A lot changed after Disney World reopened this summer. We’ve seen several BIG events get canceled, while others, such as EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival, have been altered to account for new health and safety guidelines.
We recently learned that EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays is still very much a GO but, like the Food and Wine Fest, it’s going to be different from previous years. Don’t worry, though — the Holiday Cookie Stroll is still on! Whew! We shared a lot of new information regarding the Festival of the Holidays today, and some of it was pretty unexpected. Here’s what you might have missed…
New Scavenger Hunt
Just HOW different will EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays be this year? For starters, there’s a brand new scavenger hunt! Chipmunks? OUT! Snowman? IN! Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition is replacing the Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt. The basics are the same — guests can purchase a map and stickers for $7.99 at various locations and make their way around World Showcase to find Olaf as he learns about the holidays!
This year, guests will have to help Olaf recover details he’s lost about holiday traditions around the world. Olaf is a pretty hot (pun intended) character right now, so we approve of this change! It sounds like a lot of fun!
While we’re busy running around helping Olaf, we’ll also occasionally get to see Santa Claus make his promenade in his horse-drawn carriage. SANTA IS CRUISING ‘ROUND EPCOT THIS YEAR! That is awesome however, Santa won’t be doing it as many days this year. Santa will only promenade around World Showcase through December 24th. Keep in mind, he’s a busy man. Come December 25th, he’s got a LOT of kids to tend to around the world so we can’t just expect he be hanging out in EPCOT. 🙂 This is in line with what we’ve seen each year.
Guests will also not be able to personally meet Santa this year at the American Adventure Pavilion at EPCOT. Wave and say hi as he rides his horse-drawn sleigh past though!
Although Santa will show up for his promenades, we’re surprised that we haven’t seen mention of The Storytellers making any appearances during this year’s festival. These are performers around World Showcase who share stories about how each country celebrates the holidays.
Keep in mind the Storytellers have NOT been confirmed as gone for the year, we just haven’t heard about them. We spoke to a Guest Relations Cast Member who said they had no information yet concerning the Storytellers. This means as of right now it’s very much up in the air if they’ll be appearing or now. This is one of our favorite holiday traditions at EPCOT and one of those things that many guests tend to overlook, but we will certainly miss them if they don’t show up! What a fun way to learn about other culture’s holiday traditions! We’ll be keeping a close eye on this EPCOT tradition for you.
The Capitol City Gingerbread Display
Although we’ll miss the Storytellers, at least we don’t have to miss the Capitol City Gingerbread Display! But this year, it’s moving from the American Adventure Pavilion to World Showplace.
This year’s display is slightly different, too, and will feature the U.S. Capitol Building, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and a 5-foot-tall version of the Washington Monument! We’re down for some festive historical cookie action in EPCOT.
Festival of the Holidays will take place from November 27 – December 30th this year. And while EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays will certainly be different this year, we think it will still be a lot of fun, and we are SO READY for some merry-making there!
Will you be attending EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays this year? Let us know in the comments!