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Where You Can Celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and More Global Holidays at the Theme Parks

by Mommy Frog on November 22, 2023 Orlando

Hanukkah and More Global Holidays at Theme Parks - PinterestWhat we love about the holiday season is that no matter which traditions you celebrate, it's a time for family and friends to gather and spread love, gratitude and goodwill to all. We frogs also enjoy learning about different traditions than our own and believe representation is important for all frogs in the pond. That's the main reason why we love the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays and the Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park. These festivals highlight seasonal celebrations from all over the world!

In recent years, we've also seen more of these celebrations, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali, spread to even more theme parks during the holiday season. We've compiled this full list of where you can find touches of these holiday traditions throughout the theme parks on both coasts.

Celebrating Hanukkah at the Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Storyteller: Storyteller Zachary shares the legends and songs of Hanukkah celebrations worldwide between the Morocco and France pavilions.

Disney Hanukkah - Pastrami on Rye

  • L'Chaim Holiday Kitchen (EPCOT): The L'Chaim Holiday Kitchen serves up Pastrami on Rye, potato latkes and rugalach (pastries filled with raspberry jam, walnuts and cinnamon) — all traditional Jewish foods.
  • Voices of Liberty (EPCOT): The Voices of Liberty perform as Charles Dickens carolers in the American Adventure rotunda, and they sing a special Hanukkah medley.
  • Hanukkah Merchandise Collection: There are a lot of new Hanukkah merchandise items this year — including a light-up Minnie Mouse Ear Headband and a light-up Hanukkah Loungefly Mini Backpack — that you can find at the theme parks, Disney Springs and ShopDisney.

Universal Orlando Resort

Disney Hanukkah - Universal Orlando Merchandise

  • Menorah Lighting Ceremonies: Each of the eight Universal Orlando Resort hotels has a menorah lighting ceremony in its lobby for every night of Hanukkah. The ceremonies begin at sundown nightly — though for exact times, confirm at the front desk.
  • The Holiday Tribute Store (Universal Studios Florida): Stop by the Holiday Tribute Store, where you can find a small selection of Hanukkah merchandise.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • Hanukkah Celebration: From Dec. 7-15, guests can view the traditional lighting of the menorah during Hanukkah in Sesame Street Land.

Disneyland Resort

Hanukkah and More Global Holidays at Theme Parks - Mostly Kosher performs

  • Mostly Kosher (Disney California Adventure): The lively Yiddish band, Mostly Kosher, celebrates Hanukkah with a contemporary spin on klezmer, jazz, Latin and rock music in at the Hollywood Lounge Stage during the Disney Festival of Holidays.
  • Free Hanukkah Craft (Disney California Adventure): Make your own dreidel.

Disney Hanukkah - Mac and Cheese Kugel

  • Festival Food Booths (Disney California Adventure): Try Savory Kugel Mac & Cheese (A Twist on Tradition booth), or a Beef Brisket Slider (Winter Sliderland booth).
  • Hanukkah Merchandise Collection: Find Hanukkah Merchandise in both parks in multiple shops, such as The Emporium in Disneyland and Elias & Co. in Disney California Adventure.

Guide Holidays Disneyland - Hanukkah Merch Menorah

  • Decor: Locate menorahs in each park. You can find Hanukkah decor in the shop windows of Julius Katz & Sons in Disney California Adventure and Disney Clothiers in Disneyland. During Hanukkah, there is a menorah in an upper window on Main Street, U.S.A. (above Dr. Silverstein's office).
  • Jewish Music: Keep an ear out for Hanukkah songs on the Festival of Holidays playlist in Disney California Adventure and The Dreidel Song during Believe ... in Holiday Magic fireworks at Disneyland Park.

Sesame Place San Diego

  • Hanukkah Celebration: On Dec. 10, guests can celebrate Hanukkah with Sesame Street friends. Spin the dreidel with Elmo to see who can win the most Gelt, dance along to festive Hanukkah music, watch a menorah lighting ceremony and eat special Kosher food.

Celebrating Kwanzaa at the Theme Parks

Disney Hanukkah - Joyful Epcot

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Joyful! A Celebration of the Season (EPCOT): This jubilant, a cappella group celebrates the spirit of Christmas and Kwanzaa with uplifting gospel, R&B and jazz songs at the World Showcase Plaza Stage.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • Kwanzaa Festivities: From Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, reflect and celebrate African heritage with the nightly lighting of the Kinara in Sesame Street Land.

