I love Disney World’s Epcot. I can visit Mexico, Paris, Norway, and China all in one day, and without the expensive airfare.
Since being in a play as a kid named, Christmas All Over the World, I’ve been obsessed with how people around the world celebrate the holidays. Books, movies, television specials, I gobble them up. Upon arriving at Disney World during the holidays, I couldn’t wait to finally get a chance to experience the International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot, especially the shows.
In the UK, we encountered Father Christmas.
Father Christmas shares the history behind some popular Christmas traditions, like mistletoe and the giving of Christmas cards. He also leads the crowd in a rousing sing-a-long of Deck the Halls, while one lucky kid rings Father Christmas’ jingle bells during the tune.
I was delighted by Father Christmas, because he reminded me of the Ghost of Christmas Present from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
In Germany, Helga tells the story of the first Christmas tree.
Helga then tells the story of The Nutcracker. She tells the audience that she has a special surprise, which turns out to be a giant, life-size, walking, nutcracker.
We have a friend who finds nutcrackers creepy in the way that many people find clowns creepy. As the giant nutcracker came lumbering towards the audience, I had to agree, it was kind of creepy.
Germany is a great spot to stop and have a snack. Mmmmm…stroopwafels…..
In Mexico, there is a mariachi band and dancers. Children are invited to join in the dance, and then they are handed a stick and encouraged to whack a pinata.
If you have the time, I recommend taking a peek inside the pyramid. The year round lights mixed with the holiday lights is a lovely sight.
In China, it’s all about the New Year. The New Year’s dragon appears to perform a festive dance. The show is energetic and fun, and the dragon is very cute.
In Norway, the Anna-esque Sigrid, graces the stage to tell everyone about Julenissen, a mischievous barn Santa.
Sigrid does not believe in Julenissen, therefore she can not see him. Julenissen has to work hard, using some special Zack Morris level, freezing time shenanigans, to spread his mischief so that Sigrid can finally believe.
If you (or your child) are into audience participation, sit in the front. Julenissen chooses one audience member to take part in the show.
This was my favorite World Showcase holiday show. It’s silly and highly entertaining. It’s especially exciting for the person who gets to ring the bell.
In the American Adventure lobby, you can glimpse a fancy gingerbread house,
and hear The Voices of Liberty sing festive, holiday songs.
The best part about visiting America, is Santa!
Now you can see Santa most places, but it’s not every Christmas that you get to meet the Mrs.. Clearly she took a shining to me. I’m waiting for my invitation to the North Pole cottage.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were charming. Getting to spend time with them and get photos, was a highlight of our day at Epcot.
Night Time in Future World
Be sure to stay in Epcot after the sun goes down.
The tree that sits between Future World and The World Showcase, is a sight to behold when it’s all lit up.
Also, exit the park via Future World, as there are some fun light displays to make you smile.
It was a memorable day, indulging in my obsession with learning about holidays around the world. I wish we had more time to see all of the shows, but we did get to see some of the most popular ones. If you are heading to Disney World during the holidays, make it a priority to spend time in The World Showcase, celebrating the holidays around the world.
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