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Complete Guide to Christmas and the Holidays at Walt Disney World

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Celebrate Christmas and the Holidays at Walt Disney World, there’s snow much to look forward to with extra magical holiday happenings across the entire resort.


Christmas and the Holidays at Walt Disney World

Anytime of the year is a magical time to visit Walt Disney World, but the holidays are truly the most magical time of the year, and this year you can enjoy new jolly experiences, glittering sights, sounds and the most scrumptious sweet treats. Plus, thrill to the return of fan-favorite Disney holiday traditions.


This year the holiday festivities at Walt Disney World begin on November 11 and run through until December 31, 2023, and no matter your traditions, get ready to celebrate the spirit of the season here in Orlando.


Christmas Tree at Magic Kingdom

From mid November through until New Year's Eve everywhere guests look throughout Walt Disney World they will be immersed in festive holiday decor at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”


Expect Christmas trees seemingly everywhere – more than 1300 at last count, some towering 65 feet!


Theme parks, resorts and the Disney Springs dining, entertainment and retail district are transformed into all that is merry and bright.


Holiday decor at Magic Kingdom

Decor highlights include Jolly trimmings and theming throughout Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park, while over at EPCOT enjoy dazzling international decor around World Showcase.


Enjoy holiday glamour on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and oversized festive touches in Toy Story Land.


Animal-inspired décor, luminaries on Discovery Island and holiday cheer that expats from Earth have brought to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and enjoy

nightly snow flurries and Disney-themed Christmas trees at Disney Springs.


Christmas Tree at Disney's Contemporary Hotel

The resort hotels get in on the holiday sparkle too, with each resort decked out for the holidays. And a much loved tradition is the larger-than-life gingerbread displays during the holiday season at select locations.


Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian

Read on for all of the holly jolly information you need to have the most magical time during the holidays at Walt Disney World!


The Best Time To Visit

The crowds around the holidays, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve are the busiest times to visit Walt Disney World during the holidays. Expect the parks to be very busy with long lines at all attractions.


The Christmas and New Years Eve Weeks are the absolute busiest time of the year at the resort. The upside to visiting during this time is the special entertainment around Christmas, especially at Magic Kingdom with lots of additional entertainment usually reserved for the ticketed Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party including the sparkling spectacular “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” and the merry must-see “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

On New Year’s Eve, there’s special entertainment at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios including DJ Dance Parties and special fireworks.


Besides the crowds, there are a few other downsides to visiting during these two weeks. As you would expect, the resort hotels have the highest room rates of the year, and many resort restaurants add a holiday surcharges, plus it can be difficult to get reservations at many dining locations, especially if you are looking to eat at a favourite restaurant.


If you are looking to visit when its less crowded, November is quieter in general, with the resort getting busier as it get closer to Christmas, although you should expect elevated crowd levels throughout November and December with all days during the holidays experiencing higher the average crowd levels.


Expect elevated crowd levels through until mid-January 2024.


The holidays at Magic Kingdom

The Weather During The Holidays

The upside to visiting in November or December is that the weather is much more theme park friendly than during the red hot days of summer, expect cooler temperatures, low humidity, and less rain!


The downside? It can get very cold, colder than you might expect in Florida! The mornings especially can feel very cold.


Expect average daytime temperatures to be anywhere from the low 70s to the high 80s.


You should expect colder nights and early mornings, as cold fronts pass through, with overnight temperatures dropping to the 60s and even the 50s.


The holidays at Magic Kingdom

What To Wear During The Holidays

With the large variations in temperatures in November and December it's important to wear layers.


Yes, pack your t-shirts and shorts, but don't forget to pack sweaters for the evenings when temperatures dip, and pack a jacket too, just in case!


The holidays at Magic Kingdom

The Holidays At Magic Kingdom


Get wrapped up in all things merry and bright, with sensational sights and holiday delights.


The Magic Kingdom, truly is extra magical during the holidays, with beautiful decor, festive entertainment, and extra jolly eats and treats.


Highlights this holiday season includes:

NEW! Frozen Holiday Surprise – Gather ‘round Cinderella Castle for a dazzling new experience that will illuminate the castle like never before—featuring Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and the Snowgies!


Seasonal Décor – Discover oh-so-jolly holiday trimmings and touches along Main Street, U.S.A. and throughout the park.


Jingle Cruise – During the holiday season, the beloved Jungle Cruise undergoes a yuletide transformation. It’s a festive-yet-familiar adventure from stem to stern!


Frozen Holiday Surprise at Magic kingdom

Frozen Holiday Surprise

For the first time in forever, guests will be able to join Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and the Snowgies in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom for “Frozen Holiday Surprise.”


This brand new “Frozen”–inspired entertainment experience will illuminate the castle in a whole new way. It can be seen during regular park hours and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.


Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom

Holiday Ride Overlays

Walt Disney World change up several of the rides at Magic Kingdom for the holidays with overlays, this usually includes holiday lighting, decor and more.


One of the best overlays is at Jungle Cruise which transforms into Jingle Cruise, with lots of jungle decor and lots of holiday-themed puns!


Holiday overlays usually also appear at Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain: Holiday Run, and Mad Tea Party.


Santa at Magic Kingdom

Meet Santa At Magic Kingdom

During the Holiday Week and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party you can meet Santa at the Liberty Square Gazebo.


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Experience Holiday Magic At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

One of Walt Disney World's favorite holiday tradition, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning to Magic Kingdom Park this year.


On 25 select nights, Nov. 9-Dec. 22, this separately ticketed event will welcome guests to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Magic Kingdom.


Holiday magic is unwrapped with the return of festive favorites like the Christmas extravaganza stage show, “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration,” the sparkling spectacular “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks” and the merry must-see “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” Guests can also look forward to enjoying some of their favorite classic and thrill attractions, including TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise, which will use a virtual queue* during the event.


Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are limited and can be purchased online beginning July 6.


Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, and Shades of Green can begin purchasing tickets as early as June 29 on the Walt Disney World website.


Ticket prices will range from $159-$199 per person.


The party dates are:

  • November: 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 30

  • December: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Check out the extra special entertainment during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which is also available to everyone who visits Magic Kingdom during Christmas Week.


Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

The magical Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade featuring Santa replaces Festival of Fantasy Parade through until the New Year, and will be performed twice daily.


The legendary street comes alive with yuletide spirit. Snap memorable photos of dancing gingerbread men, marching toy soldiers and beloved Disney Characters as they float by, waving hello.


There’s even a special appearance by Santa Claus–riding in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration Stage Show

Head over to Cinderella Castle for a yuletide stage show, starring Mickey Mouse! Gather around Cinderella Castle as live performers dance and sing a medley of delightful holiday songs.


Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks

Get in the Christmas spirit as your host—Minnie Mouse—invites you to take in a sparkling, yuletide fireworks display. Watch as the sky becomes alight with festive colors to the tune of some of your favorite carols like Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.


This merry display can be thoroughly enjoyed from most locations throughout Magic Kingdom park—including Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.


New Year's Eve at Magic Kingdom

New Year At Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is always the most popular park at Walt Disney World on New Year's Eve, and expect it to be crowded!


If you plan on celebrating New Year's Eve at Magic Kingdom, we recommend you arrive early as the park could reach capacity at any time throughout the day.


Magic Kingdom Dance Parties

Walt Disney World have not announced the details for this year's dance parties, but in the past dance parties have usually been held in front of Cinderella's Castle, Frontierland and Tomorrowland, hosted by DJs from 7 p.m. to midnight.


This is a memorable, family-fun way to celebrate the countdown to midnight.


Magic Kingdom Fantasy In The Sky Fireworks

Each New Year's Eve at Magic Kingdom, the new year starts with a massive bang as the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasy in the Sky fireworks light up the sky high above Lake Buena Vista.


Magic Kingdom show their New Year's Eve Fireworks on December 30, as well as December 31.


