailor Moon dancing in our heads, we didn’t realize that our Christmas Cookie window was closing.

Instead of busting out the hustle, we waited in line for the Sfenj beignets ($5.00) at the Morocco booth. Okay, these may have been worth the delay. Soft, pillowy and full of creme, it had to be one of the best eats of the night. Go eat these.

Behold the beignets in all their exalted glory.

Behold the beignets in all their exalted glory.

Though an honest effort was made to move at a clip through the crowds with our giant Japanese souvenir bag, we just didn’t make it to the Morocco/France booth for the Black & White Cookie or Canada for the Gold Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Some bad decisions were made, like stopping to get the Crespelle di Mele at the Italy booth. It was supposed to be apple fritters with vanilla and chocolate caramel sauce, but tasted more like a biscuity waste of $8.00. I’d like to go on record as blaming this fritter for our cookie tardiness.

But that didn’t stop us.

In their effort to ruin everything, these fritters wouldn’t even photograph well.

In their effort to ruin everything, these fritters wouldn’t even photograph well.

Conning Our Way to Free Cookies

Lucky for me, my husband is an affable guy. A cast member at the Morocco/France booth gladly stamped our passport sans cookie after the hubs flashed a winning smile. The Canadian booth was long closed by the time we got there, so no one to sweet talk into a stamp. Uh oh.

Wow, I thought he did well, but everyone in the pic is obviously very over him.

Wow, I thought he did well, but everyone in the pic is obviously very over him.

Back at the (still open) Holiday Sweets and Treats booth, it was the moment of truth. Could we get the free cookie for our efforts?

The husband told our tale of woe and the cast members kindly gave us our last reward cookie (though now that I look at the photo, I think they just really wanted him to go away).

Our reward was probably the best cookie of the night: A Mickey-shaped sugar cookie that was half covered in chocolate. Dipping a sugar cookie in chocolate is likely akin to dipping candy corn in frosting… adds the right amount of edibility.

Did I mention we got two of these? Don’t tell Santa, good lord.

Did I mention we got two of these? Don’t tell Santa, good lord.

This also reminded me of the gigantic chocolate-eared Mickey cookies sold in the Confectionary on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, of which I’ll buy then squirrel away in the back of a cabinet at home, approaching only in the dead of night to eat over the sink.

So, maybe we didn’t deserve the last cookie, but an honest effort was made. While we didn’t pay the $2 each for the Morocco/France and Canadian cookies, we certainly bought our weight in Japanese snacks, so there ya go, Disney.

Our passport, with a few ill-gotten stamps, sure.

Our passport, with a few ill-gotten stamps, sure.

The Cookie Stroll was cool because, as non-drinkers, my husband and I don’t have the same drink-around-the-world goals as most adults at Epcot. We frequent the food festivals, but scouting out a $7 salmon dish just isn’t as fun as knowing you’ll only blow $2 on a cookie.

It was nice to have a little scavenger hunt game that was cheap to play, and mostly (Play-Doh aside) delicious. Follow me on instagram to catch my next Disney adventure live on my stories.

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