Disneyland Resort

Hanukkah and More Global Holidays at Theme Parks - The Mistletoes perform

  • The Mistletoes (Disney California Adventure): Performing at Sonoma Terrace, this a cappella vocal ensemble celebrates the spirit of Christmas and Kwanzaa with rhythm and soul.
  • Free Kwanzaa Craft (Disney California Adventure): Make you own mkeka (decorative mat).
  • Decor: Look for the kinara in a window across from The Little Mermaid.

Hanukkah and More Global Holidays at Theme Parks - A kinara in the window in DCA

  • Food at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe (Disneyland Park): Try the Chicken and Bacon Corn Chowder.
  • Festival Food Booths (Disney California Adventure): Enjoy Southern Mac & Cheese (Merry Mashups booth).

Celebrating Diwali at the Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Hanukkah - Animal Kingdom Diwali

  • Diwali Lanterns (Animal Kingdom): To celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs), you'll find strings of beautiful and colorful lanterns in the Asia section of the park.

Disneyland Resort

Disney Hanukkah - Chicken Curry

  • Blue13 Dance Company (Disney California Adventure): This high-energy dance troupe performs traditional Indian dances that build up to a Bollywood-style dance party for all.
  • Festival Food Booths (Disney California Adventure): At select festival food booths, you can try new dishes and drinks, including a Guava-Melon Lassi (A Twist on Tradition booth) or IMPOSSIBLE Chicken Curry Bites (Making Spirits Bright booth).
  • Free Diwali Craft (Disney California Adventure): Make your own Akash Kandilt (lantern).

Celebrating Latin American Holiday Traditions at the Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Hanukkah - Tostada Epcot

  • Las Posadas Celebration (EPCOT): From Sundays through Thursdays in the Mexico pavilion, celebrate Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and Mariachi music performed by Mariachi Cobre.
  • Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen (EPCOT): This year, you can try the new Giant Tostada de Chorizo or the new Tamale de Barbacoa. If you have a sweet tooth, then the Dulce de Leche Churro is calling your name! For adult frogs 21 and up, there's a variety of margarita flavors to enjoy, including apple and horchata.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • Three Kings Celebration: On Jan. 5 through 7, 2024, commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men through Latin American traditions. Enjoy festive cuisine and extended opportunities to enjoy special performances in Nautilus Theater, Sea of Trees and the park's festive holiday lights!

Disneyland Resort

Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Global Holiday Traditions at the Theme Parks

  • ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party (Disney California Adventure): Join the Three Caballeros for the ultimate fiesta for Navidad! The street party celebrates holiday traditions from Mexico to Brazil, complete with Folklorico dancers, mariachi musicians, Brazilian samba dancers and giant mojiganga puppets of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Mickey and Minnie even make a special appearance in their fiesta best!
  • Three Kings Day (Disney California Adventure): Known as El Dia de Los Reyes Magos in Mexico and Central and South America, this unique event honors the Ephinany, or the twelfth day of Christmas, during which the Three Wise Men visited the nativity. There is traditional decor and a photo opportunity on Jan. 6, 2024.
  • Free Navidad Craft (Disney California Adventure): Color and create your own papel picado lantern.
  • Food at Paradise Garden Grill: Enjoy Mexican foods such as a Shareable Loaded Torta, Tacos Gobernador and Achiote-marinated Half Chicken. For dessert, get the Chocolate Cake Flan.
  • Food at Boardwalk Pizza: Try the Al Pastor Pizza (available until Jan. 22, 2024) — available by the slice or a whole pie — and Gingerbread Cheesecake (available until Jan. 7, 2024)!

Disney Hanukkah - Tamal de Res

  • Festival Food Booths (Disney California Adventure): Try the IMPOSSIBLE Chorizo Queso Fundido (Brews & Bites booth), Esquites Carnitas Mac & Cheese (Holiday Duets booth), Barbacoa Tamal de Res (Grandma's Recipes booth), Glacier Margarita (A Twist on Tradition booth) and many more festive sips, sweets and treats!
  • Food at Carts and Other Stands: Get a Chicken Chile Verde Empanada (Seasonal Festival Cart), Café de Olla Cold Brew (Cappuccino Cart) or Hot Chocolate Churro (Terran Treats).
  • Characters: Meet Mirabel, the Three Caballeros or Mickey and Minnie and pals dressed in their Navidad best.

Hanukkah and More Global Holidays at Theme Parks - Three Kings Decor

The holiday season encompasses lots of traditions from many different cultures and religions around the world, but all share a similar message — peace, joy and love to all. We love learning about and experiencing all of the global celebrations through food, dance, storytelling and more at the theme parks!

Related: The Best Central Florida Theme Park by Holiday Tradition

Hoppy Holidays!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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