Christmas is our favorite time at Walt Disney World! It’s so festive and holiday cheer can be found everywhere! From snacks to decorations, they’ve thought of it all. But, let’s face it, with raising ticket prices at the parks, and many days throughout the holiday season being the MOST EXPENSIVE, we look for ways to enjoy the season without the high price tag. Wondering what you do at Walt Disney World at Christmas without a Park ticket? We are here to help you with that!
Walt Disney World at Christmas
New to Walt Disney World at Christmas? We’ve rounded up everything you can do at Walt Disney World during Christmas here. There’s so much to see and do! And while it’s impossible to see it all in one trip, hopefully, our posts can help you decide what’s right for your family vacation this holiday season.
What can you do at Christmas at Walt Disney World without a Park Ticket?
We’ve talked about free fun that can be had at Walt Disney World during Christmas, but what can you do without a Park ticket? Maybe you can’t get a Park reservation, or maybe you are planning for the first or last day of your trip. Maybe you wanted to save a little money and have fewer days in the parks. Whatever the case, never fear! There is plenty to do at Christmastime without a park ticket or reservation.
Disney Resorts Gingerbread House Tour
Visiting the resorts at Christmastime is actually one of our favorite things to do! Not only is each resort dressed in their holiday best, but they’re usually not crowded, and it’s free to visit them. Whether you want to see the amazing gingerbread displays, like the carousel at Beach Club or the life-size gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. Each year the Deluxe Resorts get special gingerbread displays alongside treats you can take home! Be sure to stop at Disney Resorts during the holidays! No ticket is required!
See all the Disney Christmas Trees!
One of the best things about Christmas at Walt Disney World is that EVERY RESORT gets into the holiday mood. From themed trees at the Value Resorts to Signature trees at the deluxe resorts, why not stop and admire the beautifully decorated trees, there’s plenty to see and do. Visiting the resorts is always a great way to take a break from the crowds too!
Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs
The Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs has changed over the years, but we still think this is one of the best things at Walt Disney World without a park ticket. Though they are no longer in a “trail”, beautifully decorated, themed Christmas trees are scattered throughout Disney Springs. The stroll even has an activity map that after participation, you can receive a free treat! Details about the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs can be found here. And while you’re enjoying the trees, be sure to stop by Town Center for magical falling snow throughout the evening!
Mini Golf at Winter Summerland
At Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, it’s always Christmas! Although this isn’t technically an activity specific to Christmastime, it is holiday-themed and we think it’s a perfect way to spend a day at Walt Disney World without a park ticket. It’s also very affordable, which makes it even more appealing. At $14 per adult and $12 per child, this is a much more budget-friendly activity than say spending the day in the parks. And it’s usually not too crowded, which is an added bonus. And if you’re staying at a resort on Walt Disney World property you can sometimes get 4 FREE tickets to mini-golf as part of the Magical Extras included in your stay.
Watch The Holiday Fireworks From Afar
Want to see the fireworks, but don’t have a Park ticket, tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or maybe you don’t want to fight the crowds? There are plenty of places to see the fireworks without going into a Park! We love the views of Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach of the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and the Fort Wilderness Campground and Resort. And if you want to add in dinner to the mix, you can’t beat California Grill for rooftop views! Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks can be seen on dates of Very Merriest After Hours events and Enchantment can be viewed all other nights.
The Boardwalk area resorts are also a great option for viewing the Epcot fireworks show, Harmonius. Harmonius isn’t seasonal, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth the watch.
Meet Santa in Disney Springs
Yes, you can meet Santa at Walt Disney World without going into the Parks! Santa meets with guests in Disney Springs during the later part of the season at Once Upon a Toy. We love that this is one of the best Free Things to do at Walt Disney World during Christmastime.
Breakfast with Santa at Disney Springs
You can also find Santa Claus at Maria and Enzo’s Restaurant for a breakfast filled with classic Italian menu items. This visit with Santa Claus is a family-friendly holiday activity that includes take-home treats and a keepsake photo souvenir. Plus Disney Adults ( 21+) attending get a free mimosa to have with breakfast. Kids can share Christmas Wishes with Santa, and get a special photo taken. Your place in the Santa Claus line is determined by seating package; Gold and Platinum are available, starting at $30 for kids, and $50 per adult ( plus tax and gratuity ). And children under 2 are free. Reservations are required. 2022 Dates for Breakfast with Santa at Disney Springs are as follows; November 26-27th and December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th.
Holiday Sleigh Ride at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Holiday sleigh rides are hosted at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The sleigh rides are $75 for each “sleigh”. You do need a reservation, but you don’t need a Park ticket to enjoy this fun, festive activity at Walt Disney World. And while you’re there, you can check out all Fort Wilderness has to offer during the holidays. It’s such a fun and unique experience! To make a reservation, call (407)WDW-PLAY. Be sure to add this to your Fort Wilderness Resort for Christmas fun, on a day when you go to see the lights and displays that cover the campground.
Try the Christmas Snacks
Walt Disney World rolls out so many new snacks for the holiday season, and many can be found outside of the parks! Disney Springs is a great place to hunt down holiday snacks. Amorette’s, and The Ganachery are some of our favorites, but you can find Christmas snacks scattered all throughout Disney Springs at other restaurants and kiosks!
The resorts are also a great place to find some of the best holiday snacks. If you’re staying on Disney property, be sure to check out your resort’s food court. Almost all deluxe resorts have specialty snacks for Christmas at Walt Disney World, and you can find them listed in our Christmas snacks at Walt Disney World post!
There is so much to do at Walt Disney World during the holidays, even without a Park ticket! Even if you just need to fill that half day on arrival or departure day, we love that there are so many options. So what did we miss? What do you love doing at Walt Disney World during Christmas without a Park ticket? We would love to hear your favorites!