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While the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays debuted in 2017, much of it is reminiscent of the previously held Holidays Around the World. Each of the nations represented around EPCOT's World Showcase lagoon has delightful performers demonstrating the traditions of their homeland.
Tucked behind the Fountain of Nations you will find Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season. The title is pretty descriptive since this is a gospel celebration that is shown a few times daily from the day after Thanksgiving until a few days before the new year.
What really puts EPCOT's International Festival of the Holidays celebration over the top are the storytellers, who, starting just after Thanksgiving, periodically regale passersby with tales of tradition from their areas of the planet. Most pavilions have their own storyteller and they are all unique, excellent, and interesting.
In addition to storytellers at each pavilion that share their local holiday traditions, there is live entertainment and food and beverage options at the Holiday Kitchens. The Kitchens are scattered around the lagoon, each with a different type of delight. Menus for this year can be found on our Holiday Kitchen page.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday events, the Candlelight Processional has a long tradition with Disney parks. The America Gardens Theatre in EPCOT serves as a wonderful venue for the processional’s performances, which sees three shows nightly (at 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:15 pm) from the Friday after Thanksgiving through December 30.
Even with the greatly expanded number of performances, the Candlelight Processional plays routinely to a packed theater. Capitalizing on this, Disney offers dining packages that include seats for the show. Many World Showcase restaurants participate, and the price depends on which restaurant you choose.
Alternatively, you can wait in a sometimes long “standby” line to occupy whatever seats are left after those who purchased meal packages have been seated. As you might expect, the more popular the narrator, the longer the line. If you are unable to get a seat, the show is visible from the walkway at the back of the theater. However, there is not a lot of room there, and you will most likely be trying to look over or around someone’s head. Plus, standing for 40 minutes is tiring, and security may put limits on the number of folks allowed to linger here. If you are interested only in hearing the show, note that it is loud and can be heard clearly from anywhere in the plaza outside the American Adventure building.
The narrators are different every year, for the most current list visit our Candlelight Processional page.
Everyone's favorite talking snowman is Olaf (well, he's top 4 anyway), and this year he's collected some holiday traditions from around the world. He also lost them and needs help finding them. The scavenger hunt is a separately purchased item available from merchandise locations while supplies last.
The roster of attractions during this event may vary day-to-day due to refurbishments and other factors, but the list below is what is normally available for EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays