The most wonderful time of year can easily pass by without us pausing for a few moments. It is important to make time for meaningful moments with the people we cherish the most.
Thankfully there are many ways to celebrate the holidays in Orlando, including at Walt Disney World® Resort. Two of our favorite holiday traditions at Walt Disney World provide meaningful ways to connect. One such event is complimentary to experience, and the other is a celebration of the holidays around the world.
Keep reading to learn about these two festive events, and why they should be on your date night list.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth
Since 2018, EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays has been presented by AdventHealth. It is such a splendid way to celebrate together. And now with new enhancements at EPCOT it is even more spectacular.
November 24, 2023 through December 30, 2023, you can enjoy enthralling live entertainment, traditional decorations, storytellers sharing holiday traditions, and delicious holiday food and drinks. If you and your sweetheart love the holiday season, this festival needs to be on your list.
Must Do Experiences
Of all the Disney theme park celebrations during the holidays, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth is our top pick for date night. The holiday traditions from around the world along with delicious festive food make for meaningful memories together.
- Holiday Storytellers from around the world
- Holiday Kitchens food and beverage booths, including favorite traditional recipes
- 2023 Cookie Stroll
- Meet Santa
- Candlelight Processional
Each World Showcase pavilion has a Holiday Storyteller, sharing the history and origin of international holiday traditions, in entertaining ways. Sharing our favorite holiday traditions with the people we love can do wonders for our well-being.
Learning about different cultures and traditions builds meaningful connections. Each Holiday Storyteller is entertaining and shares their traditions in such a way that helps inspire a feeling of joy.
Be sure to check the schedule in the MyDisneyExperience app, in the Entertainment section. Each performance lasts about fifteen minutes, and the storytellers perform on a small stage not far from the main promenade.
Indulge in the flavors of the season with scrumptious bites and decadent desserts at the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth.
Many booths have favorite flavors returning this year. And a few new tastes have debuted in 2023.
If you find a holiday taste that reminds you of home, let your sweetheart know. See if they have their own favorite. Then enjoy discovering new favorites together.
Grab a Festival Passport when you arrive so you can plan out your stops. One of our favorite traditions is the 2023 Cookie Stroll.
2023 Cookie Stroll
- Spiced Chocolate Cookie – Nochebuena Cocina
- Snickerdoodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® bar pieces – Yukon Holiday Kitchen
- Black and White Cookie (plant-based) – L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
- Gingerbread Cookie – American Holiday Table
- Linzer Cookie – Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
- Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie – Holiday Hearth Desserts
- Jingle Sugar Cookie made with M&M’S® chocolate candies – Sunshine Seasons
- Holiday Sugar Cookie – Connections Café
Each time you purchase a cookie from the list of the Cookie Stroll selections be sure to ask the Cast Member at that booth for a stamp in your Festival Passport.
You do not need to collect a stamp at each station – just five total.
Once you've collected 5 stamps, bring the stamped passport to Holiday Sweets & Treats to receive a specialty cookie! One of the best places to stop is the Holiday Hearth Desserts, inside the Odyssey Pavilion. It is here that Santa greets guests in a stunning, wintery setting.
The Linzer Cookie at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen near Germany is a favorite. And the Black and White Cookie (plant-based) at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen is a highlight too!
See Santa at EPCOT
Santa’s special greeting location inside EPCOT (at the Odyssey Pavilion) is a must-do! Even if you do not meet Santa, it is such a charming place to see. Order up some sweets and beverages then take in the views.
Everyone is sure to smile when they see Santa Claus interacting with families and inviting them to his spectacular sleigh.
The Candlelight Processional is the hallmark of entertainment at EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth. It is a stunning centerpiece and a traditional beloved by many.
It features a live orchestra, the incredible vocal choir Voices of Liberty, and a larger choir comprised of Disney Cast Members.
Each night a celebrity narrator shares the biblical story of Christmas. It's a beautiful show. This year features many new celebrity narrators!
The 2023 lineup of celebrity narrators:
- 11/24 – 11/25: Chrissy Metz (NEW)
- 11/26 – 11/27: Luis Fonsi (NEW)
- 11/28 – 11/29: Ann-Margaret (NEW)
- 11/30 – 12/2: Simu Liu
- 12/3 – 12/5: John Stamos
- 12/6 – 12/8: Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/9 – 12/11: Marlee Matlin
- 12/12 – 12/14: Brendan Fraser (NEW)
- 12/15 – 12/16: Eva Longoria (NEW)
- 12/17 – 12/18: Joey McIntyre (NEW)
- 12/19 – 12/20: Sterling K. Brown (NEW)
- 12/21 – 12/23: Jordan Fisher (NEW)
- 12/24 – 12/26: Steven Curtis Chapman
- 12/27 – 12/28: Audra McDonald (NEW)
- 12/29 – 12/30: Lisa Ling
Tips and Reminders
- Be sure to make your park pass reservation as soon as possible.
- The closer it gets to Christmas Day the busier the theme parks get.
- Take a look at show times at the beginning of your visit so you don’t miss the Holiday Storytellers or performances you wish to see.
- You can view show times and other information in the My Disney Experience app.
- In the interest of staying healthy this holiday season, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth
Since 2020, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll has been presented by AdventHealth. This simple and delightful holiday tradition is 100% FREE to enjoy!
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth is a complimentary stroll among dazzling Disney-themed Christmas trees.
Whether you choose to stroll the entire span of Disney Springs, from West Side to the Marketplace, or just spend a little time in one or two neighborhoods, these Christmas trees will delight you.
Top Tips for Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth
- Decide ahead of time if you want to explore all of Disney Springs or just one section
- Weekdays and mornings/early afternoons are the best times to avoid crowds
- Decide if you will want to book a dining reservation or just grab a quick snack
- After you’ve spotted all 19 trees see if you can guess each other’s favorite
- Take a selfie together in front of each one
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth is one of our favorite date ideas for something free to do during the holidays. Plus, it’s a fun way to get some healthful steps in while having a great time together.
Map and Guide
Make a festive date night challenge and work together to find all the trees! You can pick up a guide to the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth at multiple locations around Disney Springs.
As you find each tree, match the corresponding sticker to the location on the map. Once you’ve found all the trees, bring your map to one of the listed locations for a little surprise.
Guide pick-up locations include:
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
- Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Company
- The LEGO Store
- Planet Hollywood
You can certainly enjoy the experience without using the guide. However, there are discounts, freebies, and other goodies at participating locations listed in the guide.
Disney Christmas Tree Themes
We don’t want to reveal all the delightful themes of the trees. After all, half the fun is discovering the whimsical trees together. As you come across each tree take a close look and point out your favorite ornaments and decorations with each other.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Lion King
- The Princess and the Frog
- Star Wars
- Toy Story
Be sure to pause and rest on your merry stroll. It’s such a busy time of year, so find a bench and relax for a little bit together, taking in the glow of the holiday season all around you.