These fireworks are a must see, and quite literally fill the sky with the most incredible fireworks you will ever see, with the fireworks shot over the castle as well as all around the park perimeter. Even the midnight countdown is done in fireworks that form the actual numbers!


EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

The Holidays At EPCOT


Embrace holiday traditions from around the world and delight in the telling of the Christmas story.


Highlights include:

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth – Be immersed in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season from November 24 through December 30, 2023! Savor treasured recipes from around the globe at Holiday Kitchens. And embark on a journey with Holiday Storytellers sharing holiday traditions from around the world.


Candlelight Processional – Hear the stirring story of Christmas presented by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by an orchestra and massed choir.


More Holiday Entertainment – Watch as Holiday Storytellers bring beloved traditions such as Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year and more to life! Witness stories told through music and dance, with performers in traditional costumes—November 24 to December 30, 2023.


EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays

Guests will experience the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the holiday season when the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth returns to EPCOT. Read on for all the details.


Candlelight Processional EPCOT

Candlelight Processional

To the delight of guests, EPCOT will once again welcome back “Candlelight Processional,” a Disney Parks tradition.


This heartwarming production takes place nightly at America Gardens Theatre and features celebrity narrators featuring award-winning actors, singers and TV personalities retelling the Christmas story accompanied by the Voices of Liberty a capella ensemble, a 50-piece live orchestra with herald trumpets, and glorious massed choirs comprising of Disney cast members and local community groups.


Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are available to reserve now. With a dining package, guests can enjoy a leisurely meal at a select EPCOT restaurant and guaranteed seating at one of the performances later that same day.


JOYFUL! A Celebration Of The Season EPCOT

JOYFUL! A Celebration Of The Season

A stirring and uplifting performance of music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa, returns to the World Showcase Plaza Stage with multiple performances daily.


EPCOT Storytellers at the holidays

Holiday Traditions

Holiday traditions of the world come to life around World Showcase with storytellers, musical acts and otherperformers.


Unique presentations include Las Posadas Celebration featuring Mariachi Cobre at the Mexico pavilion, the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs in the Canada pavilion, a Hanukkah storyteller along the promenade between Morocco and France, and other delightful holiday storytellers in France, Italy, Japan, Norway and United Kingdom.


Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses EPCOT

Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses

A fan-favorite attraction overlay returns once again with Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses. A ride aboard this classic EPCOT attraction offers guests a peaceful cruise to view twinkling holiday light displays throughout the greenhouses.


Holiday Kitchens  at EPCOT

Holiday Kitchens

Holiday Kitchens will cook up treasured recipes and festive drinks from around the globe – from spiced pumpkin punch and cranberry mimosas to slow-roasted turkey with stuffing and pork schnitzel with braised red cabbage.


An eye-popping selection of sweets and treats ranging from traditional linzer cookies and maple bûche de noël to chocolate-peppermint donuts will surely satisfy any sweet tooth.



The Holiday Cookie Stroll

The Holiday Cookie Stroll offers a sweet adventure. Guests of all ages can also take part in Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt to search for holiday traditions Olaf has gathered from around the world—and lost along the way!


Meet Santa Claus At The Odyssey Pavilion

Meet Santa Claus At The Odyssey Pavilion

No holiday celebration is complete without Jolly Old St. Nick himself, Santa Claus pays a visit to The Odyssey in his snow-covered sleigh—November 24 to December 24, 2023, giving guests the opportunity to say hello, pose for a photo and share their fondest Christmas wish.


The Holidays At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Holidays At Disney’s Hollywood Studios


Embark on yuletide adventures in a park full of entertainment and thrills.


Decor at Hollywood Studios includes SANTA GERTIE! There are also oversized Christmas ornaments in Echo Lake, as well as a giant Christmas tree, and other decor.


You will also discover vintage inspired decor on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, with snow falling along Sunset Boulevard.


Highlights include:

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – Enjoy an unforgettable holiday finale featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf.


