You’re in luck if you visit Walt Disney World in November or December. All of the Disney Parks are decked out and offer various holiday activities for all ages. At EPCOT, guests will enjoy the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays which embodies the true meaning of the holidays – togetherness.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays 2024.
What Is The Epcot International Festival Of The Holidays?
The Festival of the Holidays celebrates holidays and traditions from around the world. Of course, you will find the traditional Christmas tree and Epcot Santa. We love the Festival of the Holidays because it goes beyond this bringing together traditions worldwide. Guests can experience unique decorations, stories, food, and entertainment during this EPCOT festival.
This festival, along with the other Epcot festivals is included in your park ticket. This means that you do not have to pay extra (like you do for Jollywood Nights) to enjoy the festival offerings.
When Does Festival Of The Holidays Start 2024?
Festival of the Holidays at Epcot typically starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through December 31.
- November 29, 2024 – December 31, 2024 (Estimated based on last year)
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EPCOT Festival of the Holidays Food Offerings
Festival of the Holidays food booths are themed to different holiday kitchens around the globe. There are 17 booths placed around the World Showcase and select booths in the Future World of EPCOT. The festival booths offer small portions of dishes of flavors from around the world from $5-$15 each.
At the entrance of EPCOT and at all festival booths you can find a festival passport. This passport is your complete guide to all the holiday offerings and lists all festival menus. It’s a good idea to grab one on your way in and plan out what items (if any) you would like to try during your EPCOT day.
Best Food at Epcot Festival of the Holidays
It could feel like there are just endless offerings at these EPCOT festivals (because there are SO many!) Now we know everyone has different preferences but here are just a few of our favorite food and drink items from the Epcot Holiday Festival.
- Slow-roasted Turkey with Ben’s Original Stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce (American Holiday Table)
- Sushi Tree: Sushi Roll with krab meat and cream cheese topped with tempura, Ikura salmon roe and spicy mayonnaise (Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen)
- Chicken Skewer with creamy peanut sauce (Shanghai Holiday Kitchen)
- Vegetable Spring Rolls with citrus sauce (Shanghai Holiday Kitchen)
- Linzer Cookie (Bavaria Holiday Kitchen)
- Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini: Grey Goose La Vanille Vodka, vodka, chocolate milk and whipped cream (Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen)
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What is the EPCOT Candlelight Processional?
The highlight of the Disney Festival of the Holidays entertainment is the EPCOT Candlelight Processional. A 40-minute holiday performance of retelling of the Christmas story with a massive choir, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, herald trumpets, and the incredible Voices of Liberty. The Candlelight Processional features celebrity narrators. There are benches that have spaces in between for wheelchairs/ECVs along with reserved companion seating but we suggest arriving as early as possible to guarantee all seating.
Candlelight Processional 2024 Narrators
- The celebrity narrators for the Candlelight Processional 2024 have not yet been announced. We have seen Candlelight Processionals featuring John Stamos, Neil Patrick Harris, and Whoopie Goldberg in the past few years!
Be sure to check back here as we will update this blog when the 2024 Candlelight Processional narrators are announced!
Candlelight Processional Dining Packages
Since the Candlelight Processional brings in big celebrities to Epcot, the line begins forming for the show VERY early! We have seen the line begin to form as early as noon for a 5 pm show! If you don’t want to spend the day waiting in line in the World Showcase, you can purchase a dining package.
Now with the Candlelight Processional dining package, you can choose to dine at 1 of 7 Epcot restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You will receive a card for exclusive seating at the Candlelight Processional that night. When booking your dining package, you may also select which Candlelight Processional showtime you want to attend.
For example, this past year, we purchased a Le Cellier dining package for the 8:30 PM show and our dining reservation was at 3:10 PM. We wanted to ensure a seat at the show since we only had one night at Epcot. However, a few days before our Epcot visit, Simu Liu canceled and they had a backup narrator (Bart Millard) for our show. It was disappointing but the show was still great and a good lesson that this could happen on any given night!
Related Post: Disney on Broadway Series at Epcot
What are the EPCOT Storytellers?
Our personal favorite part of Festival of the Holidays is the storytellers! This is your chance to catch Epcot Santas around the world and learn stories of holiday traditions from various countries. The Epcot Storytellers explain the holiday traditions of their countries of origin.
On the My Disney Experience App, you can find performance times for the storytellers, and for each country, you can also find signage that highlights the customs and traditions surrounding their holidays. Some storytellers we highly recommend watching:
- La Befana (Italy)
- Las Posadas Celebration (Mexico)
- Daruma Storyteller (Japan)
- Father Christmas (United Kingdom)
More Festival of the Holidays Entertainment
- JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season – This musical performance celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa with Gospel, R&B, and Holiday songs.
- Spaceship Earth Light Show – The Spaceship Earth Light Show has become one of our favorite nightly Epcot activities. For the Festival of the Holidays, the light display is accompanied by an original version of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Spaceship Earth Light Show times begin right after sunset and run every 15 minutes.
Festival of the Holidays Activities 2024
Meet Santa at Epcot
Is it a holiday trip without a picture with Santa? Located in The Odyssey pavilion you can grab a picture with Santa! The classic tradition of photos with Santa begins each day at 11 a.m. and can also be experienced at 12:30, 2, 3:30, 5 and 6:30 p.m. This experience is very popular so be sure to arrive early.
Epcot Cookie Stroll
Calling all dessert lovers! You will want to know about the holiday cookie stroll at Epcot. To participate in the Holiday Cookie Stroll, purchase five designated cookies and collect stamps in your festival passport to receive a free completer cookie. To learn more about the Cookie Stroll, check out our article.
Living with the Land Holiday Overlay
Living with the Land is an underrated attraction at Epcot that finally gets some love during the holiday season. During the Living with the Land holiday overlay, festive props and lights get added to the greenhouses giving it a cheery spin!
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition
Olaf Scavenger Hunt Epcot 2024 is a scavenger hunt featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf! Travel the World Showcase to find Olaf figurines. Once you have found all of the Olafs around World Showcase, visit a specified retail location to trade your map in for a gift! The map costs $9.99+tax plus you can use Annual Passholder or DVC discounts on it.
Related Video: A Day at EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
Is Festival of the Holidays Worth the Visit?
Festival of the Holidays Epcot is worth the visit! We would say especially for the Storytellers. Take the time to catch a few of their performances. It’s truly fascinating to hear the different traditions of the holidays around the globe.
Tips for Epcot Festival of the Holidays
If you are visiting Festival of the Holidays, here are some tips to help make the most out of your experience.
- Arrive early and plan for lunch – The festival booths (and World Showcase) are typically less crowded in the early hours of the park day. Food booths typically open around 11 AM daily.
- Budget easy with a Disney Gift Card – At Epcot, you can purchase a Disney gift card on a bracelet to wear it. Not only does this make it easy to pay but it also helps if you want to set a budget.
- Ride Figment – Journey into Imagination with Figment is easily overlooked. During the holiday season, hop on the ride to see our favorite dragon in a holiday sweater.
- Disney Dining Plan – As of January 9, 2024, the Disney Dining Plan has returned! Festival food items are included and can be used as a snack credit.
- Ride Living with the Land at Night – The line will be longer for this ride at night but in our opinion, it’s worth it because of all the great holiday lights!
- Watch Spaceship Earth Light Show from Dreamer’s Point – If you watch from Dreamer’s Point, you will be able to see even more lights as Dreamer’s Point lights are synced to the music.
Related Post: Is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Worth It?
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