Festive food, rich traditions and quality time with family and friends are the hallmarks of any holiday. And thanks to the International Festival of the Holidays and yuletide takeovers of two popular attractions, Epcot has a sleighful of it, making it an ideal place to celebrate the holiday season at Walt Disney World for 2022. Best of all, with a merry mix of kid-friendly activities and attractions, adult-friendly drinks with a festive twist, and a veritable world tour of everyone’s favorite seasonal sweet, the humble holiday cookie, there’s something here to satisfy guests of all sorts.
So, if you’re considering an Epcot Christmas vacation (or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year), bring a cozy sweater and a hearty appetite, as we dig into all the holiday happenings at Epcot in 2022, including a yuletide photo tour of the culturally inspired decorations spread around the World Showcase pavilions.
Celebrating the Holidays at Epcot – Christmas Decorations, Holiday Traditions, Seasonal Entertainment, Festive Treats & More
Each holiday season, Epcot is the last theme park at Walt Disney World to join the festive fray. (Blame it on the ever-popular International Food & Wine Festival, which typically runs from mid-July until a few days before Thanksgiving.) Unlike the rest of Disney World, which celebrates the season from November 11 to December 31 this year, the holidays at Epcot run from November 25 to December 31, 2022.
However, just because it’s late to the Christmas party doesn’t mean Epcot is lacking in wintertime fun. On the contrary, whether you’re into seasonal dishes and drinks, merry music, jolly holiday decorations or treasured family traditions, “yule” find it all at Epcot this holiday season – including, not to mention, all the Disney characters dressed up for meet-and-greets in their wintry best.
Along with Santa Claus (that’s right, Old St. Nick himself also makes an appearance), here’s everything coming to town during Christmas at Epcot.
Epcot Christmas Events, Entertainment & Experiences
You’ll find an avalanche of seasonal activities and entertainment during the holidays at Walt Disney World, and Epcot is no exception. No matter if you’re in the mood for live entertainment like holiday storytellers and the much-loved Candlelight Processional, a spirited scavenger hunt through the World Showcase pavilions, or merry makeovers of Epcot attractions, this edu-taining Disney Park has it all.
2022 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
If Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom is any indication, people love a good holiday party. And although not everyone celebrates Christmas, winter is still a festive time for many cultures around the world. The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays honors those celebrations.
Just like Santa’s unending sack of gifts, this globally inspired celebration of the season offers a little something for everyone, from heartwarming – and occasionally educational – live entertainment to a family-friendly scavenger hunt the whole family will love, especially when mixed with something boozy for the adults (more on that later).
Best of all, unlike Mickey Mouse’s seasonal soiree at Magic Kingdom, admittance to Festival of the Holidays 2022 is included in the price of your Epcot ticket. Given the less-than-magical price hikes that have been taking place around Walt Disney World, that’s a Christmas miracle!
Candlelight Processional at America Gardens Theatre
Each year at Christmastime, one of the most popular Epcot Festival of the Holidays offerings is the Candlelight Processional. Beloved by guests and cast members alike, this stirring stage show reminds guests of the reason for the season.
Starring a celebrity narrator (Neil Patrick Harris, of How I Met Your Mother and more, is an enduring favorite), a full orchestra and a massed choir, Candlelight Processional recounts the biblical story of Christmas, all set to an inspirational soundtrack of joyful holiday songs.
The production takes place three times nightly at the America Gardens Theatre in The American Adventure Pavilion, with showtimes at 5:15 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM. Due to its popularity, especially with certain celebrity narrators, keep in mind that the Candlelight Processional can be incredibly busy. As a result, be prepared to line up early if you want a seat close to the front of the stage.
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is all about how different cultures around the world celebrate during the winter season. And while trying festive food is a huge(ly delicious) chunk of that, one of the more unique and poignant ways to get in a merry mood is the festival’s holiday storytellers.
Posted up at different pavilions around World Showcase, these yuletide troubadours share holiday traditions from across the globe, telling tales of Santa Claus and his diverse alter-egos, along with other seasonal customs for Hanukkah, Japanese New Year and more.
Storytellers are located at every World Showcase country pavilion except for China, Germany, Morocco and The American Adventure. (Santa Claus is in The Odyssey Pavilion in World Celebration, while the Hanukkah storyteller is between Morocco and France.) That said, although you won’t find a holiday storyteller in the China Pavilion, you can ring in the Lunar New Year early with a lively lion dance or a concert of traditional Chinese folk music.
