The Marketplace Formerly Known as “The Almond Orchard Hosted By Blue Diamond Almonds Almond Breeze Almondmilk” (seriously) is called “Shimmering Sips” again this year. I would guess the signage was less expensive given the shorter name. Thus, no sponsor is necessary. If anything, those bubbles glisten all the more brightly against all the plastic this year. You might remember Sips from 2018 when it was located inside what was still the Festival Center at what will become the PLAY! Pavilion. I would implore you to keep up with all of these changes, but realistically, you’ve probably got a couple of years to study. This is the first official Marketplace that you’ll see on the Promenade if you’re beginning your walk around World Showcase on the Canada side.
Unfortunately, we’ve lost the Banana Soft-Serve Ice Cream. We do gain bread, though. It’s that kind of year.
Shimmering Strawberry Soft-serve in a Waffle Cone – $5.25
After figuring out that you don’t have a lot of time to down this overflowing ice cream cone filled with deliciously-sweet Strawberry Soft Serve before it melts, Disney now plops it in a plastic cup for more of a sundae situation. The Waffle Cone is sizable with a lot of jimmies clinging to the top of it via a layer of chocolate and then even more pink shimmering sprinkles on top. The soft serve is light and refreshing, but also very sweet and artificial-tasting. On the plus side, there is quite a bit of it, and it’s now easier to eat with a spoon.
Plant-based Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote – $4.50
While I typically pretend to know what I’m talking about, under some amount of duress, I would admit that my experience with plant-based bread is limited. Ordinarily, my eyes would gloss over anything vegan that wasn’t intended to be a vegetable, but it’s not uncommon for some of the best dishes at Walt Disney World to be vegan/vegetarian/plant-based. My estimation is that this is because it takes a lot more to prove plant-based items than it does something like beef stew. If I was hosting a food festival, I would probably have steak on the menu, even if it was bad. You’d have to convince me on the vegan bread front. Thus, the vegan items are typically tastier than you might expect.
The song remains the same here with the banana working to bind the ingredients together without the need for eggs. The bread ends up being surprisingly airy with a natural, sweet banana flavor that works as a trusty base for the freshly-sliced fruit and dollop of whipped coconut topping. I liked the crispiness of the top of the bread, which contrasted nicely with the creaminess of the non-cream and firm berries. The price and portion are fair for the money.
The Mimosas – $6 Each
From left to right at the top, your choice of a a Key Lime Mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice; a Tropical Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juices; and a Blood Orange Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Blood Orange Juice.
The Mimosas are on the inexpensive side, but they’re typically pre-made and at least half juice, if not more, making for an overwhelmingly cloying, thick, juicy mouthfeel with just a hint of sparkling wine present. The Lime version is easily the least sweet, so go in that direction if you’re in the mood for something more tart. I’d only recommend the other two if you’re after juice more than wine.
Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red – $10