PHOTOS and VIDEOS! We’re at the 2020 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays — Here’s What It’s Like!

The 2020 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays has officially arrived in Disney World!

Festival of the Holidays Sign

After a whopping FOUR months of the Taste of Food and Wine, it was time to switch over to the festival celebrating holidays from around the world, with the new festival starting in EPCOT today!

Today’s the first day that the Christmas food booths and entertainment have popped into EPCOT for the seasonal festival!

We hopped in our cars, ready to start our day with a smile, and started to make our way over to the park!

When we first entered EPCOT, the park was already a bit crowded as many guests were excited to get their snack on right after Thanksgiving.

EPCOT Entrance

Festival signs were located as you entered the property to park your car and the park entrance as well!

Park Entrance

After we went through the temperature screenings to enter EPCOT…

Temperature Screenings

…we finally arrived for our full day of fun at the Festival of the Holidays!

Festival of the Holidays

Who else is ready to explore with us?!

Guests were able to pick up festival passports that stated where the food booths, entertainment, and more were located this year…

Festival Passport

…as well as an Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Map for $7.99 so your family could explore the World Showcase and help Olaf along the way for a prize!

Holiday Tradition Expedition Map

We’ll be bringing you along with us to check out all the details on the new scavenger hunt later!

The stores had the Festival of the Holidays merchandise out to play as adorable sketch renditions of Chip and Dale took over the designs!

Festival of the Holiday Merchandise

Guests could pick up ornament-shaped plates

Festival of the Holidays Plates

…the Cookie Stroll Cookie Jars

Festival of the Holidays Cookie Jar

(Just make sure that Chip and Dale don’t catch you red-handed!)

Festival of the Holidays Cookie Jar

Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree…

Festival of the Holidays Ornament

tees that make the holidays “nutty and bright…”

Festival of the Holidays Shirt

…and even a Festival of the Holidays Spirit Jersey that reminds everyone to be “naughty and nice” this year…

Festival of the Holidays Spirit Jersey

especially when they’re visiting the festival in EPCOT!

Festival of the Holidays Spirit Jersey

We even found some new Festival of the Holidays Pins with a World Showcase wreath…

Festival of the Holidays Pin

…and Dale eating a whole plate-full of Christmas cookies!

Festival of the Holidays Pin

Plus, the new Festival of the Holidays MagicBand is a real cutie…

Festival of the Holidays MagicBand

…with a look at the pavilions you can find around EPCOT, along with a holiday twist!

Festival of the Holidays MagicBand

Annual Passholders even have a few special items on the shelves, like the Santa’s Little Helpers Shirt

Annual Passholder Shirt

…and the Annual Passholder Festival of the Holidays Pin to wear during the holiday season!

Festival of the Holidays Annual Passholder Pin

Here’s all the Festival of the Holidays merchandise we found in EPCOT!

Before we made our way around to each of the food booths, we spotted that non-alcoholic and alcoholic Twinings Iced Christmas Toddies were available for guests of all ages to enjoy!

Festival of the Holidays Ice Toddies

Over at Joffrey’s Coffee, we even spotted a few treats for the festival this year! Along with the Caramel Tinsel Latte (that could be spiked) at the kiosk…

Caramel Tinsel Latte

…there was also the Caramel Tinsel Donut as well!

Specialty Offerings

Of course, we just HAD to get them for ourselves!

Joffrey’s Coffee Festival Specialties

The Caramel Tinsel Latte had a lovely balance of chocolate and caramel…

Caramel Tinsel Latte

…while the Caramel Tinsel Donut was LOADED with Twix Candy on top!

Caramel Tinsel Donut

As we were walking to our first foodie stop of the day, we spotted Character Cavalcades heading our way! The Frozen Cavalcade was elegant and regal…

 

…as Elsa greeted guests in her gorgeous “Show Yourself” outfit…

Frozen Cavalcade

…while Queen Anna sat in a carriage decked out in icicles and blue, pink, and purple holiday feathers!

Frozen Cavalcade

Mickey and his pals followed close behind for the Mickey and Friends Holiday Cavalcade…

…where Goofy and Pluto led the way in snowflake pants and blue earmuffs!

Mickey and Friends Holiday Cavalcade

Minnie and Mickey waved to guests from a car decorated with garlands and ornaments as an extra special holiday gift to everyone!

Mickey and Minnie During the Holiday Cavalcade

But, we have to be honest that we were the most excited to see Santa Claus as he looked super jolly during his holiday promenade!

