Epcot Beckons with Yuletide Tales and Holiday Kitchens

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At Epcot, the International Festival of the Holidays kicks off on November 18th. Because there is so much to see and do, we recommend you arm yourselves with the special holiday park map and the Times Guide as soon as you arrive at the park. In the Times Guide you will find a list of all the performance times for the storytellers, the shows, and musical venues.

11 World Showcase Nations Dish Up Seasonal Specialties

Holiday Kitchens throughout the park tempt guests with the flavors of the season. Who can say no to Tamal de Camarón in Mexico, Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage and Spätzle in Germany, or a Bûche de Noël au Chocolat in France? If you do, at least go and treat yourselves to Gingerbread Ice Cream from L’Artisan Des Glaces.

But it is the storytellers appearing in each of the countries’ pavilions, throughout the day, that are the highlight of Christmas at Epcot. Stop by the United Kingdom pavilion where Father Christmas tells tales of Christmas past.

In Italy, meet La Befana, the good witch who brings gifts to children on Epiphany.

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Beware the mischievous Christmas Elf Julenissen at the Norway pavilion. He is known to play a little trick or two. His interaction with children is hilariously funny.

Mariachi players and dancers invite guests to join a traditional holiday fiesta in Mexico and tell the story of the Poinsettia, the Christmas flower. Each and every land has a special story or show, so visit them all!

If you are looking for the perfect holiday card head to the American Pavilion where Santa and Mrs. Claus are holding court.

An absolute must is the annual Candlelight Processional (the first performance is scheduled for November 22nd), featuring celebrity narrators such as Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Hunt, Blair Underwood, and Whoopi Goldberg—accompanied by a huge live choir and full orchestra.

If you are interested in dining and guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional, you may consider one of the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages.

For some uplifting Gospel and Christmas music, catch one of the shows of the Joyful! vocal ensemble. They are amazing and perform at the Future World Fountain Stage.

If you are visiting with young children, check out Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt ($6.99, plus tax). Free of charge is the revamped Kidcot Fun Stops. Kids receive free stickers and activity cards at each World Showcase pavilion that they can collect in a zip-top bag that looks like a suitcase.

End your visit by taking in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The show, which is set to close by summer 2019, gets a special holiday finale.

Good to Know: Keep in mind that, on Christmas Day, parks will fill to capacity quickly and Disney will stop admitting guests once that happens. So, if your heart is set on being there, arrive early, be prepared to stay all day, and don’t expect to see all the attractions. Epcot will often reach capacity, especially on New Year’s Eve. We suggest that you avoid park hopping unless you check that the park you are traveling to is still admitting guests.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter here. For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids by Bob Sehlinger and Liliane Opsomer, with Len Testa.

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