Fun Things to Do at Disney World During Christmas in Each Park

Fun Things to Do at Disney World During Christmas in Each Park

Walt Disney World at Christmastime has so many things to do, that you’re probably wondering how to fit it all in! Well, unless you’re planning a multi-week vacation, you may find it impossible. As such, we thought we’d pull together our TOP 5 Favorite Things to Do at Disney World During Christmas time. That way, if you’re time is limited or you just need some direction in each park, you’ll be sure not to miss the important stuff. Here are the BEST things to do at Disney World during Christmas at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. 

Christmas Characters at Walt Disney World

Christmas at Magic Kingdom

Our favorite things for Christmas at Magic Kingdom usually includes ogling the decorations, and shop windows, trying all the Disney snacks, and heading to the gift shops to see the new seasonal merchandise. Featuring a new castle lighting ceremony called the Frozen Holiday Surprise and evening Christmas projections on the castle, there is much to be seen! The Cinderella Christmas Castle Projection Show loops every 15 minutes, so be sure to see all the scenes.

We recommend heading to Magic Kingdom for Christmas on a day when there isn’t a party. Be sure to check park hours ahead of time so you can make the most of your day. And don’t forget the Main Street Philharmonic and Toy Soldier March, marching from the Storybook Circus Area of Fantasyland down Main Street USA. This march happens a few times throughout the day and really adds to the Christmas Spirit at Magic Kingdom during Christmas.

Ride Jingle Cruise

If there’s one thing you should do at Magic Kingdom during Christmas time it’s the Jingle Cruise. This overlay of the Jungle Cruise add decorations around the ride, and adds a bit of festive cheer. This Christmas Overlay on the Jungle Cruise is amazing, and filled with Holiday puns! It does get crowded, so we highly recommend planning to rope drop this one, or adding it as a lightning lane.

Disney Christmas Treats

While Magic Kingdom may not have the best restaurants in Disney World, they do have great snacks. And at Christmas, the treats get all the better. You can find things like peppermint ice cream at Storybook Treats and the Santa candy apples at the Big Top Circus Tent. Among others. Chekc out the Christmas Snacks at Disney World for the latest treats to be added to the parks for the holidays. 

Christmas Castle Show 

Each evening at Magic Kingdom you can see the Christmas projection show that displays on Cinderella Castle. This show starts at dusk, and loops every 15 minutes. You can see it on all sides of the castle, and it makes for such a beautiful decoration in the park, that you can simply enjoy while you wait for rides, and the fireworks. 

Frozen Holiday Surprise Castle Lighting

One of the best things to see during Christmas at Disney World is the Frozen Holiday Surprise Castle Lighting. This little show features Anna and Elsa on the castle stage getting ready to add more magic for the holiday. With beautiful snowflakes and sparkles, it’s a must see show that can help you get into the mood for the season. Check the My Disney Experience App for times.  

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This special event at Magic Kingdom happens through November and December, on select evenings. It’s an expensive party and in addition to your regular park ticket, so we always recommend skipping the day ticket, and planning just for the party ticket instead. Featuring complimentary cookies and cocoa, the Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade, and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, there are plenty of things to do at this party to get you into the Christmas spirit. Check out the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide. 

Christmas at Epcot

The International Festival of Holidays at Epcot is included in the price of a park ticket and gets you close to the holiday action. Find Holiday Kitchens across Epcot to help get your fill of favorite holiday foods from different countries. Check out the Festival of Holidays Menus to get an idea of the holiday feast in store! You can look forward to all our favorite festival dishes, like Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing at the American Holiday Table. In addition to food, you can play the Olaf’s Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt Game, see musical performances, visit the Holiday Storytellers in each world Showcase Country, and listen to the sound of the season. 

As part of the festivities, many of the kitchens feature a cookie that can count towards your Cookie Stroll. Collect 5 cookie stamps, one for each cookie, and you’ll get a complimentary cookie and a free glass of milk when you turn it in. Christmas at EPCOT for the holidays gets all dressed up with cultural traditions from the World Showcase countries. 

Performers in the World Showcase

One of the best things to do at EPCOT during the holidays is to take some time to Visit the World Showcase Storytellers. Found in each country, storytellers share the history of the holiday throughout the day. Times are posted in the app as well as in the festival booklet. You can hear stories from La Befana, Pere Noel, and even the lore behind the Christmas trolls in Norway. There is so much culture in these stories, we highly recommend taking the time. 

Merry and Bright Nights at Living with the Land 

As a ride that gets a holiday overlay at EPCOT, Living with the Land adds Christmas lights, topiaries, and poinsettias all over the greenhouse. We love that this ride gets dressed up for the season and it’s a lovely calming boat ride too. Which means you get a much needed break during the busy season. There is a bit of longer wait than usual during this time of year, but for us, it’s completely worth the wait. Note that the narration in the ride stays the same, and the best time to ride it to see the lights is at night! 

Candlelight Processional

One of the quintessential holiday events at Disney World for Christmas is the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT. This performance includes a full choir, orchestra, and celebrity speaker retelling the nativity story. Very moving, and epic, we highly recommend this event for the whole family. You can check out the New Celebrity Narrators at the Candlelight Processional and grab a Candlelight Processional Dining Package for dinner and a guaranteed seat. 

International Festival of Holidays 

The holiday festival at EPCOT features festive foods for the holidays from all cultures. You can also play the Olaf Expedition Tradition game, take the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine challenge and see the decorations across the park. We love this event as away to find out how other cultures celebrate the holiday! 

