Hey everybody, there’s a new itinerary out for arrivals 8/31 through 10/26/2019. You can find it here.

By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays



By Dave Shute

EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a holiday and Christmas celebration at Epcot, including decorations, dining, shows, and activities.

Renamed a few years ago from “Holidays Around the World,” the Festival of the Holidays keeps all of the former crowd-pleasing elements of Holidays Around the World and adds more dining options, making it parallel to other Epcot seasonal festivals.

In the past, the offering has run from the Friday after Thanksgiving until December 30. In 2018, for the first time, it had Thanksgiving as its first day. For 2019, it returns to the Friday after Thanksgiving opening and will be offered November 29 to December 30, 2019,

DECORATIONS AND CHRISTMAS TREES AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

As in all the Disney World parks, you’ll see holiday decorations in Epcot.

Future World does not lend itself to much in the way of traditional garlands and lighting, but you will find the Epcot Christmas Tree here.

World Showcase—especially the parts from the Western tradition—has much more, including this Christmas tree in the American pavilion…

…and more garlands and lights elsewhere in World Showcase; Italy is above;

Germany;

The UK.

THE HOLIDAY STORYTELLERS AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

At many World Showcase pavilions, you will find performers who depict the holiday traditions of the respective countries.

Check your Times Guide or park signage for when these shows occur.

There’s more on the Holiday Storytellers in Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays here.

THE HOLIDAY KITCHENS AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

New the last few years has been a greater emphasis on dining during this Christmas celebration.

A dozen minor venues typically offer a few tasting-menu sized savory and dessert offerings, along with pairings of wine, beer or other drinks.

My co-author Josh of easyWDW.com has posted reviews of each of these—see this, for example.

THE CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

The Candlelight Processional is a much-loved Disney World traditional that combines a massed choir with a re-telling of the nativity story by a celebrity narrator–for example–during the week of my 2018 visit, narrators included Whoopi Goldberg, Bart Millard, Blair Underwood, and Gary Sinise.

(c) easyWDW.com

The Candlelight Processional shows in the America Gardens Theater three times every night during the Festival of the Holidays, but can be hard to get a seat for unless you book a Candlelight Processional Dining package.

More on the Candlelight Processional at the Festival of the Holidays—and the package—is here.

ENTERTAINMENT AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

There’s more entertainment as well.

Some of the usual offerings take on a holiday flavor, as for example you’ll find in Canada.

There’s also a stage in World Showcase where you can hear “uplifting gospel, R&B, and holiday songs” a few times during the day—not worth a special trip, but give it a test if it’s about to happen when you are in the neighborhood.

THE HOLIDAY TAG TO EPCOT’S FIREWORKS AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

A temporary new show will replace Illuminations in 2019, while Disney does the infrastructure work to support a permanent new show that will come after that. I’d imagine it will have some holiday add as well.

TOPIARIES AND PLANTINGS AT EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

All over the park, you will also find lovely plantings and fun topiaries. Here’s some of my favorites:

For Disney World’s page on the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, see this.

 

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