If you’re thinking of planning Christmas at Walt Disney World, there’s a few things you should know about the most wonderful time of year at the most magical place on earth. Never mind about the Disney crowds, the high expectations and the Florida cold. What about all the other stuff that you can only do at Disney this time of year? If you’re like us and needed to experience Disney during the holidays at least once, we get it. So what can you expect if you’re visiting Walt Disney World during Christmas?
If you’re thinking Christmas at Walt Disney World going to be all magic an miracles over the holidays at Walt Disney World, lets set a few things straight. There are crowds. Read about our strategies for dealing with Disney crowds to help you go with realistic expectations and a strategy for the 60 minute bus wait. We’ll be honest, we were caught off guard with just how much “crowd” would be showing up during the holidays. Do you need to know what rides, restaurants, and shows are best during the holidays?
Your Walt Disney World Christmas list
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
So while attending this party is a great way to ring in the season, at over 100 bucks a ticket, know that you can get snow, lights and seasonal treats at all the parks without dropping all your extra dimes. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom is a hard ticket event, which basically means you need an extra party ticket to get in, in addition to your regular day park ticket. While we are always up for the parties, this one is not something we do annual, but recommend you experience at least once. You can check out our tips for this party, but know the big one is that the holiday magic comes when you see the Parade from the front of Main Street, with the Castle in the background. Any other parade viewing location is sub-par. As far as the party itself is concerned, we like the Halloween one better and it’s cheaper. But if you need to see what the fuss is all about, check out our Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade Photo Tour.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail
One of the nice things about Disney during the holidays is the shopping at Disney Springs. The whole place is decorated to the nines, has festive treats and a Christmas Tree Trail that showcases some of our favorite Disney films! You can also grab a shopping guide with coupons and a little scavenger hunt for the kids! Grab it at the Welcome center and make sure to see the Christmas Tree Trail!
Disney Resort Decorations Tour
Many of the Disney resorts have decorations that are outstanding! You will not see anything like this anywhere else. With themed trees, larger than life decorations, and experiences that add to the magic, we would not go back to Disney during the holidays without building in time to visit the Resorts. Check out our post on Disney Resort Decorations at Walt Disney World for our favorites.
Disney Holiday Decorations
By the third week in November almost all the Christmas decorations are up at all four Walt Disney World parks. One of our favorite parks last year was Hollywood Studios. With fears of people staying away due to all the construction, they dressed up the park to the nines in a very kitschy 1950’s style. We absolutely loved it! Check out our whole post on Hollywood Studios at Christmas.
Disney Treats at All Four Parks
A giant perk is that you essentially get cocoa and cookies to your hearts desire. Obviously the special treats will cost money, but since they’re only available at Christmas time it’s hard not to give in! If you’re visiting Walt Disney World for Christmas be sure to grab some of the special treats.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine
So Hollywood and Vine is the resident character breakfast buffet restaurant at Hollywood Studios, which may not thrill most people. BUT, its also the only place you get the fab five in costume for the holidays. Much like Akershus in Norway, Epcot the sub par menu can sometimes be worth it just to get all the characters in one place! The food was pretty good here, but the character interactions were the best! You aren’t rushed like at Crystal Palace and the servers were amazing. Definitely worth a look if you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant in Hollywood Studios during the holidays.
Sunset Seasons at Hollywood Studios
The digital show on The Tower of Terror is wonderful. All tied into little stories being digitally shown on the billboards that line Sunset Boulevard, the Sunset Season show runs every 15 minutes on a loop all night long. Add in the fake falling snow and it’s a pretty magical Christmas experience. It’s also a major bonus that this experience doesn’t cost anything extra like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Jingle Bell Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios
Another amazing show at Hollywood Studios we’ll see if this one stays on the Christmas Program Schedule. It’s an earlier show at 830pm, so perfect for the families with kiddies that want to see something special before heading home. This digital show on the Chinese theater has our two favorite elves trying to rescue Santa in time for his big night.
International Festival of Holidays at Epcot
Much like all the festivals at Epcot the International Festival of Holidays includes 15+ outdoor food kitchens featuring holiday food from around the world. We love this event simply because there are so many neat foods to try, but during the Holidays you also get the bonus of storytellers in each World Showcase country that tells a holiday tale local to the culture. La Befana in Italy is a favorite.
The Processional at Epcot
The Processional at Epcot takes place at the amphitheater in America in the World Showcase. When we originally heard about this event we weren’t really clamoring at the bit to save a seat. The processional comprises of a celebrity narrator reading the Christmas story from the bible, a choir, music and even trumpeters all with a backdrop of gorgeous lights and display. Now, we know how long it takes to read this story and truthfully we were wavering on committing the time. But Oh My Gosh, this event is so worth the time! We had the honor of hearing Warwick Davis tell this story and he did such a magnificent job! If we lived in Florida I think our family would use this event to kick off the season each year, because it holds that kind of powerful magic.It’s moving, beautiful, majestic and you just want everyone you know to see it, because its indescribable. Definitely build this one into your holiday plans if you can. And if you want a seat in the theater, plan to go to the latest show so you have a less of a line to wait in.
Our Christmas at Walt Disney World Posts
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parade Photo Tour
- Christmas Decor to Add a Little Disney to Your Holiday Season
- The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Photo Tour
- Christmas at Walt Disney World Checklist
- Resort Holiday Decorations at Walt Disney World
- Visiting Walt Disney World During the Holidays: Everything You Should Know
- 5 Ways to Beat the Crowds at Walt Disney World During the Holidays
- 8 Foods We Loved at Epcot’s Festival of Holidays
- DIY Minnie Mouse Holiday Outfit Instructions and Template
- Why You Need to Visit Hollywood Studios this Holiday Season