The holidays at Walt Disney World are one of the most popular times of the year to visit, and for good reason!
Epcot brings its own special touch to the season with the popular Festival of the Holidays.
The shortest of the Epcot festivals, this special celebration transforms Epcot into a yuletide spectacular.
Ready to learn more? Check out our overview below!
When is the Festival of the Holidays at Epcot?
This year, the Festival of the Holidays runs from November 26 – December 30, 2021.
Like other festivals at Epcot, it is included with the price of your admission.
What is there to do at the Epcot Festival of the Holidays?
Although things were scaled back for 2020, in 2021 we are excited to report that nearly all the holiday favorites have returned.
Here’s what you’ll find:
Looking for show times? You can check for that in your My Disney Experience app.
Probably the most well known piece of the Festival of Holidays, the Candlelight Processional is one of those traditions that many families return to see year-after-year.
You’ll find the Candlelight Processional in the outdoor American Gardens Theatre, which is located in the American section of the World Showcase.
There, celebrity narrators read a presentation of the Christmas Story while joined by a huge choir and fantastic 50-piece orchestra.
Trust us: the entire thing is quite moving.
This 40 minute show usually takes place 3 times a day (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m).
There is no cost to attend, although it is very popular so securing a seat can be a challenge.
There are some changes for 2021, though.
As Disney explains, “Since all these performers — including cast members, musicians, singers, and narrators — will be required to be fully vaccinated, this year we are not planning to host choirs from different community groups and schools.”
In place of these choirs, Disney is expanding its Cast Member choir “to fill the stage with voices.” Disney is “optimistic” that guest choirs will return next year for the holiday event.
But, many elements of the show remain, like a live orchestra and a celebrity narrator retelling the traditional Christmas story.
In the past, our favorite way to guarantee a seat was to book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package which paired a meal with a ticket for a seat at the Candlelight Processional.
Depending on which of the 4 restaurants you choose, prices range between $62-$74 for an adult and $25-$46 for a child. But, if you are interested in snagging one, you’ll have to be quick. Bookings opening up on October 26, 2021, and we expect them to go fast.
Keep in mind that prices below exclude tax and gratuity:
(ages 10 and up)
(ages 3 to 9)
Coral Reef Restaurant
The Living Seas
Garden Grill Restaurant
The Land Pavilion
Rose & Crown Dining Room
United Kingdom Pavilion
Without a Dining Package ticket, your only option to see the Candlelight Processional is to try for a standby seat, which for some performers can mean standing in line for 2 hours (or more).
And for the busiest times of the year (or the most popular narrators like Neil Patrick Harris), since your seat isn’t assigned with the dining package, you’d still want to get there early.
45 minutes ahead of the performance is generally fine (except for NPH if he’s performing; you’ll want to get there earlier for him!), unless you are extra particular about your seat.
We don’t have all the dates for who is narrating when, but we do have a partial list of confirmed narrators for the 2021 Candlelight Processional. Additional narrators will be added in the upcoming weeks:
- November 29-December 1 – Chita Rivera
- December 2-4 – Jodi Benson
- December 5-7 – Alton Fitzgerald White
- December 8-10 – TBD
- December 11-13 – Lisa Ling
- December 14-22 – TBD
- December 23-25 – Steven Curtis Chapman
- December 26-28 – Blair Underwood
- December 29-30 – Pat Sajack
Take a look at a sampling of a show that was hosted by my pretend BFF, Neil Patrick Harris, who normally narrates CP for a couple of nights.
Joyful! A Celebration of the Season (not yet confirmed for 2021)
JOYFUL! celebrates Kwanzaa and Christmas through spectacular Gospel and R&B vocals. It has been a staple for the Festival of the Holidays for many years, and we hope to see it return for 2021.
Mariachi Cobre (not yet confirmed for 2021)
This fan favorite mariachi group is generally found in the Mexico pavilion. However, we expect that you’ll be able to see them perform holiday favorites at the American Gardens Theatre.
Voices of Liberty
It simply would not be the Festival of the Holidays without Voices of Liberty.
Typically, during the holidays, the popular a cappella group becomes the “Dickens Carolers” and can be seen performing charming holiday melodies in the America Gardens Theatre.
During the holidays, these jamming custodians can usually be found performing on the Mill Stage in Canada, and although they haven’t been officially confirmed, they do have performance times listed during the Festival of the Holidays.
Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights
Decorations inside Living with the Land are a relatively new thing, and we are so very excited to see them back for 2021!
Honestly, we weren’t certain this attraction could get any better, but the addition of the beautiful lights is the cherry on top!
For most people, a trip to Epcot and the Festival of the Holidays isn’t complete without sampling food and drink from around the World Showcase.
And, just like the other festivals at Epcot, the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays also serves up sweet and savory treats (and beverages) in kiosks scattered throughout the World Showcase section of the park.
Here’s what you’ll see in 2021:
- American Holiday Table – American Adventure Pavilion
Enjoy a seasonal salute—dig into traditional dishes reminiscent of grandma’s cooking at the American Adventure Pavilion.
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Germany Pavilion
Willkommen—help yourself to heartwarming holiday dishes and refreshing beverages at the Germany Pavilion.
- Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen – Near Port of Entry – NEW!
