A Day Celebrating Holidays Around the World At Epcot

On Friday, November 27, Epcot began their holiday festivities with their annual Holidays Around the World line up. This post will be extra picture heavy as I think they tell the story better than I could.

Entrance Entrance2 Thumper Bambi StitchHoliday DonaldGoofy Snowflakes IMG_8704 IMG_8706

My family and I like to make a day of the special events each year. We always make reservations for the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and spend the day going around World Showcase listening to the different storytellers. I love looking at all the decorations that are country-specific too. We also make sure to sample some of the special holiday treats that are available – make sure to pick up a passport!

bûche de Noël
bûche de Noël
Gluhwein
Gluhwein
Frozen Peppermint Trifle
Frozen Peppermint Trifle

All of the countries feature a special holiday performer or storyteller (or two). We can never fit in all the storytellers in one day, but I have seen all of them at least once before. There are descriptions posted at each country that are worth a read even if you don’t catch the performer. Here is a description of all of them with pictures of the ones we caught over the weekend, plus some of the decorations in the countries.

Canada – The Holiday Voyageurs perform on the Mill Stage singing songs and describing holiday traditions of different regions in Canada.

Canada at night
Canada at night
Canadian Moose
Canadian Moose

United Kingdom – Father Christmas tell us what the holiday season is like in the United Kingdom and explains the mistletoe custom. There’s also a short sing-a-long of Deck the Halls, a song that comes from Wales.

UK Garland
UK Garland
Holiday Tea Set
Holiday Tea Set
Description Card
Description Card
Father Christmas
Father Christmas

France – Père Noël tells us the story of Babette and her Christmas wish. Through the story we learn about french customs.

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Morocco – Hear about holidays and festivals in Morocco, focusing on celebrating the harvests with dances and feasts.

Japan – Listen to the story of the Daruma doll and New Year’s celebrations in Japan.

American Adventure – Hear about the traditions of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and the histories behind them. Santa and Mrs. Claus also meet and Voices of Liberty wear Dickens style clothes and sing songs of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. This year there is a gingerbread Capitol building and Washington Monument inside the rotunda.

Gingerbread Capitol and Washington Monument
Gingerbread Capitol and Washington Monument
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Capitol Building
Voices of Liberty
Voices of Liberty
Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa and Mrs. Claus

Italy – La Befana is a witch who brings presents to children in Italy on the Eve of the Epiphany. She tells a story of searching for the Christ child.

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IMG_8814Germany – Helga tells us all about the Christmas traditions in Germany, many of which we have adopted here in the United States like the Christmas tree and the nutcracker.

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China – The Lion Dancers perform and bestow good luck wishes for the New Year.

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Norway – Sigrid explains the holiday traditions of Norway while Julenissen tries to make her believe in the Christmas gnome, with a lot of help from the audience.

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Mexico – Mariachi Cobre and dancers perform traditional songs and dances. Musicians and dancers are fantastic in this and there’s even a piñata for the kids.

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The headliner of Epcot’s Holidays Around the World is the Candlelight Processional. A celebrity narrator reads scripture from the Christmas story surrounded by a choir and an amazing orchestra. Our narrator was Gary Sinise. It’s definitely a must-see. We like getting the dinner package at least once so we get seats without waiting in a long line. Other times we’ve stood in the back and still enjoyed it.

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Of course, we have to end the day with Illuminations, which features a special holiday ending at this time of year with the countries wishing for Peace on Earth.

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Spending the day at Epcot during the holiday season will definitely get you into the spirit.

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AMC Sensory Friendly Films – Star Wars #TheForceAwakens

AMC Sensory Friendly Films Header

AMC Sensory Friendly Films – Star Wars #TheForceAwakens

AMC has partnered with the Autism Society to create movie showings for guests and family living with Autism or other special needs where ‘you can feel free to be you’ with their AMC Sensory Friendly Films Program.

During these showings the lights will be turned up while the sound will be turned down, so you can feel free to get up and move about the theater.

Due to the overwhelming response, AMC has expanded the Sensory Friendly Film Program to four showings per month.

  • The second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday.
  • Family-friendly movies will continue to show Saturdays, starting at 10am local time
  • We’ve added Tuesday showings at 7pm local time that may appeal to others on the autism spectrum.

The next film to be featured in this program is Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

And what is even more amazing, is that several AMC theaters in the Orlando area are participating in the Sensory Friendly Film Program!

 

You can find out more about the AMC Sensory Friendly Films and what theaters are participating near you on their official site.

I am so excited that this program exists, and you can share your posts and pics of the family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly

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