Chip the Chipmunk with a scarf at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Epcot 2023 Festival of the Holidays Guide

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The rest of Walt Disney World may currently be awash in a flurry of Christmas decorations, but over at Epcot, the yuletide festivities won’t officially kick off until later this November with the start of the Epcot Festival of the Holidays. This year, the celebratory soiree is set to run from November 24 to December 30, 2023, sharing with guests the rousing music, tasty food and fascinating holiday traditions shared by cultures worldwide.

Eat and drink your way around World Showcase as you sample the most quintessential Christmas treat of all, the humble cookie, listen to Holiday Storytellers and the Christmas story, and much more. So, don your tackiest, most festive sweater and bring your appetite as we unwrap all there is to know about the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays 2023. (Updated November 22, 20223)

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays sign

Epcot Festival of the Holidays 101 – What Is It?

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a yearly celebration of the sights, sounds, traditions and flavors of the festive season beloved by cultures from across the globe. This merry event brings together a collection of worldly holiday kitchens, rousing entertainment, a Christmas cookie crawl, a scavenger hunt and more, making it a must-go for all fans of this spirited time. 

Best of all, you get to experience most of it with your theme park ticket, granting you access to:

  • More than 15 Holiday Kitchens (food and beverage costs not included)
  • Musical and dramatic performances
  • Exclusive merchandise (not included)
  • And other family-friendly, merriment-inducing activities! 

When are the Epcot Festival of the Holidays 2023 dates? 

Unfortunately, the Disney Festival of the Holidays is the shortest of the Epcot festivals, clocking in at just over a month long. This year, guests can soak up all the Christmas cheer from November 24 to December 30, 2023. Throughout the International Festival of the Holidays, Epcot will be open from 9 AM to 9:30 PM, with early park entry for Disney World hotel guests from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM. 

How much should I plan to spend at the Disney Festival of the Holidays 2023? 

Like the other festivals at Epcot, no special ticket is required to attend the Festival of the Holidays—just your regular theme park ticket. However, though food may be one of the stars of the festival (like any self-respecting Christmas get-together), the cost of those dishes and drinks is additional. Plan to spend between $3 to $9 per item. 

Christmas decorations outside Disney's Beach Club Resort

Where to Stay for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Want to stick close to all that Epcot Christmas action but not sure which Disney World hotel to stay at? For easy access to the festival (and a quick retreat to your hotel room once you’re too full or tipsy to do any more eating or drinking around the world), we recommend you choose one of the Epcot-area resorts or a hotel along the Disney Skyliner. A convenient location is crucial to getting as much done on your to-do list as possible while also making it easy to sneak back to your room for a midday nap. 

Walking Distance Resorts in the Epcot Area

Disney’s Beach Club Resort 

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Villas

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort (Good Neighbor Hotels)

Resorts With Disney Skyliner Access to Epcot

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort 

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Or, to make your visit extra festive, stay at one of the best Disney World hotels for the holidays, which get a dusting of holly-jolly decorations or giant gingerbread displays. 

La Cantina de San Angel at Epcot during Christmas

Holiday Kitchens: Epcot Christmas Food Booths

Aside from the gift-giving, Christmas carols, holiday decorations and, of course, spending time with the people you love, one of the highlights of the winter season is all the yummy food. Whether decorating cookies, gorging yourself on turkey with all the fixings or trying the many flavors of candy cane, the only holiday more foodie-focused than Christmas and its other cozy, cold-weather counterparts is ThanksgivingThis Disney Epcot holiday food festival brings the flavors of some of the season’s most delicious cultural, culinary traditions to 24 different food booths, including 17 holiday kitchens. 

Epcot Holiday Festival 2023 Booths

So, have we tempted you yet with all this talk of cookies and other festive goodies? Then read on for all the tantalizing Epcot holiday food offerings available at the festival’s many booths. For the complete menus, please refer to our Epcot Festival of the Holidays Foodie Guide.  

American Holiday Table

Enjoy a seasonal salute—dig into traditional dishes reminiscent of grandma’s cooking at the American Adventure Pavilion.

Bavaria Holiday Kitchen

Willkommen – help yourself to heartwarming holiday dishes and refreshing beverages at the Germany Pavilion.

Bubbles & Brine

Indulge in succulent seafood paired with celebratory bubbly near Port of Entry.

Char & Chop

Tuck into savory meats and pairings of beer, wine and more at this location near Disney Traders.

