What’s New At Walt Disney World For Christmas?

What’s New At Walt Disney World For Christmas?

Walt Disney World is extra magical at Christmastime every year. We are always super excited for all the tried and true Christmas favorites returning to the park, but it’s the new stuff that gets us. From new snacks and the new Festival of Holidays Menus to new experiences, you’ll want to take note of all that is happening this year. Check out the list of what’s new at Walt Disney World for Christmas.

When Does Christmas Start at Walt Disney World?

This year Christmas at Walt Disney World begins on November 9, 2023. With a new Christmas Party at Hollywood Studios, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and more holiday fun, be sure to check out everything happening this year for the holidays at Disney World. This means resort decorations, specialty seasonal snacks, and more! We’ve done a round-up of all the plans in each Disney Park, Disney Springs, and Disney Resorts below! 

What are the Christmas Hours at Walt Disney World? 

Walt Disney World Christmas hours vary across the parks. Here are the published hours for the Holidays at Disney World. For updated times, special events, and changes see the Walt Disney World 5-Day Calendar.

Walt Disney World Christmas, disney holidays, disney scavenger hunt, disney holidays

Disney at Christmas Time

As the holiday season fast approaches, there is so much to look forward to! To get you started here are ways to beat the Disney Holiday Crowds so that your vacation can stay magical. Christmas activities begin the second week of November in almost all the parks and resorts. Check out our post on the Best Time to Visit Disney World during the holidays to make sure you get to do, see and eat everything you’re visiting for. 

Hollywood Studios Christmas

New Christmas Snacks at Walt Disney World

While we definitely pull back on too many treats for the holidays, we can’t help trying all the treats that show up in the parks for the holidays. From simple treats like cookies to elaborate concoctions like funnel cake topped with whipped cream and fruit toppings. Check out all the New Holiday Snacks at Walt Disney World for the season so you can make a plan for the treats you most want to try. 

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Animal Kingdom at Christmas

During the holidays at Animal Kingdom, you can see life-sized puppets, rooftop luminaries, bird lanterns, and more to give you that wintry feeling of Christmas. While the Tree of Life Wintry Edition is by far the showstopper we also love the decorations, marionettes, and treats at Animal Kingdom for the holidays. Here are all the things that are returning this year and a few new things to add to the mix! 

Holidays Animal Kingdom

Animal Puppet Merry Menagerie Marionettes

By far one of the coolest things to see is the gorgeous animal puppets that take to the streets courtesy of their handlers. These engaging creatures add a little more fun to the holiday. Meticulously crafted you can see these beauties around the parks. So be sure to stop and take a look! You can read more about these beauties in our Christmas at Animal Kingdom post. 

Festive Flotillas

Featuring Disney Characters in their holiday best keep an eye out for Festive Flotillas. These floats will appear throughout the day for festive fun to look forward to. With several spots across the park to see these floats on Discovery River, finding a spot isn’t difficult. However, a spot on any bridge will often give you the best vantage point. 

  • 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. 

Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom at Christmas

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life at Christmas

Tree of Life Holiday Edition at Walt Disney World

Wintry Tales on the Tree of Life Holiday Edition

This digital show on the Tree of Life showcases woodland animals, a holiday music score, and shimmering magical scenes that honor nature and the spirit of the holidays. This show runs on a loop in the evenings when the park is open a little later. Grab a spot to watch on Discovery Island.

Hollywood Studios at Christmas

Hollywood Studios at Christmas is one of our favorite parks to visit. In addition to everything new, you also get that feeling of an old-time holiday! Read more about why we think you must visit Hollywood Studios for the Holidays.

*NEW* Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios

Offered for 10 select nights between November 11- December 20, 2023, this NEW Disney World Christmas Party at Hollywood Studios has loads of holiday fun at the ready. Much like an After Hours Party, this party has limited access. 

