Christmas at Epcot for the Holidays 2023

Christmas at Epcot for the Holidays 2023

Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World for the holidays? With so many things vying for your precious Disney Vacation time be sure to take in the holiday fun over at EPCOT. Mainly because the festivities are included in your ticket, and include food, fun, performances, and more. Happening annually, the International Festival of Holidays gets in full swing right after Thanksgiving and offers special holiday performances happening throughout the season. There’s nothing like Christmas at EPCOT! 

Epcot for the holidays 2020

EPCOT International Festival of Holidays 

As the main event of any Christmas at EPCOT, this festival is included in the price of a park ticket. For instance, you can find Holiday Kitchens across Epcot to help get your fill of favorite holiday foods from different countries. Or head to select countries in the World Showcase to listen to stories from Holiday Storytellers. As part of the Candlelight Processional, which happens nightly, you can hear a retelling of the Nativity Story. Check out the Festival of Holidays Menus to get an idea of the holiday feast in store. You can look forward to all our favorite festival dishes, like Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing at the American Holiday Table, gingerbread lattes at the Joffrey’s cart, and more. 

When is the EPCOT International Festival of Holidays?

Disney’s EPCOT International Festival of Holidays runs from November 24- December 30, 2023, featuring outdoor kitchens, the Candlelight Processional, Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition and more. Visiting for Christmas at EPCOT is always a treat. Combining all our favorite cultural traditions and amazing holiday treats EPCOT brings together food and fun throughout all four neighborhoods. 

Holiday Storytellers

Holiday Storytellers are part of each world showcase country to tell the stories of the holidays in their native lands. From La Befana in Italy to Mr. and Mrs. Clause in America and Pere Noel in France, these are rich culturally infused holiday tales from around the world, sure to add more fun to your visit. Due to popular demand, these performances take place a few times throughout the day. Check the My Disney Experience app and the times’ guide for schedules. Guests can listen to a Hanukkah storyteller along the promenade and delightful holiday storytellers in France, Italy, Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom 

Get ready for Christmas with Santa Claus now through December 24. Whether you know him as St. Nick, Père Noël or Father Christmas, a visit with jolly Santa Claus brings good cheer to the season.

Las Posadas Celebration – Mexico Pavilion

¡Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Thursdays
  • 11:05 AM, 12:05 PM, 1:05 PM, 3:05 PM, 4:10 PM and 5:15 PM
  • 25-minute performances

A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa – Norway Pavilion

Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 11:35 AM, 12:35 PM, 1:35 PM, 2:35PM, 4:35PM, 5:35 PM, 6:35 PM and 7:10 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Chinese Lion Dancer – China Pavilion

Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • Noon, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM
  • 15-minute performances

La Befana – Italy Pavilion

Come hear the tale of La Befana, the kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping young children on the Eve of the Epiphany.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 11:30 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:40 PM, 3:35 PM, 4:20 PM, 5:05 PM and 5:45 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Santa Claus – The Odyssey Pavilion

Get ready for Christmas with Santa Claus now through December 24. Whether you know him as St. Nick, Père Noël or Father Christmas, a visit with jolly Santa Claus brings good cheer to the season.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM
  • 60-minute performances

Daruma Storyteller – Japan Pavilion

Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 11:20 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:40 PM, 3:20 PM, 4:20 PM, 5:05 PM, 5:50 PM and 6:35 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Hanukkah Storyteller – Between Morocco and France Pavilions

Guests will discover an entertaining celebration of Hanukkah along World Showcase promenade, where a storyteller recounts traveling abroad to explore the diverse music and traditions of Hanukkah around the world. 

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 10:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:15 PM, 2:45 PM, 3:45 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Père Noël – France Pavilion

Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:10 PM, 12:50 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:15 PM, 4:30 PM and 5:15 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Father Christmas – United Kingdom Pavilion

Join Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:30 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM
  • 15-minute performances

Canadian Holiday Voyageurs – Canada Pavilion

Explore holiday customs from the various regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North with the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.

Performance Details:

  • Sundays through Saturdays
  • 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM, 3:25 PM, 4:30 PM and 6:35 PM
  • 20-minute performances

Candlelight Processional at Disney's Festival of Holidays

Candlelight Processional

Christmas at EPCOT never feels complete without the Candlelight Processional. This retelling of the Nativity Story is told by a celebrity speaker and accompanied by choral singers and an orchestra. As one of the best ways to ring in the holiday season at EPCOT, this performance happens a couple of times each evening. Because of the crowds, it’s important to note the latest timeslot is always the least crowded.  And depending on the popularity of the celebrity, nights featuring certain stars fill up fast. This retelling of the Nativity Story takes place at the America Garden’s Theater throughout the festival. 

  • Location: America Gardens Theatre at EPCOT
  • Dates: November 24 to December 30, 2023
  • Showtimes: 5:15 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM

New Celebrity Narrators 2023

The Candlelight Processional features a new celebrity speaker for a few nights each season. As such, depending on your visit, you may even see multiple presenters. If you do only one thing at EPCOT for Christmas, make sure it’s the Candlelight Processional. Completely worth the 40-minute performance time, you can also grab the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages for dinner and a guaranteed seat. 

