After the past few months (you know, like 21 of them), walking into EPCOT for the holiday season is a reminder of what was and will be again. Last year, while we had a “Taste of” the holidays, there is nothing like an EPCOT celebration and that has returned in full force for 2021 — including my favorite holiday tradition: the Candlelight Processional. If you have never been to EPCOT during this time of the year, it is more alive than you will ever see it. With storytellers and musical acts all around the World Showcase, you are sure to find at least one act that would even make the meanest of Grinch's heart grow three sizes.
EPCOT has always been my favorite of the Disney Parks for this time of the year thanks to all of the activity, music, and food! During this festival, the chefs have put a little extra magic in the Holiday Kitchens with amazing dishes from all over the world located around the World Showcase lagoon, including returning favorites like the Pastrami on Rye, Slow Roasted Turkey, and everyone's favorite Holiday Cookie Stroll. Plus, a new fire-roasted chestnuts and cinnamon-glazed almonds and cashews at the Chestnuts and Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen that you will swear has to be right next door due to the amazing aroma that seems to encompass all of the park.
As much as some guests try to deny it, EPCOT is not just about the food — there are also some amazing attractions. They also get some love during the Festival of the Holidays, including Figment getting his own “ugly sweater” and Living with the Land getting some extra sparkle with the Merry and Bright Nights with a new holiday based spiel for 2021.
No trip around World Showcase would be complete without stopping by and telling Santa what you want for Christmas when you visit his spot in the American Adventure.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays really has grown out of the storytellers of the past to include one of the most uplifting musical acts, JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Seasons. This group has become a mainstay of the festival with music celebrating both Christmas and Kwanzaa, it is no wonder why they are the first group you encounter as you approach World Showcase Lagoon.
I could talk for days about how much I love this festival, but instead, I’ll just add a link here to watch more of the videos to help put you in the holiday spirit. But I do have to share my favorite part of this time of the year: the Candlelight Processional, with its origins dating back to Walt and Disneyland. Of all the things I missed over the past year, it was this. And while this may not be the full show, I think you will get the feels from what I did keep in and hopefully encourage you to book your own trip before the end of the year or maybe a gift for next year.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays runs through December 30th.
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.