EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays is a global celebration of the Season! The 2023 Festival of the Holidays kicked off on November 24th and will run through December 30th.
During the Festival, guests can enjoy enhanced offerings around EPCOT’S World Showcase (and beyond) and experience holiday traditions from various cultures as expressed through decorations, stories, music, cuisine, and additional special events.
For many years, EPCOT’s celebration of the season was known as Holidays Around the World. It was an annual EPCOT tradition for years, and the offerings were expanded in 2016 with the addition of Holiday Kitchens.
Holiday celebrations the world over share something in common: a major aspect of the season is FOOD. The food booths — referred to as Holiday Kitchens for this event — operate much like the Marketplace Booths for the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.
Click Here to See the 2023 Holiday Kitchen Menus !
Click HERE to See Everything You NEED To Eat and Drink at the 2023 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays — It’s the BEST of the FEST!
Navigating the Festival of the Holidays
When you enter the park, be sure to pick up a FREE Festival of the Holidays Passport.
It’s an easy-to-carry pocket guide to access all the Festival Offerings once you’re in EPCOT.
You’ll find them tucked in along with Park Maps at the main EPCOT entrance and at International Gateway (between the France at United Kingdom pavilions).
When you click the “View Allergy Friendly Menus,” you can find items that are friendly for guests with gluten/wheat, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut, milk, sesame, fish/shellfish and other allergies. (Please be aware that Disney states the following regarding the Global Marketplace Booths: “We use reasonable efforts in our food preparation and handling procedures to avoid the introduction of the most common allergens into your menu choices. While we take steps to prevent cross-contact, we do not have separate allergy-friendly kitchens and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens.”)
Holiday Cookie Stroll
Cookie fans are gonna love this! The Holiday Cookie Stroll has become a favorite Festival tradition! To complete the cookie stroll, you’ll need to buy 5 cookies from ANY of the cookie stroll locations featured in the Festival Passport. When you buy a qualifying cookie, make sure to get the matching stamp in your passport to show you’ve made the purchase.
The cookies for 2023 include the Linzer Cookie at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen.
Holiday Hearth Desserts is where you can find the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie.
The Black and White Cookie is found at L’Chaim!
And the SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® bar pieces is found at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen!
The entire list of options to choose from in 2023 is as follows:
- Gingerbread Cookie at American Holiday Table
- Linzer Cookie at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
- Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie at Holiday Hearth Desserts
- Black and White Cookie at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
- Spiced Chocolate Cookie at Nochebuena Cocina
- Snickerdoodle Cookie made with SNICKERS bar pieces at Yukon Holiday Kitchen
- Holiday Sugar Cookie at Connections Cafe
- Jingle Sugar Cookie made with M&M’S chocolate candies at Sunshine Seasons
We love this tasty tradition!
Walt Disney World’s EPCOT has always been a beloved destination for guests visiting during the Holiday Season. The Candlelight Processional is an endearing, traditional way to celebrate the Christmas Story.
A celebrity narrator shares the Christmas story accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir (composed of a Disney Cast Member choir along with an ever-changing group of guest choirs from around the country).
Three performances take place each night at 5:15PM, 7PM, and 8:30PM.
Candlelight Processional Dining Packages allow guests to pair lunch or dinner at a participating EPCOT Table Service restaurant and enjoy reserved seating for the popular production.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse — a Quick Service restaurant — also offers a same-day Walk-up Candlelight Processional Dining Package.
Visit our Candlelight Processional Page to see the list of this celebrity narrators along with restaurants and prices for the Dining Packages. You can also find our full review of the Candlelight Processional Dining Package HERE.
The Festival of the Holidays offers guests a glimpse into how different cultures celebrate the holidays that take place during the Winter months.
Guests are invited to the World Showcase Pavilions to hear Holiday Storytellers share the traditions that are integral parts of the season in the country they represent.
- Las Posadas Celebration — Mexico pavilion
- 11:05AM, 11:55AM, 12:45PM, 2:45PM, 3:50PM and 4:55PM
- Canadian Holiday Voyageurs – Canada pavilion
- 1:40PM, 2:45 PM, 3:50 PM, 4:55 PM, 6PM and 6:40PM
- Chinese Lion Dance — China pavilion
- 12PM, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM, 4PM
- Hanukkah Storyteller — The World Showcase Promenade (between the Morocco and France pavilions)
- 10:30AM, 11:40AM, 12:40PM, 1:35PM, 2:35PM, 4PM, 5PM and 5:45PM
- Père Noël — France pavilion
- 10AM, 11:05AM, 12:10PM, 12:50PM, 2:20PM, 3:25PM, 4:30PM and 5:15PM
- La Befana — Italy pavilion
- 11:15AM, 12:15PM, 1PM, 2PM, 3:30PM, 4:15PM, 5PM and 5:50PM
- Learn about the Daruma — Japan pavilion
- 11:35AM, 12:35PM, 1:40PM, 2:40PM, 4:20PM, 5:15PM, 6PM and 6:45PM
- Sigrid will be visited by A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa — Norway
- 11:35AM, 12:20PM, 1:10PM, 2:05PM, 4:15PM, 5:20PM, 6:15PM and 7:10PM
- Father Christmas — United Kingdom pavilion
- 11:30AM, 12:30PM, 1:30 PM, 2:25PM, 4PM, 5:10PM, 6PM and 6:45PM
- Santa Claus — The Odyssey Pavilion
- 11AM, 12:30PM, 2PM, 3:30PM, 5PM and 6:30PM (through December 24th)
Performance times are subject to change and can be confirmed each day in the My Disney Experience app.
Take a moment, too, to read about various cultural traditions in the seasonal scrolls artfully presented near each Storyteller’s performance area.
The Storytellers are one of several entertainment offerings throughout the Festival. You can also hear the Voices of Liberty in The American Adventure pavilion.
This acapella choral group dons Dickensian Caroler costumes just for the Festival.
Joyful: A Celebration of the Season
Catch a performance of Joyful: A Celebration of the Season!
This show features gospel mixed with jazz, R&B and more, celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa.
You can catch JOYFUL! daily at the World Showcase Plaza at 1:15PM, 2:20PM, 3:25PM, and 4:30PM.
However, showtimes may change, so be sure to check the Information Boards in the park and the My Disney Experience app to confirm times and performance location.
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition made its debut in 2020, and has returned each year since.
Get ready for a festive seasonal Scavenger Hunt! Guests can go on a hunt around World Showcase looking for holiday traditions that Olaf has gathered — and lost — along the way.
In order to help our pal Olaf out, guests can purchase a Scavenger Hunt map and stickers for $9.99 at locations like Creations Shop, and World Traveler at International Gateway.
Once you find ALL the Olafs, you can visit Disney Traders, Creations Shop, or World Traveler at International Gateway to redeem the map for a special gift!
This year’s prize is YOUR CHOICE of one of four Frozen-themed cookie cutter sets!
Holiday Attraction Overlays
The classic attraction Living with the Land — located in The Land pavilion in EPCOT’s World Nature — gets dressed up for the season with a lovely light display at night: it’s Living with the Land — Glimmering Greenhouses!
Special, festive touches enhance the boat cruise throughout the day, as well.
It’s a truly charming and festive display.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to Journey Into Imagination with Figment to see the star of the ride (that’s FIGMENT) in his HOLIDAY SWEATER!
EPCOT’s iconic Spaceship Earth in World Celebration presents a limited-time light show for the Festival! The show begins when it gets dark outside and plays several times each night. (Be aware that it rotates with the Wish show and 100th Anniversary shows at Spaceship Earth. However, each of the shows is only a few minutes long — the length of a song — so it’s easy to catch all three!)
Walt Disney Imagineering created a light display for the Festival of the Holidays inspired by winter, with images such as candles, snowflakes, and northern lights.
Santa Claus Sighting
Get ready to visit Santa Claus!
In 2023, he is once again greeting guests in a festive space inside The Odyssey Pavilion.
There is photo op with Santa and his SLEIGH in this immersive greeting experience.
Jolly Old Saint Nick will greet guests daily starting at the following times (for 60 minutes) through December 24th: 11AM, 12:30 PM, 2PM, 3:30PM, 5PM and 6:30PM. (In case appearance times change, you can confirm times in the My Disney Experience app during your visit.)
So… if the Festival lasts through December 30th, what happens after Santa has to leave EPCOT for his midnight ride on Christmas Eve? Weeelll….
… you just may find Santa Goofy in his place!
Gingerbread Capital City
The Gingerbread Capital City is an edible display presented in The American Adventure pavilion!
These patriotic displays feature gingerbread versions of iconic locations and landmarks such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
A gingerbread version of EPCOT’s American Adventure building made its debut in 2021, and has returned each year since.
Don’t miss this terrific tradition!
2023 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays Merchandise
And of course, no Festival is complete without some festive merchandise!
You’ll want to make your list — and check it twice! — for fun finds including Festival of the Holidays apparel like Spirit Jerseys, housewares, collectible Disney pins, and more.
Keep your eyes peeled for Festival goodies all around the park, including locations like World Celebration’s Creations Shop and specialty Holiday Markets around World Showcase.
More Good-to-Know Festival of the Holidays Info
EPCOT typically closes throughout the year at 9PM. However, throughout the Festival of the Holidays, the park will close at 9:30PM nightly.
We hope you’ll visit this page often for ALL of the information about the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays!