If we lived in Florida, the Walt Disney World Festival of Holidays at Epcot would definitely be a holiday tradition for us. With holiday kitchens, holiday stories across the World Showcase, decorations, merchandise, and the Candlelight Processional, there truly is something for everyone. If you haven’t gotten a chance to attend this holiday festival at Walt Disney World, let us give you the details. Disney’s EPCOT International Festival of Holidays runs from November 25- December 30, 2022. Here’s our Beginner’s Guide to the International Festival of Holidays at Walt Disney World.
Christmas at Walt Disney World EPCOT
Ok, so let us just share that Christmas at Walt Disney World is amazing. There truly is nothing else like it! When we visited Disney during the holidays for the first time last year we were floored by how extra-magical everything was. Add the fact that we are holiday crazy in general and you can just imagine how excited we were the whole trip.
Of course, you’ll have to deal with the Disney holiday crowds, and probably have a list of things you need to do, but it’s so important to make sure that you make time for Epcot during the holidays. The festival truly does showcase the meaning of Christmas in all its glory and you will leave feeling uplifted, hopeful, and ready for the New Year.
When is the EPCOT International Festival of Holidays?
Disney’s EPCOT International Festival of Holidays runs from November 25- December 30, 2022.
Festival of Holidays at EPCOT
The International Festival of Holidays takes place in the Epcot World Showcase. Unlike the other Christmas party over at Magic Kingdom, you don’t need an extra ticket to enjoy the festival. It’s included with your Epcot admission. The Festival of Holidays includes the following:
- Holiday Stories from each culture are shared in each World Showcase country.
- Holiday Kitchens, or food booths, are added throughout the park featuring holiday foods from each country.
- Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt Game
- The Candlelight Processional with a celebrity narrator
- Joyful! A Celebration of the Season musicians
- Voices of Liberty
- Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre
- JAMMitors Percussion Players
- Festival of Holidays Cookie Stroll
- Special Festival of Holidays Merchandise
- Holiday Promenades
Holiday Storytellers in the World Showcase
The storytellers at the World Showcase are, in classic Disney fashion, perfectly themed characters that truly transport you to their time and place to share the most meaningful holiday stories. These performances happen throughout the day, so check the time guide when you arrive if you’re hoping to see a certain storyteller. This information is also sometimes found in the My Disney Experience App.
We loved loved loved La Befana in Italy and wished we would have had more time to visit every country’s storytellers. Be sure to build in the time where you can stroll through the showcase and listen to these stories, it really does make the season feel extra special.
Where are the Holiday Storytellers in World Showcase?
Each country gets a storyteller, so be sure to check them out. If you’re toting kids, this experience is so educational we think it could definitely count as school.
America | Santa Claus
While you can find the American Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the American Adventure pavilion, complete with luxurious red velvet thrones, there are so many other holiday icons to see! If visiting America first to get your Santa fix, you can also hear Kwanzaa and Hanukkah stories presented throughout the day.
Canada | Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
Music and classic Christmas feelings of the north show up in Canada.
China | Chinese Lion Dancers
And in China, there are dragon dancers preparing for the Chinese New Year.
France | Visit with Père Noël
France is also a must-see storyteller with Pere Noel telling the tale of how they leave out shoes.
Germany | Helga and the Nutcracker
When visiting Germany, you can meet Helga who relays the tale of The Nutcracker.
Italy | La Befana
In Italy, you can visit La Befana and she recaps her tale of the Epiphany.
Japan | Daruma Storyteller
In Japan, you can see how they experience the Japanese New Year, O-Shogatsu, and listen as they tell the story of this tradition complete with mochi, bell ringing, and postcards.
Mexico | Las Posadas Celebration
A festive celebration for the holidays with lots of music, dancing, and stories.
Morocco | Festive Bands
You can listen to the seasonal music in Morocco and head to the Hanukkah Storyteller found between Morocco and France for more stories of the season.
Norway | The Mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid
Sigrid and the Barn Santa share humor and stories throughout the day in Norway.
United Kingdom | Father Christmas
The most classic story of how Christmas arrives in England with Father Christmas. Another must-see Storyteller.
World Showcase Promenade between Morocco and France | Hanukkah Storyteller
Learn about the celebration of Hanukkah where a storyteller shares his travels and music of the season.
Holiday Kitchens at Festival of Holidays
Ahhhh, holiday food. They don’t call this the most wonderful time of year for nothing. And we have definitely become addicted to all of Disney’s foodie events.
If you haven’t guessed, much like the storytellers, each Holiday Kitchen is themed to its respective country. In America you’ll get a Christmas dinner, in Italy you’ll get fruitcakes, and there’s a whole kitchen booth just for cookies. Last year there were 15 Holiday Kitchens at the festival, so plenty of holiday foods to try! Just like with the Food and Wine Festival, you’ll get a little passport book with all the menus and can check out all the Festival of Holiday Menus ahead of time for better planning!
What Holiday Kitchens are at the Festival of Holidays in 2022?
We like having a plan of attack for any foodie festival at Epcot, so we try to grab food as we make our way around the World Showcase. And sometimes, it takes two days to fit it all in. Be sure to check out the Festival of Holidays Menus for all the kitchens this year!
- American Holiday Table – American Adventure Pavilion
Enjoy a seasonal salute—dig into traditional dishes reminiscent of grandma’s cooking at the American Adventure Pavilion.
