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Walt Disney World is Celebrating Soulfully this holiday season with new holiday offerings  

by Attractions Magazine Staff

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida is Celebrating Soulfully this holiday season. Throughout the theme parks, resort hotels, and entertainment districts, guests can find enchanting experiences, cultural immersions, and a variety of merry-making opportunities that pay tribute to Black heritage and culture through music, food, art and more.

walt disney world celebrating soulfully

By Lauren Freeman, Esq.

The celebration includes meeting Santa Claus who represents the spirit of the holiday season and reflects the diversity of guests. Jolly Old St. Nick will be making appearances across the Walt Disney World Resort and can be found for meet and greets at select parks. 

Epcot

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays has kicked off and will run through Dec. 30, 2022. To celebrate the holidays, Epcot has special live entertainment, cultural dining opportunities, and more.

The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a beloved holiday tradition that is returning with a lineup of celebrity narrators telling the story of Christmas, along with performances by a live Disney choir and orchestra.

angela bassett
Angela Bassett

Celebrity narrators this year include actress and TV host Whoopi Goldberg, entrepreneur and ABC’s Shark Tank investor Daymond John, actor Courtney Vance, and actress Angela Bassett, who is starring in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Bassett is also the narrator of “Disney Enchantment” at the Magic Kingdom Park.

Another Epcot holiday tradition that is returning is “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season.” This is an uplifting performance of gospel music mixed with jazz and R&B to celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa. There are multiple performances daily on the World Showcase Plaza Stage.

Every Epcot festival is filled with themed food and beverage offerings, and the Festival of the Holidays is no different. The Holiday Kitchens booth in World Showcase features cultural holiday fare from around the world.

One option this year is a New Year’s traditional treat – Hoppin’ John. This is a southern favorite anchored in West African tradition. It’s a tasty combination of black-eyed peas, ham hocks, and kale served over rice with cornbread crumbles. Guests can also taste Blackened Catfish with Hoppin’ John and Comeback Sauce at the American Holiday Table booth located at The American Adventure.

For more Festival offerings, make sure to grab a complimentary passport as soon as you enter Epcot. 


POV: Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Holiday Edition at Epcot

Disney Resort Hotels

There are also new tastes and sips at the Disney Resort Hotels. The Belle Vue Lounge at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort recently debuted Sparkling Hibiscus. It blends Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur by renowned microdistiller Jackie Summers, with a sparkling grapefruit mixer.

hoppin' john at epcot international festival of the holidays
Hoppin’ John at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays

Disney Springs

Another Disney Holiday tradition is the Disney Springs Tree Trail, and this year guests can find a “Black Panther Wakanda Forever” tree. They can also celebrate Wakanda Forever with a Royal Sunset beverage at select locations. Inspired by the film, it features grapefruit juice, Empress gin, pure cane sugar, and luxardo cherries. The drink is available now until Dec. 22, 2022.

A new addition this Holiday season at Disney Springs is the Disney Springs Art Walk: A Canvas of Expression. Black artist David Anthony Geary created the painting, Joy is Portable, to evoke a sense of joy for those who see it. You can also find his artwork throughout his hometown of Chicago, including inside the World’s Largest Starbucks on Michigan Avenue. Geary joins other noted artists from around the world who have contributed to the Art Walk, including Black artists Everett Spruill and Laci Jordan.

You can also find festive entertainment at Disney Springs this Holiday season. Contemporary Afropop band Wassalou is performing on the Waterside stage throughout the season to celebrate Kwanzaa.

For more about Holidays at Walt Disney World visit DisneyWorld.com

Click here for more Festive activities and offerings at Walt Disney World this year.

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