  • Chrissy Metz (NEW): Nov. 24-25
  • Luis Fonsi (NEW): Nov. 26-27
  • Ann-Margret (NEW): Nov. 28-29
  • Simu Liu: Nov. 30-Dec. 2
  • John Stamos: Dec. 3-5
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Dec. 6-8
  • Marlee Matlin: Dec. 9-11
  • Brendan Fraser (NEW): Dec. 12-14
  • Eva Longoria (NEW): Dec. 15-16
  • Joey McIntyre (NEW): Dec. 17-18
  • Sterling K. Brown (NEW): Dec. 19-20
  • Jordan Fisher (NEW): Dec. 21-23
  • Steven Curtis Chapman: Dec. 24-26
  • Audra McDonald (NEW): Dec. 27-28
  • Lisa Ling: Dec. 29-30

Christmas at EPCOT for the Holidays

Festival of Holidays Food

One of the best parts of any festival at EPCOT is the food. And the EPCOT International Festival of Holidays is no exception. With seasonal foods, both savory and sweet, Christmas at EPCOT gives you a glimpse into other cultures’ holiday traditions and offers the best holiday treats. Peruse the Festival of Holidays Menus to get a glimpse at all the dishes on the list for the holidays. 

Olaf's Holiday Tradition Expedition

Olaf’s Tradition Expedition 

As part of the Christmas at Walt Disney World celebrations honoring all festive fun, this Olaf Scavenger hunt game is part of the Festival of Holidays and one of our favorite things to do!  A game board is typically less than 10 dollars each, comes with stickers, and includes a prize. We love that the game gives you a reason to hang out in each country, to search for Olaf. Each Olaf statue includes a cultural element that matches a special tradition for each culture. As a result, both kids and grown-ups alike can learn about how other cultures celebrate the holidays. Once found, collected, and marked on your gameboard, you can collect a festive prize. The game is 9.99 each plus tax, in order to get the gameboard and prize. However, if you want to make this a ” free” game, just snap a picture of the map on the sign at the gift shop, and find Olaf on your own! 

Snickers Cookie Stroll Festival of holidays Epcot Foods

The Cookie Stroll 

The Epcot International Festival of Holidays features food kitchens offering holiday foods from around the world. As part of the festivities, many of the kitchens feature a cookie that can count towards your Cookie Stroll. Collect 5 cookie stamps, one for each cookie, and you’ll get a complimentary cookie. These are the 2023 Cookie Stroll locations. 

  • Gingerbread Cookie | American Holiday Table America
  • Linzer Cookie | Bavaria Holiday Kitchen Germany
  • Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie | Holiday Hearth Desserts The Odyssey Pavilion
  • Black and White Cookie (Plant-based) | L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen 
  • Spiced Chocolate Cookie  | Nocehbuena Cucina Port of Entry
  • Snickerdoodle Cookie made with SNICKERS | Yukon Holiday Kitchen Canada
  • Holiday Sugar Cookie | Connections Cafe World Celebration
  • Jingle Sugar Cookie made with M&M’S chocolate candies | Sunshine Seasons The Land

Festival of Holidays EPCOT Cookie Jar 2023

Holiday Performances 

Christmas at EPCOT wouldn’t be complete without festive performances. Featuring beautiful music of the season, and twists on olf favorites, there is plenty to be heard this holiday in the park. Here are the performers in the lineup so far. Be sure to check the times guide for performances or the My Disney Experience App for times and to add them to your day. 

JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season 

A celebration of music to bring the songs of Christmas and Kwanzaa to Disney includes Gospel, R&B, and holiday songs performed by the ‘Joyful!’ vocal ensemble.

Voices of Liberty – Voices of the Season | America

A cappella holiday music sets the tone for the season at the America pavilion. Dressed as Dicken’s Carolers this is a great way to get into the classic feeling of Christmas.

JAMMitors

Hang out to see the percussion players with a whole new set of holiday tunes throughout EPCOT.

Canadian Holiday Voyageurs | Canada

Head to Canada’s Mill Stage for musical stylings and festive songs from the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs!

Chinese Lion Dance New Year Celebration | China

Head to China for an acrobatic celebration to ring in the Chinese New Year. Throughout the Festival of Holidays, you can see these performances throughout the day. 

Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre | Mexico Pavilion

Grab a seat at American Gardens Theater to watch the colorful dancers and the band, Las Posadas, celebrating Mexican Christmas traditions to kick off the season. 

epcot Merry and Bright Nights Living with the Land

Living with the Land Merry and Bright Nights

By far one of our favorite rides at EPCOT, Living with the Land, located in The Land building gets dressed up for the season with Christmas Lights. To see this ride at its holiday best, be sure to plan an evening ride on Living with the Land Merry and Brights Nights. With the Christmas lights turned on, and interesting things growing in the greenhouse, you can even see some foods used in the Festival of Holidays Food Kitchens.

Christmas at EPCOT

With so much to do at EPCOT for the holiday season, we love that this event is included with an EPCOT park ticket. And that spending the holidays at EPCOT adds a little more fun and festivities to the holiday season. 

Everything happening at EPCOT for the holidays! The festival, new snacks, merchadnise, performances and more. #polkadotpixies

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.


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