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Germany Pavilion
Willkommen—help yourself to heartwarming holiday dishes and refreshing beverages at the Germany Pavilion.
- L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen – Between Morocco and France Pavilions
Propose a toast to life—sink your teeth into classic deli noshes with a side of New York flair.
- Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen – France Pavilion
Feast on très magnifique fare, wine, and specialty cocktails from the France Pavilion.
- Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen – Mexico Pavilion
Feliz Navidad—celebrate with mariachi dancing and south-of-the-border fare at the Mexican Pavilion!
- Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen – Japan Pavilion
Please your palate with an array of festive dishes and drinks served at the Japan Pavilion.
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina – Morocco Pavilion
Travel to the Morocco Pavilion for delicious kebabs and cocktails.
- Tuscany Holiday Kitchen – Italy Pavilion
Mangiare—savor a seasonal take on some of the world’s best-loved food and beverages at the Italy Pavilion!
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Canada Pavilion
Jingle your bells with delightful dishes and libations from the Great White North—at the Canada Pavilion.
- Additional Locations
- Funnel Cake – Between the American Adventure Pavilion
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a holiday classic: Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake.
- Refreshment Outpost – Between the China and Germany Pavilions
Chow down on this year’s holiday surprise: Coconut-Pineapple Cake with DOLE Whip. (Sorry, guess it’s not a surprise now.)
Festival of Holiday Kitchens Near Port of Entry and EPCOT Discovery
- Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen – Near Port of Entry – NEW!
Join in on the festivities when you visit this new location offering cinnamon-glazed nuts and holiday beverages.
- Holiday Hearth Desserts – Near Port of Entry
Discover the hearth you’ll call home, with holly jolly desserts, hot cocoa and so much more.
- Holiday Sweets & Treats – Near Port of Entry
Rock around the Christmas tree with tasty desserts and festive sips sure to top the “nice” list.
- Mele Kalikimaka – Near Port Of Entry
Savor the flavor of fabulous, festive food and beverages from the islands of Hawai‘i.
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company – Throughout EPCOT
Salute the season with the usual selection of coffees, plus a tasty holiday-themed treat!
- Refreshment Port – Showcase Plaza
Savor the flavor of holiday poutine and toast the season with specials like Coquito Soft-serve, also available with Spiced Rum.
- The Donut Box – Near Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
Enjoy a classic dessert dressed up in a little holiday cheer when you try one of our seasonally-themed donuts!
Cookie Stroll at Epcot Festival of Holidays
The Festival of Holidays Cookie Stroll offers you the opportunity to take on a cookie-eating challenge. You visit all 5 official cookie stroll locations, collect a stamp in your passport at each, and head to a specialty Holiday Kitchen to receive a FREE Cookie. In past years, there is usually a cookie jar that can be purchased for all of your cookies. But this year, there hasn’t been one released yet.
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition
For this game, players can buy a map ( with stickers), usually less than 10 dollars, from the gift shop or kiosk to get started. With your map in tow, you can search for everything Olaf has gathered and lost along the way. Throughout the World Showcase! They are sometimes hard to find. We’ve had to ask for clues before, so be on the lookout! Once found, you can just add the sticker to the map. When the map is filled in you can return it to the gift shop for a prize. Disney has been changing up their prizes lately, but usually, you get a chip and dale inspired pin. We’ve also seen them offer key chains, patches, and cups for the other games, so it could be different each year.
Know that you’ve already paid for the prize technically with the purchase of the map, so even if you don’t find all the Olaf clues you can still collect your prize at the end. And the map is a “free” Disney Souvenir, so treat it well!
Festival of Holidays Entertainment
The Epcot evening show, Epcot Forever is a new addition to the Festival of Holidays replacing Illuminations Peace on Earth. We love the Italy pavilion as a viewing location since it’s pretty central and not as crowded as Japan. In addition to the show on the lake, you also get the Candlelight Processional.
The Candlelight Processional 2022
Ok, so we were absolutely blown away by the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Blown. Away. The Candlelight Processional is the reading of the Nativity story, by a celebrity reader, but it’s so much more! There are choirs, an orchestra, and a light show. You really do have to be in the theater, sitting down, to experience how amazing everything feels and sounds. They even have an interpreter for the deaf community. The whole experience is so emotionally overwhelming, when you’re there you just want everyone you love in your life to be there with you. It really is worth it. We recommend celebrity reader, Warwick Davis, if you can get him. 🙂
Celebrity Narrators for the Candlelight Processional 2022
- Simu Liu
November 25 and 26, 2022
- Chita Rivera
November 27 through 29, 2022
- Raul Esparza
November 30 and December 1, 2022
- Whoopi Goldberg
December 2 and December 3, 2022
- Isabella Rossellini
December 4 through December 6, 2022
- Daymond John
December 7 through December 9, 2022
- Josh Gad
December 10 through December 12, 2022
- Gloria Estefan
December 13 and December 14, 2022
- Neil Patrick Harris
December 15 through December 18, 2022
- Mariska Hargitay
December 19 and December 20, 2022
- Cal Ripken Jr.
December 21 through December 23, 2022
- Marie Osmond
December 24 through December 26, 2022
- Courtney Vance
December 27 and December 28, 2022
- Angela Bassett
December 29 and December 30, 2022
Will you be attending the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays this year? Be sure to check out all it has to offer for 2022!