Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Complete Guide to Holidays at Epcot

Epcot is one of the best places for the holidays at Walt Disney World.  I love the real world experiences that take place, the sharing of different culture's holiday experiences, and the different stories that are told. It's a fantastic experience filled with that traditional edu-tainment that we all know and love.

There are a few main components to the Epcot Holiday experience.  They include Holidays Around the World, Candlelight Processional, Illuminations.  Let's dive right into the fun!

What's New?

  • There are a few new experiences taking place with the Holidays Around The World performers.  In Mexico, guests will be able to experience “Fiesta de Navidad,” which will feature dancers and mariachis celebrating the holiday customs of the country. In Morocco, a new storyteller will share holiday traditions and festivals. Finally, in China, we’ll see the Chinese Lion Dance, which will take place to honor the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.
  • A newly updated Holiday Tag has been added to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
  • New celebrity narrators for this year's Candlelight Processional include Jonathan Groff, Ana Gasteyer, and Joe Morton.  
Epcot Events

Holidays Around The World

Holiday Storytellers

Each country features storytellers that teach Guests about how that specific area celebrates the Holiday. They include:


  • Canada: The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs take guests on a musical journey across the Great White North. 
  • United Kingdom: Father Christmas tells tales of Christmas past dating back to 15th century England. 
  •  France: Pere Noel unfolds the magic of Christmas with a letter from a child.   
  • Morocco: A new storyteller will share holiday traditions and festivals. 
  • Japan: Hear the story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.  
  • American Adventure: Hear three different stories.  The first is the story of Hanukkah and the  Maccabees and the lamp that burned miraculously for eight days.  Also, experience the spirit of Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, creativity and community. In addition, don't miss seeing Santa Claus who will be on hand from November 29 – December 24 at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Also, don't miss the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers, who are an a cappella group singing holiday songs.
  • Italy: La Befana is Italy's good Christmas witch. She comes down the chimney of the little ones and leaves treats.  
  • Germany: Listen as Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree and the tale of her first Nutcracker.  
  • China: See the Chinese Lion Dance, which will take place to honor the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival. 
  • Norway: Sigrid will tell you of the mischievous Julenissen, or Christmas Gnome.  
  • Mexico: Celebrate Fiesta de Navidad,” which will feature dancers and mariachis celebrating the holiday customs of the country. 
In addition to the Holiday Storytellers, there's also the option to stop in each country and delight in different dishes and beverages from around the world with the Tastes Around The Globe. Special dishes include:
  • World Showcase Promenade: turkey waffle (a sweet potato waffle with roast turkey and green bean casserole)
  • Canada Pavilion: pecan-maple bark
  • United Kingdom Pavilion: hot applejack cider with whiskey and a blend of seasonal spices
  • France Pavilion: bûche de noël au chocolate (chocolate cake shaped like a log) from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie and gingerbread ice cream from L’Artisan des Glaces.
  • Morocco Pavilion: honey walnut baklava from the Morocco Juice Bar
  • Japan Pavilion: teriyaki chicken karaage, (crispy fried chicken bites with teriyaki sauce) at Kabuki Cafe
  • American Adventure Pavilion: gingerbread men, chocolate chunk cookies and sugar cookies, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and peppermint bark at the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery
  • Italy Pavilion: panettone, the sweet bread loaf, moscato wine, and ciocolata calda (hot chocolate)
  • Germany Pavilion: stollen fruit cake and sip glühwein (hot spiced wine)
  • China Pavilion: kaikouxiao (happy face fried cake) from The Joy of Tea kiosk
  • Norway Pavilion: rice cream from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
  • Mexico Pavilion: sweet tamales at La Catina de San Angel

Candlelight Processional

The premiere portion of Epcot’s celebrations is the Candlelight Processional. This incredibly beautiful performance includes a mass choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator who all combine together beautifully to share and delight in the story of Christmas. Here is the full list of the 2014 celebrity narrators:

  • November 28 – 29: Jodi Benson
  • November 30 – December 2: Neil Patrick Harris
  • December 3 – 4: Jonathan Groff (NEW!) 
  • December 5 – 6: Whoopi Goldberg
  • December 7 – 9: Levar Burton
  • December 10 – 11: Edward James Olmos
  • December 12 – 14: Joe Morton
  • December 15 – 17: Chita Rivera
  • December 18 – 20: Ana Gasteyer (NEW!)
  • December 21 – 23: Marlee Matlin
  • December 24 – 25: Isabella Rossellini
  • December 26 – 27: Blair Underwood
  • December 28 – 30: Steven Curtis Chapman
Show times occur three times each evening, 5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. in the American Gardens Theater. The show available to guests on a first-come, first –served basis, however, Disney offers Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages at select restaurants that will allow you to enjoy dinner and guaranteed seating for a show.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Holiday Tag

This beautiful show includes a special holiday ending from November 28 - December 25 at 9:30 p.m. nightly and from December 26 - 30 at 10:00 p.m. nightly. The "Peace on Earth" holiday finale is gorgeously narrated and includes some incredible pyrotechnics.


  • The Christmas Tree is set up in World Showcase Plaza and it showcases ornaments signifying each country found in World Showcase. 

  • Don't miss the gospel group, Joyful! Taking place on Future World's Fountain Stage from November 28 until December 30.

  • Make sure you keep an eye out for a few Disney Christmas-themed topiaries! 

  • A few countries have some special decorations...I won't tell you which ones, but make sure you explore. 
  • Did you know there was a gingerbread display in the American Adventure Pavilion? 
 Epcot at the Holidays is truly a fantastic experience that you cannot miss. What are your thoughts about this fun event?  Let me know on the Facebook page or on Twitter!

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