‘Tis the season for Epcot International Festival of the Holidays highlights. With this yuletide celebration growing in popularity, you need to add this one to your “Nice List.” This is NOT the Holidays Around the World of olde. Make your Walt Disney World Resort vacation merry with these Top 5 Sights and Sounds From Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. (OK, make that tastes as well!)
This year, the Festival runs from November 18 to December 30. Epcot’s World Showcase becomes fully alive with the sights of poinsettias, the sounds of gospel singers, the smells of nutmeg, the tastes of Christmas cookies, and the touch of the Festival scavenger hunt in hand.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Highlights
Just don those jingle bells and let’s go!
Live Musical Productions
Music fills the park, and not simply with familiar Christmas carols. Yet, it is the sounds from around the world that captivate.
Mostly Kosher performs with fully-entertaining Hanukkah and Klezmer music. (And all in the shadow of the Morocco Pavilion. I loved the international goodwill relations on display!)
JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
Gospel singers greet you at the entrance of the park. Do NOT miss this high energy, toe-tapping welcome to the Festival! I promise you, this was a popular feature in 2017. Unfortunately, because I streamed it on Facebook My Story all evidence of it is gone. Sob. You’ll have to experience it for yourself!
Though this Festival follows the incredibly popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, the yuletide tastes and holiday “chEAR” stand up to foodie scrutiny.
Last year, the Turkey and Sauerbraten dishes had me singing Fa la la la la.
Unfortunately full menus have not yet been released. However, the Holiday Kitchens from 2017 included:
Alsace Holiday Kitchen
American Holiday Table
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
Cookie Nook Holiday Kitchen
Feast of the Three Kings
Hokkaido Holiday Kitchen
Las Posadas Holiday Kitchens
Shanghai Holiday Kitchen
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen
Tarabaki Holiday Kitchen
Yukon Holiday Kitchen
I expect bigger, better, and ho-ho-ho-ier this year. That’s the Disney way, no?
The Christmas story in song. There is nothing more moving, either in or outside of church, than the Candlelight Processional. Surely this Disney tradition leads the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays highlights. Please note that this event does not begin until Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. This year’s Celebrity Narrator schedule includes some new voices.
- Chita Rivera – November 22 to 23, 2018
- NEW! Helen Hunt – November 24 to 25, 2018
- NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 26 to 27, 2018
- TBD – November 28 to December 2, 2018
- Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
- Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
- NEW! Bart Millard – December 10 to 12, 2018
- Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
- Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
- Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
- NEW! Auli’i Cravalho – December 21 to 23, 2018
- Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
- Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
- Cal Ripken Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2018
Unfortunately, Disney Legend Kurt Russell is not on the 2018 lineup. He brought goosebumps to the America Gardens Theatre last year!
All 11 countries around World Showcase take part in sharing their cultural winter celebrations with Guests. Listen to Japanese New Year customs. Learn of the French tradition of children leaving out their shoes for to fill by Père Noël. The story of the Epiphany is re-told by Italy’s La Benafa. And the original history of the German nutcracker will delight you. You’ll certainly come away with a deeper appreciation for our glorious global differences. Unforgettable.
Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
As with most Epcot Festivals, big and little kids need their scavenger hunts to burn off the hot cocoa. This Christmas wreath version is adorable. And with or without the Holiday Kir, not easy to complete! More than once we may have asked a Cast Member for a clue. (Which they are happy to do. But don’t expect too much information. You still have to earn it!) Chip and Dale end up in the darndest of places. And yes, there is a treat in the end!
Jiminy, reviewing these Epcot International Festival of the Holidays highlights has me dreaming of a white Christmas. AND a return to sunny Walt Disney World this holiday season.