Welcome to EPCOT, a unique opportunity to indulge in some of the finest gourmet delicacies from around the world, all while enjoying the immersive atmosphere of authentic music and entertainment carefully selected from around the globe. And also The Donut Box.
Said Box situates itself in between Creations Shop, the replacement for MouseGear, which somehow smells even more like a sewer than before given the current state of construction. And then there’s Test Track on the other side, where you can reach top speeds that will probably feel slower than what you felt hauling yourself away from Hollywood Studios the day prior. It may not be just a feeling as the speed limit is actually higher. Thanks Florida Department of Transportation.
The good news, should you be holding out for something like the $36 worth of food from the Italy kiosk, or the disappointment of a Morimoto Asia reservation later in the evening, is that strolling by poopy exhaust on your way to the equivalent of a Dunkin’ Donuts that looks to be about three days away from foreclosure is all the more easy. The bad news is the donuts are pretty good and the beer is pretty rare on draft.
Since it was a day of the week, Test Track was closed at Park open, which cut the number of things to do at EPCOT roughly in half, resulting in a much longer line at the nearby kiosk that has offered everything from cheese sandwiches, to the one red wine we don’t say out loud in
Rosa Regale, to almost (but not quite) hamburgers.
Let’s see what novel concepts we have in store this year:
At least there’s Gingerbread Stout to wash down those $20 worth of donuts. I won’t mention that the Joffrey’s kiosk about 37.5 feet away sells larger, better donuts for less money all year. And they have Jameson drinks. And Grey Goose. But I digress.
- Pumpkin Cake Donut with Pumpkin Spice Icing – $5
- Holiday Donut with Coconut and Crisp Pearls – $5
- Chocolate Peppermint Donut – $5
- Eggnog-Cream-filled Donut with Cinnamon Icing and Crumbled Gingersnap Cookies – $5
- Gingerbread Milkshake – $4.50 or with the Finest Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka Money Can Buy for $11
- Guinness Gingerbread Stout – $5 for Six Ounces or $9 for Twelve Ounces
Pumpkin Cake Donut with Pumpkin Spice Icing – $5
Pumpkin spice and everything nice…ly dense with a sizable cake donut hiding underneath a generous slathering of icing that’s heavier on clove and allspice than what could be more aromatic cinnamon. Inevitable supply chain woes may impact our future endeavors, but it’s also possible that the cinnamon supply dwindled years ago when every teenager in America was eating it by the spoonful in search of internet fame/death, leaving behind only clove-y spreadable goop for the rest of us. Somebody should call Indonesia, which supplies about 40% of the world’s supply of cinnamon, and see if they can do anything for us. Or somebody could check the spice aisle at Costco, which is probably on the other side of the store since you last visited.
Either way, the December version of the Pumpkin Cake Donut may hit you during one of the two days of fall in Florida, when the flavor profile would be appropriate. The fact that the cake donut doesn’t pack more of a pumpkin-y punch is probably a good thing. It makes eating what turns out to be a monstrosity a little more manageable. You may need to hit the gym or do some pullups on the monkey bars at the nearby playground in order to lift the thing up.
In closing, this is basically a spiced, forgettable cake donut with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg icing that will sit in your stomach for the duration of your trip, and potentially the rest of your life. I can still feel mine. We enjoyed it, and it’s a great value on the calories-for-the-money front, but I’m not sure where something so heavy would fall into your day unless you were to quickly grab one after riding Test Track or something. The thing is so thick that it could probably be weaponized as a throwable object of destruction, but I’m not sure you want to be the Bond villain that has to change their murder device with the season. It’s not like there’s a Valentine’s Day version of the crowbar. Or at least that’s what I told the judge.
Holiday Donut with Coconut and Crisp Pearls – $5
We add a little more whimsy with this heavily-topped donut that’s much lighter and more yeasty underneath, not unlike an overloaded Krispy Kreme. The white chocolate crisps add some crunch, while the plentiful coconut shavings add a bit of a tropical vibe, at least if your visit to the equator passes through the food coloring plant. The wreath design is certainly precious, but this is more of a picture opportunity than the landmass that was the Pumpkin Spice Cake. Potentially, the fact that it’s lighter overall is a good thing; you might be hungry again just after you pass Italy, which is just the right time.
