EPCOT Holiday celebrations focus on cultural connections

EPCOT Holiday Tree
EPCOT Holiday Tree / Walt Disney World

Anytime a guest steps into Disney Parks, the magical pixie dust sprinkles its way through the day. When the calendar year comes to an end, EPCOT Holiday celebrations are more than just twinkling lights and scrumptious food. It is a time to remember the connections across cultures that are sometimes forgotten.  

While parts of EPCOT put Disney characters front and center, it is often the world cultures that make the theme park special. Even though many people turn food and beverage journeys into a visit quest, it is more than just checking off the box. Especially during the holidays, the similarities are more apparent than is often remembered.  

Throughout World Showcase, the various country food choices delight guests. Beyond the annual Cookie Stroll and its completion treat, it is the specialty foods that bring a taste of each culture. From a warm dashi soup to a spicy blackened catfish, the diversity is great, but the commonalities are often overlooked.  

Each dish feels like comfort food. While the plates might be small, the satisfaction is high. From robust flavors in a birria to a scrumptious leek side dish to a seared salmon, it feels like a homemade celebratory meal just elevated in a way people have come to expect from Disney chefs.  

Even though there are moments where the Disney chefs push guests with flavor profiles and ingredients, EPCOT holiday celebrations are about leaning into those classic moments. From the black and white cookie that people remember from a New York City holiday shopping trip to bouche de noel that was the extravagance at the end of the feast, there are so many food choices that will spark a smile at every turn.  

In addition, strolling from marketplace to marketplace is like going to grandma’s where you are compelled to have another helping. Even for those people not wearing stretchy pants, there is room to place another order, have an extra dessert, or enjoy a libation after watching the Candlelight Processional. It is time to put worries aside, enjoy the moment with friends, and make memories that will be part of holiday seasons far into the future.  

Although the EPCOT holidays celebrations are just around for a short period of time, it is a reminder to never put off till tomorrow what can be done today. The to-do list will still be there on Monday. A few hours to let the real world noise fade and to allow the holiday laughs take over will never be regretted.  More importantly, it might be a reminder to have a little more willingness to find connections with all the people around us.