Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.

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157.jpgThe Holidays have arrived at Walt Disney World and that means there is even more magic to be found. One of our favorite holiday traditions is the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This amazing festival is returning to Epcot this year and will run from November 18 thru December 30.

The Festival of the Holidays is a delightful array of holiday traditions from around the world, food and music. One of the highlights for this event is the Candlelight Processional. We have done a full blog post on the Candlelight Processional in past years but will talk a little about it here as well as certain aspects do change each year.

Candlelight Processional is an incredible experience and we recommend it constantly. What is Candlelight Processional? A celebrity narrator tells the biblical story of Christmas and they are accompanied by an amazing choir and orchestra. It is truly beautiful and amazing. The narrators change each year but some return year after year and are incredibly popular. Here is a list of who is narrating for 2018:

  • Chita Rivera – November 22 to 23, 2018
  • NEW! Helen Hunt – November 24 to 25, 2018
  • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 26 to 27, 2018
  • Robby Benson – November 28 to 30, 2018
  • John Stamos – December 1 to 2, 2018
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
  • NEW! Bart Millard – December 10 to 12, 2018
  • Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
  • Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
  • Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
  • NEW! Auli’i Cravalho – December 21 to 23, 2018
  • Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
  • Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
  • Cal Ripken Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2018

Some of the more popular narrators include Pat Sajak, Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris. New this year is Auli’i Cravalho who voiced Moana in the Disney animated classic which is amazing and I wish we could be there for that!

152Some of the more popular narrators as well as those closer to Christmas will have standby lines that you won’t believe until you see it. If you want to guarantee a spot for the show without waiting in a massive line for standby that doesn’t guarantee you a seat, we suggest the Candlelight Processional Dining Package.

The dining package offers options for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout Epcot including Biergarten, Chefs de France, Coral Reef, Rose and Crown, Garden Grill, Teppan Edo, Via Napoli and more. Prices vary depending on the restaurant and the meal. The dining package is the only way to guarantee a seat for one of the Candlelight Processional showings.

232You can also use the Disney Dining Plan for this package, it requires two table service dining credits for this. Even with booking the dining package, park tickets are required for admission into Epcot. For more information and to book your own dining package for the Candlelight Processional, click HERE!

One of the highlights of the International Festival of the Holidays are the food kitchens. This year’s festival has 12 kitchens featuring holiday favorites and traditions from different countries and cultures throughout the world.

A new kitchen this year is the L’Chaim which is featuring classic jewish dishes including pastrami on rye with house-made pickles and mustard, potato knish with herb sour cream (yum) and matzo ball soup.

151The American Holiday Table is a great kitchen! Located in the American pavilion, no matter the day, you can get yourself a traditional Holiday meal. At this kitchen you can partake in two holiday options. A slow-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce and/or hand-carved smoked ham with green beans and sweet potato casserole. For dessert, you can select a chocolate pecan tart with whipped cream and a whisky caramel sauce. Holiday libations include an Orange  Blossom Brewing cranberry kringle pilsner and a peppermint milk stout.

Over in the Germany pavilion, stop by the Bavarian Kitchen for a potato dumpling with mushroom sauce or cheese fondue in a bread bowl served with fresh veggies and potatoes. Top it off with black forest roulade served with cherry whip cream.

155Next head over to France and the Le Marche de Noel kitchen where you can experience traditional French dishes such as the bouchee a la Reine traditionelle which is turkey and mushrooms in a cream sauce served in puff pastry and dark chocolate and caramel buche de noel. Don’t forget the the spiced rum punch slush which is sure to be a hit at this festival.

Las Posadas holiday kitchen over in the Mexico pavilion is serving up a tamal de camaron; a traditional tamale stuffed with marinated shrimp. The Feast of the Three Kings kitchen offers two arepa options that sound absolutely amazing that you could pair with  tropical eggnog. Over at the Shanghai Holiday Kitchen, you can indulge in a mongolian beef bao bun and spicy mala chicken. The Yukon pavilion boasts one of our favorite returning items; the maple buche de noel.

20With so many delicious holiday treats to try don’t forget to take part in some of the traditional holiday festivities throughout World Showcase including hearing a story from Pere Noel and meeting Belle in her gorgeous Christmas dress.

This is a must do event for the holidays at Walt Disney World in our opinion and we hope you are able to check it out this holiday season. What is your favorite part of Festival of the Holidays if you have been before or what are you looking forward to most at Epcot this holiday season?

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.



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