I’ve Been to EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays 25 Times — Here’s Why You NEED to Go This Year

The EPCOT Festival of the Holidays is a fun and festive event to go to every year!

2023 Festival of the Holidays

The festival brings joyful entertainment, ride overlays, and festive treats from around the world. I love to visit this event each year (I’ve been at least 25 times!) and always recommend it. But this year, it’s EXTRA special and you need to go so you can catch the new (and potentially exclusive to this year) happenings!

Even after all the times I’ve been to the Festival of the Holidays in EPCOT, I keep wanting to go back. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and feel that jolly Christmas feeling. When I went this year for opening day, there were a few things I noticed that were different than previous years. And they were definitely a GOOD different!

Let’s see what’s new!

So what’s so special about this year? Well, let’s take a look!

Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser is a NEW guest celebrity narrator for the Candlelight Processional! I just really like Brendan Fraser, but he’s not the only new celebrity narrating this beautiful Christmas show.

2023 Candlelight Processional

This year, there are NINE new celebrity narrators for this holiday show! The show goes through a re-telling of the Christmas story narrated by one of the many celebrities throughout November and December. You can catch new celebrities like Brendan Fraser, Eva Longoria, and Joey McIntyre, or returning stars like Neil Patrick Harris and John Stamos. Be sure to check out the full list of celebrity narrators here!

Candlelight Processional

The singing and live orchestra is spectacular and one of my favorite things at the festival. Be sure to catch it in the evenings at the America Gardens Theatre.

100th Anniversary Additions

While new celebrity narrators are announced each year at the Candlelight Processional, you don’t get to experience Disney’s 100th Anniversary every year. This year, special 100th holiday decorations are up around the park including on one of the Christmas trees!

100th Anniversary ornament

But 100th decorations aren’t the only things around for the festival. The four new booths that debuted for the 100th Anniversary during the Food and Wine Festival (Bubbles & Brine, Char & Chop, Swirled Showcase, and Wine & Wedge) have stuck around for the Festival of the Holidays. But I don’t know if they’ll become long term additions to the park or if they’re just here for the anniversary celebration.

Bubbles & Brine

You’ll want to get to the festival this year so you don’t miss out on these four specialty booths!

Double the Prize For The Holiday Cookie Stroll

Each year, EPCOT has a Holiday Cookie Stroll during the festival. You must buy five cookies from any of the participating booths and get a stamp in your passport. Once you have all five stamps, you’ll take it to the Holiday Sweets and Treats booth for your prize! Usually, you only get one prize, but this year you get two!

Completer prize

As a  promotion for the new movie, Wish, you get BOTH a peppermint chocolate shake in a souvenir cup and a Wish sugar cookie! Since you don’t normally get two prizes, this year is certainly special, and it’s worth doing this activity!

Past Spaceship Earth Shows

Another festival tradition is the show projected onto Spaceship Earth. The show changes each year, and if you didn’t visit the festival one year, you’re usually out of luck and don’t get to see that year’s show. But not this year!

2023 Spaceship Earth show

This year, I stuck around after the new Spaceship Earth show ended and noticed that right after, each of the previous years’ shows began playing! This was so special to get to see, and I don’t know if they’ll do this every year from now or if it’s only happening as an anniversary special.

Like a candy cane!

You’ll definitely want to stick around to see it if you have missed previous years!

Apple Caramel Crumb Cake

I can’t end this list without mentioning at least one thing I ate at the festival! I absolutely LOVED the Apple Caramel Crumb Cake at the Holiday Hearth Desserts.

Holiday Hearth full spread

The Apple Caramel Crumb Cake at this booth might be the BEST dessert I’ve ever had at the Festival of the Holidays. No, I’m not kidding. It was amazing! It was soft with perfectly cooked apples and the crumble on top was so buttery. It was fantastic. I would go to the festival for this dessert alone.

Apple Caramel Crumb Cake

There are so many special and exciting things at this year’s festival. Many are new and I don’t know if we can expect them in following years. So it’s important to catch them while you can this year!

Be sure to keep following AllEars for more Disney tips!

Check out everything we did, saw, and ate at the Festival of the Holidays

Do you plan to visit the Festival of the Holidays this year? Let us know in the comments!

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