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Celebrating the Season: Holidays Around the World at Epcot’s World Showcase

By Guest Blogger Liliane Opsomer, co-author of “The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids”

Holidays Around the World at Epcot®My favorite Epcot® holiday event is Holidays from Around the World. While strolling from land to land, I enjoy listening to the storytellers in each country of the World Showcase. In Canada, Nowell explains how our neighbor to the north celebrates Christmas. At the United Kingdom Pavilion, Father Christmas tells of his country’s holiday customs. France is the home of Père Noël, and in Morocco, Taariji explains the Feast of Ashoora. In Japan, the Daruma Seller talks about how the Japanese celebrate the New Year. (Daruma dolls are symbols of the New Year and are said to bring good luck.)

On Fountain Stage with the iconic Epcot® Spaceship Earth in the background, Joyful! – A Gospel Celebration of the Season is performed daily at 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15 p.m.

Holidays Around the World at Epcot®At the American Adventure rotunda, you can visit Santa’s Bakeshop, a life-size gingerbread house made with real gingerbread, candies and icing. Santa and Mrs. Claus are also on hand for that very magical Christmas picture for your Christmas greetings. Special storytelling programs are held for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as well.

Holidays Around the World at Epcot®In Italy, meet la Befana, the good witch who brings gifts to children on Epiphany. Germany honors St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, and Helga welcomes visitors throughout the afternoon telling the story of the first Christmas tree, the advent calendar and the nutcracker’s origin.

Visit China and listen to the funny stories of the Monkey King. In Norway, meet the Christmas elf Julenissen, who represents simplicity and peace, and in Mexico, the Three Sage Kings (los Tres Reyes Magos) make appearances throughout the afternoon, bringing Christmas celebrations held in Mexico to life.

Don’t miss the Candlelight Processional, featuring a celebrity narrator accompanied by a huge live choir and a full orchestra. The show takes place three times a day  (5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.) at the America Gardens Theatre and is included with regular admission.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot®Special 
lunch and dinner packages are available for an
 additional charge and include preferred seating 
for the processional (call 407-WDW-DINE 
for reservations). If you don’t want to spring 
for one of the packages, I recommend lining
 up at least 60 minutes prior to the show of
 your choice. Guests with preferred seating are 
well advised not to come at the last minute either and instead should arrive at the reserved seating 
entrance 30 minutes before the beginning of the show. Seats within this section are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are opened to general admission 15 minutes before the beginning of the show. Here is the schedule of narrators.

The icing on the cake is the nightly fireworks, water and laser show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, with an extra special holiday finale.

Related: Celebrating the Season: Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park & the Rest of the World

Related: Celebrating the Season: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Related: Where to Meet Santa at Disney World, SeaWorld & Universal Orlando

Liliane Opsomer is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. Find her on Facebook.

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