Today I did a little exploring to see what special Holiday offerings are available at Disney’s Epcot Center. In early April there is little to offer. There are Christmas sections/shoppes in a few of the countries in World Showcase. In Canada you can find all types of Disney holiday decorations and ornaments. The speciality in the Canada shop is homemade wooden ornaments. In France you can find a variety of decorative holiday items. Germany probably has the best selection. There are some very fine glass ornaments, hand-made wooden items, and a variety of pickle ornaments. If you need more Christmas than that, just ask one of the cast members in any of the countries to tell you about holiday practices/traditions in their homeland. They will be happy to share.
If you really want to see Disney do Christmas you must return sometime between late November and the end of the year. Each of the countries redecorate their areas to showcase the holiday traditions and spirits of the nation. Each area adds special items to their merchandising areas and the regular offerings add to the gift selection options. In addition to the decorations and merchandise there are special story-tellers in each land to share some special customs. For example: In Canada the stores tell of Papa Noel. In China you will hear about the Monkey King. Germany offers the tales of Helga. America offers lessons on Santa Claus & Kwanzaa. Even Morocco shares the story of Taanji.
The event not to be missed in Epcot at the holidays is the Candlelight Processional held from November 23-December 30, 2012. This event features a mass choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and celebrity narrators telling the story of Christmas three times daily. In 2011 the celebrity narrators included Chita Rivera, Isabela Rossellini, and Neil Patrick Harris. I have not had the chance to see the procession in person but all who have report that it is amazing. Hopefully I’ll be able to check it out some Christmas soon.