EPCOT Festival of Holidays Must Dos

EPCOT Festival of Holidays Must Dos

Christmastime at Walt Disney World includes The Festival of Holidays at EPCOT every year. Included with your park ticket, Disney’s EPCOT International Festival of Holidays runs from November 24- December 30, 2023. With outdoor kitchens, performances, and holiday traditions galore this is one festival that helps get you into the holiday spirit. If you’re ready to ring in the season at Walt Disney World check out these Things to do at the Festival of Holidays so you can maximize your time, stay safe, and prioritize the most important ( and most FUN! ) things to do at the Festival of Holidays. 

What Can You Do at the Festival of Holidays?

The Festival of Holidays at EPCOT Park rings in the season with 15+ holiday kitchens featuring seasonal treats. Also included are holiday music performances, a reading of the Nativity Story, and Holiday Storytellers in each World Showcase country sharing the seasonal stories specific to each country. Much like all the EPCOT festivals at Walt Disney World, the Festival of Holidays is all about learning. Learning new cultures, new foods, and new sounds to celebrate the wonder of the holidays. Each World Showcase country has its own magic, and during the Festival of Holidays, you get to see how other countries around the world celebrate the most wonderful time of year. Check out What’s New at Disney’s Festival of Holidays this year!

la befana christmas at epcot disney

Festival of Holidays Storytellers

One of our favorite things to do at the Festival of Holidays is to See the Holiday Storytellers in each Country at EPCOT World Showcase. Sharing meaningful holiday stories in each country are Holiday Storytellers across World Showcase. These performers tell the tales of days gone by and the holiday traditions specific to each culture. These performances happen throughout the day. You can visit Santa in America, La Bafana in Italy, and many more.

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

Disney Pro Tip: Unless you’re taking pictures and need the daylight, save time in the evening to listen to the Storytellers when crowds are lower. 

Shi Wasu Epcot Sushi Christmas Tree Festival of Holidays

Festival of Holidays Food

Featuring Holiday foods from around the world each Holiday Kitchen shares both savory and sweet treats for the holidays. From authentic Christmas dinner of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce to the Maple Buche de Noel from Canada, there is so much to try! Check out the Festival of Holidays Menus so you can start planning your foodie journey before you arrive!

Disney Pro Tip: Skip the quick service lunch on the day or days you’re visiting the festival. With so many foods to try, you can build a lunch with foods from the holiday kitchens and save some money too.

international festival of holidays at epcot christmas at walt disney world

Gingerbread Licoln Monument at Disney America Pavilion Gingerbread Christmas at Epcot Gingerbread Display America Pavilion

Festival of Holidays Gingerbread Displays

Found in the America Pavilion at EPCOT, you can see the Gingerbread Capital City Displays throughout the festival. From Lincoln’s Memorial to the Capital Building, be sure to stop in and take a look. These are carefully crafted Gingerbread Houses honoring the Capital City, complete with details worth noticing. A great break from the holiday crowds, these are some of our favorite Gingerbread Displays at Walt Disney World. 

Olaf's Holiday Tradition Expedition Festival of Holidays Epcot

Play Olaf’s Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt

The newest game for the Festival of Holidays at EPCOT is Olaf’s Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt. Our favorite holiday snowman has lost a few traditions he now has to find in each country! Add a little bit of Christmas knowledge to your day by playing this game, complete with stickers and a prize when you finish!

Disney Pro Tip: You can grab your prize and your scavenger hunt game board at the same time. That way you won’t have to fight the busy nighttime crowds in the gift shops just to pick up the prize. 

walt disney world epcot christmas processional

Candlelight Processional 

This retelling of the Nativity Story takes place at the America Garden’s Theater throughout the festival and features new celebrity speakers throughout the festival.  Featuring beautiful lights, and choral and orchestral performances, this is a must-do event for the holidays at EPCOT. Check out the lineup of celebrity readers for Disney’s Candlelight Processional in 2023. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are also available. 

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

Disney Pro Tip: We suggest attending the later performances of the day on a weeknight. EPCOT is traditionally crowded through the evenings starting on Thursday and through the weekend. A weeknight early in the week gives you fewer crowds and a great way to wrap up the evening.

Festival of Holidays Entertainment

  • 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. 
  • JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season | World Showplace: 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: 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.
  • 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. 
  • JAMMitors: Hang out to see the percussion players with a whole new set of holiday tunes throughout EPCOT.

Chip and Dales Ceramic Cookie Jar 2020 Cookie Stroll Festival of Holidays

Take the Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll Challenge

Up for a cookie challenge? One of the newer things to do at Festival of Holidays you can grab specialty cookies at select booths around the World Showcase and even grab a collectible Chip and Dale Cookie Tin! Once you buy all 5 cookies you get one for free.

  • Nochebuena Cocina: Alfajores – Vanilla Shortbread Cookie with Dulce de Leche and Coconut
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen: SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® Bar pieces
  • L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White Cookie (plant-based)
  • American Holiday Table: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer Cookie
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts: Gingerbread Cookie
  • Sunshine Seasons: M&M’s® Sugar Cookie
  • Connections Café: Sugar Cookie

Disney Pro Tip: The 5 cookies you’re on a mission to find add up to 10 dollars. So, it really is more about the experience than the treats themselves. Our suggestion? Dedicate one family member to be the collector of the cookies so you can “complete the challenge” and get your prize. And instead, spend your cookie money on the more extravagant treats at each holiday kitchen. 

Snickers Cookie Stroll Festival of holidays Epcot Foods

Festival of Holidays Cookie Stroll Locations 2023

Check out the Festival of Holidays Cookie Stroll post for all the locations and menu items this year. Visit all 5 official cookie stroll locations, collect a stamp in your passport at each, and head to a specialty booth to get your free cookie. 

 

Living with the Land Christmas EPCOT

Visit Living with the Land Merry and Bright Nights

This easy-going boat ride brings you through the agricultural journey of humanity so far! And during the holidays Living with the Land gets decorated with lights, decorations, and a little extra cheer. Be sure to head here in the evening. One of the rides at Epcot with historically lower waits, this boat ride is easy for both kids and adults and a perfect way to get in and out of the crowds.

Disney Pro Tip: Make the most of visiting the Land building by mobile ordering your dinner from Sunshine Seasons or checking out Soarin.’ 

Spaceship Earth Holiday Light Show

For Christmas at EPCOT Park take time in the evening to oogle the lights on Spaceship Earth. Set to the Disney100 anthem, When you wish upon a star, this show features lights, colors and music to end the evening in style. 

Festival of Holidays Things to Do

If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World at the busiest time of year, be sure to stop by EPCOT. Grab our Beginners Guide to the Festival of Holidays to make sure you don’t miss a thing! With food, fun, games, and performances, this festival is a great way to start the holiday season with a whole lot of extra Christmas cheer!

The Festival of Holidays List of Things to Do at EPCOT for Christmas! Seasonal Foods, new decorations, a new scavenger hunt game, and performances! Here's everything to do for the Festival at EPCOT Disney World. #polkadotpixies #festivalofholidays #disneyworld #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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