The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays celebrates holiday traditions from around the world through storytelling and music presented throughout World Showcase. It’s one of four festivals offered at Epcot, and it’s one of our favorites! We recently enjoyed a preview of what’s coming to this year’s festival. Catch all the details below.
1 – Celebrate the Holidays at Epcot
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays runs from November 29-December 30, 2019. You’ll be immersed in holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine, and costumed storytellers in many of the eleven World Showcase nations. There is something for everyone during this festival.
Check out this video from Disney cast members, Rick DeCicco and Chelsea Florig, who share experiences that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
Learn more about what they shared below.
2 – NEW – Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights
A new offering this year is ‘Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights.’ Usually, Living with the Land closes at 7:00 pm. During the Festival of the Holidays, however, you can experience the attraction and greenhouses like never before! The greenhouses are all lit up and decorated for the holidays. It’s a really great addition to the land. Chad could ride this attraction all night long! We were able to get a sneak peek at the new overlay. Catch a glimpse in the video below!
3 – Candlelight Processional
Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition – the Candlelight Processional – features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances will run three times nightly during the festival. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
6 – Holiday Cookie Stroll
Back this year is the Holiday Cookie Stroll. First, make sure you pick up a Festival Passport. Then, to participate, purchase any five cookies from the Holiday Cookie Stroll locations. Collect a matching stamp for each cookie your purchase. Then, bring your stamped Festival Passport to the Holiday Sweets and Treats kitchen in Showcase Plaza for a complimentary Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie.
Official Cookie Stroll Locations
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen at the Germany Pavilion Linzer Cookie
- American Holiday Table at the America Pavilion Gingerbread Cookie
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen at the Canada Pavilion Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie
- Feast of the Three Kings near the Mexico Pavilion Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
- L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen between the Morocco and France Pavilions Black-and-White Cookie
5 – Holiday Kitchens
Over the past few years, Epcot has expanded its culinary holiday offerings during Holidays Around the World from single dishes to holiday kitchens with multiple choices of food and drink. There are so many fantastic holiday kitchens, each bringing the flavors of the season to life. We highly recommend stopping by the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada. We really enjoyed the Maple Buche de Noel (maple mousse rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake with cranberry sauce, and pecan crumble). Please note that the availability of some holiday kitchen offerings may be limited. All menu items are subject to change without notice.
6 – Holiday Storytellers
Epcot’s Holiday Storytellers are a wonderful way to learn about holiday customs and stories from around the world. New this year, between Morocco and France, is a Hanukkah Storyteller who shares legends, tells tales, and sings songs, highlighting Hanukkah celebrations throughout the world. In Norway, you can meet Sigrid as she tells the Christmas story, but is interrupted by Julenilssen, a sneaky and mischievous Christmas gnome. Italy presents La Befana, a witch who comes on the Eve of epiphany to give gifts to good children. In Japan, you will learn the customs of the Japanese New Year and the story of the Daruma doll. France’s Storyteller is Père Noël, who shares the joy of Christmas with a story from a child. In the United Kingdom, you will meet Father Christmas, who shares the traditions of the United Kingdom. Storytellers appear throughout the day, and performance times can be found on the times guide and in the Festival Passport.
7 – Holiday Entertainment
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase, as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music and time-honored traditions.
Disney cast members, Bruce Skinner-Light and David Baldree, discuss some of the excellent entertainment offerings at this year’s festival. Check out the video below:
As Bruce shared, returning again is JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season. This performance features a blend of soul, Gospel, Jazz, and R&B Music to celebrate the Christmas and Kwanzaa like no other! There are several showtimes daily, check your times guide for performance times.
8 – Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
Chip and Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree. To get started, simply purchase a map and sticker book from select merchandise locations, including Pin Central, Disney Traders, and World Traveler at International Gateway. As you travel around World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip and Dale as they gather ornaments from holiday decorations in each World Showcase pavilion. Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map. Then, take your completed map to Disney Traders and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip and Dale!
9 – Festival of the Holidays Merchandise
Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers, and more. In addition to those items, there are a lot of great Festival of the Holidays merchandise options available to purchase throughout World Showcase.
10 – Santa and Mrs. Claus
Children and adults alike have the chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Adventure pavilion. They are available throughout the day at specific times, so be sure to check your times guide for when they will be appearing. This is a very popular spot, so be sure to line up early!
11 – Enjoy Epcot Forever
The 2019 Festival of the Holidays is the perfect time to catch the all-new, yet temporary, nighttime spectacular at Epcot. The new show celebrates the past, present, and future of Epcot. It is a showcase of soaring fireworks, inspiring music, lasers, and colorful glowing kites flying above and around the park’s World Showcase Lagoon that you don’t want to miss! Click here to learn more about temporary nighttime spectacular.
Whether you are interested in learning about the customs and traditions of another country or trying out some traditional holiday foods from around the world, Epcot’s Holidays Around the World has something for everyone. With so many great storytellers, entertainment offerings, food, and the Candlelight Processional, you might need to visit more than once to fit in everything you want to see and do!
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