Disney World Christmas and Holiday Events 2023

Disney World Christmas and Holiday Events

Walt Disney World is a magical place to visit any time of the year, but it truly shines during the holiday season. With added entertainment, snacks, and festive fun, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular times to go to Disney. Whether you’re looking to see your favorite characters in their festive best or just want to enjoy the beautiful decorations, there is something for everyone at Disney during the holidays. Here’s an overview of what you can expect for 2023 Disney World Christmas and holiday events.

Disney World Christmas and Holiday Entertainment

Disney World Christmas Mickey's Merry Christmas Party

There is always so much to see and do at Disney World during Christmas. Something that Disney does so well is entertainment, of course. It’s no surprise that there is plenty of Christmas and holiday entertainment at Disney World! Some of these events have been Disney World traditions for years, while others are fairly new additions. Here are some of Disney World’s holiday shows that you won’t want to miss!

Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional has been a staple of Disney’s Christmas celebrations since 1958. The Christmas tradition started at Disneyland and then made its way to Walt Disney World! This beautiful live event that’s held in Epcot’s America Pavilion tells the story of Christmas through song. This spectacular performance features a 50-piece orchestra and a large choir. This choir even features many Disney cast members. There are different celebrity narrators throughout the holiday season, so be sure to check the event’s calendar to see who will be hosting during your trip! There are also Candlelight Processional Dining Packages available at select eateries at Epcot. These packages include a meal as well as a guaranteed seat to the show.

Merry Menagerie

Head to Animal Kingdom to see an adorable show full of winter animals called the Merry Menagerie. This incredible show of handcrafted puppets delights crowds near the entrance of the park. Guests can interact with the animals, which include penguins, polar bears, and foxes. There is a live violinist accompanying the show with music. There are a few other ways to see festive fun at Animal Kingdom, including the Holiday Tree of Life Awakenings light show. Also, keep an eye on the park’s rivers! You never know which festive characters will float by!

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Hollywood Studios is always decked out in its Christmas best during the holidays at Disney World. The park’s vintage holiday decorations will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the glamour of old Hollywood. The holiday fun continues down Sunset Boulevard where Tower of Terror gets a merry makeover. Sunset Seasons Greetings is a fun projection show that transforms the ride into various festive scenes including a giant gingerbread house! After the show, the streets are dusted with Disney’s famous “snoap!” The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration show also gets a holiday twist with new songs and special guests!

Christmas Tree Stroll At Disney Springs

A fun way to explore Disney Springs during the holiday season is to take the Christmas Tree Stroll. There are 17 Disney-themed trees spread out all over Disney Springs. Each tree represents a different Disney character or movie. Our favorites this year are the Frozen and Star Wars-themed Christmas tree.

Jingle Cruise

Have you ever been on the Jungle Cruise Magic Kingdom attraction? It’s so much fun! Well, during the Holidays this incredible ride transforms into Jingle Cruise. During the Jingle Cruise overlay, the skippers will give a special monologue about how they want to celebrate Christmas and are “homesick”. The queue is decorated with Holiday cheer and the boats have special Christmas names. Expert tip: ride a Jungle Cruise at night so you can enjoy the Christmas lights!

In addition, there are holiday decorations and enhancements to Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain and Mad Tea Party.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event happening this year at Magic Kingdom during the holiday season. On select dates through December 22nd, guests can attend this festive ticketed event! Guests are allowed into the park starting at 4 p.m., although the party officially starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $159 to $199 per person, depending on the date of the party. These Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets include hours of entertainment and dessert parties, smaller crowds in the Magic Kingdom park as well as holiday magic! Since the number of guests in the park is limited, partygoers will experience shorter wait times for Magic Kingdom’s attractions!

Entertainment during the party nights includes Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. The Disney World Christmas parade route goes through Frontierland, Liberty Square and Main Street, U.S.A. Get a spot early so you can watch Disney characters and Santa Claus. In addition, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is incredible! It is hosted by Minnie Mouse herself and features incredible fireworks tied to beloved holiday songs.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Event Highlights

Merry Christmas Party dates start on November 9th and end on December 22nd. The Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Event tickets do not require a theme park reservation. Here are the highlights of this event:

  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
  • Frozen Holiday Surprise 
  • Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
  • Reindeer Wranglers at Country Bear Jamboree
  • Disney Junior Jingle Jam Dance Party (Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland)
  • Club Tinsel in Tomorrowland Dance Party (Rocket Tower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland)

PSA: A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas is not returning this year.

