If you are lucky enough to spend some time in the holiday season at Walt Disney World don’t miss out on Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays. This Festival may be perceived as a “little” Festival, but it is mighty!
Find out how this Festival is worthy of being the centerpiece of your holiday trip!
The Holiday Kitchens, or food booths, might be few in number (13 compared to the Food and Wine Festival’s 34), but these booths are serving up delicious food and drink options, many with a holiday twist. Each booth is associated with a country, and their menu items are festival-size versions of traditional dishes. For example, in the Bavaria booth expect to find Pork Schnitzel and Spaetzle make a debut this year.
You’ll find Storytellers dotted around the World Showcase. The storytellers do just as you might guess: tell stories! But these are about holiday traditions in the country. For example, Pere Noel is explaining that children in France leave a shoe rather than a stocking. Sometimes the shoe is filled with treats for the reindeer and Pere Noel, and sometimes it’s left empty to be filled with treasures.
Santa is in the American Adventure Pavilion
If your kids are with you be sure to visit the American Adventure Pavilion, because Santa and Mrs. Claus are there! The line to visit these two and share holiday wish lists with them can get quite long, so if you have a little one that has to see Santa you may want to head to the American Adventure Pavilion first.
Gingerbread Display and Christmas Carols
When you’re in the American Adventure pavilion follow your nose (and ears) into the American Adventure building. As you listen to the Voices of Liberty sing Christmas Carols, be sure to head to your left and enjoy a mini gingerbread version of our National Mall. The details on this are amazing.
Germany Train Display
The German village that is home to the train display in the Germany Pavilion goes all out for the holidays! Our little mini-friends have put up trees, garland, and are hosting a holiday market in the town square!
Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
This one is for kids of all ages! Pick up a map at several locations in the park, then keep your eyes peeled. You need to find the ornaments scattered around the World Showcase pavilions.
Once you find all of them and have the stickers in place on your map return to where you purchased it for a prize. This year the prize is your choice of an ornament!
The Cookie Stroll was introduced last year, and returns this year. You’ll have to “challenge” yourself to purchase five cookies from different Holiday Kitchens. When you have completed this sweet challenge visit the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen for a prize cookie! If you can’t quite eat all of the cookies in one day, consider purchasing a mini-cookie jar for your cookies! Find out about this year’s Cookie Stroll here!
We saved our favorite for last! The Candlelight Processional has become a holiday tradition for many. Each night a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas with an orchestra and choir singing classic Christmas carols between verses. This is a very popular event, and lines can be long for standby seats. The only way to guarantee seating is with a Candlelight Processional Dining Package.
See this year’s list of celebrity narrators here. Learn more about the Candlelight Processional Dining Package here.
There you have it — all the reasons this Festival is small but mighty!
Which Epcot Festival is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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