Chocolate Peppermint Donut – $5
I want you to trust me for a moment and close your eyes…but not yet…since you don’t know the full weight of the instructions. Hopefully nobody will be walking around with their eyes closed for the rest of their lives wondering what a chocolate donut sprinkled with peppermint tastes like. But that’s what I’d like you to imagine. But if you can’t, you can always stop by one of the 12 million locations around the country that sell donuts. The stars of the show are the rich chocolate ganache filling in the center, and the bright, fanciful little candy cane on top. The donut underneath is the same light, yeasty variety as the others that also aren’t pumpkin cake. I wouldn’t wait in line for it specifically, but it does exist.
Eggnog-Cream-filled Donut with Cinnamon Icing and Crumbled Gingersnap Cookies – $5
Oh good, there’s another one. If you didn’t catch the 14 minutes of fall in Florida, and no longer find interest in the vague flavor of pumpkin spice rolled into what could be an incendiary device, we have the same icing as our first cake donut. Only now it’s on top of the breezier, yeasty version that’s also now filled with an eggnog cream and topped with crunchy…excuse me…snappy gingersnap pieces.
This is far and away the most interesting option available with the soft donut filled about halfway through with a light, yolky eggnog-ish custard. It makes for a more manageable concoction, and isn’t something you could pick up at your local Kroger for 99 cents like the other three options. Probably. The gingersnap pieces add a nice contrasting crunch that complements the sizable amount of icing well. It would be my choice overall.
Gingerbread Milkshake – $4.50 or with the Finest Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka Money Can Buy for $11
Just in case you’re concerned about meeting your gingerbread quota for the day, or you need a little alcohol to ease the fact that you spent $20 on $6 worth of donuts at a theme park, there is the Gingerbread Milkshake. Ours is perspiring a bit with the alcohol melting the whipped cream on top. We better get to it.
But like last year, you still get a little gingerbread person swimming in it all. If only we could all live that life. The cup here is exclusive to Annual Passholders and/or people who can locate an Annual Passholder to purchase one of the Shakes for the same money as it would cost in an ordinary plastic cup.
I thought the shake was delightfully refreshing on what was already becoming a pretty hot day. The ginger is actually a bit sweet and warming with the whipped cream adding more creamy sugar. Compared to other drinks, the portion size is decent and the semi-reusable cup for Passholders is a nice touch considering a set of Mickey and Friends stickers is like $4,000 now.
Guinness Gingerbread Stout – $5 for Six Ounces or $9 for Twelve Ounces
It’s possible that Ginger Box doesn’t have the same ring to it as Donut Box, but if the root of the flowering plant is your thing, you’ve certainly come to the right place. I can’t recall being quite this gingered-out since having a red-haired roommate for a few years in college.
Straight out of Baltimore….yes…that Baltimore…comes the Gingerbread Stout with the Guinness name attached. Don’t confuse this one with the bourbon-barrel-aged version, which would knock most people out one way or another at a whopping 11% ABV. The beer is a winter warmer with cinnamon, spice, and everything nice…ly ginger again as that is the theme of this place. The Stout is a limited edition offering that’s largely available only on the east coast, so you may want to give it a whirl if you’re not gingered out by the Gingerbread Shake, and Gingersnaps, and Ginger Icing covering everything else. This enjoys a much mellower overall presence. Given the beer’s scarcity, and admirably smooth 6% ABV, I’d recommend trying it if you haven’t seen it on store shelves. Plus, it’s on draft here.
Overall, anyone who enjoys beer should strongly consider the Guinness, even if you’re not a fan of their traditional Irish offerings. I might choose one donut to share between each pair of two or three people or you’re going to be bogged down by the time you get up to some of the more interesting options in World Showcase.
We’ll stay on this side of EPCOT since I don’t know what the other side of the theme park is called anymore and hit up Chestnuts and Good Cheer next.