Holiday dancers twirled green and red ribbons around as they walked in front of Santa’s “sleigh”…

Holiday Dancers

…where the main man himself had a few toys ready to give to girls and boys this holiday season!

Santa!!

Take a look at the Holiday Character Cavalcades in EPCOT here!

Along with the rest of the decorations in the park, guests can also pose in front of the 25 Days of Christmas photo spot similar to the one in Disney Springs with gifts, trees, and candy canes!

25 Days of Christmas Photo Spot

Then, we finally made our way over to the World Showplace…

World Showplace Building

…where multiple booths and entertainment are just inside for guests of all ages to explore!

World Showplace Entrance

Decorations like Christmas trees, Nutcrackers, and reindeer were inside…

Christmas Decorations

…along with Olaf and Marshmallow as snow dusted both areas!

Olaf Decorations

Although the Disney Resorts aren’t featuring Gingerbread Houses this year (but have mini versions instead), EPCOT has moved its famous Gingerbread Capitol from the American Adventure Pavilion to the World Showplace this year!

Gingerbread Capitol

The display features the U.S. Capitol Building, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial…

Gingerbread Capitol

…along with a few other surprises (Hidden Mickeys included!) for guests to discover as they look at the expansive Gingerbread decoration.

U.S. monuments made out of gingerbread!

You can read about how many details and all the pixie dust that were put into the construction of the Gingerbread Capitol this year with the sign placed in front!

Gingerbread Capitol

Take a full look at the Gingerbread Capitol in EPCOT here!

The World Showplace stage was also set up for JOYFUL! as the holiday gospel group sang loud and proud for everyone to hear!

Joyful Stage

And, they were absolutely incredible with their amazing harmonies and wonderful music!

Joyful!

Plus, there was also a pianist playing holiday tunes for everyone to enjoy.

Pianist

And, now what you’ve all been waiting for… THE FOOD! The World Showplace is featuring a few booths indoors this year…

Holiday Hearth

…including the Holiday Hearth!

Holiday Hearth Menu

While guests are there, they can try the Red Velvet Mini Bundt Cake

Red Velvet Mini Bundt Cake

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

Mouse Crunch

Mouse Crunch

Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie

Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Mickey Tart

Chocolate Mickey Tart

…and Gingerbread Milkshake!

Gingerbread Milkshake

Prost! is also across the way with more savory eats and sips…

Prost! Menu

…like the Charcuterie and Cheese Plate!

Charcuterie and Cheese Plate

The Festival Favorites booth has a mixture of items for guests to try…

Festival Favorites Menu

…as the Duck Confit and Dumplings with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Fig Reduction

Duck Confit and Dumplings

Blacked Bass with White Cheddar Grits, Okra, Tomato, and Onion Stew

Blacked Bass

Gingerbread Cookie

Gingerbread Cookie

Coquito (AKA Tropical Eggnog)…

Tropical Eggnog

…and Frozen S’mores with Whipped Cream Vodka are on the menu this year!

Frozen S’mores

The World Showplace is also a spot where you can score a few stamps on your Holiday Cookie Stroll…

Cookie Stroll

…before you chill out at the distanced tables to eat some of the snacks available inside the building.

World Showplace Seating

The English Garden in the UK Pavilion featured the Twinings Iced Chrismtas Toddies we saw earlier…

Twinings Booth

…whose alcoholic version is made with Drambule and Twinings Christmas Black Tea.

Twinings Booth

And, let us tell you that it was SO tasty with a great twist on a regular iced tea for the holidays!

Iced Toddy

While we were in the UK Pavilion, we also spotted a familiar friend hiding above one of the store displays!

Olaf in the UK Pavilion

Now, we just have to think of a way to help Olaf down from there to help us on the Olaf Holiday Tradition Expedition scavenger hunt!

Olaf in the UK Pavilion

And, so we decided to set off on our full scavenger hunt around the World Showcase with our map in hand!

Olaf Holiday Tradition Expedition Map

Each of the showcases feature a holiday tradition from the country. And, since we already had UK’s tradition, we had 12 more to find to complete the 13-spot scavenger hunt!

Olaf Holiday Tradition Expedition Map

Over in the France Pavilion, we found Olaf with yule logs…

France Pavilion

…while he was nestled up to olive branches in the Morocco Pavilion!

Morocco Pavilion

Olaf also was carting around some poinsettias in Mexico…

Olaf in Mexico!