So, is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party worth it? Find out for yourself in our blog, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023: Your Ultimate Guide.

Disney Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios

This year, Hollywood Studios is getting in on the party fun with Jollywood Nights. These exclusive holiday party nights run from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am on select nights through December 20th. Depending on what day you attend, tickets cost between $159 and $169 per person. These are separate tickets that normal park entry. During the Disney World Christmas event, there will be delicious food, festive parties, and stunning decorations to enjoy.

Disney Jollywood Nights includes fantastically festive entertainment. Experience the magic of Hollywood in a whole new way this holiday season with Disney Holidays in Hollywood – a dazzling stage show that perfectly blends the glitz and glamour of vintage Hollywood with a contemporary holiday twist. And that’s not all! Head over to the Hyperion Theater for a special sing-along of What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, or groove to the holiday beats spun by a DJ on Hollywood Boulevard. Feeling nostalgic? Echo Lake is the place to be, with its throwback bash that takes you back to the good old days. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures with your favorite Disney pals dressed up for the festive season!

Disney Jollywood Nights Event Highlights

Disney Jollywood Nights starts on November 11th and ends on December 20th. In addition, Disney Jollywood Nights does not require a theme park reservation. Here is an overview of the event:

  • Disney Holidays in Hollywood
  • What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along
  • Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
  • Jazzy Holidays at The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Twilight Soirée at the Tip Top Club
  • Holiday Fiesta en la Calle
  • Hollywood Boulevard DJ

Want to learn more about this incredible party? Learn more in our blog, Disney Jollywood Nights: Where Magic and Christmas Collide!

Disney World Christmas and Holiday Food

Disney always goes all out with the treats during special events, so obviously there are endless holiday snack options! There are various Christmas-inspired snacks all around Disney World during the holiday season, so always keep an eye out! You won’t want to miss the Mickey Cinnamon Roll at Magic Kingdom or the Peppermint Eclair at Disney Springs! Epcot and Hollywood Studios both offer special holiday food events for Disney World guests to enjoy!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

You can always count on Epcot to have an incredible festival full of delicious food and fun entertainment! Of course, the holiday season is no different! Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays is a dazzling display of holiday traditions from around the world. This festival not only includes incredible international holiday treats but also showcases holiday traditions from around the world. Visit Père Noël in France, listen to the Hanukkah Storyteller near Morocco, experience the joy of Kwanzaa at the Showcase Plaza Stage, or enjoy the colorful performance for the Lunar New Year in China. Some of the amazing holiday foods that you can enjoy during the festival include roasted chestnuts, potato latkes, and bûche de noël!

Another fun (and tasty!) activity during the International Festival of the Holidays is the Cookie Stroll! Try delicious cookies from around the World Showcase and collect stamps for each one. Then, you can collect your specialty cookie prize! This is a fun way to explore Epcot while also enjoying a yummy treat

Minnie’s Holiday Dine

Who wouldn’t want to attend a Christmas dinner party with all of your favorite characters while at Disney World? Minnie’s Holiday is a festive character dining option during the holidays at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant. Guests can enjoy a selection of delicious food and meet some classic Disney characters wearing their holiday’s best attire!

Disney World Resorts Christmas Makeovers

The festive cheer doesn’t stop when you leave the parks! Resorts all around Disney World property deck the halls in some gorgeous displays of Christmas cheer. Some resorts like Disney’s Polynesian Resort display beautifully simple decorations like themed garlands and Christmas trees. Other resorts, for example, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, go all out.

At the Grand Floridian Resort, you’ll be greeted by rows of lights before you even enter the resort. As you walk in, you’ll notice meticulously decorated trees perfectly themed to the resort’s turn-of-the-century decor. As you go further into the main lobby of the resort, you’ll see another tree. This tree, however, is 40 feet tall! Behind this towering tree is the iconic feature of the Grand Floridian during the holidays: the life-size gingerbread house. This gingerbread house not only displays the immense talent of Disney World’s bakers but is also a fully functioning shop selling Christmas treats! If you’re visiting Disney World during the holidays, you do NOT want to miss visiting the Grand Floridian!

No matter where you decide to go at Disney World during the holidays, you are sure to find Christmas cheer around every corner!

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