This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own and are not influenced by the Disney tickets we received to facilitate the review.
This week we visited the Epcot Holidays Around the World event and it was incredible! There were some great learning opportunities mixed with some serious Disney magic. After spending our entire day traveling the world at Disney I have 5 things you have to try if you decide to go to Epcot during the Holidays. I hope your Disney holidays are magical and educational.
5 things you have to try at Epcot Holidays Around the World
Epcot Candlelight Processional
As part of our visit we went to the Candlelight Processional featuring Neil Patrick Harris as the guest host. (How awesome to be at an event with Count Olaf.) This show was so beautiful! Every element brought a smile to my face. I loved that though the show followed a specific script, Neil Patrick Harris added small elements of his personality to it. If you are going to catch the Candlelight there are a few options to see it as well as a few tips to make it the best experience possible.
Tips for enjoying the Epcot Candlelight Processional
- Get the dinner package to skip the lines. – Your seating will be included in your meal package and guaranteed. This is a great way to have a nice family meal and then enjoy the show.
- Get in line early. – For Neil Patrick Harris, the line started at 1:00 for the 5:00 show. If you are not doing the dinner package, you are going to need to get in line early for more popular hosts.
- Know that it is a slower show. – This is not a kid focused show. If you have a smaller child that doesn’t sit still well for choral performances, this may not be an experience you should choose. It is an incredible show but it can be considered boring for younger guests. We heard a little girl say, “that was the most boring thing ever.” Compared with the grandeur of Epcot it can feel like a huge slow down for smaller children. That said, it may be a great place to have them nap while you enjoy a beautiful show.
- There are different guest hosts based on the date you attend. – You will see a different guest host depending on when you are visiting Epcot. Neil Patrick Harris – November 28 to December 1, 2016, Whoopi Goldberg – December 2 to 3, 2016, Edward James Olmos – December 4 to 6, 2016, Anthony Mackie – December 7 to 9, 2016, Robby Benson – December 10 to 12, 2016, Meredith Vieira – December 13 to 15, 2016, Jim Caviezel – December 16 to 18, 2016, Joe Morton – December 19 to 21, 2016, Ming-Na Wen – December 22 to 24, 2016, Jodi Benson – December 25 to 27, 2016, Cal Ripken, Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2016
- The guests do not perform special numbers. – While you will have a guest narrator, they are working from a specific script. You may see certain elements of their personality but the show generally flows the same way with the guest host speaking from the script they were given.
Special Holiday Presenters in each Country
While you are working your way around the world in Epcot, make sure to stop and enjoy some of the fabulous presentations! Each country has a unique presenter that will tell you more about what holiday they celebrate and how. We really enjoyed the presentation about Kwanzaa but there are quite a few to enjoy. I highly recommend checking on the times of these performances and making sure to attend as many as you can. They were worth the time invested for sure. I only wish we could have seen them all. Most shows start after noon and run through the evening. You can find a great roundup of the different presenters on Kenny the Pirate.
Travel the world showcase with Duffy
One of the most fun things you can do while visiting Epcot Holidays Around the World is to pick up a Duffy and take him with you on your journey. There are different Kidcots scattered throughout the world showcase where your child can take Duffy for a holiday stamp and a Mickey inspired by that country. Each Kidcot has a coloring station where your child can decorate Duffy any way they want. You can also save the decorating for later if you want to focus on collecting your stamps and decorations.
This is a great free keepsake that can go home with you to help you remember the trip. We really enjoyed the fact that each country added a personal touch to the back of Duffy. R was able to get her name in Chinese and C was able to get a pikachu on his in Japan. If you want to add an extra educational touch to it, have your children ask a question in each country or give them the map and have them find each Kidcot. It’s a great way to get them used to finding a landmark and working from a map.
Character Meet and Greets
Many of the characters you love can be found in the countries their stories are based on. Make sure to look at the times as the lines tend to be shorter for these character meet and greets. I would encourage you to have your child think of a fun question for the character they are meeting with. R was surprised to find that Alice didn’t like books that had words instead of pictures. She said, “maybe I should have visited Belle to talk about books.” I highly recommend bringing a camera or having your memory maker ready because these meet and greets are such a fabulous memory moment for you and your children.
Make sure to check the times because you can also let your children take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Clause. This meet and greet is in America and it is simply beautiful. Get there early as the line fills up fast.
American Music Machine
This accapella group puts on a fantastic show that you won’t want to miss. They perform a variety of holiday inspired songs. My kids loved their segway into Santa Clause is coming to town because they led in with “Fat Man Coming.” It made the kids laugh so hard and they genuinely enjoyed it. This show is quite loud. If you are sensitive to loud noises, step back a bit and enjoy it from a distance.
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