The joy of the season abounds with magical celebrations, entertainment, food and more
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – (Nov. 17, 2022) – Walt Disney World Resort is Celebrating Soulfully this holiday season by offering enchanting experiences, cultural immersions and a variety of merry-making opportunities that pay tribute to Black heritage and culture through music, food, art and more.
Across the 40-square-mile resort’s theme parks, resort hotels and entertainment districts, guests of all backgrounds and cultures can Celebrate Soulfully. That includes meeting Santa Claus who represents the spirit of the holiday season and reflects the diversity of guests.
Jolly Old St. Nick will make appearances across Walt Disney World Resort and host meet and greets at select parks.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 30 with special live entertainment, cultural dining opportunities and more.
The Candlelight Processional, a beloved holiday performance and Disney Parks tradition, returns with a lineup of celebrity narrators telling the Christmas story along with performances by a Disney choir and a live orchestra. Celebrity narrators this year include actress and TV host Whoopi Goldberg, entrepreneur and ABC’s Shark Tank investor Daymond John, actor Courtney Vance and actress Angela Bassett, who is starring in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Bassett is also the narrator of Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom Park.
Another returning favorite entertainment option is “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season.” This uplifting performance of gospel music mixed with jazz and R&B celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa with multiple performances daily on the World Showcase Plaza Stage.
Food & Beverage
Guests looking to tempt their tastebuds shouldn’t miss Holiday Kitchens at EPCOT World Showcase, which features cultural holiday fare from around the world. Mouth-watering options this year include a New Year’s traditional treat - Hoppin’ John. This southern favorite is anchored in West African tradition; it’s a tasty combination of black-eyed peas, ham hocks and kale served over rice with cornbread crumbles. Guests can taste Blackened Catfish with Hoppin’ John and Comeback Sauce at American Holiday Table located at The American Adventure.
There are also new tastes and sips at the Disney Resort Hotels. The Belle Vue Lounge at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort recently debuted Sparkling Hibiscus. It blends Sorel Hibiscus Liqueur by renowned microdistiller Jackie Summers with a sparkling grapefruit mixer.
This holiday season, guests can experience Wakanda Forever by visiting the Black Panther Tree on the Disney Springs Tree Trail. They can also indulge in a Royal Sunset beverage at select locations. Inspired by the film, it features grapefruit juice, Empress gin, pure cane sugar and luxardo cherries. The drink is available through Dec. 22, 2022.
Plus, guests can enjoy a new addition to the Disney Springs Art Walk: A Canvas of Expression. Black artist David Anthony Geary created the original painting Joy is Portable to evoke a sense of joy for the viewer. His work is featured throughout his native Chicago area, including inside the World’s Largest Starbucks on Michigan Avenue.
Geary joins other noted artists from around the world who have contributed to the Art Walk, including Black artists Everett Spruill and Laci Jordan.
In addition, contemporary Afropop band Wassalou will perform on the Waterside stage throughout the season to celebrate Kwanzaa.