Performances are typically offered seven days a week (with one exception). Shows run for 15 to 20 minutes each and are offered several times each day. As a result, you have a good deal of freedom when it comes to slotting them into your day at Epcot. Storytellers include:
Las Posadas Celebration at the Mexico Pavilion
25-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 11:05 AM, 12:05 PM, 1:05 PM, 2:45 PM, 3:50 PM and 5:15 PM.
A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa at the Norway Pavilion
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 11:35 AM, 12:35 PM, 1:35 PM, 2:35 PM, 4:35 PM, 5:35 PM, 6:35 PM and 7:10 PM.
La Befana at the Italy Pavilion
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 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.
Santa Claus at the Odyssey Pavilion
Guests can meet Santa Claus throughout the day at The Odyssey Pavilion. Old St. Nick holds meet-and-greets in hourlong intervals, beginning at 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM.
Daruma Storyteller at the Japan Pavilion
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 11:20 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:40 PM, 3:20 PM, 4:20 PM, 5:05 PM, 5:50 PM and 6:35 PM.
Hanukkah Storyteller between the Morocco and France Pavilions
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 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.
Père Noël at the France Pavilion
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 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.
Father Christmas at the United Kingdom Pavilion
15-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:30 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 6:45 PM.
Canadian Holiday Voyageurs at the Canada Pavilion
20-minute performances are offered multiple times daily from Sunday to Saturday at 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 1:40 PM, 3:05 PM, 4:10 PM, 4:55 PM and 6:10 PM.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a festive feast with family and friends. Fortunately, this food-loving festival of holidays cooks up a smorgasbord of dishes and drinks, with enough options to keep you fed and happy all day long. Too many options to choose from? Let Disney do the deciding for you with the Holiday Cookie Stroll. (We’ll dig into both of these delectable offerings in a bit.)
Epcot often gets a bad rap as the least kid-friendly theme park at Walt Disney World. (Must be the booze-fueled tradition that is drinking around the world.) And although it certainly can’t compare to the likes of Magic Kingdom, there’s still a lot to do for kids at Epcot during the holidays.
Featuring everyone’s favorite snowman from Frozen, Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition is a seasonal scavenger hunt exclusive to the Epcot Festival of the Holidays. Participating in the festive quest costs $9.99 (plus tax). Just go to Port of Entry, the Creations Shop or World Traveler at International Gateway to pick up your yuletide treasure map. Then, once you’re finished, return to redeem your reward.
Voices of Liberty – Dickens Carolers
The Voices of Liberty are a mainstay of the Epcot entertainment lineup all year long. However, with their tight harmonies, Dickensian costumes and a capella renditions of classic Christmas carols, the Voices of Liberty are a must during the holidays. Shows are offered several times a day at The American Adventure Pavilion through December 30, 2022, with showtimes at 11:15 AM, 12:00 PM, 12:45 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:00 PM and 3:45 PM.
JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
As Buddy the Elf once said, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” If that’s the case, then you’re sure to feel merry and bright after watching JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season. This concert is a barn burner, creating a joyful noise with uplifting gospel and R&B takes on holiday songs.
Shows take place in World Showcase Plaza between the Christmas tree and the lagoon, with showtimes several times each day at 1:15 PM, 2:20 PM, 3:25 PM and 4:30 PM. One of the first things you encounter when you get to the Epcot Festival of the Holidays, it’s the perfect way to kick off your day.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Remix
Hoping for a cool yule this year? Rather than rockin’ around the Christmas tree this holiday season, why not try rockin’ around the galaxy instead? Over at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Star-Lord has updated his playlist especially for Christmas with jolly jams that are sure to put you in the festive spirit.
Keep in mind that as the newest Epcot attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is still incredibly popular. So, if you want to ride, plan to join the roller coaster’s virtual queue or be prepared to pay for Lightning Lane access.
Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses
While the science-y side of Epcot doesn’t really take part in the seasonal festivities, Living with the Land in The Land Pavilion of World Nature is a delightful exception. Each year, this educational attraction goes all out for the holidays, transforming the slow-moving boat ride into a twinkling tour through Christmas lights.
Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses turns this fascinating corner of Epcot into a winter wonderland with the help of a flurry of fairy lights and seasonal vignettes. To fully appreciate the festive effect, plan to ride after sunset when the greenhouses really put on a show.
Holiday Version of Spaceship Earth: A Beacon of Magic
At night, Spaceship Earth lights up like a technicolor disco ball for the icon’s Beacon of Magic presentation. During the holidays, however, this light show gets a yuletide upgrade with seasonal songs and wintry scenes. While you can’t hear the music unless you’re close to Spaceship Earth, the lights can be seen from many parts of Epcot. So, keep an eye out and have your camera ready once the sun goes down.