  • Tickets: Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, and Shades of Green can buy tickets starting June 29. Tickets may be purchased by all guests starting July 6 Buy Tickets for Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios.
  • Hours: 8:30 pm- 12:30 pm
  • Dates: November: 11,18, 20, 27, 29, December: 4, 6,16,18, 20
  • Cost: $159 – $179 per person

Jollywood Nights Christmas Party Activities

  • Disney Jollywood Nights with a DJ spinning a mix of holiday tunes. Commissary Lane comes to life with a lively Latin Street Fair.
  • Theater of the Stars with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy and some of their Disney friends.  
  • Hyperion Theater Spirited Sing-Along
  • Limited-capacity entertainment experiences
    • A jazz lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby
    • A soiree at The Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard
  • Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Nighttime spectacular at Chinese Theater
  • Holiday Themed Magic Shots
  • 2 New Photopass Opportunities
  • Complimentary digital downloads of your Disney PhotoPass photos captured during the event are included with the price of your ticket.**
  • Special Holiday Character Meet and Greets
    • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse in holiday attire in Animation Courtyard
    • Powerline Max and Phineas and Ferb at Echo Lake
    • Edna Mode and super friends at Pixar Place.
  • After Hours Access to Rides
    • This party gets you access to some of your favorite rides and coasters like Slinky Dog Dash, Rock N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and more. (Star Wars: Rise of Resistance will use a virtual queue* during Disney Jollywood Nights.)
  • Specialty Snacks at Jollywood Nights
    • Spicy Korean Chicken on a Mini Funnel Cake, a Christmas Tree Cookie Stack, and classic cocktails and holiday beverages can be enjoyed during the party.

Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine

Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine Is all about Yuletide Dining and all our favorite Disney characters dressed up for the holidays. You can hang out with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy in their Christmas attire. And this experience includes Santa Goofy! Read more about Minnie’s Holiday Dine.

Merry Motorcades

You can catch Disney characters driving through the parks for the season with holiday music and fun decorations in tow. 

  • Santa Claus Motorcade
    • If you’re looking for Santa Claus you’ll find him driving in his little red convertible loaded with presents. And of course, an entourage of Elves will be on hand to help!

Disney Tower of Terror at Chrismtas

The Hollywood Holiday Tower at Hollywood Studios

This Flurry of Fun at Hollywood Studios includes three elements of the holidays right on Sunset Boulevard. Sunset Seasons Greetings is a digital show on the Tower of Terror featuring festive holiday projections like the building of a gingerbread house, or tumbling Christmas gifts. Featuring 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 streetside 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. This is one of our favorite FREE experiences at Walt Disney World for the holidays. Shows on the Tower of Terror usually begin around 6:30 pm and loop throughout the evening. 

The Toy Story Land Christmas Overlay

The overlay at Toy Story Land features holiday tunes streaming on Alien Swirling Saucers, jingle bell sounds on Slinky Dog Dash, and Woody, Buzz, and Jesse in some spruced-up holiday wear. Plus a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie. Be on the lookout! Toy Story Land will also get decorated with popcorn strung around the place in classic Christmas fashion. 

Olaf’s Special Holiday Finale at Hollywood Studios

Olaf’s Special Holiday Finale at First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along is a festive treat featuring everyone’s favorite snowman. This telling of the Frozen story gets a little holiday magic and is a great way to see the set all decked out for the holidays. 

Christmas Cavalcade at Disney Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom at Christmas

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party brings all the holiday fun to Magic Kingdom Park. With Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, specialty snacks, merchandise, and holiday fun across the park. Check out Mickey’s Very Mery Christmas Party Guide for everything you can do, see and eat!  Complete with EXCLUSIVE Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Snacks, make a plan before you go, to get your cutest Disney Snack pics in the daylight hours. 

Cinderella Castle Christmas Projection Show

As part of the evening entertainment, Cinderella’s Castle lights up with a kaleidoscope of colors that will make the perfect backdrop for your holiday photos at Magic Kingdom. These start at nightfall and have several scenes to watch. From a bright fair isle to blue to classic red and green with polka dots, the scenes may change, so be sure to watch!

christmas show at disney world 2020

Main Street Philharmonic and Toy Soldier March

To help get you in the mood for the holiday season check out the Magic Kingdom Toy Soldiers as they join the Main Street Philharmonic marching through the park! The march route is typically from Storybook Circus all the way down Main Street USA. While people don’t typically hold a viewing spot for this show, people do gather, so have your camera ready and a great spot to watch and listen. 

Disney during the holidays

cavalcades at magic kingdom for christmas

Disney Christmas Character Cavalcades

Magic Kingdom welcomes our favorite Disney characters in their holiday best on float cavalcades in 2021. 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 ready 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.

