2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays: A Complete Guide

by | Oct 15, 2021 | EPCOT, WDW Blog, WDW Food, WDW Merch, WDW News

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Use this complete guide to the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays to plan out your Christmas trip to Disney World.

Christmas is among the most magical times to be at Walt Disney World. The four parks and all the resorts transform into winter wonderlands full of holiday cheer. And while Magic Kingdom is home this year to the ticketed Very Merriest After-Hours event, EPCOT will host the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which is included in the cost of your admission to EPCOT.

2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays Dates

This year, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays runs from Nov. 26 through Dec. 30. Last year, the festival ran from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31, so we’ve got the same number of Festival of the Holidays dates to enjoy Christmas at EPCOT.

EPCOT is open from 11 AM to 10 PM with Park Hopper availability starting at 2 PM, but trust us, you’ll want at least a full day in EPCOT to experience Festival of the Holidays.

Your Guide to Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT

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Your guide to the 2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays. Photo by Tina Chiu

So what can you expect this year from the International Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT? Here are just some highlights:

Bookmark this page as your guide to the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, and keep checking in (or just tap for our Disney newsfeed and sign up for our newsletter), as we’ll continue to update this post and release new resources as more information becomes available.

2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Booths: Christmas Food and Drinks

Mele Kalikima Holiday Kitchen Booth

Holiday Kitchens are returning with a new addition for 2021. Photo by Tina Chiu

Each Christmas season, EPCOT serves up delicious holiday treats via Holiday Kitchens, featuring delicious holiday food from around the world. Here you can try everything from holiday pot pie to slow-roasted turkey to peppermint sundaes to pumpkin gingerbread cheesecake.

This year, Holiday Kitchens is cooking up a new booth offering: Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen. Here, you’ll be able to order fire-roasted chestnuts and cinnamon-glazed almonds. We can already smell it!

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Can’t you just smell these goodies from the new Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen at the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays? Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Tap here for details and the full list of 2021 Holiday Kitchens booths.

A quick list of the Festival of the Holidays booths (called Holiday Kitchens):

  • American Holiday Table
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
  • Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen
  • The Donut Box
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts
  • Holiday Sweets & Treats
  • L’Chaim! holiday Kitchen
  • Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen
  • Lotus Blossom Café Holiday Kitchen
  • Mele Kalikimaka
  • Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen
  • Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen
  • Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina
  • Tuscany Holiday Kitchen
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen

You’ll also find special treats at:

  • Funnel Cake
  • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
  • Refreshment Outpost
  • Refreshment Port

2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays Merch

Speaking of merch, Disney has brought us new merch for the gift-giving season, and Olaf is prominent in the merch once again.

Gold Festival of the Holidays Popcorn Bucket ($25)

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New popcorn bucket. Photo by Tina Chiu

For starters, we are super excited about the new gold Festival of the Holidays popcorn bucket. It lights up and is just $25!

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Olaf is in abundance in this year’s merch. Here are some of our favorites from opening day of the festival:

Assorted Olaf and Sven Apparel

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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Olaf Containers ($39.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Annual Passholder Exclusive: Frozen Pullover ($49.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Festival of the Holidays Mugs ($19.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Olaf Bottles

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Olaf MagicBand ($39.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Olaf Spirit Jersey ($74.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Cookie Stroll Cookie Jar ($29.99)

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Photo by Tina Chiu

Return of the Candlelight Processional

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Candlelight Processional featuring Alfonso Ribeiro. Photo by Courtney Reynolds.

Last year, because of COVID-19, Disney World did not host its famous Candlelight Processional, a longtime tradition that dates back to Disneyland in 1958, before Walt Disney World had even opened. But earlier this year, Disney announced the return of the Candlelight Processional, which has been a part of Walt Disney World since its very first Christmas.

Did You Know? The Candlelight Processional was originally a Magic Kingdom event, but it’s been a staple of EPCOT at the American Gardens Theater since 1994.

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So excited for the return of the Candlelight Processional! Photo by Tina Chiu

Typically, the Candlelight Processional features music from the Voices of Liberty and guest choirs from local schools. This year, however, because of vaccination requirements, the choir each night will be made up of Voices of Liberty and Disney Cast Members. Disney hopes it will be able to welcome guest choirs back for the 2022 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.

Love spreading Christmas cheer? Then you’ll want to order our 2021 Disney World Christmas cards featuring the beautiful Cinderella Castle. You’ll get 20 glossy cards and envelopes featuring four different sets.

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🎄 Spread Some Cheer

2021 Candlelight Processional Celebrity Narrators: Full List

Neil Patrick Harris Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 2019 Candlelight Processional at EPCOT. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Each year, Disney invites celebrities to act as the narrator for the Candlelight Processional. The most famous in past years has been Neil Patrick Harris.

