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A Parent’s Guide to Happy, Healthy Holidays with AdventHealth at Walt Disney World® Resort

The most magical season of the year often rushes by without us taking a moment to appreciate it, especially with so much to do with kids. It’s crucial to carve out time for special moments with our loved ones and family.

Luckily, Orlando offers a plethora of holiday experiences suitable for families, including many at Walt Disney World® Resort. Two heartwarming holiday traditions presented by AdventHealth offer wonderful opportunities to create lasting memories with your children. One of these experiences is complimentary at Disney Springs®, while the other allows you to celebrate the holidays from around the world at EPCOT®.

Read on to discover these two enchanting experiences. We’ll also share why they should be at the top of your list of activities for families in Orlando during the holiday season.

World Showcase Lagoon at dusk during EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
World Showcase Lagoon at dusk image by Dani Meyering

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth

Since 2020, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll has been presented by AdventHealth. This simple and delightful holiday tradition is 100% FREE to enjoy! We love visiting with kids, they can easily join in on the fun.

All ages will enjoy this experience because of the variety of displays.

The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth is a stroll among dazzling Disney-themed Christmas trees. It can almost be like a scavenger hunt. They are full of details!

Mickey-Mouse-Passholder-Disney-Springs-Christmas-Tree-Stroll-2023-image-by-Terri-Peters
Passholder Tree Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll 2023 image by Terri Peters

Whether you choose to stroll the entire span of Disney Springs®, from West Side to the Marketplace, or just spend a little time in one or two neighborhoods, these Christmas trees will delight your family.

Top Tips for Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth

  • Decide ahead of time if you want to explore all of Disney Springs or just one section
  • Weekdays, mornings, and early afternoons are the best time to avoid crowds
  • Decide if you will want to book a dining reservation or just grab a quick snack
  • After you’ve spotted all 19 trees see if you can guess each other’s favorite
  • Take a family selfie together in front of each one

The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth is one of our favorite family activities for something free to do during the holidays. Plus, it’s a fun way to get some healthful steps in while having a great time together.

Map and Guide

Make a festive family challenge to find all 19 trees! You can pick up a guide to the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth at multiple locations.

As you find each tree, match the corresponding sticker to the location on the map. Once you’ve found all the trees, bring your map to one of the listed locations for a little surprise.

Guide pick-up locations include:

You can certainly enjoy the experience without using the guide. However, there are discounts, freebies, and other goodies at participating locations listed in the guide. Plus the kids will love using the stickers on the map.

Disney-Springs-Christmas-Tree-Stroll-Guide-2023-Inside-image-by-Terri-Peters
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll Guide 2023 Image by Terri Peters

Disney Christmas Tree Themes

We don’t want to reveal all the delightful themes of the trees. After all, half the fun is witnessing your kids as they discover characters they love. As you come across each tree take a close look and point out your favorite ornaments and decorations with each other. 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Encanto
  • Frozen
  • Wish
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 
  • The Lion King 
  • Moana
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Star Wars
  • Toy Story 

Be sure to pause and rest on your merry stroll. It’s such a busy time of year, so find a bench and relax for a little bit together – of course, getting kids to slow down is easier said than done. Just be sure to take a moment to be present.

Disney Springs Tree Stroll Once Upon a Toy Tree 2023 - image by Terri Peters
Once Upon a Toy Tree 2023 image by Terri Peters

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth

Since 2018, EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays has been presented by AdventHealth. It is such a splendid way to celebrate the holiday as a family. And now with new enhancements at EPCOT® it is even more special.

November 24, 2023 through December 30, 2023, you can enjoy wonderful live entertainment, beautiful decorations, storytellers sharing holiday traditions, and yummy holiday food and drinks. The memories you’ll make with your kids are sure to be a highlight of the holiday season.

Must Do Experiences

Of all the Disney theme park celebrations during the holidays, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth is exceptional. The holiday traditions from around the world along with delicious festive food make for meaningful memories together.

  • Holiday Storytellers from around the world
  • Holiday Kitchens food and beverage booths, including favorite traditional recipes
  • 2023 Cookie Stroll
  • Meet Santa
  • Candlelight Processional 

Holiday Storytellers

Each World Showcase pavilion has a Holiday Storyteller, sharing the history and origin of international holiday traditions, in entertaining ways. Sharing favorite holiday traditions with our family can do wonders for our well-being. 

Norway Pavilion Holiday Storytellers EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth
Norway Pavilion Holiday Storytellers image by Dani Meyering

Learning about different cultures and traditions can help the holidays come alive in different ways for your children. Each Holiday Storyteller is entertaining and shares their traditions in such a way that will surely capture everyone’s attention.

