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Overview of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays for 2023

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Overview of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays for 2023

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 24 – December 30, 2023.

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 the Festival of the Holidays is one of the shorter festivals at Epcot, it is still packed full of holiday fun and activities.

epcot giant tree

Here’s what you’ll find:

Looking for show times? You can check for that in your My Disney Experience app.

Candlelight Processional

Candlelight Processional stage

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 (5:15, 7:00 and 8:30 p.m.).

There is no cost to attend, although it is very popular, so securing a seat can be a challenge.

Candlelight Processional stage

Our favorite way to guarantee a seat is to book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package which pairs a meal with a ticket for a seat at the Candlelight Processional.

Depending on which of the restaurants you choose, prices usually range between $64-$100 for an adult and $28-$46 for a child. No word yet on when packages will open for booking in 2023.

Keep in mind that prices below exclude tax and gratuity (below is 2022 pricing):

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Norway Pavilion
Biergarten Restaurant
Germany Pavilion
Coral Reef Restaurant
The Living Seas
Garden Grill Restaurant
The Land Pavilion
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Canada Pavilion
Rose & Crown Dining Room
United Kingdom Pavilion

If you aren’t able to snag one of the packages before you arrive, there are sometimes limited spots for day-of dining packages. In 2022, these were available at 2 restaurants: Regal Eagle Smokehouse (Quick Service) and Spice Road Table.

If you are interested in one of these, you’ll need to sign up at the restaurant as soon as possible on the day of the performance.

Here is 2022 info:

Regal Eagle Smokehouse
American Adventure Pavilion
Spice Road Table
Morocco 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 even if you DO have a dining package, 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’ll still want to get there early. 

Arriving 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. 

candlelight processional dining package

Here is a list of the narrators for the 2022 Candlelight Processional (we will update with 2023 narrators when they are announced):

  • Simu Liu (NEW) — November 25 and 26, 2022
  • Chita Rivera — November 27 through 29, 2022
  • Raul Esparza (NEW) — November 30 and December 1, 2022
  • Whoopi Goldberg — December 2 and December 3, 2022
  • Isabella Rossellini — December 4 through December 6, 2022
  • Daymond John (NEW) — December 7 and December 9, 2022
  • Josh Gad (NEW) — December 10 through December 12, 2022
  • Gloria Estefan (NEW) — December 13 and December 14, 2022
  • Neil Patrick Harris — December 15 through December 18, 2022
  • Mariska Hargitay (NEW) — December 19 and December 20, 2022
  • Cal Ripken Jr. — December 21 through December 23, 2022
  • Marie Osmond — December 24 through December 26, 2022
  • Courtney Vance — December 27 and December 28, 2022
  • Angela Bassett — December 29 and December 30, 2022

Take a look at a sampling of some shows from a few years ago – including one that was hosted by our pretend BFF, Neil Patrick Harris, who normally narrates CP for a couple of nights.

Joyful! A Celebration of the Season (unconfirmed for 2023)

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 their location at the entrance to the World Showcase is a perfect spot to get guests fully immersed in the spirit of the holidays.

In 2022, performances began at 2:40 PM, 3:45 PM, 4:50 PM and 6:10 PM daily at World Showcase Plaza.

Mariachi Cobre (unconfirmed for 2023)

Marichi Cobre joins in the with dancers and piñatas for the Los Posadas festivities in the Mexico Pavilion.

mariachi cobre

Voices of Liberty (unconfirmed for 2023)

It simply would not be the Festival of the Holidays without Voices of Liberty.

During the holidays, the popular a cappella group becomes the “Dickens Carolers” and can be seen performing charming holiday melodies in the American Adventure rotunda. 

You can usually find showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.

voices of liberty dickens carolers showtimes

JAMMitors (unconfirmed for 2023)

The JAMMitors typically modify their performances based upon the season. They can usually be found performing in World Discovery near Connections.

Living with the Land: Glimmering Greenhouses

Decorations inside Living with the Land are a relatively new thing, and we are so very excited to see they are returning in 2023 and will run from November 24 through December 30!

The ride is the same for 2023, but instead of being called “Living with the Land: Merry & Bright Nights” (as it was prior to 2022), it’s now called “Living with the Land: Glimmering Greenhouses”!

Living with the Land

Honestly, we weren’t certain this attraction could get any better, but the addition of the beautiful lights is the cherry on top!

Spaceship Earth Holiday Lighting Composition (unconfirmed for 2023)

In 2022, Spaceship Earth was transformed with a holiday-themed composition through December 30. It is unclear if this will return in 2023 — or if a new show will debut. We expect some type of holiday show to appear on Spaceship Earth, so stay tuned for more updates.

