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Huge Hollywood stars headline Disney World popular celebration

Disney World’s Epcot continues its tradition of hosting its four annual International Festivals as it wraps up its International Food & Wine Festival on Nov. 18 and launches its International Festival of the Holidays on Nov. 24, which runs through Dec. 30.

Epcot also held its International Festival of Arts earlier this year, Jan. 13 trough Feb. 20, and its International Flower & Garden Festival March 1 through July 5. The Food & Wine Festival began July 27. The Walt Disney Co.  (DIS) – Get Free Report theme park has not yet revealed the dates or details for its International Festivals for 2024.

While the International Food & Wine Festival was named the most popular of all four festivals by a Disney Food Blog readers poll, the International Festival of the Holidays reportedly includes some traditions that Walt Disney started at Disneyland long before Disney World opened.

Celebrity narrators retell the Christmas story at the Candlelight Processional at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays.


Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays returns

The International Festival of the Holidays features a chance for children and families to meet Santa Claus for photo opportunities at Odyssey Pavilion at six different show times daily Nov. 24 through Dec. 24. World Showcase Plaza celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa with gospel, rhythm and blues and holiday songs from the Joyful! ensemble.

Epcot’s World Showcase Plaza’s various country pavilions will feature various storytellers sharing stories of diverse cultures. Epcot will again offer seasonal dishes and beverages at 17 different holiday kitchens throughout the park, as well as the the Holiday Cookie Stroll.  

The Candlelight Processional is the highlight at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays with celebrity narrators telling the Christmas story backed by a choir, a 50-piece orchestra, herald trumpets and the Voices of Liberty a capella group.

Hollywood stars appear at Festival of the Holidays 

Legendary actress Ann-Margret, who received Academy Award nominations for her roles in the 1971 film “Carnal Knowledge” and the 1975 musical “Tommy” and starred with Elvis Presley in “Viva Las Vegas” in 1964, joins a long list of celebrity narrators for the Candlelight Processional retelling of the Christmas story at Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays on Nov. 28-29, Epcot revealed on its website on Oct. 5.

Marlee Maitlin, who won the Best Actress Academy Award for the 1986 film “Children of a Lesser God,” takes the stage as narrator on Dec. 9-11, while Brendan Fraser who won the Best Actor Oscar for 2022’s “The Whale” narrates on Dec. 12-14.

Television’s “General Hospital” and “Full House” actor John Stamos narrates on Dec. 3-5 and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris tells the story on Dec. 6-8. Television’s “This is Us” will be represented by actress Chrissy Metz on Nov. 24-25 and actor Sterling K. Brown on Dec. 19-20.

New Kids on the Block singer Joey McIntyre takes the stage Dec. 17-18 for narrator duties.

Other narrators include singer Luis Fonsi, Nov. 26-27; actor Simi Liu from the smash film “Barbie,” Nov. 30-Dec. 2; television’s “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria, Dec. 15-16; television actor Jordan Fisher, who also appeared on Broadway in “Hamilton,” narrates Dec. 21-23; Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman narrates on Dec. 24-26; Broadway actress Audra McDonald, who has won six Tony Awards, narrates Dec. 27-28; and journalist and former co-host of television’s “The View” Lisa Ling narrates Dec. 29-30.

Guests can begin reserving their Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on Oct. 17. Reservations can be made up to 60 days before a guest’s visit.

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