Holiday Hearth Desserts

Discover the hearth you’ll call home, with holly jolly desserts, hot cocoa and so much more at The Odyssey Pavilion.

Holiday Sweets & Treats

Rock around the Christmas tree near Port of Entry with tasty desserts and festive sips sure to top the “nice” list.

Giant menorah at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen

Propose a toast to life—sink your teeth into classic deli noshes with a side of New York flair, located between the Morocco and France Pavilions.

Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen

Feast on très magnifique fare, wine and specialty cocktails from the France Pavilion.

Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen

Feliz Navidad—celebrate with mariachi dancing and south-of-the-border fare at the Mexico Pavilion!

Nochebuena Cocina

Spice up the season with the vibrant flavors of Latin America at this booth in World Discovery.

Shanghai Holiday Kitchen

Celebrate the holidays with a little Chinese food at this location outside the China Pavilion.

Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen

Please your palate with an array of festive dishes and drinks served at the Japan Pavilion.

Red and green flags at the Japan Pavilion during the Epcot Festival of the Holidays

Swirled Showcase

Have a cool yule with frozen treats and icy sips at this booth near Port of Entry.

Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina

Travel to the Morocco Pavilion for delicious kebabs and cocktails.

Tuscany Holiday Kitchen

Mangiare—savor a seasonal take on some of the world’s best-loved food and beverages at the Italy Pavilion!

Wine & Wedge

Take it cheese-y this festive season with cheeses paired with other tasty flavors, including wine and brandy, at this location near Disney Traders.

Yukon Holiday Kitchen

Jingle your bells with delightful dishes and libations from the Great White North—at the Canada Pavilion.

In addition to these global-inspired Holiday Kitchens, seasonal specialties are also available at the Funnel Cake stand near The American Adventure, Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea CompanySunshine Seasons, Refreshment Outpost, Refreshment Port, Connections Café and Connections Eatery

Peppermint Sundae at Epcot Festival of the Holidays
© Disney Parks Blog

Channel Your Inner Santa Claus During the Holiday Cookie Stroll

With so many festive culinary creations to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming. So, unless you’re planning on stuffing yourself silly like Santa on Christmas Eve or returning several times so you can visit every food booth possible, Disney is here to save the day with their Holiday Cookie Stroll

If there’s one dish that evokes the many sides of the holidays, it has to be the simple cookie. Whether snickerdoodle, gingerbread or a sugar cookie shaped like a tree and doused with green icing and an avalanche of sprinkles, variations of this yuletide treat are enjoyed by celebrants worldwide this time of year. So, it’s only fitting that this sweet scavenger hunt is all about Santa’s favorite food. 

As you explore World Showcase, bite into five unique cookies of your choosing, from jelly-filled to stuffed with Snickers pieces. Don’t forget to claim the accompanying stamps for each cookie with a cast member in your Festival Passport. Then, at the end of your delicious journey, make your way to Holiday Sweets & Treats for a complimentary reward. 

  •  American Holiday Table  – Gingerbread Cookie
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Linzer Cookie
  • Connections Café Holiday Sugar Cookie
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts – Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie
  • L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen – Black and White Cookie (plant-based)
  • Nochebuena Cocina – Spiced Chocolate Cookie
  • Sunshine Seasons – Jingle Sugar Cookie made with M&M’S chocolate candies
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Snickerdoodle Cookie made with SNICKERS bar pieces
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“Neil Patrick Harris” by Jeff Kern is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Disney Festival of the Holidays 2023 Entertainment & Activities

While food is at the heart of this most merry time of year, and likewise at the Epcot Festival of Holidays, it wouldn’t be the Christmas season without carols, traditions and fun. So keep reading for all the scheduled entertainment for this whirlwind tour of holidays around the world, Epcot-style. 

International Festival of the Holidays Live Entertainment

As Buddy the Elf so eloquently put it, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” If that’s the case, then there’s a whole lot of festive cheer going around the Disney World Festival of the Holidays. From hearing a celebrity narrator tell the story of Christmas) during the Candlelight Processional to watching Holiday Storytellers share their culture’s winter traditions, there’s plenty to see and do.  

Candlelight Processional | America Gardens Theatre

Each year, one of the highlights of the International Festival of the Holidays is the Candlelight Processional, which celebrates the Christmas story—complete with celebrity narrators sharing a retelling of the nativity, a full orchestra and a massed choir. As you might imagine, this stage show is incredibly popular. So, be prepared to line up early to ensure you get a seat. 

