Epcot International Festival of the Holidays | Epcot Christmas Events
During the Epcot Festival of the Holidays, which takes place from November 18 through December 30, 2018, discover a festival featuring the joyous holiday traditions of the 11 World Showcase nations. The event surrounds you in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season as celebrated by cultures near and far.
Guests will be able to enjoy live musical productions, savor seasonal food & beverage specialties at the expanded Holiday Kitchens, and take a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase!
New for 2018
- Holiday Cookie Stroll – Guests can purchase cookies from cookie stroll locations, collecting stamps along the way for each cookie. Guests who get five stamps will be rewarded with a complimentary “completer” cookie and a cold glass of milk! The Holiday Cookie Stroll can be completed at guests’ leisure, with the ability to bring the passport back until Dec. 30.
- Holiday Kitchens – A brand-new kitchen will be introduced this year. L’Chaim!, will feature traditional Hebrew dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, egg cream and more.
Showing nightly to park guests from November 22-December 30, 2018 at 5:00p.m., 6:45p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The Candlelight Processional is a breathtaking retelling of the Christmas story in words and music complete with a 50 piece orchestra, choir and celebrity guest narrator. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages with reserved seating may be booked by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
During the Epcot Festival of the Holidays there are delicious Holiday Kitchens food and beverage kiosks. There will be 12 kiosks in total. These will be similar to what Guests experience during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
This year there will be a special Cookie Stroll around the World Showcase. Guests can purchase cookies at several festival booths and keep track of these cookies in the Festival Passport with stamps. After collecting and sampling 5 different cookies, guests can collect a special complimentary cookie from Holiday Sweets and Treats. The Cookie Stroll can be completed all on one day, or you can take several visits to complete the adventure. Once you have collected 5 stamps then you get to sample the complimentary completer cookie!
Holiday Storytellers at World Showcase
International holiday traditions unfold when storytellers such as Pere Noel in France, La Befana in Italy, and others, share the traditions of the season and spread the message of goodwill in short presentations that take less than 15 minutes. Holidays around the World takes place through December 30, 2018. Storytellers appear in each country’s pavilion throughout the day. Check the times guide for a daily schedule.
Canada: The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs will take guests on a musical journey across the Great White North, exploring unique holiday traditions from the various regions of Canada.
United Kingdom: Father Christmas tells tales of Christmas past dating back to 15th century England.
France: Pere Noel awaits your visit as he unfolds magic of Christmas with a letter from a child.
Japan: Daruma vendor tells the story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year.
American Adventure: Don’t miss the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers. This outstanding a cappella group brings in the holidays with a special repertoire of holiday songs. See Santa info below.
Italy: La Befana is Italy’s good Christmas witch. She comes down the chimney of the little bambinos (children) and leaves them treats. La Befana remembers the Epiphany and her first Christmas 2,000 years ago.
China: Enjoy the Chinese Lion Dance, which brings good fortune during the celebrations of Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival.
Norway: Sigrid, a beautiful farm girl, will give you all details of celebrating Christmas in Norway, and tell you of the mischievous Julenissen, or Christmas Gnome. Be forewarned though, Julenissen has been known to play a little trick or two on the storyteller herself.
Mexico: Celebrate with mariachis and dances with a holiday fiesta. Share in the music, dance and traditions of the season.
Santa Meet and Greet
Whisper your Christmas wishes in Santa’s ear at Santa’s Village in the American Adventure pavilion in World Showcase. Sessions are 70-minute each. Even Mrs. Claus will be there.
Holiday Character Topiaries
These festive red, white and green topiaries feature beloved Disney characters and can be found in several locations in the Future World section of the park.
Various entertainment artists perform throughout World Showcase and Future World.
Taking place on Future World’s Fountain Stage, this holiday show features the group Joyful. The show blends Gospel music and inspirational music.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
This kaleidoscope of lasers, lights, fireworks and music features a special holiday ending from November 18 – December 23, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. nightly and from December 24 – 30 at 10:00 p.m. nightly. The “Peace on Earth” holiday finale is narrated by Walter Cronkite. Some of the best viewing spots include the area between the two gift shops at the entrance of World Showcase, the balcony at the Japan pavilion, on the bridge between France and the United Kingdom, at the front of Italy’s pavilion (this area is often occupied by private parties), or from patio seating at Rose & Crown or La Hacienda de San Angel restaurants.
Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt
Chip and Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree, but they are in need of your help! To get started, simply purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise locations, at Epcot, including Pin Central, Disney Traders and World Traveler at International Gateway.
Then, as you travel around World Showcase, you should be on the lookout for Chip and Dale as they gather ornaments from holiday decorations in each World Showcase pavilion. When you find them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map. Once you’ve found all the ornaments, then, you will need take your completed map to Disney Traders and exchange it for a festive surprise.
Maps are $6.99 plus tax, and are available throughout the season while supplies last.
TheMouseForLess Epcot Tips
You can read more about the Epcot Festival of the Holidays on our MFL Blog.
Special musical performances can be found throughout the park. The JAMMitors, a talented group of musicians that play percussion on garbage pails entertain Epcot guests with their holiday show. Look for them in Future World section of the park. At Germany in World Showcase, during the holidays at the Biergarten restaurant, the oompah band plays holiday favorites in addition to beer drinking songs. Also stop by American Adventures Pavilion in World Showcase to hear the a cappella group, Voices of Liberty. The group gets out their holiday songbook this time of year.
Epcot’s holiday tree is located at the entrance of World Showcase Plaza. Its ornaments represent the various countries around World Showcase. You can find another large holiday tree at the American Adventure Pavilion in the center of Santa’s Village.
If you’ll be visiting Epcot during the very busy week between Christmas and New Years, it’s a great time to take in some of the less popular attractions like American Adventure, Impressions de France, and Reflections of China where crowds will be more manageable.
If you only have time to visit a few holiday storytellers at World Showcase, be sure to stop by Norway, China, Italy and Canada.
Visit Port of Entry for holiday themed keepsakes or visit Santa’s Village near American Adventure for all of your holiday trimmings.
Check out the gingerbread holiday display of the United States Capitol Building at the American Adventure Pavilion. The display features 5 hidden Mickey’s and a handcrafted garden, plus handcrafted miniature people made of chocolate!
Disney offers a holiday edition of its World Showcase Passport. The Holiday Passport features holiday treat and beverage locations, holiday merchandise, and holiday entertainment for each country around World Showcase, as well as any holiday photo ops. There’s also a place to collect the tradition country stamps. You can even get ask the Epcot Storytellers to sign each country of your Holiday Passport (or your autograph book), and don’t forget to get your photo taken with them. Pickup the booklet at holiday snack & beverages kiosks around World Showcase.