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Celebrate global holiday traditions at the ‘Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays’

by Susan and Simon Veness

Traditional holiday foods, family-friendly fun, and beloved Disney characters in their seasonal finery make this year’s Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays a global celebration of yuletide joy.

festival of the holidays

One of Walt Disney World Resort’s most highly anticipated festivals returns in 2020 as the Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays rings in the season from Nov. 27 – Dec. 30, bringing with it an array of sights, sounds, and flavors from across the globe.

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This year’s festival plays host to 15 Holiday Kitchens serving cuisine inspired by the 11 countries represented throughout World Showcase. Enjoy slow-roasted turkey from the American Holiday Table Kitchen, pork schnitzel from Germany’s Bavaria Holiday Kitchen, beef bourguignon at Canada’s Yukon Holiday Kitchen, and specialty cocktails from Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen at the France pavilion.

festival of the holidays

Three of these delightful Holiday Kitchens are located inside the spacious World ShowPlace Events Pavilion, where the uplifting Christmas and Kwanza gala, “Joyful! A Celebration of the Season,” adds to the merriment through Gospel, R&B, contemporary, and traditional holiday tunes sung by the “Joyful!” vocal ensemble. Want to do a bit of holiday shopping? You’ll find seasonal merchandise here, too.

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In addition, quick-service outlets Promenade Refreshments and Refreshment Port in Showcase Plaza, Funnel Cake at the American Adventure pavilion, Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company near the Canada pavilion, and Refreshment Outpost between the China and Germany pavilions carry a selection of seasonal sweets, snacks, and beverages, including T.G. Lee Eggnog with Spiced Rum, Sweet Potato Casserole Funnel Cake, and Caramel Tinsel Latte.

festival of the holidays

Revelers looking to indulge their sweet tooth can also take part in The Holiday Cookies Stroll. Guests who purchase cookies at five select Holiday Kitchens will get a stamp in their free Festival Passport, and those who collect all five stamps can head to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen and receive a complimentary Peppermint Minnie Cookie. A special ceramic Cookie Stroll Cookie Jar featuring Chip and Dale can be purchased at Holiday Markets throughout World Showcase, while supplies last. It’s the perfect Disney souvenir for holding your cookie collection.

More family fun can be found with the scavenger-hunt style Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition. The loveable snowman from the hit animated movie series “Frozen” has “lost” his collection of holiday traditions from around the world, and guests who purchase an expedition map and stickers ($7.99) at MouseGear, Disney Traders, or World Traveler at International Gateway can search for Olafs hidden in the World Showcase pavilions. Find them all and receive a “gift worth melting for,” while supplies last.

Sounds of the season pour forth from the America Gardens Theatre as the a cappella group Voices of Liberty sing traditional American carols and Mariachi Cobre share the songs, dance, and music of the Mexican festival Las Posadas, while the Jammitors take to the Mill Stage at the Canada pavilion with their rousing percussions.

As guests explore the sounds and tastes around World Showcase, they may catch sight of favorite Disney characters dressed in their festive finery as they ring in the holiday season. Watch for Queen Anna and Elsa in the “Frozen Holiday Promenade,” wave at Mickey Mouse and his pals as they spread yuletide cheer on the “Mickey and Friends Holiday World Tour,” and don’t miss a very special visit from Santa Claus as he makes his way around World Showcase in a grand horse-drawn carriage.

Experience holiday traditions from around the globe during Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and make even more magical memories at celebrations throughout Walt Disney World, beginning Nov. 6.

For more information, visit DisneyWorld.com.

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