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Top 5 Things to Do at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Celebrate the season with these fun activities at the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays!

Get our top picks of things to do during the International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot this year!

Neil Patrick Harris narrates while the choir sings at the Candlelight Processional at Epcot's International Festival of the Holidays at Disney World

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For 2021, the beloved Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays arrives November 26th at Walt Disney World and runs through December 30th.

I’ve always loved visiting Disney World in the winter, because it’s a wonderful time to enjoy experiences not offered during other seasons.

In addition to the best Epcot rides available year-round, you can explore incredible holiday traditions from around the globe during this fabulous celebration.

You’ll find joy in watching multicultural performers representing Latin America, Asia, Canada and beyond throughout World Showcase Plaza.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot is illuminated at night, with a decorated Christmas tree in view during the International Festival of the Holidays

Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

There’s so much to experience during the festival, from the delicious regional flavors to the entertainment spanning both day and night, that it’s hard to fit everything in.

If you are planning to to spend Christmas at Disney World, you’re probably wondering what exactly to do first!

Here are my top 5 things to see and do at the International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot.

5 Best Attractions during the International Festival of the Holidays

To help you get the most out of your trip this December, I’ve put together a list of the can’t-miss holiday attractions during Epcot’s popular festival.

1. Candlelight Processional

Disney Parks is celebrating the sounds of the season with the Candlelight Processional.

This beloved holiday tradition features a celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece live orchestra and choir. A highlight is the telling of the classic tale, “The Christmas Story.”

In the past, guest narrators have included Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Jodi Benson, Marlee Matlin and Isabella Rossellini.

The Candlelight Processional takes place nightly at 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:15 pm. To get the best spot, head over to the American Adventure Pavilion about 45 minutes prior to showtime.

Or, you can book a dining package that allows you to view the show while enjoying a delicious meal. This is a great way to guarantee you’ll have a seat during this popular event.

Neil Patrick Harris is the celebrity narrator during the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

2. Holiday Kitchens

Sample delicious delicacies from around the world during the Festival of Holidays at Epcot!

There are over 15 different food booths located throughout World Showcase, each celebrating a unique perspective on holiday cuisine and tradition.

If you’re planning on park hopping, you can also find additional holiday treats all around Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom Park.

3. Holiday Cookie Stroll

Get your holiday sweets fix at the Holiday Cookie Stroll.

This sweet experience transports you around World Showcase in search of holiday-themed treats, including gingerbread cookies and other holiday baked goods.

Simply purchase a stamped map at Port of Entry, pick up a treat from each location and return the completed map to receive a complimentary surprise cookie.

4. Festival Entertainment

Enjoy sensational holiday entertainment showcasing multicultural performances and festive songs.

In the past, the amazing entertainment has included storytelling in the different pavilions, a guest-favorite show with the Voices of Liberty, festive music from Mariachi Cobre sharing the music of La Posada, and the JAMMitors on the Canada stage sharing their creative musical stylings.

5. Joyful! A Celebration of the Season

In years past, this jubilant Christmas & Kwanzaa celebration has entertained Epcot guests with Gospel, R&B, and holiday songs to celebrate the festive season.

Walt Disney World has not yet announced whether Joyful! will be performing again in 2021, so be sure to check back for updates.

Holiday topiaries on display during the Festival of the Holidays at Epcot, including Donald Duck, Goofy, and a snowman

More Festival of the Holidays Fun

And because there’s more fun than I could pack into this list, here are a few more bonus activities you won’t want to miss:

Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Scavenger Hunt

Purchase a map and sticker set at various merchandise locations throughout Epcot to complete this festive scavenger hunt.

Keep your eyes peeled for Olaf as he shares his holiday tradition in each World Showcase pavilion.

Simply place the included sticker on that location’s designated section of the map to help Olaf find his way around the world. Then head back to any of the map locations to collect your special surprise.

Gingerbread Capital City

Explore and admire this majestic gingerbread recreation of our nation’s capital.

Created by the team at The Gingerbread House, it includes all the notable monuments, such as The White House, Lincoln Memorial and U.S. Capitol building!

It also boasts a replica of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial seen from the Tidal Basin in southwest DC.

Although Disney has not yet confirmed this will be back in 2021, if it is, you should check it out!

Character Promenades

Wave to your favorite characters decked out in their ​holiday finest!

You can enjoy holiday greetings from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Chip & Dale, Snow White and many more of your Disney pals.

Holiday Décor Throughout Epcot

The Christmas decorations at Disney World are always magical, and Epcot is no exception!

Be sure to take a stroll down the International Gateway or along World Showcase Lagoon where you’ll see delightful character topiaries dressed for the holidays.

And of course, stop and get a few family pictures taken in front of the giant, decorated Christmas tree!

Enjoying Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays

For all the details on these exciting activities, be sure to pick up a copy of the Festival of the Holidays Guide at Epcot Guest Relations upon arrival in order to enhance your family’s holiday experience.

This is one of my favorite times of the year at Walt Disney World, and although we think Epcot is the best Disney park for adults, we also think there’s plenty to do for the whole family.

The weather’s beautiful, the parks are decked out in festive decorations, and the entertainment is on point. What more could you ask for? 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful trip, filled with joyous memories that last long into the new year!

More Recommended Disney Planning Resources:

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Giant Christmas tree at Epcot during the Festival of the Holidays