The holidays are a magical time of year. Most folks seem to be in a merry mood, and the decorations, music, and activities all seem geared toward general glad tiding and good cheer. If you’re planning a visit to Disney World for the holidays, you’ll be excited to know there is so much to do and see! Check out my complete guide to Christmas at Disney World.
Complete Guide to Christmas at Disney World
My family love to visit Walt Disney World at any time of year, but I’m especially fond of Christmas. The decorations, the food, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party all combine to make it truly magical. I hope my guide to Christmas at Disney World helps you and your family make the most of this magical time together!
Christmas at Magic Kingdom
First, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I wrote an entire post dedicated to the party though, so I won’t rehash it all here. Suffice it to say, you should definitely take advantage of the Christmas party if you can.However, there is so much else to do in the Magic Kingdom to celebrate the season besides the party! Enjoy special desserts at the Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace. Shop for fantastic, holiday-themed merchandise. Take special photos in front of the massive tree on Main Street! The possibilities are endless!Finally, there are special tours you can only take during the holidays. “Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy” allows guests to head backstage and get the scoop on the staggering logistics involved in the wintertime transformation of Walt Disney World Resort each and every holiday season! The tour lasts 3.5 hours and is $139 for ages 12 and up. “Disney’s Holiday D-Lights” is an even more in-depth six hour tour that includes a meal, behind-the-scenes tours at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and a commemorative tour pin for you to keep!
Christmas at Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is always decorated beautifully for the holidays. In addition to the beautiful decorations, you can discover the story of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India, during the UP! A Great Bird Adventure Show in the Asia section of the park.Donald and friends are still celebrating his “Dino-Bash” over in Dinoland USA, and you can now catch them in their holiday wear! Also, don’t pass up the opportunity to meet Safari Mickey and Minnie while they’re dressed in their holiday best!
Christmas at Epcot
Next, Epcot is one of my favorite parks. Yes, it really is. It has grown on me over the years, and the holidays are one of the reasons it has moved up on my favorite parks list.Festival of the Holidays begins November 18 and ends December 30. Discover a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of 11 World Showcase nations. Festive “Holiday Kitchens” have every kind of treat imaginable. Choose treats from savory to sweet, and they have special alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink to go with them!
I will be experiencing the Candlelight Processional for the first time ever, and I cannot wait! The Biblical story of Christmas is told by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and massed choir. Every night from November 22-December 30, you can experience this Disney tradition included in your park ticket. You can also reserve your seating through a Candlelight Processional Dining package at one of several choices of Epcot restaurants.Finally, Chip and Dale are going on a Christmas Tree Spree, and they’re inviting you along! Just like Remy’s Hide and Squeak at the Food and Wine Festival, this fun, interactive scavenger hunt. As you travel around World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip & Dale as they gather ornaments from holiday decorations in each World Showcase pavilion. Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map. Then, take your completed map to Disney Traders or World Traveler and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip & Dale!
Christmas at Hollywood Studios
Last, but certainly not least, my favorite park is getting happy for the holidays! From special food and drinks to adorable holiday decor, don’t skip over Hollywood Studios just because Galaxy’s Edge isn’t open yet!Flurry of Fun includes festive shows, enhanced “snow,” holiday decor, and, of course, food! I’ve already seen snippets of the fun decor in Toy Story Land, and it looks adorable! I can’t wait to give some of the new foods a try either. The projections and “snow” on Sunset Boulevard are stunning, so don’t miss those!
I’ve seen Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! in the past, and it was a good show. I’m still partial to Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, but these fireworks will get you in the holiday mood.Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine is a great way to see all your favorites in their holiday attire, and you can meet Santa Claus himself in the park November 9-December 24 or Santa Goofy December 35-31.
Christmas Outside the Parks
Looking for fun outside the theme parks? Then you simply must go “resort hopping” and/or visit Disney Springs. I am really looking forward to seeing the newly re-imagined World of Disney store and the Disney Springs Christmas Tree trail. The Christmas Tree Trail is free, which is a fun perk of the wonderful Disney Springs shopping area.One of my favorite things about resort hopping (visiting different resorts even if you’re not staying there) is the incredible gingerbread displays at each hotel. The Grand Floridian always has a stunning gingerbread house. Last year, the Beach Club had a gingerbread carousel (and yes, it really worked!). Additionally, the Contemporary has a beautiful “it’s a small world” themed display. Again, it’s free to resort hop and look at the displays, so don’t hesitate to give it a try!With the variety of things to do in and out of the parks, there is something everyone can enjoy this holiday season. Happy Holidays everyone!