Spaceship earth holiday

Holiday Kitchens

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 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 the 19 festival Holiday Kitchens that were available in 2022 (we will update with the 2023 booths once they are announced):

  • 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 Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
    Join in on the festivities when you visit this new location offering cinnamon-glazed nuts and holiday beverages.
  • Connections Café & Eatery – World Celebration
    Try holiday cookies and specialty 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 – The Odyssey Pavilion
    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!
  • Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie – France Pavilion
    Order a festive macaron that’s in the shape of a Christmas tree.
  • Nochebuena Cocina – Near Port of Entry – NEW!
    Delight in a delicious plant-based offering while celebrating the happiest season of the year!
  • Shanghai Holiday Kitchen – China Pavilion
    Have yourself a merry little meal—tempt taste buds with popular plates and potables from the China Pavilion!
  • Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen – Japan Pavilion
    Please your palate with an array of festive dishes and drinks served at the Japan Pavilion.
  • Sunshine Season – The Land Pavilion
    Find a special Christmas cookie here that’s part of the Holiday Cookie Stroll.
  • 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.

Additional Locations

  • Funnel Cake – Between the American Adventure Pavilion
    Satisfy your sweet tooth with a holiday classic: Sweet Potato Casserole 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: Peanut Stew with sweet potatoes, mustard greens and roasted peanuts. (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 (unconfirmed for 2023)

While Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Scavenger Hunt hasn’t been confirmed for 2023, we expect it to return, just like it did in 2022.

To participate, guests simply need to pick up a map, which is usually 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, 2023 you’ll be able to collect your prize (which is a small, zippered pouch) that Disney says is “worth melting for”.

Santa Claus

In 2023, you’ll once again be able to say hello to Santa Claus in the Odyssey Pavilion through December 24th.

Santa will be available every day for 60 minute windows at the following times: 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM.

santa odyssey pavilion epcot

Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app to confirm schedules on the day of your visit.

In 2022, Santa Goofy made appearances here beginning December 25 through the end of the festival. It’s unclear if he will do the same in 2023.

World Showcase Storytellers

Back again for 2023 are the World Showcase Storytellers. These storytellers share holiday traditions from around the world.

Below is the schedule and graphic from 2022. Stay tuned for 2023 updates.

festival of the holidays world showcase storytellers
  • Mexico: Las Posadas Celebration – Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Thursdays
      • 11:05 AM, 12:05 PM, 1:05 PM, 3:05 PM, 4:10 PM and 5:15 PM
      • 25-minute performances
  • Norway: A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa – Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 11:35 AM, 12:35 PM, 1:35 PM, 2:35PM, 4:35PM, 5:35 PM, 6:35 PM and 7:10 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • China: Chinese Lion Dancer – Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year
    • Performance Details:
      • Saturdays and Sundays
      • Noon, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • China: Si-Zhu Trio – Celebrate the Lunar New Year with traditional Chinese folk music played by renowned musicians
    • Performance Details:
      • Mondays through Fridays
      • Noon, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • Italy: La Befana – Listen to the tale of La Befana, a kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping children on the eve of the Epiphany
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 11:30 AM, 12:15 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:40 PM, 3:35 PM, 4:20 PM, 5:05 PM and 5:45 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • The Odyssey Pavilion: Santa Claus  – Get ready for Christmas with Santa Claus through December 24. Whether you know him as St. Nick, Père Noël or Father Christmas, a visit with jolly Santa Claus brings good cheer to the season
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM
      • 60-minute performances
  • Japan: Daruma Storyteller – Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • Between France & Morocco: Hanukkah Storyteller – Guests will discover an entertaining celebration of Hanukkah along World Showcase promenade, where a storyteller recounts traveling abroad to explore the diverse music and traditions of Hanukkah around the world.
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 10:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:15 PM, 2:45 PM, 3:45 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • France: Père Noël – Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:10 PM, 12:50 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:15 PM, 4:30 PM and 5:15 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • United Kingdom: Father Christmas – Join Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:30 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM
      • 15-minute performances
  • Canada: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs – Explore holiday customs from the various regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North with the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
    • Performance Details:
      • Sundays through Saturdays
      • 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM, 3:25 PM, 4:30 PM and 6:35 PM
      • 20-minute performances
Epcot France storyteller Festival of the Holidays

Holiday Cookie Stroll

This fun addition that debuted in 2018 is making a return for 2023.

The Holiday Cookie 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 in 2022:

  • Nochebuena Cocina: Alfajores – Vanilla Shortbread Cookie with Dulce de Leche and Coconut
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen: SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® Bar pieces 
  • L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White Cookie (plant-based) 
  • American Holiday Table: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie  
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer Cookie 
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts: Gingerbread Cookie 
  • Sunshine Seasons: M&M’s® Sugar Cookie 
  • Connections Café: Sugar Cookie 

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Overlay (unconfirmed for 2023)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is known for its music, and during the 2022 holiday season, they switched out their current list for a new song that’s a “mash-up” of all your favorite Christmas hits.

But, as of right now, Disney has not confirmed that this will return for 2023.

guardians of the galaxy


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Heather Thomas

V O'keef

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

Festivus? Not hardly at WDW.