Holiday Light Show on Spaceship Earth

Special for the season with Christmas music and colors, you can see lights cover Spaceship Earth starting at nightfall. Set to music, this  show starts at dusk, and is worth stopping to see it on way your out of the park. The show loops throughout the evening so there is plenty of chances to see it. 

christmas ar hollywood studios wdw christmas at disney

Christmas at Hollywood Studios

We LOVE Hollywood Studios for the Holidays. And most of what we love is just the decorations and snacks! So you can still have fun even if there are minimal events offered! Be sure to take time and look at all the Christmas Decorations at Hollywood Studios. From kitschy 50’s decor to glitzy Hollywood Glamour there are so many unique Holiday things to see in this park. If you need a special way to ring in the season head to Hollywood Studios for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine. This Yuletide Dining experience features all our favorite Disney characters dressed up for the holidays. You can hang out with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy in their Christmas attire. Plus, this experience includes Santa Goofy!

Sunset Season Greetings Show

The Sunset Seasons Greetings Show is a digital show that appears on the exterior of the Tower of Terror and loops every 15 minutes with four “stories” for the holidays. The addition of “snow” in the form of soap suds makes everything more magical. A definite must-watch. We’re figuring they will switch out the stories every year. Sunset Greetings has included a Classic Victorian Mickey, Toy Story, Frozen, and Swedish Chef in the past. 

Christmas in Toy Story Land

Head to Andy’s backyard for larger-than-life Christmas decorations and Christmas lights in Hollywood Studios. Previous years have seen not only the Christmas lights across the park, but also a large Hamm sugar cookie, and a seasonal lunchbox tart at Woody’s Lunch Box. 

Flurry of Fun 

As part of the Hollywood Studios Holiday Entertainment, Flurry of Fun includes snow on Sunset Boulevard, projections on the Tower of Terror, and billboards that tell holiday stories throughout the night. 

Jollywood Nights

This special event at Hollywood Studios requires an extra ticket and is perfect if you’re looking for extra glitz and glamour this holiday. Featuring special shows, drinks, musical numbers, a festival and more, this event is pricey, but worth it if you skip the day ticket. It debuted in 2023, so if it may ( or may not) return in 2024. We’ll keep things updated to let you know! 

Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom at Christmas

Christmas at Animal Kingdom

One of our favorite places to go for the holidays, Christmas at Animal Kingdom has really stepped it up for the holidays! You can find new holiday snacks, a show on the Tree of Life, and animal marionettes throughout the park. Check out the decorations and you can revel in all the holiday fun at Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is all about beautiful natural elements, like marionettes, animal sculptures, and holiday characters from afar! As part of the fun, Animal Kingdom Puppeteers take to the streets throughout Animal Kingdom to share beautiful larger animal marionettes to help ring in the holiday season. You can also catch Holiday Flotillas sailing Discovery River with Disney characters dressed for the season.

Tree of Life Awakenings- Holiday Edition

If you’ve been to Animal Kingdom in the evenings, then you’ve seen The Tree of Life show called Awakenings. And, during the holidays, you can see the Holiday Edition. Complete with beautiful wild animals frolicking in the snow for its wintry tale stories displayed on the tree. 

Holiday Animal Marionettes 

See the Holiday Animal Marionettes Menagerie featuring cute animal puppets that you can see around the park. From penguins to birds, bears, and more, you can see these puppeteers work their magic! 

Christmas Floats

Want to see Chip and Dale dressed in their Christmas outfits? Christmas Floats with Characters sailing down Discovery River can be seen intermittently throughout the day. We most like grabbing something to eat at Nomad Lounge and watching the floats go by. But you can also get great views from the bridge headed to Pandora. 

Meet Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas Outfits

Once a year you get the chance to see Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas Outfits. Just head to Adventurer’s Outpost for a photo and autograph signing. Dressed in their green Christmas sweaters, we love the holiday vibe with this meet and greet. 

Christmas Snacks

You can find loads of Christmas Snacks at Animal Kingdom for the holidays. From milkshakes, to cupcakes, and holiday flavors there are plenty of savory and sweet things to choose from.  

Disney Beach Club Chrsistmas tree

Christmas at Disney Resorts

An absolute favorite, visiting the Disney Resorts for Christmas means seeing larger-than-life Christmas Trees and Gingerbread Displays. Be sure to add some Disney Resort time to your holiday vacation at Walt Disney World. Our favorites include the Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, the Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and the Gingerbread Giraffe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

Christmas at Walt Disney World

Christmas at Disney Springs

Disney Springs welcomes back loads of trees and the Christmas Tree Stroll scavenger hunt game. These trees are specially designed for your favorite Disney movies and characters. This is another free activity perfect for the holidays and you can grab your free gameboard at the Disney Springs visitors center. Come prepared to be inspired. We love this experience early in the season to help us get ideas for our own trees. Check out even more things you can do for Christmas at Walt Disney World without a park ticket. 

Fun things to do at Disney World for Christmas 

Hopefully, this list of fun activities for the holidays at Walt Disney World gets you started planning your best holiday season ever! With things to do in each park that can help you get into the festive mood, be ready for Christmas fun, crowds, and special treats. 

What to do at Walt Disney World this Christmas in all four parks! #disneychristmas #disneyvacation #polkadotpixies

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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