The International Festival of the Holidays at WDW’s Epcot is a stellar way to learn about Christmas traditions all over the world in a short amount of time. Walt Disney World puts extensive effort into making the experience in the World Showcase as authentic as possible.
In this adventure film, we highlight the Christmas traditions in Norway, Italy, and France.
In Norway, the Nisse, a troublemaking Christmas gnome, is a large part of Norwegian folklore and is still celebrated today. A Nisse is believed to attach themselves to a particular family. It is thought that if he didn’t get his porridge, then he would play pranks on the farm. Many Norwegian farmers used to believe strongly in this and, to this day, some will still have a bed made and a place at the table on Christmas Eve for him. Our “ABCs” were fascinated with the story of the mischievous elf and made up some little pranks of their own during our time at Epcot!
In Italy, La Befana, a good witch on a broomstick, delivers gifts to children throughout Italy similar to Santa Claus. According to Italian folklore, when Jesus was born, the three kings asked her to join them on their search. She refused so she could tend to housework. La Befana realized she made a terrible decision and tried to find baby Jesus, with no luck. To this day, she is still searching for the baby. On the night before Epiphany, she delivers presents to the children of Italy.
Le Pere Noel, or Father Christmas, is the Santa Claus in France. His clothing is similar to Santa, with the exception of a red cloak with a hood trimmed in white fur. He delivers presents to the children after mass on Christmas Eve. Instead of stockings, children leave their shoes and slippers by the fireplace. If they have been good, their shoes will be filled with treats and they will find presents under the Christmas tree.
Even though Disney does an amazing job in making the World Showcase engaging, it is the least “ride” section of the park for kids. To help keep their attention, we participated in the:
Chip and Dale Christmas Tree Spree
For $6.99, you are given a hunt sheet with stickers and are sent out on a search throughout the 11 countries to find the corresponding wreath with a clue to where each sticker should be placed. This kept their attention the entire time; we didn’t even hear one complaint! Upon completion, you receive a cute little set of pins.
*Traveling ABCs Adventure Tips*
- Grab a timetable map at the front of the park. We started our journey in Mexico, which seemed to work well in catching the performances in each of the eleven countries.
-Not highlighted in the film, but there are also festive holiday food and treats sprinkled throughout the World Showcase from each country that were delicious!
-Direct Link: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/eve...
Our “ABCs” are the reason why we push for so much travel and adventure in our lives. It is important for all of our hearts to be exposed to other cultures around the world. The more we are able to show our kids, the more tolerant, understanding, and appreciative we all become.
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Todd, Danielle, and our ABCs (Asher, Bentley, Beckham, and Cadence)
About Us: https://www.travelingabcs.com
© travelingabcs 2017
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