Epcot Festival Food and Other Holiday Sweets & Treats
What would the holidays be without a seasonal spread of cozy dishes and sweet treats? Fortunately, whether eating around the world, sipping your way through hot cocoa and eggnog, or sampling some of Santa’s favorites during the Holiday Cookie Stroll, there’s no shortage of yummy things to eat and drink at the Epcot Festival of the Holidays.
Savor the flavors of the season with bites and beverages from the festival’s holiday kitchens. Largely dotted around World Showcase, these holly-jolly food booths dish up seasonal favorites from across the globe.
From addictingly delicious cinnamon-glazed nuts and a classic turkey feast to festive fare worthy of Hanukkah or Las Posadas, including the all-new Nochebuena Cocina near Port of Entry, which cooks up festive South American flavors with vegetarians and vegans in mind, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
American Holiday Table near the American Adventure Pavilion
Stop by for festive all-American favorites just like grandma used to make, like a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings or soulful blackened catfish. Save some space for a chocolate crinkle cookie or Christmassy craft beers like peppermint chocolate stout or eggnog white porter.
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen near the Germany Pavilion
Tuck into cozy Alpine classics, such as pork schnitzel with spätzle and braised cabbage or melty cheese fondue in a bread bowl.
Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen near Test Track (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Bring a beloved yuletide tune to life with chestnuts that have been – you guessed it – roasted over an open fire, as well as other sugary spiced nuts like cinnamon-glazed pecans. Wash it all down with some boozy or non-alcoholic hot cocoa or eggnog.
The Donut Box near Test Track
Indulge in everyone’s favorite breakfast (or dessert!) pastry with a yuletide twist, including flavors like chocolate peppermint and eggnog with cinnamon and gingersnap cookies.
Holiday Hearth Desserts at The Odyssey Pavilion (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Satisfy your sugar craving with holiday sweets like cookies, peppermint bark, cinnamon apple cider and spiked hot cocoa (non-alcoholic version also available).
Holiday Sweets & Treats near Port of Entry (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
With everything from seasonal brews to a chocolate peppermint shake swirled with peppermint tea and whipped cream vodka (non-alcoholic also available), don’t miss this Epcot festival booth during your day of yuletide drinking around the world.
L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen between the Morocco and France Pavilions (Plant-Based & Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Nosh on Hanukkah-worthy deli favorites with New York attitude, such as pastrami on rye, potato latkes with smoked salmon and jelly-filled sufganiyot doughnuts.
Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen near the Mexico Pavilion (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Say “Feliz Navidad” with seasonal, south-of-the-border classics like tamales, tostadas crowned with braised barbacoa beef and dulce de leche churros, along with holly-jolly holiday cervezas and margaritas.
Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen near the France Pavilion (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Feast on fancy French fare perfect for the celebratory season like a smoked salmon napoleon or minty chocolate macaron lollipop. Wash it all down with an equally elevated frozen hot cocoa martini, spiced pumpkin punch or cranberry mimosa.
Mele Kalikimaka near Port of Entry (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Celebrate the season island-style with Hawai’ian favorites, such as purple Okinawa sweet potatoes mounded with kālua pork or refreshing lomi lomi salmon. Finish with haupia, a cozy coconut pudding studded with candied macadamia nuts.
Nochebuena Cocina near Port of Entry (Plant-based Options)
Sample the seasonal flavors of South America with a plant-based twist, like a tamale made with Impossible chorizo and non-dairy cotija cheese. Try with a horchata beer or chai ginger mule.
Shanghai Holiday Kitchen near the China Pavilion
Nosh on auspicious dishes cooked up during Lunar New Year, including vegetable spring rolls or warming noodle soup with slow-braised beef. Enjoy with a classic, non-alcoholic bubble tea or fruity cocktail.
Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen near the Japan Pavilion
Treat yourself to the festive flavors of Japanese New Year with yuletide flair, such as sushi shaped like a Christmas tree, cozy soba soup and gooey mochi cake. Finish it off with boba, sake or a potent punch made with shōchū and plum wine.
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina near the Morocco Pavilion (Gluten/Wheat-Friendly Options)
Hop on a magic carpet bound for the bustling medinas of Morocco with favorites like grilled kebabs of chicken and lamb kefta or stone-baked bread with hummus and herbaceous zhoug sauce for dipping.
