EPCOT is always my favorite Park but once a year it transforms into something truly special. Christmas at EPCOT sparkles and shines in all of the right ways. Where Magic Kingdom is about all of the wonder and magic, EPCOT is about tradition and splendor. The International Festival of the Holidays is EPCOT’S main draw and, I think, most immersive festival. There’s just so much to do and unlike some of the others, it’s not just about spending money on food. Let’s dive in and check out what the Park is doing for this year’s festival:
The World Showcase is truly my favorite place during a Disney World Christmas. I love learning about the different countries and how their cultures celebrate Christmas (or their specific winter holiday). The best way to do that? The story tellers. In each of the countries you’ll find someone (usually dressed in a cultural costume and often depicting their version of Santa) telling stories about how they celebrate. My favorite is Italy and learning about La Befana, the Christmas witch who brings treats to good children and coal to bad ones. This year’s round up of storytellers can be found here.
This star studded event is a magical Disney tradition full of reverence and beauty. A choir sings Christmas songs while a celebrity narrator tells the Biblical Christmas story. The highlight for me is always the Hallelujah Chorus from. Handel’s Messiah. It is expertly sung by a choir of Disney Cast Members and a live orchestra. The crowd stands on the chorus as is tradition and it is just a really great way to tap into the spirit of Christmas. Check this out for the list of celebrity narrators that have signed on thus far. Protip: the more popular narrators (like Neil Patrick Harris) will fill quickly. To ensure your seat we HIGHLY recommend the Candlelight Processional dining package which includes a meal at a select EPCOT restaurant and a guaranteed seat at the show.
No EPCOT Festival is complete without food booths, am I right? These booths feature traditional winter and holiday fare from around the world. This year’s offerings haven’t been announced in full yet but when they are, we will be sure to update you!
Christmas and cookies go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Holiday Cookie Stroll is a fantastic way to try out different cookies. How it works: you pick up a (free) passport at most EPCOT retail locations and carry it with you to the holiday kitchens. When you purchase the cookie listed you’ll get a stamp. Collect 5 stamps and return the passport for a free treat (usually an exclusive cookie)! This year’s options are:
- Nochebuena Cocina: Alfajores – Vanilla Shortbread Cookie with Dulce de Leche and Coconut
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen: SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® Bar pieces
- L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White Cookie (plant-based)
- American Holiday Table: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer Cookie
- Holiday Hearth Desserts: Gingerbread Cookie
- Sunshine Seasons: M&M’s® Sugar Cookie
- Connections Café: Sugar Cookie
Throughout the day performances around World Showcase will highlight the spirit of the season and display the heart of the cultures they represent. Special performances include: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, and the Chinese Lion Dance. The Voices of Liberty also put on a special holiday show, dressed as Victorian carolers.
Over at Future World there are some exciting things happening as well!
Guardians of the Galaxy
This season, Disney’s newest attraction is celebrating in style! The Guardians are trading in their classic hits playlist for a mash-up of seasonal jams. Blast off to the tune of an awesome holiday single, bringing joy to Xandar and Terra, too. To find out what exactly is on the Holiday mix tape, click here.
Living With the Land: Merry and Bright Nights
This classic EPCOT attraction gets a serious dose of cheer during the Christmas season! With Christmas lights and festive decorations and even a surprise character or two! This simple but dazzling display should be a must-do for everyone else!
Joyful! A Gospel Celebration
While the show takes place at different locations each year (most recently in the Showplace pavilion), this celebration of music and Christmas should not be skipped. Their setlist has not been confirmed this year but group often mixes Christmas and Kwanzaa music into their show.
As you can see there is so much to do at EPCOT during the holidays that you can’t possibly get it all done in a single day. We highly recommend more than one day here during the Chriatmas season. With so much to see and do and discover, there’s always something else waiting around the corner! Protip: schedule one day for your Candlelight Processional dining experience and another just to taste your way around the holiday kitchens!