There’s no bad time to visit Walt Disney World, as you’ll find a bit of magic no matter when you’re there. However, Disney World truly shines during the holiday season. With added entertainment, snacks, and festive fun, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular times to go to Disney. Whether you want 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 are some of the amazing Christmas and holiday events Disney World is putting on in 2021!
Disney World Christmas and Holiday Entertainment
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!
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.
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!” Hollywood Studios also has a Merry Motorcade where you can see Santa drive down Hollywood Boulevard in a red convertible! 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 Moana, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Mickey & Minnie trees!
Disney Very Merriest After Hours
Disney Very Merriest After Hours is a special event happening this year at Magic Kingdom during the holiday season. On select dates through December 21st, guests can attend this festive ticketed event after park close! Guests are allowed into the park starting at 7 p.m., although the party officially starts at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $169 to $249 per person, depending on the date of the party. These tickets include four hours of entertainment and select snacks, as well as smaller crowds in the park! Since the number of guests in the park is limited, partygoers will experience shorter wait times for Magic Kingdom’s rides! Entertainment during the party includes Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show!
(This event is a modified version of Disney World’s yearly Very Merry Christmas Party due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.)
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 Holiday 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!