Christmastime at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida is something completely unrivaled by any other December holiday destination! What could be better than spending the Christmas holidays with Mickey and all his pals? I can’t think of a thing! But just in case you’re under the impression that Christmas at Walt Disney World is just for kids, here are 8 really festive reasons you should consider celebrating the season at EPCOT during the International Festival of the Holidays.
8. Admission is included.
Unlike Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, admission to the International Festival of the Holidays is included in the purchase price of your one-day ticket to EPCOT (or the purchase price of a multi-day ticket on the days you spend at EPCOT). This is great, especially if you’re visiting with your extended family or friends because everyone can join in the celebration of the season without an added cost.
7. It runs November 19 through December 30.
Because Disney World begins its celebration of the Christmas holidays in mid-November and continues the celebration until almost New Year’s Eve, you can plan to visit when it’s convenient for you, your kids’ school schedules and your work schedule, and you’ve got six full weeks of dates to choose from!
6. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
This is a fun and interactive activity your whole family will enjoy! Chip ‘n’ Dale are decorating their Christmas tree, and they need help. First, you’ll need to purchase a map and stickers from one of the shops at EPCOT. The cost is $6.99. Then as you and your family walk along the World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip ‘n’ Dale gathering ornaments around the Showcase. When you spot them, put the corresponding sticker on your map. After you complete the activity, take your map to Disney Traders, and you’ll receive a holiday surprise, compliments of Chip ‘n’ Dale.
5. Holiday Kitchens
If you’re a holiday treats connoisseur, you’ll want to make Holiday Kitchens a part of your celebration at EPCOT. Enjoy roast turkey and pork tenderloin at the American Holiday Table and Caribbean drinks and food at the Feast of the Three Kings kiosk. Then you can try scrumptious desserts and savory snacks at the Holiday Sweets and Treats kiosk. After that, head to the Mexico pavilion and enjoy carnitas tacos while you watch Mariachi dancers. And that’s just the beginning!
4. Candlelight Processional
This is a beautiful part of the International Festival of the Holidays, as celebrity narrators lend their talents in telling the story of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. A 50-piece orchestra and mass choir accompany the storytelling as well. This year’s list of celebrity narrators includes Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Trace Adkins, Neil Patrick Harris and singer Jaci Velasquez, among others.
3. Illuminations has a different ending and message.
This 12-minute show on the World Showcase Lagoon presents a special holiday twist to its usual show from November 24 until December 30. Hear holiday greetings in different languages from around the world. The popular song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” is a part of the nighttime spectacular, and a wonderful message of world hope and peace is presented.
2. JOYFUL! Gospel celebration
Tap your feet and sing along to some great holiday music during any of the several daily performances of JOYFUL!, an uplifting holiday show that mixes gospel music with jazz, R&B and more. The show takes place at the Future World Fountain Stage, and admission is included with the purchase of your park ticket.
1. See the showcase in dazzling decorations.
You know the World Showcase for its representation of eleven different countries from around the world all year long, but during the holiday season, the World Showcase gets a festive facelift as each pavilion is elegantly decorated for the holidays. Visit your favorite pavilions and get a different perspective as you learn more about holidays celebrated around the world. You can even learn about the different ways in which Christmas is celebrated outside of the United States.
There are so many reasons to visit the Disney World Resort during the Christmas season. EPCOT alone boasts a myriad of ways to celebrate the holidays Disney-style. Though it can be a crowded time of year, the spirit of the season is alive and well in the parks, and it’s definitely an experience every Disney fan needs to have once. Or twice. Or more.