Epcot has the Cookie Stroll for Festival of the Holidays. Disney Springs has the Christmas Tree Stroll. Why not have a little DVC holiday stroll? Well, during our Thanksgiving trip Timothy and I did just that. Come along with us as we visit the Beach Club, BoardWalk, and Riviera for the holidays!
Our festive adventure began at the Beach Club, where we were staying this trip. As soon as we hopped off of the Magical Express and into the lobby, I could see the Christmas trees and the garlands that were hanging along the balconies. I loved that the decorations were specifically themed to the Beach Club with starfish, sea horses, fish, sea shells, and the like. It seemed that every room had some sort of holiday decor. The Solarium had its own tree as did the lobby, Drawing Room, and Breezeway on the Villas side of the resort.
At the Beach Club Marketplace, there were a few different holiday bakery offerings: signature stollen bread, guava cheese bread ring, fudge trio, chocolate crinkle cookies, gingerbread Mickey head, and a vegan/gluten friendly chocolate peppermint brownie. You can also purchase a gingerbread carousel, which was on display at the front desk. It looked like a miniature replica of the gingerbread carousel that is normally present in the Beach Club lobby during the holidays. I thought the miniature one is too pretty to eat!
I opted for the chocolate crinkle cookies, which were $5.19 per pack. There were about 5-6 small cookies in each package. These were probably my favorite of the holiday treats since they were basically miniature versions of the chocolate crinkle cookies you can get at the American Holiday Table at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays. They had a strong cocoa flavor that contrasted nicely with all the powdered sugar on top, and the texture is pillowy soft. I liked them so much that I ended up getting the large version at Epcot later in the trip. I regret that I didn’t buy one more package to take home to New York.
From the boardwalk, you can see the massive tree in the center of the Village Green. In the lobby, there was yet another tree, and lots of garlands between the columns and along the fireplace where you can find Lucy the Elephant. Just as the decorations at the Beach Club were sea-themed, the ones at the BoardWalk echoed the carnival theme of the resort. If you looked closely at the trees and garlands, there were a lot of carousel themed ornaments.
We found some holiday goodies at BoardWalk Bakery, such as gingerbread cookies, macaroons, and peppermint bark, but this time I chose a savory holiday menu item: the Gobbler Sandwich for $10.49. It had hot roasted turkey, Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry relish, and turkey gravy and was served on a house baked ciabatta with a side of chips. It was a hearty sandwich, and I liked the combination of the sweet cranberry sauce and the savory flavor of the stuffing with the turkey. The ciabatta got a little soggy with the gravy, but overall the sandwich was like having your traditional Thanksgiving meal in sandwich form. I think the holiday turkey sandwich at Earl of Sandwich is better, but this was a decent quick service option before heading over to Hollywood Studios.
If you’re looking for other holiday sweets at the BoardWalk, the Screen Door General Store bakery case had a few options as well, including Christmas themed candied apples, cookies, cupcakes, and rice crispy treats.
We took a bus from Disney Springs to hop over to Riviera. It was actually the first time that we went through the front entrance of the resort as opposed to the back of the lobby that is closer to the Skyliner. As soon as we got to the lobby entrance, we could see plenty of Christmas wreaths lining the porte-cochere and accenting the “Welcome Home” sign. Within the lobby itself, there were few decorations other than some garlands around the staircase banister, wreaths, and a small Christmas tree by the seating area. However, I felt like the decorations suited the minimalist style of the lobby. The ornaments had a very modern look with lots of silver and gold geometric shapes though I thought I spotted a few hidden Mickeys.
After a bit of shopping at La Boutique, we headed to Le Petit Cafe to scope out the pastries. There we found the usual fruit tarts, madeleines, and bouchon brownies along with a few holiday selections like the seasonal cupcake that was decorated for Thanksgiving, the pumpkin mousse, and chocolate covered gingerbread Mickey cookies. We went for the gingerbread cookies for $5.99. They came in a pack of two. The cookies were slightly larger than the ones at the Beach Club Marketplace and were beautifully embossed with the Riviera logo. One cookie had the logo in gold, and the other had the logo printed across the chocolate coating. Considering that we ended up eating the cookies the following morning for breakfast, they were still very soft and had just the right amount of spice. I don’t normally love gingerbread cookies since most that I have had are hard and not nearly as tasty as they are pretty, but I did enjoy the ones from Le Petit Cafe. Timothy thought they were perfect with his coffee.
If you’re concerned about the parks being busier during the holidays, visiting the resorts and checking out the decorations and goodies is a great way to escape the crowds. Timothy and I had a lot of fun creating our own little DVC holiday stroll and enjoying some resort time. If you’ve already had a chance to visit the resorts for the holidays, let me know in the comments below which decorations and treats were your favorites!