Minnie's Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine – See Minnie Mouse and her pals during an oh-so-merry meal. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.


Toy Story Land Characters in Holiday Attire – See some Pixar pals decked out for the season.


For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Watch as thrilling moments from the movie play on-screen, then cheer as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff appear to sing along with the audience! Projected lyrics make it easy to belt out irresistible show-stoppers like “Let It Go.”


Enjoy an unforgettable holiday finale featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf.


 Sunset Seasons Greetings  Gaze in wonder as the Hollywood Tower Hotel

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Gaze in wonder as the Hollywood Tower Hotel is transformed nightly with holiday projections.


Get swept up in scenes of the season as The Hollywood Tower Hotel comes to holly-jolly life with continuously running, colorful projections


Minnie's Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine

Minnie's Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine

Deck the halls at a dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!


See Minnie Mouse and her pals during an oh-so-merry meal. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.


Toy Story Land Characters in Holiday Attire

Toy Story Land Characters in Holiday Attire

See gWoody, Jessie and Buzz sporting their holiday best, and check out the oversized holiday decorations throughout Andy's backyard!


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney Jollywood Nights is a new, separately ticketed event from 8:30 pm - 12:30 am on 10 select nights November 11 - December 20, 2023.


Get ready to dress in your holiday glam best or festive flair, dance the night away to merry mashups, indulge in divine treats and bubbling spirits, and snap selfies with iconic characters during this new festive event.


For an extra dose of cheer, the party wraps with the return of the nighttime spectacular, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

A Guide To Disney Jollywood Nights

Welcome to Tinseltown as you enter Disney Jollywood Nights experience a DJ spinning a mix of holiday tunes and pop classics on Hollywood Boulevard.


Hollywood Boulevard will feature holiday decor and cheer, including a HUGE marquee featuring Disney Jollywood Nights for you to grab a special photo.


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Commissary Lane

Commissary Lane will come to life with a lively Latin Street Fair. There will be three Latin bands performing as part of the Fiesta en la Calle (festival in the street) on Commissary Lane.


There will be festoon lights along this area, food and beverage, and street performers.


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Theater Of The Stars

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will host a live holiday special at Theater of the Stars with some of their Disney friends.


The spectacular holiday themed musical variety show hosted by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will feature special appearances from Princess Tiana, Belle, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse.


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Brown Derby

Encounter glitz and glamor galore within The Hollywood Brown Derby, where the restaurant will be transformed into a jazz lounge featuring a sing-along piano bar.


There will be songs performed from the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Think along the lines of a swinging, speakeasy kind-of-a party!


Animation Courtyard

Meet Mickey Mouse and the rest of the iconic gang in Animation Courtyard on a hot set with holiday props.


Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Goofy who will all feature NEW costumes have just wrapped up filming their holiday movie and they will be available for meet-and-greets with never-before-seen backdrops that will draw inspiration from modern pop culture


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Tower Hotel

During Disney Jollywood Nights the park will reawaken the legendary Tip Top Club, where park guests will enter the Twilight Zone... Hollywood, 1938, and enjoy an "other-worldly soiree" at The Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard.


Jjoin a party worthy of Hollywood's elite, dance to a ghostly band, enjoy custom food and craft drinks, all the while be immersed in the Tip Top Club from the Tower of Terror.


Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Hyperion Theater Sing-Along

At the Hyperion Theater, the Frozen Sing-Along will be replaced with a special Nightmare Before Christmas show exclusive to Disney Jollywood Nights.


The Hyperion Theater will be themed to A Nightmare Before Christmas and guests will experience a special sing-along show featuring appearances by both Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie!


Echo Lake

Get into the spirit with your fave throwback friends including Powerline Max and Phineas and Ferb at Echo Lake where each meet-and-greet will feature its own Christmas Tree.


Pixar Place

Pixar Place will be transformed with a 1950s theme including food, beverage, and decor.


Visit the Frozone Snow Zone where you can chill with Frozone who will make it snow, and of course, strike a pose with 1950's Edna Mode!


Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” at Jollywood Nights Hollywood Studios

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM

End the night with a bang – literally – when the festive favorite “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” returns. This Santa-sized nighttime spectacular, featuring the elf duo Wayne and Lanny from Disney Animation Studio’s “Prep and Landing,” is jam-packed with music, fireworks, special effects, and dazzling state-of-the-art projections.


Event Details

Disney Jollywood Nights is a limited-capacity holiday event. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, and Shades of Green can buy tickets starting June 29.


Tickets may be purchased by all guests starting July 6 on the Walt Disney World website.


Ticket prices will range from $159 – $179 per person.


Disney Jollywood Nights Party Dates:

November: 11,18, 20, 27, 29

December: 4, 6,16,18, 20


The Holidays At Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Holidays At Disney's Animal Kingdom


Discover the magic of nature—and enjoy seasonal delights along the way. Animal Kingdom features entertainment and decorations throughout the park.


It all begins on Discovery Island, where you’ll be surrounded by a celebration of winter. The village is filled with sparkling white holiday decorations and colorful, animal-inspired luminaries, and throughout the day, the area springs to life with a Merry Menagerie of winter animals, accompanied by serenading musicians as they create a playful atmosphere of festive fun.


Highlights include:

Merry Menagerie – See Discovery Island come to life with artisan-sculpted puppets of arctic animals—like penguins, reindeer, foxes and polar bears.


Tree of Life Awakenings Holiday Edition – Watch in awe as the park’s magnificent icon shimmers and sparkles each evening, accompanied by a heartwarming musical score. Experience begins at dusk and is subject to change.


Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurer's Outpost – Pose for a photo with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse all decked out in their holiday attire.


The Holidays At Disney's Animal Kingdom

Merry Menagerie

Amidst glowing holiday decor, a Merry Menagerie of winter animals returns to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the form of artisan-sculpted puppets.


The Merry Menagerie of winter animals, reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins and more interact with guests, accompanied by serenading musicians as they create a whimsical display and playful atmosphere for guests of all ages to enjoy.


The Holidays At Disney's Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life Awakenings Holiday Edition

The Holiday Tree of Life Awakening show tells a series of winter tales, complete with a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. watch as animals transition from fall to winter, together with animals frolicking across the Northern Lights.


The Holidays At Disney's Blizzard Beach

The Holidays At Disney's Blizzard Beach


Splash into a watery winter wonderland brimming with cheer.


Built around the mythical tale of a ski resort that melted into warm water, this 66-acre park features “snowy” scenery that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit.


Holiday highlights include:


Daily “Snowfall” – Watch in awe as snow flurries fall from the sky


Santa Claus – Be on the lookout for jolly ole St. Nick—vacationing in his holiday-finest beachwear


The Holidays At Disney Springs

The Holidays At Disney Springs


At Disney Springs, shoppers can find treasures for loved ones while enjoying dazzling decor and live entertainment. And the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll invites guests to discover 20 Christmas trees on display throughout the dining, entertainment and retail complex.


Visitors can also be on the lookout for magical snowfall nightly.


Guests can say hello to Santa Claus as he makes a special appearances at Disney Springs.


Disney Resort Hotels at Christmas

The Holidays At Disney Resort Hotels


Stay in the heart of the holiday magic, mere moments from the theme parks.


Highlights include:

Seasonal Décor – Delight in holiday decorations, including magnificent Christmas trees and gingerbread displays adorning the lobbies and Guest areas at select Disney Resort hotels.


Delicious Treats – Nosh on gingerbread goodies and savor specialty menu items at select restaurants in Disney Resort hotels.


Plus, you’ll be conveniently close to other holiday happenings at Walt Disney World Resort


Special Savings On Stays At Disney Resort Hotels

The only thing better than visiting a Disney theme park at the holidays is complementing it with a stay at a Disney Resort hotel.


Guests can save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays this fall and winter season.


To learn more, visit disneyworld.com/HolidaySavings.


EPCOT at Christmas

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