Just like the free fun for the holidays at Disneyland, Walt Disney World has FREE things to do for the holidays too! so if you’re hoping to stay within your Disney Vacation budget this year check out our list!
- 1 Free Things at Christmas at Walt Disney World
- 2 Flurry of Fun at Hollywood Studios
- 3 Christmas in Toy Story Land
- 4 International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot
- 5 Disney Resorts Christmas Decorations Tour
- 6 Visit Disney Springs for the Holidays
- 7 Holiday Magic at Magic Kingdom
- 8 Festive Floatillas at Animal Kingdom
Free Things at Christmas at Walt Disney World
While Disneyland offers a bunch of Christmas things at no cost, including a Christmas Parade, Main Street Snow and a Holiday Fireworks, Walt Disney World reserves these shows specifically for those who are attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The fact that the tickets start at $99 per person can make it quite the investment if you’re traveling as a family. And if you’re a broke college student or even if you’re just a regular person trying to get through the holidays without taking out a second mortgage, good luck!
And now with so many changes for 2020, many Disney Christmas plans have changed anyway! Party cancellations have required some things to become available without causing a crowd. For the full lineup of Holiday changes at Disney World be sure to check out the What’s New at Walt Disney World for Christmas 2020. Christmas takes place at Walt Disney World Nov 6- Dec 30, 2020.
Walt Disney World is busiest during the holidays and there is a ton to do that doesn’t require an extra ticket. So, here are some of our favorite things you can count on to spread some holiday cheer without having to fork over the money you had originally saved for your mothers Christmas present.
Flurry of Fun at Hollywood Studios
While you won’t find any holiday parades at Hollywood Studios, you will find some of the BEST things to do at Disney for the Holidays. Snow on Sunset Blvd, the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam fireworks show, Sunset Greetings with projections on Tower of Terror, loads of fun treats and some of the cutest vintage décor is what you’ll find at Hollywood Studios.
Christmas in Toy Story Land
And if you’re already heading to Hollywood Studios, which you should be, be sure to stop by Toy Story Land to see the cute holiday overlay they’ve created there this year. We love Toy Story Land anyway! and with Woody’s BBQ Rodeo Roundup Restaurant coming to this new land, there will be even more things to do in this part of the park.
International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot
Disney’s Festival of Holidays 2020 runs November 27, 2020 -December 30, 2020.
We love Epcot and all of its festivals and the International Festival of Holidays is no different. Enjoy lots of festive foods, fun traditions from around the world and get into the true spirit of the holiday with the Candlelight Processional. While you do have the option of booking a dining package for the Processional, the show itself is free, so as long as you show up early you should be able to get a seat for one of the shows. And be sure to tackle the Cookie Stroll challenge. You’ll get it along with your festival passport. While the cookies aren’t free, we’re always up for a challenge. Check out the Festival of Holidays Menus for 2020.
Disney Resorts Christmas Decorations Tour
UPDATE 2020: Gingerbread House displays across Walt Disney World Resorts have been CANCELLED for 2020. 🙁 But you can still see a few pieces of the American Pavilion Gingerbread displays in the World Showplace.
From elaborate Gingerbread houses to Gingerbread Carousels to beautifully decorated lobbies, there is no shortage of Christmas magic to be seen at the Walt Disney World Resorts. Find our Disney Resorts Christmas Tour here and use it as a guide, but know that every Walt Disney World Resort is decorated beautifully for the holiday and they are all FREE to visit. You can also head to the Disney Boardwalk to see all the Gingerbread displays there. Here’s where you can find even more Gingerbread at Walt Disney World for the holidays.
Visit Disney Springs for the Holidays
Not only does Disney Springs feature a Christmas Tree Stroll but they also have several large, beautifully decorated trees, a fun scavenger hunt for the holidays, the chance to see Santa, holiday entertainment and lots of fun, festive treats. And other than anything you want to purchase, visiting there won’t cost you a thing! You can see Disney Springs calendar of events here. And don’t forget to grab the NEW Scavenger Hunt game at the Welcome Center for a shopping challenge, coupons and stickers.
Holiday Magic at Magic Kingdom
So maybe Magic Kingdom won’t give you a Christmas Parade and Christmas Fireworks for FREE, but there is still plenty of holiday magic to be had there! Check out the classic and beautiful décor of Main Street, or take a ride on the punniest holiday overlay around on the Jingle Cruise. Grab one of the amazing festive treats from the Confectionery or Main Street Bakery, and watch lighting of Cinderella Castle or the holiday trolley show on Main Street. You can even interact with characters in their winter best across the park!
Once Upon a Christmas Time Digital Castle Show
The castle will NOT have Dreamlights this year, instead show a kaleidoscope of colors that will make the perfect backdrop for your holiday photos at Magic Kingdom. These start at night fall and have several scenes to watch.
Main Street Philharmonic and Toy Soldier March
Check out the Magic Kingdom Toy Soldiers as they join the Main Street Philharmonic marching through the park! Perfect to help you get in the holiday spirit.
Disney Christmas Character Cavalcades
Magic Kingdom welcomes our favorite Disney characters in their holiday best on float cavalcades in 2020. Be sure to catch a glimpse of your favorite characters throughout the day in the parks!
- Santa’s Christmas Cavalcade
- Keep an eye out for Santa Claus and his reindeer as part of the Once Upon a Christmastime merriment!
- A Royal Christmas Processional
- Get read for the Princess float! Gliding along on a beautiful crystal castle float our favorite Disney Princesses are dressed for the season.
- Mickey’s Holiday Cavalcade
- Check out Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on top of a Christmas Tree float as they sail through the park with friends for the holidays.
- Goofy’s Scrumptious Cavalcade
- Goofy and friends wave and have fun along to the music as this cavalcade rolls through the park from Frontierland to Main Street USA.
Check out the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet cruising down Main Street, U.S.A. on a horse-drawn trolley, singing all your favorite holiday tunes.
Character Interactions from a Distance
Head to Crystal Palace for some distanced fun with Pooh Bear and Friends dressed up in their winter gear!
Festive Floatillas at Animal Kingdom
Featuring Disney Characters in their holiday best keep an eye out for Festive Floatillas. These floats will appear throughout the day for festive fun to look forward to.
- Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
- The big man himself will be floating on a Festival Flotilla down Discovery River as part of the Animal Kingdom Celebrations.
- Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla
- See Donald Duck, Daisy and Launchpad from Ducktales happy with holiday cheer while sailing Discovery River.
- Chip & Dale’s Festive Flotilla
- Don’t miss Chip ‘n’ Dale grooving to the holiday music as they float down Discovery River for the festive season.
- Mickey and Friends Festive Flotilla
- Mickey and Friends, in their best safari holiday gear can be seen from bridges, and alongside Discovery River throughout the day!
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
- Listen for the Island drummers cruising along the river playing fun and festive tunes.
Update 2020: Character Meet and Greets have been replaced by Disney Character Cavalcades in each park, check out What’s New for Christmas at Walt Disney World in 2020 for details.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine
So, this isn’t free… but if you gotta eat, might as well make it festive! Grab reservations at Hollywood and Vine and score a chance with the Fab Five all dressed up for Christmas. In 2020, this meal changes from a buffet to a family style meal and you can still these Disney characters from afar.
Fun and Festive Free Things at Walt Disney World for Christmas
So there you have it, so many places to see free holiday additions at Walt Disney World without having to give up your grocery budget for the week! What are some of your favorite free things to do at Walt Disney World during the holiday season? Let us know, we’d love to check them out!