Pineapple Promenade takes over for what nobody probably remembers as Promenade Refreshments, given that the kiosk is only called that when a Festival isn’t going on, which is down to around seven hours a year. I’ve actually been hearing some “rumors” that Epcot is going to offer all of its Festivals concurrently. So if you’re in a Christmas-y mood, the cast member taking your order will fiddle around for a Santa hat, put it on their head, and serve you hot cocoa with a smile whether it’s Christmas Day or July 4th. What a time to be alive.
Both food items return as does the Pineapple Mana Wheat Beer, Sparkling Pineapple Wine, and Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade. The Coco Pina Gose, Goin’ Coastal IPA, Violet Lemonade Ale, and Pineapple Soft-serve with Fanta are all new.
Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips – $7.50
I’m not sure why Disney has gone to the full size dog here rather than offering smaller samples like the other booths. Fortunately for Dining Plan users, the full size version is available for a snack credit. I like this hot dog a lot, but it’s a bit of a gut bomb if you don’t share it, so just keep the required tummy space in mind before committing. The hot dog has a nice snap to it and the spice doesn’t immediately hit you – but rather lingers after each bite. The pineapple chutney does a nice job of adding some fruity, tropical flavors that “feel” almost Hawaiian and the sauce further helps mellow the spice. The plantain chips further the tropical vibe and add a crunch that contrasts nicely with the softness of the fresh bun and chew of the dog. Very good though I would more happily pay $3.75 for half.
Pineapple Soft-Serve – $5, with Fanta for $5.75, or with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum – $10.25
This is the same Dole Whip that’s served at a variety of locations around Walt Disney World, only here at a higher price for a smaller portion. It’s a better buy at Magic Kingdom or the Polynesian, but this is about what they serve at Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Animal Kingdom for around the same money. It’s here if you have to have it at Epcot.
Value: Lower than elsewhere/10
Pineapple Beer Flight with Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, and SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple – $9.50
The Coco Pina Gose is on the sour side like other beers of this style, with a distinct pineapple vibe up front that continues through the sip, ending with just a little bit of coconut to go along with the lingering flavor of the pineapple. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly worth trying as part of the flight.
The Pineapple Mana is, as the name implies, pineapple-forward with a prominent wheat flavor. Given how strongly the beer smells like pineapple, it’s surprising that the sweetness is much more mild with a dry finish. I didn’t love it, but it’s worth trying.
I’m an IPA guy, so my favorite is the SweetWater Goin’ Coastal IPA, which would be a relatively bitter beer if not for the sweet tropical pineapple juice flavor that helps temper things. It wouldn’t be my go-to, but it sure tastes good in the heat.
I’d definitely give this one a try if you like interesting tropical beers.
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine – $11.75
Here it is from a couple of years ago. With rising wine prices, $11.75 isn’t terrible considering the $30 retail price. You might remember that Fleur de Lys in France is selling $8/bottle wine for $5/cup and the pour is shorter than this. But as recently as two years ago, this exact same pour was $6, while the retail price on the bottle stayed exactly the same. The wine arrives with a low ABV, but is still somehow unpleasantly alcohol-forward with am artificial pineapple flavor. The Key Lime version from Florida Fresh tastes a lot better.
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade – $4.25
While this originally debuted in 2013 at a price of $2.50, the Desert Violet Lemonade has grown increasingly popular. There’s a little bit of a floral, lavender flavor with a little bit of tart lemon. But it’s mostly sugar.
Definitely try one to see what all of the fuss is about, even if the cup is on the small side for the price Disney is asking.
Overall, the Spicy Hot Dog is just about as much food as you can get for the money at the Festival. It’s not as interesting as some of the other dishes, but it’s quite satisfying, particularly for a snack credit. I’d also look at the Beer Flight and Desert Violet Lemonade to round out your order.