It’s a world of holidays! We’re less than three days for the kick-off of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays. Once our last bite of turkey passes over our lips, Epcot is ready for us to celebrate the holiday season. No better way to walk-off our Thanksgiving meal than a trip around Epcot’s World Showcase. We’re rocking our favorite Christmas socks (Olaf of course!), let’s take a look at what’s new for this year’s Festival of the Holidays!
Let’s Add On
Add to what? We’re adding on our to our fabulous DVC Duo holiday guide from last year’s Festival of Holidays. It’s one of our better articles if we do say ourselves, but you know, we may be a little biased. Feel free to take a moment to check it out, we don’t mind waiting. Solid, right? Ok, now onto what we have to look forward to this year.
Passholder Insights: One of the best times to experience the Festival of the Holidays is midweek. Weekends tend to be busier, especially the closer it gets to Christmas.
New Start Date
For the first time in awhile the Festival of the Holidays is starting after the Thanksgiving holiday. Traditionally, the festival began in the middle of November, usually the week prior to Thanksgiving. The only aspect of the event that began after Thanksgiving would be the Candlelight Processional.
This year the festival start date shifted because the Food and Wine Festival was extended to the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. It will be the last park at Walt Disney World to start their holiday season festivities. This year’s festival will run from November 29, 2019, to December 30, 2019.
Passholder Insights: The holiday storytellers within Epcot World Showcase perform at certain times and on certain days, we recommend checking My Disney Experience a few days prior to your Epcot day for times.
Candlelight Processional Changes
It’s a DVC Duo family tradition. The Candlelight Processional is a Disney Christmas must, anytime we are in the parks around the holidays. Every year the show is similar but different. What makes the spectacle different from show to show is the narrator. Disney World has a list of fan favorites like Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise, that partake in the show year after year.
Additionally, every year the Candlelight Processional sees new faces. This year’s Festival of the Holidays is no different. A couple of this year’s new narrators are Isabella Rossellini and Marlee Martin. For a full list of narrators with performance dates, we recommend referencing the Disney’s schedule.
Passholder Insights: For the most popular narrators we recommend looking into one of the Candlelight Processional dinner packages.
Cooking Up Something New
Did someone say new treats? Now you’re talking our language. A few of the Festival of the Holidays food booths will have new dishes to sample. One of the new dishes at the L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen between the Morocco and France pavilions is the Smoked Salmon Potato Latkes. You had us at smoked salmon!
Not to be out down is the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in the Canada Pavilion. Offering up a wild rice and ham soup, that is paired with the infamous Canadian pretzel roll sounds like the perfect dish for those cooler Florida nights. There is something about soup that instantly reminds us of the holidays.
Passholder Insights: Last year our favorite booth at the Festival of the Holiday was the Feliz Navidad in Mexico. The mole on the enchilada still has us talking.
It’s A New “Land“
One of the lesser-known holiday treats at Epcot is the holiday overlay at the Living with the Land attraction. This year, Disney World is turning it up a notch with an all-new Festival of the Holidays experience. Christmas lights and decorations will line different areas of the attraction for a festive ride. From the early glimpses, it looks like a must-see!
Finishing With A Bang
At least we believe so. In prior years, the Festival of the Holidays capped off each night with a special holiday finish to Illuminations. In October, Walt Disney World launched a new nighttime spectacular, Epcot Forever. At the moment it is unknown is the holiday finish will be added to the new show or not. If we were betting folks, we would say the holiday fireworks will be added to Epcot Forever. The bigger question is whether or not it will be a new finale.
Passholder Insights: For annual passholders there is not one but two magnets for the festival. Say hello to Chip and Dale!
It’s a holiday tradition. From the storytellers to the Candlelight Processional, it’s great to see Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays is staying true to its roots. No need to mess with something so wonderful. The question we have left to answer is should we order one or two of the Smoked Salmon Latkes. Two, it looks that good!