Tuscany Holiday Kitchen near the Italy Pavilion
For many, Italian fare is a Christmas Eve mainstay. Savor the five-cheese tortellini in an umami-rich truffle broth or Sicilian-style cured salmon in honor of the Feast of Seven Fishes. Raise a toast with a glass of sangria, moscato or prosecco.
Yukon Holiday Kitchen near the Canada Pavilion
Fill up on cold-weather classics from the Great White North, including hearty beef bourguignon with smashed potatoes and seared scallops with parsnips and apples. And for dessert, don’t miss the candied SNICKERS-Doodle Cookie.
Holiday Cookie Stroll
Make like Santa and set out in search of Christmas cookies of all shapes, sizes and flavors during the Holiday Cookie Stroll. Like an edible version of Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition, this Epcot Festival of the Holidays favorite takes your taste buds on a world tour. Best of all, unlike Olaf’s seasonal search, participating in the Cookie Stroll is completely free (minus the cookies you eat, of course).
American Holiday Table – Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Linzer Cookie
Connections Café – Sugar Cookie
Holiday Hearth Desserts – Gingerbread Cookie
L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen – Black and White Cookie (Plant-based)
Nochebuena Cocina – Alfajores (Vanilla Shortbread Cookie with Dulce de Leche and Coconut)
Sunshine Seasons – M&M’s Sugar Cookie
Yukon Holiday Kitchen – SNICKERS-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS Bar pieces
Epcot Holiday Decorations
We don’t know about you, but we love Christmas decorations. Luckily, while you won’t find too many seasonal trappings around World Celebration, World Nature or World Discovery, with the exception of Living with the Land, World Showcase is filled with a festive flurry of garlands, ornaments and more. Be sure to visit after sunset to fully appreciate the festive scene.
For a festive photo tour of the Epcot holiday decorations, keep scrolling.
Like the other Walt Disney World theme parks, the Epcot entrance sets the yuletide tone for both the rest of the park and the Festival of the Holidays, with Earth-shaped ornaments and signage welcoming you to the festival.
World Showcase Plaza
With the Epcot Christmas tree at the center, this is where the 2022 Festival of the Holidays truly begins. Look for globe-inspired baubles as well as signs wishing you “Happy Holidays” in different languages.
Celebrate the spirit of Feliz Navidad with colorful garlands of vibrant flowers, ribbons, papel picado (Mexican-style paper cutting), and more.
Holidays at the Norway Pavilion are all about hygge, where cozy decorations with simple Scandinavian charm abound. Look for sweet details like rolling pin and spatula decorations at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.
Rather than Christmas decorations, the China Pavilion glows with festive red lanterns in honor of Chinese New Year.
The Germany Pavilion is one of the most colorful parts of World Showcase during the holidays, and a must-visit for fans of classic Christmas decorations, where gingerbread folk, nutcrackers, popcorn garlands and more deck the halls.
The Italy Pavilion puts a sophisticated spin on the holiday season, with lush garlands studded with sparkling garlands, glittered pinecones and ornaments shaped like musical instruments.
The American Adventure Pavilion
Christmas meets patriotism at The American Adventure Pavilion. Star-spangled swags of fabric, bunches of poinsettias and sprays of berries offer a classic holiday atmosphere. This is also the only place you’ll find gingerbread displays at the theme parks, with molasses monuments to the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and The American Adventure Pavilion.
Aside from some tiny paper cranes in the bushes and some lanterns that are hung all year round, you won’t find too many holiday decorations here. That said, the origami cranes are a festive addition if you can spot them.
As Christianity isn’t a major religion in Morocco, the Morocco Pavilion is another part of Epcot that doesn’t really decorate for the Festival of the Holidays. Instead, guests can see subtle swags of dark blue fabric in honor of Ramadan and Ashura.
The France Pavilion is another corner of World Showcase that keeps things classy with its Christmas decorations. Lush florals keep things fresh, while pops of metallics add a bit of glitz.
United Kingdom Pavilion
For holiday decorations with a royal touch, make your way to the United Kingdom Pavilion. There you’ll find festive decor with Anglophile inspiration, like regal touches of red, a massive yuletide tea set and nods to the Union Jack.
The Canada Pavilion is decked with Christmas decorations that would be right at home in the Northwoods. Rustic details like mittens, skis, snowshoes and frost-kissed foliage add to the wintry feel.
Well, folks, that concludes our Epcot Christmas guide and photo tour of the park’s holiday decorations. Are you heading to the 2022 Festival of the Holidays? Which celebrity narrator at the Candlelight Processional are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how to stretch your budget (and save more for gifts) with our discount Disney World tickets.