The season for all things merry and bright also brings one of my favorite events to Epcot, the Festival of the Holidays. This festival is unique because not only do you get to try special holidays dishes from all the countries in the World Showcase, but you also get to learn and take part in the holiday traditions that each country offers as well. It’s a beautiful experience and a wonderful way to make the holiday season even more special.
I was thrilled to be invited to the media preview for the Festival of the Holidays where I was able to sample some of the amazing dishes, check out the new merchandise, and get a sneak peek at the entertainment coming to this year’s festival.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is the food. The Festival of the Holidays is the perfect place to try various holiday dishes featuring the 11 countries in the World Showcase.
We were able to sample some new offerings from a few of these holiday kitchens during the preview event. Take a look at some delicious dishes at this year’s festival:
Holiday Sweets & Treats
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
Yukon Holiday Kitchen
L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
These are just a few of the amazing offerings you can expect at this year’s festival, as well as a holiday cookie stroll. This fun activity features 5 locations where you can purchase a sweet treat and receive a stamp for your festival passport at each location. Once completed you can turn it in for a complimentary Santa Mickey sugar cookie.
The entertainment at this year’s festival is sure to offer some fun that the whole family will enjoy.
JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
This group will be performing Gospel, R&B and holiday songs including Christmas and Kwanzaa. We had a chance to watch them perform during the preview event and they were unbelievable! Make sure to catch one of their shows during the festival season.
Living With The Land: Merry and Bright Nights
One of Epcot’s popular rides will be getting a holiday overlay during the festival season as well. Once the sun sets, this ride will come alive with beautiful holiday lights placed all throughout the greenhouse portion. We were able to get a sneak peek of it during the preview as well.
A guest favorite and one that I cannot wait to experience this season is the Candlelight Processional. This beautiful event features a celebrity narrator telling the story of Christmas alongside a musical choir and 50- piece orchestra.
Showtimes are 5:00pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm.
Celebrity lineup includes:
November 29 through December 1
Neil Patrick Harris
December 2 through December 5
December 6 and 7
December 8 through 10
December 11 through 12
December 13 through 15
December 16 through 18
December 19 through 21
Steven Curtis Chapman
December 22 through 24
Edward James Olmos
December 25 and 26
December 27 and 28
December 29 and 30
There are also dinner packages with guaranteed seating available for purchase. Restaurants include:
Ale & Compass – Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Biergarten Restaurant– Germany pavilion
Chefs de France– France pavilion
Coral Reef Restaurant– The Seas pavilion
Garden Grill Restaurant– The Land pavilion
La Hacienda de San Angel– Mexico pavilion
San Angel Inn Restaurante– Mexico pavilion
Nine Dragons Restaurant– China pavilion
Restaurant Marrakesh– Morocco pavilion
Spice Road Table– Morocco pavilion
Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room– United Kingdom pavilion
Teppan Edo– Japan pavilion
Tokyo Dining– Japan pavilion
Trattoria Al Forno– Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
Tutto Italia Ristorante– Italy pavilion
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria– Italy pavilion
One of the festival’s highlights are the amazing storytellers that help to bring the holiday traditions of the various countries to life. These amazing actors take guests on a beautiful, cultural experience unique to each of the countries in the World Showcase. Father Christmas showed up at the preview event to ring in the season with us, but you will be able to hear him share his Christmas tale at the UK Pavilion once the festival officially opens.
Others include Père Noël sharing Christmas traditions in the France Pavilion, Sigrid in Norway sharing the stories of a Magical Barn Santa, Las Posadas in Mexico featuring the music of Mariachi Cobre, and even a meet and greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the American Adventure. Check festival guide for all the storytellers performing and showtimes.
Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
Epcot’s festival scavenger hunts are one of our favorite activities. During the Festival of the Holidays, Chip and Dale will be hiding all around the World Showcase. After purchasing a map for $6.99 plus tax, you must try to spot them and place the corresponding sticker. Once your map is completed, you can turn it in at Disney Traders or World Traveler for a festive surprise.
This new addition to this year’s festival will have guests learning all about each country’s holiday traditions as well as tips and ideas for photo opportunities throughout the park and ways to celebrate the holidays.
Other entertainment opportunities also include the Green Landing – Family Play Zone and the Voices of Liberty singing holiday favorites.
This year’s merchandise theme will feature our favorite chipmunks, Chip ‘n’ Dale. Items will include a spirit jersey, light bulb bag and mug, ornament, and a cookie stroll cookie jar.
The Festival of the Holidays is the perfect way to enjoy the season in a unique and special way. As you travel through the World Showcase, you can celebrate the various holiday traditions, sample seasonal food and beverages, and enjoy live entertainment. It is one of my favorite festivals and a great way to enjoy the holiday season at Walt Disney World!
The Festival of the Holidays starts November 29th through December 30th, 2019. For more information visit the Walt Disney World website.
A huge thank you to the Walt Disney World Resort for the invitation!