2023 Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators include:

  • Chrissy Metz (New!): November 24-25
  • Luis Fonsi (New!): November 26-27
  • Ann-Margaret (New!): November 28-29
  • Simu Liu: November 30-December 2
  • John Stamos: December 3-5
  • Neil Patrick Harris: December 6-8
  • Marlee Matlin: December 9-11
  • Brendan Fraser (New!): December 12-14
  • Eva Longoria (New!): December 15-16
  • Joey McIntyre (New!): December 17-18
  • Sterling K. Brown (New!): December 19-20
  • Jordan Fisher (New!): December 21-233
  • Steven Curtis Chapman: December 24-6
  • Audra McDonald (New!): December 27-28
  • Lisa Ling: December 29-30

For those who don’t want to miss a second of the yuletide action, Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are also available at several Epcot restaurants. Depending on which restaurant you choose, dinners include either a full buffet, an appetizer, entrée and dessert, or a set of shareables (including small plates, a tagine and a dessert platter). One non-alcoholic beverage is also provided. Seating at the Candlelight Processional is also guaranteed, meaning that you won’t have to waste time in line trying to get a spot. 

Epcot Christmas decorations at the Mexico Pavilion with Mariachi Cobre in the background

JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season | Showcase Plaza Stage

Experience the joy of gospel and rhythm and blues as the JOYFUL! ensemble performs holiday music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Las Posadas Celebration | Mexico Pavilion

¡Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre.

A Mischievous Barn Santa | Norway Pavilion

Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller.

Chinese Lion Dance | China Pavilion

Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year.

Le Befana | Italy Pavilion

Come hear the tale of La Befana, the kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping young children on the Eve of the Epiphany.

Daruma Storyteller | Japan Pavilion

Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!

Canada Pavilion Stage during the Epcot Festival of the Holidays

Hanukkah Storyteller| Between Morocco and France Pavilions

Join us along the World Showcase promenade, where a storyteller recounts traveling abroad to explore the diverse music and traditions of Hanukkah around the world.

Père Noël | France Pavilion

Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child.

Father Christmas | United Kingdom Pavilion

See Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer.

Canadian Holiday Voyageurs | Canada Pavilion

Explore holiday customs from the various regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North with the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.

Santa Claus | The Odyssey Pavilion

Get ready for Christmas with a Santa Claus meet-and-greet now 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.

Olaf's Holiday Tradition Expedition

Other Epcot Holiday Activities

As much as we love tucking into something tasty while tapping our toes to the music, there’s more to this Epcot Christmas-Around-the-World Extravaganza than cookies and carols. So whether you’re on the (scavenger) hunt for an activity to make the adult-friendly Epcot a little more kid-friendly or are simply searching for that special souvenir, you’ll find it at the International Festival of the Holidays. 

Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt

We love a good Disney World scavenger hunt. Not only are they fun for the whole family, but they never fail to keep the theme parks fresh no matter how many times you’ve been before. This merry quest features everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, as he sets about searching for holiday traditions. 

Your scavenger hunt map and accompanying stickers can be purchased from either Creations Shop, Port of Entry or World Traveler at International Gateway for $9.99 plus tax, while supplies last. Then, once you’ve tracked down all those wayward traditions, head back to the store to redeem your complimentary gift. 

Laboratory at Living with the Land Glimmering Greenhouses

Living with the Land’s Merry Makeover

With its leisurely tour of Epcot’s greenhouses, Living with the Land is both relaxing and educational. But, this attraction gets even better during the holiday season thanks to a yuletide takeover – twinkle lights included. While it can’t quite match the jolly spirit of Magic Kingdom’s Jingle Cruise, this understated alternative is still worth a ride.

Disney Festival of the Holidays Merchandise

Last but not least, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little (or a lot of) holiday shopping, and there’s no better place to look for the perfect gift than this holiday festival. Epcot’s seasonal soiree offers a number of places to buy that special present or memento, from homespun sweets and holiday wines to spirit jerseys and mugs. There’s even a new collection starring Frozen’s Olaf and Sven, the loveable reindeer. So stop by Port of Entry, Creations Shop and other World Showcase stores to snag something for everyone on your list. 

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Well, cookie fiends and holiday fans, that wraps up our guide to the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays 2023. Are you going to the Festival of the Holidays? Which holiday kitchen are you excited to try? Are you ready for the Candlelight Processional? Let us know in the comments! To make some time for all the Epcot rides during your trip to the festival, don’t miss out on our 1-Day Epcot Plan. Or, to save some extra cash for even more tasty festival treats, check out our discounted Walt Disney World tickets.