…dreidels for Hanukkah at the L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen…

L’Chaim Holiday Kitchen

…candles for Kwanzaa outside of the World Showplace building…

Kwanzaa Candles

…kagami mochi on rice cakes in the Japan Pavilion…

Olaf in the Japan Pavilion

…goat ornaments in the Norway Pavilion…

Olaf in the Norway Pavilion

…sheet music in the American Adventure Pavilion…

Olaf in the American Adventure Pavilion

…panettone fruit cake in the Italy Pavilion…

Olaf in the Italy Pavilion

…floating lanterns for the New Year in the China Pavilion…

Olaf in the China Pavilion

…candy canes in the Germany Pavilion…

Olaf in the Germany Pavilion

…and gingerbread men in the Canada Pavilion!

Olaf in Canada

And, on that note, we finally finished our Holiday Tradition Expedition!

Scavenger Hunt Prize

Once we brought our finished map back to spots like Disney Traders, Mouse Gear, or the World Traveler, we were given one of the Frozen Cups we found earlier as our prize!

Olaf Scavenger Hunt Prize

Keep up with all the places we find Olaf around the World Showcase here!

Although we’ve been following Olaf all day long, we also wanted to take a minute to appreciate the Germany Pavilion’s gorgeous Christmas village and train station!

Germany Pavilion Train Village

But, that wasn’t the only hunt we went on during our trip to the Festival of the Holidays! The Cookie Stroll also happened again this year with 5 different spots to visit around the World Showcase…

Cookie Stroll Passport

…before guests can pick up the Minnie Peppermint Cookie as their complimentary prize! Or, guests can also purchase the cookie as an extra treat for $3.

Minnie Peppermint Cookie

Follow along with us on our Cookie Stroll here!

While we’ve been making our way around the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays today, we’ve encountered some bigger crowds than we’re used to!

France Pavilion crowds on November 27th

The lines were longer with less spots to stop and eat or drink. However, be sure to plan accordingly with your party members so you can make sure to avoid a few of these problems along the way!

Lines for the Festival Kitchens on November 27th

Here’s how you can plan for the crowds before you go to this year’s festival in EPCOT!

Our quest for holiday snacks and drinks continued soon afterwards, though! We stopped by Le Marché de Noël for unique items at the festival…

Le Marché de Noël

…where guests can taste of a bit of French cuisine for Christmastime!

Le Marche de Noel Menu

We sipped on the Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

…as well as the Boosted Mimosa that’s made with Monin Immunity Boost! (So, yes, it’s almost like you have to try the mimosa… for your immunity, of course! 😉)

Boost Mimosa

We also snacked on the Dinde Forestiere Pommes Dauphines, which is turkey with bacon, mushrooms, and onions in a mustard cream sauce with puffed potatoes.

Dinde Forestiere Pommes Dauphines

L’Artisan des Glaces also has a brand new Gingerbread Ice Cream Martini

Gingerbread Ice Cream Martini

…as well as the Christmas Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich with its adorable red and green cookies!

Christmas Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich

L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen is the spot you can take a break from Christmas and celebrate Hanukkah instead!

L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen

The menu had different savory options to snack on…

L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen Menu

…along with the Shmaltz Brewing Company Hanukkah Beer

Shmaltz Brewing Company Hanukkah Beer

…and giant Black and White Cookie!

Black and White Cookie

Then, you can hop over to the Sapphire Holiday Kitchen near the Morocco Pavilion…

Sapphire Holiday Kitchen

…for a taste of Moroccan cuisine for the holidays!

Sapphire Holiday Kitchen Menu

The Funnel Cake booth had one of the biggest lines we’ve seen so far at the festival today…

Funnel Cake Line

…before heading over to the Tuscany Holiday Kitchen, which also had a pretty long line!

Tuscany Holiday Kitchen

The menu had multiple sips to grab to pair with your meal…

Tuscany Holiday Kitchen

…including a flatbread, the “Sacchetti alla Boscaiola…”

Sacchetti Alla Bosciaola

…and the Cannoli Siciliani!

Cannoli Siciliani

The American Holiday Table was more of a festive line, located right next to the tree in the American Adventure pavilion…

American Holiday Table

…with traditional Christmas favorites, like Slow-roasted Turkey

American Holiday Table Menu

Holiday Pot Pie

Holiday Pot Pie

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cheesecake

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cheesecake

…and a Crinkle Cookie that’s a part of the Cookie Stroll!