Holiday Trolley

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. This quartet arrives on the trolley a few times throughout the day, so grab a times guide when you get into the park to make sure you see them! 

Jungle Cruise at Christmas

Jingle Cruise on the Jungle Cruise

One of our favorite rides, Jungle Cruise, gets a holiday overlay at Walt Disney World every year. With decorations scattered throughout this exotic cruise, you’ll also get a slew of new holiday stories. Jingle Cruise Skippers journeying home for the holidays share tales of holiday mayhem and family drama. Complete with a holiday lineup of pun-filled jokes.

epcot italy disney world at christmas

EPCOT at Christmas

During Christmas, World Showcase gets dressed up for the holidays with the Festival of Holidays!  From amazing new foods to try to fun merchandise and holiday performances galore, here’s everything happening at Epcot for the holidays.

Festival of Holidays | November 25- December 30, 2022

Holiday kitchens return to the World Showcase promenade. So you can look forward to all our favorite festival dishes, like Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing at the American Holiday Table. 

Candlelight Processional 

Christmas at EPCOT never feels complete without the Candlelight Processional. This retelling of the Nativity Story is told by a celebrity speaker and accompanied by choral singers and an orchestra. As one of the best ways to ring in the holiday season at EPCOT, this performance happens a couple of times each evening. Because of the crowds, it’s important to note the latest timeslot is always the least crowded. Check out the lineup of celebrity readers for Disney’s Candlelight Processional in 2022. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are also available. 

Candlelight Processional Narrators at EPCOT 2022 International Festival of Holidays. 

  • 11/25 – 11/26: Simu Liu (NEW)
  • 11/27 – 11/29: Edward James Olmos
  • 11/30 – 12/1: Raul Esparza (NEW)
  • 12/2 – 12/3: Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/4 – 12/6: Isabella Rossellini
  • 12/7 – 12/9: Daymond John (NEW)
  • 12/10 – 12/12: Josh Gad (NEW)
  • 12/13 – 12/14: Gloria Estefan (NEW)
  • 12/15 – 12/18: Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/19 – 12/20: Mariska Hargitay (NEW)
  • 12/21 – 12/23: Cal Ripken Jr.
  • 12/24 – 12/26: Marie Osmond
  • 12/27 – 12/28: Courtney Vance
  • 12/29 – 12/30: Angela Bassett

Chip and Dales Ceramic Cookie Jar 2020 Cookie Stroll Festival of Holidays

Festival of Holidays Cookie Stroll

Visit all 5 official Cookie Stroll locations, collect a stamp in your passport at each, and head to the Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to receive a FREE Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie. You can also grab an adorable Holiday Chip and Dale Cookie Jar for the Festival of Holidays to collect your cookies as you go.

  • Nochebuena Cocina: Alfajores – Vanilla Shortbread Cookie with Dulce de Leche and Coconut
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen: SNICKERS®-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® Bar pieces
  • L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen: Black and White Cookie (plant-based)
  • American Holiday Table: Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen: Linzer Cookie
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts: Gingerbread Cookie
  • Sunshine Seasons: M&M’s® Sugar Cookie
  • Connections Café: Sugar Cookie

Princess Cavalcade at Disney

Holiday Promenades

Promenades featuring our favorite EPCOT characters in holiday outfits will peruse the park throughout the day during the season. 

  • Santa Claus Promenade Santa Claus himself, and maybe Mrs. Claus too, will be circling World Showcase.
  • Mickey and Friends Holiday World Tour Be sure to catch Mickey Mouse and friends traveling the World Showcase through the Festival of Holidays for Christmas.
  • Frozen Holiday Promenade Sisters Anna and Elsa are traveling from country to country throughout the World Showcase! 
  • Princess Promenade features our favorite Disney Royalty in their best holiday dresses taking a cruise around World Showcase at EPCOT during the season!

JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season | World Showplace

A celebration of music to bring the songs of Christmas and Kwanzaa to Disney includes Gospel, R&B and holiday songs performed by the ‘Joyful!’ vocal ensemble.

Voices of Liberty – Voices of the Season | American Gardens Theatre

A cappella holiday music sets the tone for the season at the America pavilion. Dressed as Dicken’s Carolers this is a great way to get into the classic feeling of Christmas.

Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre | American Gardens Theatre

Grab a seat at American Gardens theater to watch the colorful dancers and the band, Las Posadas, celebrating Mexican Christmas traditions to kick off the season. 

JAMMitors | Canada Pavilion

Hang out to see the percussion players with a whole new set of holiday tunes perfect for the Mill Stage in Canada! 

Holiday Storytellers

These EPCOT Holiday storytellers are stationed across the World Showcase featuring stories in each of the 11 pavilions at Epcot. Check out our Festival of Holidays Beginners Guide for everything you need to know about the Holiday Storytellers in each country! 

Disney snacks and christmas

Disney Springs Holidays at Jock Lindsays Bar

Disney Springs at Christmas

Christmas at Disney Springs runs the second week in November through the first week in January. And has loads of holiday happenings you don’t need to step foot in the parks to experience.

  • Santa’s Winter Watercade features Santa and Mrs. Claus sailing around Disney Springs, taking a break from the busy holiday season. You can catch the watercade throughout the day, so keep an eye out! 
  • Elaborately Decorated Christmas Trees are placed throughout Disney Springs 
  • Magical Snowfall at Town Center, West Side, and The Landing.
  • Jock Lindsay’s Holiday Bar is new this year, as the restaurant transforms with a new holiday-themed overlay and limited-time menu with seasonal favorites.
  • Christmas Tree Stroll Holiday Scavenger Hunt allows guests to go on a quest across Disney Springs in this new holiday family tradition. Chances are the Christmas trees across Disney Springs will be included in the fun! Check out the Christmas Tree Stroll.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Disney Springs 2023:  You can also find Santa Claus at Maria and Enzo’s Restaurant for a breakfast filled with classic Italian menu items. Pricing begins at $45 for children and $69 for adults. More details at the event’s ticket page
    • November: 24-26
    • December: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22–24
    • Seatings: 9:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10 a.m.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Tree

Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower

Disney Resorts at Christmas

Be sure to check out all the happenings at Disney Resorts at Christmas this year. Disney Resort decorations arrive usually the week of Thanksgiving. While the holiday crowds at Disney are lowest in early November if you’re hoping to see Disney Resort Decorations, you may not see them until the 3rd week in November. 

Trees and Decorations at Disney Resorts

One of our favorite things about Disney Resorts at Christmas is the Christmas decorations. And you can bet that even while other things may be canceled, every Disney Resort will still be decorated and have a tree of some kind. This we know for sure. 

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path then Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds is for you! Head to this resort for a drive to check out Christmas lights at the campsites, cabins, and RV sites. Just rent a golf cart, get cocoa and enjoy the lights! This is by far one of our favorite ways to get in some Christmas decoration time while at Disney. 

Gingerbread Displays Walt Disney World

Gingerbread Houses at Select Disney Resorts

The Gingerbread House Tradition at Walt Disney World is an important, and festive one! Check out which resorts around Walt Disney World host a special Gingerbread Display and be sure to add them to your Disney Christmas Resort Crawl! Check out Where to Find Gingerbread Displays at Walt Disney World. Many resorts now have displays. You can find the Christmas Castle at Disney’s Contemporary, a Log Cabin at Wilderness Lodge, a Gingerbread Giraffe at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and more. Plus, be sure to stop by the Beach Club for their Carousel display, Celebrating 20 years of Gingerbread at Beach Club.

disney seasonal snacks

Disney Christmas Merchandise

Disney Christmas Merchandise

Seasonal Merchandise at Disney Parks

Just like every year before we can count on seasonal merchandise in the parks, so be sure to stop by a gift shop to see everything new!

What’s New at Walt Disney World for Christmas?

So there you have it! Everything happening at Walt Disney World for Christmas this year. So far! Let us know your favorites for the holidays at Disney! If you’re looking for the best of the best, then be sure to take a look at our Top 10 Things to do at Walt Disney World for Christmas. And be sure to check out all the Free Things at Disney During the Holidays!


What's New at Walt disney World at Christmas this year? We have new things happening at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios so take a look at what to expect at Disney for the holidays #disneyholidays #disneychristmas #disneychristmas #polkadotpixies

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1 thought on “What’s New At Walt Disney World For Christmas?”

  • Yes we are super excited to see the additions to Animal Kingdom this year! It’s such a beautiful park, and I’m sure it will be even more stunning at Christmas!