Join in on the festivities when you visit this new location offering cinnamon-glazed nuts and holiday beverages.
- The Donut Box – Near Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
Enjoy a classic dessert dressed up in a little holiday cheer when you try one of our seasonally-themed donuts!
- Holiday Hearth Desserts – Near Port of Entry
Discover the hearth you’ll call home, with holly jolly desserts, hot cocoa and so much more.
- Holiday Sweets & Treats – Near Port of Entry
Rock around the Christmas tree with tasty desserts and festive sips sure to top the “nice” list.
- L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen – Between Morocco and France Pavilions
Propose a toast to life—sink your teeth into classic deli noshes with a side of New York flair.
- Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen – France Pavilion
Feast on très magnifique fare, wine and specialty cocktails from the France Pavilion.
- Mele Kalikimaka – Near Port Of Entry
Savor the flavor of fabulous, festive food and beverages from the islands of Hawa i‘i.
- Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen – Mexico Pavilion
Feliz Navidad—celebrate with mariachi dancing and south-of-the-border fare at the Mexican Pavilion!
- Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen – Japan Pavilion
Please your palate with an array of festive dishes and drinks served at the Japan Pavilion.
- Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina – Morocco Pavilion
Travel to the Morocco Pavilion for delicious kebabs and cocktails.
- Tuscany Holiday Kitchen – Italy Pavilion
Mangiare—savor a seasonal take on some of the world’s best-loved food and beverages at the Italy Pavilion!
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Canada Pavilion
Jingle your bells with delightful dishes and libations from the Great White North—at the Canada Pavilion.
- Funnel Cake – Between the American Adventure Pavilion
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a holiday classic: Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake.
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company – Throughout EPCOT
Salute the season with the usual selection of coffees, plus a tasty holiday-themed treat!
- Refreshment Outpost – Between the China and Germany Pavilions
Chow down on this year’s holiday surprise: Coconut-Pineapple Cake with DOLE Whip. (Sorry, guess it’s not a surprise now.)
- Refreshment Port – Showcase Plaza
Savor the flavor of holiday poutine and toast the season with specials like Coquito Soft-serve, also available with Spiced Rum.
“Olaf’s Holiday Tradition” Scavenger Hunt
Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Scavenger Hunt is back for 2021!
To participate, guests simply need to pick up a map, which is available for $9.99 from many of the shops in Epcot, including Creations Shop, Disney Traders, and World Traveler, and then keep their eyes open for the traditions.
Once spotted, there are special stickers you can add to your map. After you complete it, you can take your map back to Creations Shop, Disney Traders, or World Traveler at the International Gateway to redeem for your prize.
And, keep in mind that you don’t have to complete it all in 1 day. As long as you redeem your map by December 31, 2021 you’ll be able to collect your prize that Disney says is “worth melting for”.
Santa Claus is back for 2021!
You’ll be able to wave hello to Santa Claus just outside the American Adventure.
World Showcase Storytellers
Back for 2021 are the World Showcase Storytellers. These storytellers share holiday traditions from around the world.
- Mexico: Las Posadas Celebration – Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre
- Norway: A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa – Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller
- China: Chinese Lion Dancer – Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year
- Germany: Chilli Da Mur – NEW! – Join as this accomplished German vocal group celebrates the season with folk music, pop and original songs
- Italy: La Befana – Listen to the tale of La Befana, a kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping children on the eve of the Epiphany
- The American Adventure: Santa and Mrs. Claus – Enjoy a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who have slipped away from their workshop at the North Pole to bring good cheer to you this holiday season
- Japan: Daruma Storyteller – Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!
- Morocco: Festivity in Morocco – Join in as a lively band recreates the fun of street festivals and the holiday season across Morocco
- Between France & Morocco: Hanukkah Storyteller – Join the storyteller Zachary as he shares legends, tells tales and sings songs, highlighting Hanukkah celebrations throughout the world
- France: Père Noël – Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child
- United Kingdom: Father Christmas – Join Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer
- Canada: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs – Explore holiday customs from across the vast regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North
Holiday Cookie Stroll
This fun addition that debuted in 2018 is making a return for 2021.
The Holiday Cooke Stroll invites guests to the Festival of Holidays to try tasty cookies from around the World Showcase.
Cookies are available to purchase at specific “Cookie Stroll” locations and with every cookie you try you’ll be given a stamp.
Collect 5 stamps before the Festival of the Holidays ends (you don’t have to do them all in 1 day!), and you’ll receive a complimentary specialty cookie.
Menu items & where to purchase them:
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen: SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS bar pieces
- L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White Cookie (plant-based item)
- American Holiday Table: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie made with DOVE® Dark Chocolate
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer Cookie
- Holiday Hearth Desserts: Gingerbread Cookie
Holidays at Disney World
Want to see what the other parks are up to during the holiday season?
Read up on what you can expect in out Guide to the Holidays at Disney World.
- More Details Released For The 2020 Festival of The Holidays At Epcot
- Candlelight Processional Narrators & More 2021 Festival Of The Holidays Details Announced
- Passholders Receive Discount At Select Festival Of The Holidays Kitchens
- Epcot’s Festival Of The Holidays Extended Through December 31
- A Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Ends On November 22