If you like Christmas, this really is the most wonderful time of the year in Walt Disney World. Though the Magic Kingdom and the beautiful life-sized gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian usually gets the most attention, there’s plenty to do at Epcot. Here’s a list of our favorite (Epcot holiday) things to enjoy this time of the year:
Walk around the World Showcase and enjoy the cooler weather while you visit Holidays Around the World, highlighting traditions from 11 countries. Kids love the story of Santa Claus in Germany but there’s plenty music, food and fun in each country. Schedules for these events are available when you enter the park.
You can snack around the world on holiday specialties starting on November 25 from locations in the World Showcase. Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:
- Prost! in Germany (artisan cheese plate or sauerbraten with red cabbage and spätzle)
- American Holiday Table in American Adventure Pavilion (slow-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce)
- Alpine Haus between France and Morocco (cheese fondue in a bread bowl with fresh steamed vegetables)
- Seasonal Southern Delights near World Showcase Plaza (blackened catfish with white cheddar grits with okra)
- Feast of Three Kings Feast near World Showcase Plaza (Three Kings Bread)
Personally, I’m all about the bread and cheese fondue.
Of course, the big draw is the Candlelight Processional, which also begins November 25, a retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, complete with a mass choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator. This years schedule has a few surprises as well as some old favorites:
- Nov. 25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
- Nov. 28-Dec. 1 – Neil Patrick Harris
- Dec. 2-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
- Dec. 4*-6 – Edward James Olmos
- Dec. 7-9 – TBA
- Dec. 10-12 – Robby Benson
- Dec. 13-15 – Meredith Vieira
- Dec. 16-18 – Jim Caviezel
- Dec. 19-21 – Joe Morton
- Dec. 22-24 – Ming-Na Wen – NEW!
- Dec. 25-27 – Jodi Benson
- Dec. 28-30 – Cal Ripken, Jr. – NEW!
The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the American Gardens Theater. You’ll need to line up early for seating or you can book a dining package which will guarantee you a spot. Make sure you book as early as possible since availability is limited.
Finally, take time to enjoy Epcot’s beautiful holiday decorations that reflect the culture and traditions of each World Showcase country. These backdrops make for great holiday photos.