Christmas Crinkle Cookie

The Shanghai Holiday Kitchen had plenty of rice bowls and wontons to satisfy your cravings at the China Pavilion…

Shanghai Holiday Kitchen

…while the Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen in the Mexico Pavilion had sweet and savory treats instead!

Las Posadas

Guests could choose to indulge in the Tamal de Pollo

Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen

Giant Tostada de Chorizo

Giant Tostada de Chorizo

Dulce de Leche Churro

Dulce de Leche Churro

…as well as a few sips like the Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Tulum Mexican Craft Beer, and Horchata Margarita!

Tulum Mexican Craft Beer

Can you tell that Molly really loved the Las Posadas booth??

Molly with Her Las Posadas Goodies!

The Shi Wasu brought back a few returning items along with a couple new menu items…

Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen

…as guests paused for another spot during their snack crawl around the World Showcase.

Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen

The Ichigo Mont Blanc Tart was a new dessert option this year…

Ichigo Mont Blanc Tart

…while the New Year Celebration Soba and the Chirashi Sushi Tree are items that have come back again this year.

New Year Celebration Soba

The Bavaria Holiday Kitchen across from the Germany Pavilion didn’t have any new items this year…

Bavaria Holiday Kitchen

…but it did have the AMAZING Cheese Fondue and Linzer Cookie that we loved from last year!

Cheese Fondue and Linzer Cookie

The Refreshment Outpost even joined in the holiday festivities with a Frozen Slushy in the Spike the Bee Sipper (there must have been a few leftovers!)…

Refreshment Outpost

…and the Warm Brown Sugar-stuffed Pretzel with Soft-serve Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce.

Warm Brown Sugar Stuffed Pretzel

The Citrus Blossom also welcomed guests with treats all featuring citrus notes…

Citrus Blossom

…including the Orange Cream Shake that reminds us of a creamsicle!

Citrus Blossom

The Yukon Holiday Kitchen opened to guests with a bit of Canadian tradition…

Yukon Holiday Kitchen

…and a LOT of great returning treats (the Maple Bûche de Noël is one of our favorites)!

Yukon Holiday Kitchen Menu

Nearby, Mele Kalikimaka brought a whole new wave of flavors into the Festival of the Holidays this year!

Mele Kalikimaka

After one look at the menu, we knew we were in for a treat with SO many fantastic flavors and options…

Mele Kalikimaka Menu

…like the Lomi Lomi Salmon

Lomi Lomi Salmon

Kālua Pork

Kalua Pork

…and Haupia, which is Hawaiian Coconut Pudding with Candied Macadamia Nuts and Coconut.

Haupia

Mele Kalikimaka also had unique sips at the booth, including the Sparkling Pineapple Wine

Sparkling Pineapple Wine

Big Wave Golden Ale, and Melon Breeze with Spiced Rum!

Big Wave Golden Ale

After you’ve taken a break from all that food, you can chill out at the America Gardens Theatre to listen to the Voices of Liberty and Mariachi Cobre throughout the day.

America Gardens Theatre

Plus, you can even pop into the Festival Markets to check out the unique merchandise for sale!

Holiday Market

While you can spy a few decorations you might want to give your family members and friends for Christmas…

Holiday Market

…you can also find items inspired from spots around the World Showcase (like the Mary Poppins attraction coming to the UK Pavilion)…

Holiday Merchandise

…fuzzy ornaments your kids will love for your tree…

Holiday Merchandise

…and even Precious Moments Dolls inspired by your favorite characters!

Holiday Merchandise

Guests can even get their own faces put on ornaments with the caricature Cartoon Christmas Ornaments that are $40 per person!

Cartoon Christmas Ornaments

Find out all the details about the Cartoon Christmas Ornaments here!

As we wrapped up our day at the Festival of the Holidays, we got the chance to experience so much amazing entertainment this year!

Voices of Liberty

From the Voices of Liberty

Voices of Liberty

…to the Mariachi Cobre

Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre

…and even the JAMMitors, the entertainers performing brought so much magic into the parks AND our hearts!

JAMMitors

Here’s a look at all the entertainment at the Festival of the Holidays!

We’ll continue to keep you updated on everything happening in EPCOT today as we make our way around the park for the Festival of the Holidays! Stay tuned!

Click here to check out all the menus from this year’s Festival of the Holidays!

What is your favorite EPCOT festival? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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