Epcot’s Holidays Around the World event is amazing. It is awesome to have the opportunity to learn more about the traditions, culture and events during the holiday season in so many other countries. Disney created unique experiences and ways to discover and learn this information by using storytellers at each of the countries. There are also select food and beverage items as well as merchandise that varies from pavilion to pavilion for the holiday season. Here is a look at what each of the pavilions offer during Holidays Around the World:
1 – Mexico
The reds and greens in the flag and other décor for the pavilion help set the tone for the Christmas season. At this pavilion mariachis and dancers perform holiday songs that will have you dancing in the streets and leaving full of the holiday spirit.
2 – Norway
Sigrid comes out throughout the day and shares various stories about Norwegian Christmas traditions and stories, including one about Julenissen, a very mischievous gnome. Julenissen continuously interrupts the stories and causes a lot of laughs for guests of all ages. This is a very funny show and all ages will really enjoy this one. Note that the Holiday Passport lists the location as located at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. It’s actually beyond the seating area for the Kafe, in front of the new store, The Wandering Reindeer.
3 – China
The entertainment at the China pavilion never ceases to amaze guests time and time again. During the holiday season, the Lion Dances perform a dragon dance that is meant to ring in the Chinese New Year in a way that completely captivates the audiences. It gives guests a feel of the Chinese culture through dance.
4 – Germany
This is definitely one of my favorite pavilions during the holiday season. The pavilion has a Christmas store that is open year ‘round, so you will definitely be able to buy neat ornaments and nutcrackers from the shop. Helga appears periodically and tells the history and story of the nutcracker. The nutcracker actually comes out and you can get some really neat pictures of him, too.
5 – Italy
La Befana, an old woman in Italian folklore that delivers gives to children, tells the story of Epiphany. This is when La Befana would deliver toys to children on Epiphany Eve. She also tells other stories and traditions about the holiday in Italy that are very interesting to hear and learn more about. Definitely try to catch this one if you can.
6 – Japan
At this pavilion, you will learn more about the Japanese new year, O-Shogatsu. The Drauma doll is an important part of the story. The event is very educational and may not be as entertaining as some of the other performances. We find that it is still worth a listen at least once so that you can learn a lot of neat history about the Japanese new year.
7 – American Adventure
There are so many amazing things going on at this pavilion, and you will definitely want to make sure to catch them all. Here is where you can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Not only that you can hear storytellers talk about the history of Hannukah and Kwanzaa in very informative presentations about the holidays. The Voices of Liberty singers are dressed in Charles Dickens-styled attire and sing holiday classics and favorites at the pavilion. If that weren’t enough, the Candlelight Processional is performed at the amphitheater on most evenings throughout the season. This is the narration of the story of Christmas that is accompanied with performances from the choir. It is an extremely popular event and definitely one that you don’t want to miss.
8 – Morocco
There is a storyteller at the Morocco pavilion that comes out and shares information on various traditions and festivals that occur during the holiday season. The experience is also more on the educational side rather than being a focus on straight entertainment. The younger kiddos may not enjoy this one as much, but I always recommend that you experience things at least once, unless you are short on time and have to pick and choose.
9 – United Kingdom
Here is where you get to meet Father Christmas, the United Kingdom version of Santa Claus. He likely looks familiar to many guests, and appears in his green suit. He tells stories about the various traditions and history of Christmas in the United Kingdom. It is educational and entertaining, and we definitely feel like this one is worth a stop to see.
10 – France
This is where you get to meet Pere Noel, the French version of Santa Claus. He tells you about French traditions. Children in France leave out their shoes for goodies to be left in them. It is very interesting and we love the opportunity to see him in person. You make recognize his likeness on various holiday décor since he closely resembles Santa.
11 – Canada
Here you kick things up a notch with holiday musical entertainment. The band plays music that is inspired by Canadian holiday traditions that keep guests on their feet and ready to move. We don’t normally stay for the entire set, but like to hear the music as we meander through the pavilion and look around at the shops and merchandise.