The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Presented by AdventHealth that celebrates joyous holiday traditions from around the globe runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 30, 2019, and features a variety of yuletide decorations, flavors, family-friendly activities, and of course, the ever-popular “Candlelight Processional.”
There’s something magical about the Christmas season. It seems to bring out the best in people. The warm glow of Christmas lights adds to the warmth and sparkle of the season. We long for this season and count down the days until we can decorate for ourselves.
One of my favorite seasons at Walt Disney World is Christmas. There is something special about watching Cinderella Castle glisten in the night while street lamps are decked out in red and green. In the past, one of our favorite things to do when we visited was to visit Walt Disney World Resorts and see towering Christmas trees covered with bright shiny Christmas ornaments and wrapped in ribbon just so. The smell of gingerbread filling the lobbies as guests walked around to see the gingerbread creations the chefs had made. It’s the most magical.
But we’ve never been to the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
The time is now and I am so excited to share with you ALL that there is to see and do. Are you interested in shopping, watching live performances, or strolling through Epcot eating cookies? Whatever your preference, there is something for everyone.
Festival of the Holidays
The annual yuletide festival at Epcot celebrates holiday traditions of World Showcase cultures with live musical productions, spirited storytellers, seasonal lights and décor, delicious holiday treats and so much more.
The beloved, long-running Candlelight Processional invites guests to experience the story of Christmas narrated by a celebrity host to the cherished Christmas music performed by a professional orchestra and full choir. Dining packages offer guaranteed Candlelight seating. The Candlelight Processional will be performed 96 times at Epcot this holiday season with a 50-piece orchestra, mass choir, and 12 different celebrity narrators.
Who are the celebrity narrators? Let’s see!
This year, the following celebrity line-up will lend their talents to the performance:
- Ming-Na Wen – November 29 through December 1
- Neil Patrick Harris – December 2 through December 5
- Whoopi Goldberg – December 6 and 7
- Isabella Rossellini – December 8 through 10
- Chita Rivera – December 11 through 12
- Gary Sinise – December 13 through 15
- Pat Sajak – December 16 through 18
- Warwick Davis – December 19 through 21
- Steven Curtis Chapman – December 22 through 24
- Edward James Olmos – December 25 and 26
- Marlee Matlin – December 27 and 28
- Lisa Ling – December 29 and 30
AHHH!! I can not wait to go to one of the performances!! Did you know the Candlelight Processional stage at America Gardens Theatre features 2 Christmas trees that are each 18 feet tall?! It’s going to be amazing!!
Festival Storytellers From Around the World
Did you know that between November 29th and December 30th, you can listen to storytellers from around the world share traditions of Christmas and holidays?
Mexico: Las Posadas Celebration
Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre.
Norway: A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa
Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller.
China: Chinese Lion Dancer
Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year.
Germany: Chilli Da Mur – NEW!
Join as this accomplished German vocal group celebrates the season with folk music, pop, and original songs.
Italy: La Befana
Listen to the tale of La Befana, a kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping children on the eve of the Epiphany.
The American Adventure: Santa and Mrs. Claus
Enjoy a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who have slipped away from their workshop at the North Pole to bring good cheer to you this holiday season.
Japan: Daruma Storyteller
Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!
Morocco: Festivity in Morocco
Join in as a lively band recreates the fun of street festivals and the holiday season across Morocco.
Between France & Morocco: Hanukkah Storyteller
Join the storyteller Zachary as he shares legends, tells tales and sings songs, highlighting Hanukkah celebrations throughout the world.
France: Père Noël
Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child.
United Kingdom: Father Christmas
Join Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer.
Canada: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
Explore holiday customs from across the vast regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North.
Holiday Cookie Stroll
At the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays media preview, they let us decorate gingerbread men! Let me tell you that decorating those little guys is much harder than it looks! While you can’t decorate your own, you can eat them!
Don’t forget to grab your Festival Passport and stroll through World Showcase to find the 5 official cookie stroll locations. At each location, you will find a delicious dessert for purchase and a stamp for your Festival Passport! Once you’ve collected 5 stamps, just bring your Passport to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to receive a complimentary Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie! YUM!!
Where are the Official Cookie Stroll Locations? I’m so glad you asked! At the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany Pavilion, you will find the Linzer Cookie. The Gingerbread Cookie can be found at American Holiday Table in the America Pavilion. Don’t miss the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie at Yukon Holiday Kitchen at the Canada Pavilion. Yummy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies can be found at the Feast of the Three Kings near the Mexico Pavilion. L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen between the Morocco and France Pavilions will be the place to get your Black-and-White Cookie.
The Holiday Cookie Stroll is fun for all ages! But don’t feel like you have to finish it all in one day. You can bring your stamped Passport to Epcot at any time during the Festival of the Holidays to complete your stroll!! You can even purchase a cookie jar to hold the leftover cookies!
Holiday Festival Merchandise
Your hosts for Festival of the Holidays this year are Chip and Dale! They are super festive and sure to be a little mischievous from time to time.
There is so much great merchandise coming to the Festival. Here is Will to tell us more about it.
Chip ‘n’ Dale Holiday Gear
Go nuts this season with gifts from our fun Festival collection. Apparel, giftware, and ornaments—featuring these merry pranksters in their festive finery—are available throughout Epcot.
- Adult Long-Sleeve Tee
- Spirit Jersey
- Light Bulb Crossbody Bag
- Light Bulb Mug
- Chip ‘n Dale Ornament
- Cookie Stroll Cookie Jar
I can not wait to grab that Annual Passholder ornament to hang on our Christmas tree. Those pins are amazing too.
I’m looking forward to going around World Showcase to find Chip and Dale as they collect ornaments for their Christmas tree! What do you think their festive surprise for us could be?
Shop around the World for unique finds and gift-giving inspiration awaits you at the Holiday Markets at World Showcase.
- Mexico – Plaza de los Amigos
- Norway – The Fjording
- Outpost – Reinhard Herzog
- Germany – Die Weihnachts Ecke and Der Teddybar
- Italy – Il Bel Cristallo
- The American Adventure
- France – La Signature and Plume et Palette
- United Kingdom – The Tea Caddy
- Canada – Northwest Mercantile
Characters in their Festive Outfits to Celebrate Festival of the Holidays
Have you ever seen Chip and Dale look so adorable?
Belle is ready to greet guests as the Beast decorates the castle.
Santa Goofy is definitely one not to be missed.
Of course, Mickey and Minnie will be there but sadly, I missed pictures with them. I did have lots of fun with Chip and Dale though.
Magical Floral Deliveries for the Holidays
Add magic for an in-room celebration with Disney Floral and Gifts. These personalized celebrations are set up in your Walt Disney World Resort® room for birthdays, anniversaries, or just to say “Welcome!” Your loved one will love the surprise of an exclusive celebration prepared just for them!
Visiting during Christmas? Perfect! Disney Floral and Gifts has you covered for the Holidays with both big Christmas trees and small Christmas trees, balloon wreaths, and stockings. Plus there is an extra special gift if you are visiting Walt Disney World for the first time during the Holidays.
Living with the Land Holiday Overlay
One of my favorite attractions at Epcot is Living with the Land. It’s a must ride every time we visit. I am SO EXCITED about this Holiday Overlay! As the sun goes down, the lights come up. Take a look at our video below:
Don’t forget about the FOOD!! There is so much yummy food that will be available during the Epcot Festival of the Holidays. Sadly, there isn’t a ton of gluten-free options but there are some! Stay tuned to Instagram Stories for a review of those!