Here is the FULL list of 2021 Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators:

  • Nov. 26-28: Auli’i Cravalho
  • Nov. 29-Dec. 1: Chita Rivera
  • Dec. 2-Dec. 4: Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 5-Dec. 7: Alton Fitzgerald White
  • Dec. 8-Dec. 10: Bart Millard
  • Dec. 11-Dec. 13: Lisa Ling
  • Dec. 14-Dec. 16: Andy Garcia
  • Dec. 17-19: Ana Gasteyer
  • Dec. 20-22: Courtney B. Vance
  • Dec. 23-Dec. 25: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Dec. 26-Dec. 28: Blair Underwood
  • Dec. 29-Dec. 30: Pat Sajak

Disney has also confirmed that Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are returning. Reservations opened (and immediately filled up) these on Oct. 26.

World Showcase Holiday Storytellers and Traditions

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Holiday Storyteller: Father Christmas at the U.K. Pavilion. Photos by Courtney Reynolds

This year, you can grab a cup of hot chocolate (or just your favorite German Christmas beer) and stroll around World Showcase to enjoy holiday traditions from around the globe. Stay tuned for the full list of World Showcase experiences.

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The Hanukkah storyteller is a festival favorite. Photo by Tina Chiu

For now, Disney has promised:

  • Holiday storytellers at the France, Italy, Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom Pavilions
  • Las Posadas at the Mexico Pavilion
  • A Chinese Lion Dance (celebrating the New Year) at the China Pavilion
  • Canadian Holiday Voyageurs in the Canada Pavilion
  • A Hanukkah storyteller stationed along the promenade
  • Santa Claus himself waving hello outside The American Adventure
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Santa is back for the 2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays. Photo by Tina Chiu

Is World Showcase your favorite form of travel? Now you never have to be far when you order a copy of our special World Showcase edition of WDW Magazine, just $12 while supplies last.

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Order your copy of the WDW Magazine February 2021 Issue. Photo by Rain Blanken

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Om Nom on the Holiday Cookie Stroll

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Get your sugar rush from the Holiday Cookie Stroll at the 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The 2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays just wouldn’t be the Festival of the Holidays without the annual Holiday Cookie Stroll.

To complete the Holiday Cookie Stroll, you’ll just need to buy and eat (we recommend sharing with a group!) five cookies at official Cookie Stroll locations featured in your Festival Passport. Don’t forget to get your stamp!

(If you forget to get the stamp during your sugar rush, just take your receipt back to the booth, and a Cast Member will typically stamp your passport for you, even if all you have left are crumbs of the cookie stuck in your mustache … speaking from experience).

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Gingerbread cookies will of course be a part of the 2021 Holiday Cookie Stroll at EPCOT. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

After you have collected all five stamps, head over to Holiday Sweets & Treats for your reward: another (FREE!) cookie. Because that’s exactly what you need after eating five cookies …

Some of this year’s cookies include the SNICKERS-Doodle Cookie and the Chocolate Crinkle Cookie (with DOVE Dark Chocolate).

A couple years back, editorial director Rain Blanken attempted the Cookie Stroll and had, uh, mixed success. Get the full narrative in our 2020 Christmas issue, available in our shop while supplies last.

December issue WDW Magazine

Order today!

🍪 Get Your Cookies, Er, Copy Now!

Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt

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The Olaf scavenger hunt is back for 2021. Photo by Tina Chiu

EPCOT has revived the Olaf scavenger hunt for the 2021 Festival of the Holidays. Not sure where to find Olaf? We’ve found every hiding spot that Olaf has claimed in this year’s scavenger hunt.

To participate, you will need to purchase a map and stickers from one of several Festival of the Holidays merch stations. The experience costs $9.99.

2021 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Decorations

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Living With the Land: Merry and Bright Nights straight ahead! Photo by Rain Blanken

Even if you aren’t feeling particularly snacky, the Festival of the Holidays brings beautiful decorations to EPCOT. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • The Living with the Land ride overlay
  • The Christmas décor on the train by Germany
  • The cozy decorations in the UK
  • Special festival signage
  • Winter flowers
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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

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Photo by Tina Chiu

The Festival of the Holidays Christmas Tree

The most important of the EPCOT Christmas decorations, of course, is the beautiful Christmas tree.

guide to 2021 EPCOT festival of the holidays decorations

The stunning Christmas tree in front of Spaceship Earth

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2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays Christmas tree. Photo by Tina Chiu

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Christmas tree. Photo by Tina Chiu

You’ll spot more Christmas trees around the park as well.

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Beautiful trees abound at EPCOT. Photo by Tina Chiu

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Beautiful trees abound at EPCOT. Photo by Tina Chiu

Spaceship Earth Christmas Lights

This year, Spaceship Earth dons new Christmas lights as part of the new Beacons of Magic treatment.

Will you be heading to Disney World for the 2021 EPCOT Festival of the Holidays? Ease the stress of planning by coordinating your Park Pass reservations, Candlelight Processional Dining Packages, Very Merriest tickets, and more by working with a FREE Disney Travel Agent. We can’t recommend Destinations To Travel enough; they’re the only agent we use when booking our personal travel to Disney.

Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

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2021 Candlelight Processional at EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Is A Go

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Written by Timothy Moore

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Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
Timothy Moore

Written by Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).