• Epcot International Festival of Holidays Must Do's

    By: Shelley Caran


    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The Epcot International Festival of Holidays fills the park with holiday magic, international seasonal delicacies, captivating live entertainment, and festive decor daily until December 30, 2018.

    And the best gift of all? Most of what you can experience is included with your theme park admission!

    The Festival is a great way for families to learn about and even celebrate Holiday traditions from around the world, and at this year’s Epcot International Festival of Holidays you can also experience a new Holiday Cookie Stroll as well as new food and beverage items at Holiday Kitchens throughout Epcot. 

    With so much to do, I thought I would share my Epcot International Festival of the Holidays must do’s!

    Try a tasty teats at the Holiday Kitchens 

    At the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays  you can savor holiday dishes and beverages from across the globe at 12 specialty kitchens set around the park’s World Showcase. 

    New items this year include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains, and olives at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen. 

    AND a brand-new kitchen this year, L’Chaim!, will feature traditional Jewish dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, and more. I can tell you that this Holiday Kitchen is an ABSOLUTE MUST DO!!!!

    If you want to find out a COMPLETE list of what you can find at each Holiday Kitchen, visit the official Festival website to plan your culinary celebration!

    Three words…Holiday Cookie Stroll 

    New this year is the Holiday Cooke Stroll where you can enjoy delicious cookies from cookie stroll locations around World Showcase. 

    As they indulge in these sweet treats, they may collect stamps for each cookie, and if you get all five stamps you will be rewarded with a complimentary “completer” cookie and a cold glass of milk! 

    Candlelight Processional 

    Candlelight Processional is the heart of Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays, and is a retelling of the story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra in a performance that inspires joy and holiday spirit. 

    This elegant showcase is performed three times nightly at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 PM through December 30, 2018 at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot’s World Showcase.

    Here’s a list of this year’s remaining celebrity narrators: 

    • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 26 to 27, 2018
    • Robby Benson – November 28 to 30, 2018
    • John Stamos – December 1 to 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

    Seating for Candlelight Processional can get quite packed, so if there is a celebrity narrator that you MUST see consider taking advantage of a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. You can choose to enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner at some of the tastiest restaurants in Epcot and the adjacent Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts followed by reserved seating at a performance of the Candlelight Processional. To reserve Candlelight Dining Packages, call (407) WDW-DINE.

    Storytellers and Holiday Entertainment 

    Another MUST DO for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is to stroll the World Showcase stopping to see costumed performers bring the traditions of their home countries to Epcot with holiday stories and music, along with a variety of other international festive entertainment.

    Chip ’n Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree 

    Chip & Dale are on a scavenger hunt, collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree—and they need your help! To get started, simply purchase a map and stickers ($6.99 plus tax) 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 & Dale 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 or World Traveler and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip & Dale!

    IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth 

    The Illuminations: Reflections of Earth nighttime spectacular of fireworks, special effects, flame torches and more includes a special holiday finale nightly until December 30, 2018. 

    This will be the final holiday season for IllumiNations, as the show is currently scheduled to conclude at the end of summer 2019, with new thrills on World Showcase Lagoon set to debut immediately afterward (more on this soon).

    Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus 

    If you are looking to take an iconic Holiday photo, head to The American Adventure pavilion where you can pose for a photo and share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus.


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