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Epcot Festival of the Holidays Guide

epcot's spaceship earth geosphere at night with mickey and minnie statues in the foreground

Epcot celebrates the holidays as only it can with the International Festival of the Holidays!

While this is technically Epcot’s newest festival, many of its elements have been around for years as part of the Epcot Holidays Around the World celebration.

We expect the festival will run from the end of November through the end of December 2024 (dates will be updated as soon as possible)

Read on to learn more about the Epcot Christmas decorations, food, and special entertainment that are part of the festival!

Epcot Festival of the Holidays Decorations

tree with lights at night

You will find Epcot fully decorated for the holidays on the first day of the festival!

This includes a huge Christmas tree at the entrance to World Showcase.

There are also gorgeous decorations ALL over the park, so take some time to explore each pavilion to see the unique decorations.

plant to look like mickey mouse with a santa hat on top

I love the special Disney touches the most, of course.

Candlelight Processional Epcot

candlelight processional performance

Note: We don’t have details for 2022 yet so here’s our best guess as to what it will be like. 

Each night from Thanksgiving to December 30th there are three nightly performances of the Candlelight Processional. These are the times of the performances (which are free with Epcot admission):

  • 5:00 pm
  • 6:45 pm
  • 8:15 pm

The performances include a massive choir, live orchestra, and celebrity narrator who reads passages from the biblical Christmas story.

The show is tremendously popular (for good reason – it’s amazing!) and many people who wait in line will be turned away due to the limited seating. Even if you can’t get a seat, you can stand and watch the show from behind the theater.

The best way to see the Candlelight Processional is to book a dining package that includes guaranteed preferred seating to the concert.

Click here to learn what to expect at each of Epcot’s four festivals. 

Epcot Holiday Kitchens

food from epcot food both

Due to the popularity of Food & Wine, it seems that food booths are a permanent feature at Epcot festivals.

Epcot Festival of the Holidays features small portions of traditional fare from around the world at its Holiday Kitchens.

One of my favorite items was the Buche de Noel from the Canada booth (pictured above) for $4.50.

food at epcot

Another standout was the mini turkey dinner from the America booth.

It was really filling and gave me a taste of the holidays without all of the work!

tamales at epcot

The tamales from the Feast of the Three Kings (found on the walkway from the Imagination pavilion to World Showcase) were my other favorite item.

feast of the three kings sign with menu items

Everything on this booth’s menu looked good!

apple cider in epcot

The best thing I drank was this Black Currant Apple Cider from the booth by Germany. It was light, crisp, and delicious.

I spent less than $20 and had what felt like a full holiday feast at the Epcot Festival of the Holidays kitchens.

You can also do the fun Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll and try each of the five cookies.

Get your passport stamped at the official cookie stroll locations around World Showcase. Then bring your completed passport to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen for a free Mickey sugar cookie. 

Meet Santa & Mrs. Claus

meet and greet with santa and mrs. claus

It’s not an Epcot Christmas if you can’t meet Santa, right?

Don’t pay a bunch of money to meet Santa at your local mall if you are visiting Epcot during the holidays. Santa and Mrs. Claus meet kids (and grownups!) throughout the day in the American Adventure pavilion for free!

You can take pictures yourself or use the PhotoPass pictures – just be sure to scan your MagicBand before you leave (or get a PhotoPass card). 

Be totally prepared for a Christmas trip to Disney World with this detailed post. 

Epcot Christmas Special Entertainment

fireworks at night in epcot

Holiday storytellers around World Showcase share traditions from their country with guests throughout the day.

There is a schedule of when and where to find each storyteller in the Times Guide, which you can grab when you enter the park.

Expect festive live music performances throughout the park during the holiday season as well.

spaceship earth geoshpere at night with illuminations

In summary, here’s what to expect at the Epcot Festival of the Holidays:

  • Nightly performances of the super-popular Candlelight Processional and dining packages with reserved seating
  • Delicious sample-sized food and drink at the Holiday Kitchens & a fun Cookie Stroll
  • Lots of bonus entertainment including live music, storytellers, Santa meet and greet, and an incredible special ending to Harmonius

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Disney World here for lots of ideas for an affordable holiday trip.

Don’t miss out on my curated list of Disney World Black Friday 2024 deals and discounts!

Any questions? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in the Budget Mouse private Facebook group!

Epcot festival of the holidays pinterest image

Sean P. Kropaczewski

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