Most Disney guests know all about events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Very Merry Christmas Party, but the holidays at Walt Disney World have a lot more to offer.
If you’re looking for something festive that’s a bit different, check out these holiday events.
1. Holiday Dining for Thanksgiving and Christmas
Dine at select Disney World restaurants on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day to enjoy a special feast that departs from the ordinary menu. For Thanksgiving 2014, over 35 dining locations at Walt Disney World will offer themed variations on the traditional Thanksgiving feast. On Christmas Day, over 15 restaurants are participating.
In years past, menus included specialties like spiced turkey breast, dark meat gravy, cranberry and dry cherry chutney, and butternut squash at Sanaa, or smoked turkey breast, sage butter, smoky butternut squash, and ginger soup with crispy pancetta at Artist Point.
2. Epcot’s Candlelight Processional
Every night from November 28 to December 30 2014, Epcot will host a Candlelight Processional. The event features a celebrity narrator sharing the biblical tale of Christmas. Guests for 2014 will include Jodi Benson, Whoopi Goldberg, Sharon Stone, Ana Gasteyer, Marlee Matlin, and Steven Curtis Chapman. The narration is accompanied by a mass choir and 50-piece orchestra.
To guarantee seating, purchase a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. These are the only reserved seats available. The rest of the space is available on a first come, first serve basis. No additional admission is required, but you will need to purchase park admission to Epcot.
3. Holidays Around the World at Epcot
Epcot’s World Showcase transforms into a holiday paradise from November 28 to December 30. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus from November 29 thought December 24 at American Adventure, take a musical tour with the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs in Canada, see the Monkey King’s Chinese New Year performance in China, meet the Italian La Befana who delivers Epiphany eve gifts, watch a Ramadan drum performance in Morocco, and celebrate with Los Tres Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) in Mexico.
Holiday treats are abundant throughout Epcot as well, so keep an eye on the food and beverage locations. You don’t need reservations for a seasonal treat, either. Many specialties are available at the snack kiosks along the street so you can grab them quickly.
4. The Jingle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise takes on a whole new look and feel during Christmas. The Jingle Cruise was unveiled in 2013, and is set to become an annual staple. This new seasonal variation on the ride includes special decorations in the queue and on the boats. Your friendly skippers don rustic Santa hats and offer up a brand new spiel packed with a special brand of holiday wit.