Looking for Free Things to Do for the Holidays at Disney World? Just like the free fun for the Holidays at Disneyland, you can count on seeing Christmas Decorations, visiting Disney Resorts at Christmas, and browsing the shops for new Disney Christmas merchandise. But that’s not all! There are plenty of things to do for Christmas at Walt Disney World, without going broke! So, if you’re hoping to stay within your Disney Vacation budget this year never fear. We’re sharing free things to do outside of the theme parks. And even more free things to do at each park, check out our list!
While Disneyland offers a bunch of Christmas things at no extra 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 and Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios.
Disappointing, we know. However, since we’re always on the lookout for extra pixie dust, we’ve uncovered a few more fun things. And rounded up a few Disney Holiday Events that come at no extra cost for your Disney Vacation. Let’s start inside the parks.
Hollywood Studios Free Christmas Activities
If you have a Hollywood Studios park ticket, then you can enjoy loads of free things in the park this holiday. Without needing a Jollywood Nights Christmas Party ticket to make it feel special.
Flurry of Fun
This Christmas at Hollywood Studios Flurry of Fun includes three elements of the holidays right on Sunset Boulevard. As part of this nightly show, you can Christmas projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Holiday Scenes on the billboards that line Sunset Boulevard, and revel in the falling “snow” while you watch.
Hollywood Studios Sunset Seasons Greetings
Sunset Seasons Greetings features a digital show on the Tower of Terror with festive holiday projections like the building of a gingerbread house, or tumbling Christmas gifts. Scenes include a snowy Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” You can also grab some cocoa and watch the street side billboards showcase new holiday stories. From classic holiday Mickey cartoons to the Muppets these gigantic billboard televisions will transport you to the good old days. And we couldn’t call it a flurry without a little bit of snow. Snow falls nightly on Sunset Boulevard to set the holiday mood.
Hollywood Studios Christmas Decorations
By far one of the best Disney parks for Christmas Decorations, Hollywood Studios goes crazy with kitschy holiday decor from the 50s around Echo Lake, and children’s toys scattered across Toy Story Land. We love to see the cute holiday overlay they create every year. Complete with Christmas lights, characters in costume, and the most amazing Woody’s Lunch Box Pop Tart Snacks, seasonally flavored!
If you’re looking for gorgeous holiday photo ops for your Family Christmas Card, this is one of the best parks to find them. From tinsel wreaths to old-time snowmen decorations, reindeer, and more. Check out all our favorite Christmas Photo Ops at Disney this season.
EPCOT Park Free Christmas Activities
EPCOT offers some amazing Free Christmas Events at Disney every year. Including the Festival of Holidays, Candlelight Processional, Performers and more. Take a look a the Free Activities at EPCOT for the Holiday Season.
International Festival of Holidays at Epcot
The Festival of Holidays is included in your EPCOT Park admission. We love Epcot and all of its festivals and the International Festival of Holidays is no different. Enjoy lots of festive foods, and fun traditions from around the world, and get into the true spirit of the holiday with the performances, Christmas music, and more. Plus be sure to tackle the Cookie Stroll challenge and check out the Festival of Holidays Menus, so you can be prepared before you go.
Candlelight Processional at EPCOT
One of the most amazing free things at EPCOT for Christmas is the nightly showing of the Candlelight Processional. Complete with celebrity readers and a full choir and orchestra, this reading of the Nativity Story takes place at the America Gardens Theater. And is an absolute Must-Do for the Holidays at Disney World.
Finding Olaf in the World Showcase
As part of the Olaf’s Tradition Expedition Game, players can seek and find Olaf himself hidden within each World Showcase County. While this little game costs $10 for a gameboard and stickers, you can easily play for FREE! Just snap a picture of the gameboard map from the Promotion kiosk, found outside the gift shops. Then make your way around the world, and keep an eye out for Olaf! You won’t win any prizes, but you’re sure to have fun finding him.
Magic Kingdom Free Christmas Activities
Okay, so maybe Magic Kingdom won’t give you a Christmas Parade and Christmas Fireworks for FREE unless it’s Christmas Week, but there is still plenty of holiday magic to be had there! Check out the classic and beautiful Christmas Decorations on Main Street USA, 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 the 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!
Christmas Castle Projections Show
While regular evenings at Magic Kingdom through the season still have Happily Ever After Fireworks Show, you can get into the holiday spirit, as soon as the sun goes down. Shown starting at dusk, you can see Christmas colors and projections on Cinderella’s Castle. The perfect backdrop for your holiday photos at Magic Kingdom. These start at nightfall and have several scenes to watch. Be sure to capture them all!
Frozen Holiday Surprise Castle Lighting
A new Cinderella Castle lighting show begins in 2023 with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and the Snowgies taking to the stage to prepare the castle for the season. Lighting the Castle in a whole new way, we’re sure to get a Frozen tale or two on the holiday, snowflakes, and lights galore. This show takes place at dusk, during regular park hours, and during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Main Street Philharmonic and Toy Soldier March
Throughout the day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, you can always count on a variety of parades, cavalcades, and the Main Street Philharmonic. Sharing songs of the season, and with Toy Soldiers in tow, the Disney band takes to the parade route to share music for the holidays at Magic Kingdom. Be sure to stop and listen. They typically march from Frontierland to Main Street USA Train station. Enjoy! Perfect to help you get in the holiday spirit.
Main Street Holiday Trolley
Another favorite Holiday pastime at Disney World for Christmas is the Trolley Singers and their horse-drawn trolley and Dapper Dans. Both get a holiday makeover. Complete with new festive outfits and songs, you can catch these Disney performers throughout the day, mostly on Main Street. You can check the My Disney Experience App to check performance times.
Animal Kingdom Free Christmas Activities
Animal Kingdom honors the seasons with characters and wildlife. Featuring Disney Characters in their holiday best keep an eye out for Festive Flotillas sailing down Discovery River. 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.
Merry Menagerie at Animal Kingdom
The merry menagerie at Animal Kingdom includes festive Christmas puppets and their handlers. Beautifully crafted, they are also meticulously handled so that you feel like they’re real! The animals change throughout the day and can be found at Discovery Island near the Tree of Life. These impromptu performances aren’t on a schedule that we know of, but be sure to stop for this free performance.
Disney Resorts Free Christmas Activities
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. Visiting the Disney Resorts is FREE, and one of our favorite Things to Do at Disney World for Christmas Without a Park Ticket
A Disney Resort Christmas Tour
At no charge to anyone, you can add a Disney Resorts Christmas Tour to your holiday season, in a variety of EASY ways. Free to visit you can plan to see Disney Resorts decorated with Christmas Trees, offering Christmas Snacks, and some even featuring Gingerbread Houses at Walt Disney World. Check out our post linked above for all the details. The best way to go about adding Disney Resort Christmas Decorations to your plans is to group them by transportation options. For instance, the Disney BoardWalk Resorts, Disney Skyliner Resorts, Disney Monorail Resorts, and Disney Resorts with Boat Transportation all connect multiple resorts that you can visit without needing to get on the bus!
Disney Springs Free Christmas Activities
You can see Disney Springs calendar of events here. And don’t forget to grab the Scavenger Hunt game at the Welcome Center for a shopping challenge, coupons, and stickers so you can hunt down all the Disney character trees.
Christmas Tree Stroll
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!
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!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .