top of page
  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Complete Guide to the Holidays at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Updated: Jun 22, 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 including Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The holidays at Animal Kingdom

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.

We will be regularly updating this page as we closer to the holidays, so keep checking back!

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.

Tree of Life Awakenings Holiday Edition

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!

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

Animal Kingdom at Christmas

For the very latest news and information from Orlando and Central Florida, check back often here at Gotta Go Orlando as we keep you informed throughout the day, every day.

You can also keep up to date on our socials, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Plus, subscribe to the Gotta Go Orlando YouTube Channel, your free guide to Orlando.

Please Note:

Gotta Go Orlando is your free guide to all the amazing happenings in Orlando. Every day we offer the most up to date news and information on the best of Orlando and Central Florida.

Celebrate Christmas and the holiday at Walt Disney World, there’s snow much to look forward to with extra magical holiday happenings across the entire resort.ld earn money if you purchase products or services via a link our site.t


Emma Walton News Producer

Emma Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Shane Walton News Producer

Shane Walton

  • Instagram

News Producer

Aly Mac News Editor

Alastair Mac

  • Instagram

News Editor

bottom of page