Be sure to check the schedule in the MyDisneyExperience app, in the Entertainment section. Each performance lasts about fifteen minutes, and the storytellers perform on a small stage not far from the main promenade. 

Italy Pavilion Holiday Storyteller on stage at EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth
Italy Pavilion Holiday Storyteller image by Dani Meyering

Holiday Kitchens

Indulge in the flavors of the season with scrumptious bites and decadent desserts at the 2023 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth. 

Everyone has their favorite flavors this time of year and the Holiday Kitchens will help your family discover new tastes.

Grab a Festival Passport when you arrive so you can plan out your stops. One of our favorite traditions is the 2023 Cookie Stroll. And what kiddo isn’t going to love being on a mission to try multiple types of cookies?

2023 Cookie Stroll

  • Spiced Chocolate Cookie – Nochebuena Cocina
  • Snickerdoodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® bar pieces – Yukon Holiday Kitchen
  • Black and White Cookie (plant-based) – L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
  • Gingerbread Cookie – American Holiday Table
  • Linzer Cookie – Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
  • Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie – Holiday Hearth Desserts
  • Jingle Sugar Cookie made with M&M’S® chocolate candies – Sunshine Seasons
  • Holiday Sugar Cookie – Connections Café

Each time you purchase a cookie from the list of the Cookie Stroll selections be sure to ask the Cast Member at that booth for a stamp in your Festival Passport. 

You do not need to collect a stamp at each station – just five total. 

Once you’ve collected 5 stamps, bring the stamped Festival Passport to Holiday Sweets & Treats to receive a specialty cookie! One of the best places to stop is the Holiday Hearth Desserts, inside the Odyssey Pavilion. It is here that Santa greets guests in a stunning, wintery setting.

Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie at EPCOT Festival of the Holidays 2023 - image by Dani Meyering
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie image by Dani Meyering

The Linzer Cookie at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen near Germany is a favorite. And the Black and White Cookie (plant-based) at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen is a highlight too!

See Santa at EPCOT®

Santa’s special greeting location inside EPCOT® is a must-do! Santa takes extra time to greet each family and invite them into his special sleigh. There is room for the entire family in this delightful photo opportunity. 

Order some treats and drinks while you wait in line, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. 

Usually, Santa at EPCOT® greets guests during the following schedule:

  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Be sure to check the schedule in the MyDisneyExperience app.

Candlelight Processional 

The Candlelight Processional is the hallmark of entertainment at EPCOT® International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth. It is a stunning centerpiece and a traditional beloved by many. 

This incredible production features a live orchestra, the inspiring vocal choir Voices of Liberty, and a larger choir comprised of Disney Cast Members. 

If you’re attending with energetic kiddos that need to keep moving, consider snagging a seat near the aisle, just in case.

John Stamos Celebrity Narrator Candlelight Processional on stage at the  EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth
John Stamos Celebrity Narrator on stage at the Candlelight Processional image by Dani Meyering

Each night a celebrity narrator shares the biblical story of Christmas. It’s a beautiful show. This year features many new celebrity narrators!

The 2023 lineup of celebrity narrators:

  • 11/24 – 11/25: Chrissy Metz (NEW)
  • 11/26 – 11/27: Luis Fonsi (NEW)
  • 11/28 – 11/29: Ann-Margaret (NEW)
  • 11/30 – 12/2: Simu Liu
  • 12/3 – 12/5: John Stamos
  • 12/6 – 12/8: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/9 – 12/11: Marlee Matlin
  • 12/12 – 12/14: Brendan Fraser (NEW)
  • 12/15 – 12/16: Eva Longoria (NEW)
  • 12/17 – 12/18: Joey McIntyre (NEW)
  • 12/19 – 12/20: Sterling K. Brown (NEW)
  • 12/21 – 12/23: Jordan Fisher (NEW)
  • 12/24 – 12/26: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 12/27 – 12/28: Audra McDonald (NEW)
  • 12/29 – 12/30: Lisa Ling

Tips and Reminders

  • Be sure to make your park pass reservation as soon as possible.
  • The closer it gets to Christmas Day the busier the theme parks get.
  • Take a look at show times at the beginning of your visit so you don’t miss the Holiday Storytellers or performances you wish to see. 
  • You can view show times and other information in the My Disney Experience app.
  • In the interest of healthy holidays, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
author avatar
Dani Meyering
Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando native. She loves sharing her hometown with others from the theme parks to Florida's natural beauty. With over 15 years of experience, Dani is thrilled to serve as our Managing Editor at Orlando Date Night Guide, Orlando Parenting, as well as Tampa Bay Date Night Guide.

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