One of the most enchanting places on earth, a holiday to Walt Disney World is magical at any time of year, but if you thought the parks couldn’t get any better, you obviously haven’t visited over Christmas. During the festive season the parks are even more magical than you could ever imagine! We’ve put together a handy guide of this year’s seasonal events to show you the best places you can join in the celebrations…
The Magic Kingdom:
There is so much to do at the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas season and you really won’t want to miss a thing. Mickey returns to host his annual sell out event- ‘Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party’! The party of the year kicked off on 7th November and will run until 22nd December. This separately ticketed event is so popular, we’d recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible if you don’t want to miss out on the fun. Festive music fills the air, falling snow covers Main Street USA, and the entire park is given the ultimate Christmas makeover. Cinderella’s iconic castle alone, is illuminated with hundreds of thousands of glittering lights- a truly breath-taking sight!
Party highlights include ‘Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration’, a fantastic stage show featuring Mickey & the gang, that invites you to sing along to some of the most famous Christmas carols, as well as the nightly ‘Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade’, that sees your favourite characters make their way down Main Street USA in dazzling Christmas themed floats. Activities start from 7pm, but guests should know that their ticket allows them entry from 4pm, so make the most of the extra time on those rides.
For Frozen fans, ‘Frozen Holiday Wish’ presents an icy spectacular where Elsa uses her powers to illuminate the castle, transforming it into a sparkling ice palace. Anna, Kristoff and the adorable Olaf all make an appearance too. Looking for the perfect way to end the day? You couldn’t get better than the enchanting holiday edition of famous firework show ‘Wishes’.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
Promising a “Santa-sized spectacular” Disney’s Hollywood Studios will host ‘Jingle Bell Jingle BAM!’ for the first time this year. It’s getting closer to Christmas by the day, but Santa Claus has gone missing! Join the mission led by elves Wayne and Lanny (the stars of ABC’s Prep & Landing) to get him back to the North Pole in time to save Christmas. If you’re a fan of the famous Nightmare Before Christmas movie, you’ll love the grand finale which features an exciting showdown in Halloween Town.
The incredible adventure will come to life at the ‘Chinese Theater’ and will be packed with special effects, state-of-the-art projections, mesmerising fireworks, a fantastic seasonal score, and of course, plenty of snow. Look out for your favourite characters, as your surroundings transform into iconic scenes from Disney movies like Bambi, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
If you want to enhance the experience even further the ‘Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party’ offers special 3D glasses you can use while watching the show that create extraordinary holographic illusions! You can also indulge in some delicious Christmassy cupcakes.
The stunning ‘Candlelight Processional’ at Epcot is simply unmissable! Filling the American Gardens Theatre with beautiful holiday music from a 50-piece orchestra as well as several choirs, this performance will take your breath away. A celebrity guest will narrate the show, sharing the biblical story of Christmas with the audience. This year Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris (from How I Met Your Mother) and Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel in the Little Mermaid) are just a few of the big names on the line-up.
Everyone has their own Christmas traditions, but at Epcot, you can experience traditions from all over the world as you visit the 11 World Showcase nations. ‘Holidays Around the World at Epcot’ gives you the chance to sample the way different cultures celebrate Christmas, with lively music, costumed performers and delicious cuisine from across the globe.
The famous 'IllumiNations' fireworks display will also be getting a Christmas makeover with vibrant bursts of red and green colour lighting up the night sky. The sound of the beautiful song “Let There be Peace on Earth” will ring through the park as you hear holiday greetings in native languages from the World Showcase countries.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
While there aren’t specific Christmas events held at the Animal Kingdom, Disney have revealed that this year, thanks to the park’s longer hours, there will be lots more festive decorations lighting up the park. An enormous Christmas tree adorned with intricate animal decorations will be on display too, and makes a great photo opportunity. A special holiday meet and greet giving you the chance to see Mickey and Minnie in their finest Christmas outfits will also be running, and you might even be able to see Goofy dressed as Santa!
The Disney Springs Marketplace will welcome 15 towering Christmas trees, each inspired by a classic Disney character or story. The ‘Christmas Tree Trail’ walk-through experience will take you through a picture-perfect winter wonderland where snow falls from above. The glistening trees you can expect to see will be themed on Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Frozen, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, The Jungle Book, Mulan, 101 Dalmatians, Tangled, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, the Muppets and Disney’s newest offering Moana. There will even be a Christmas tree dedicated to the Disney villains we all love to hate! You’ll be able to see these special trees from as early as November 11th, right up until 8th January.
There will also be a nightly tree lighting ceremony, live music and entertainment, with toy soldiers, snowflake stilt walkers and a holiday-themed DJ dance party, to help get you into the Christmas spirit. A new experience that follows the idea of “wishing upon a star” is set to be introduced too. Disney are currently remaining tight-lipped on the details, so watch this space! What about Christmas shopping? Now boasting over 100 different shops, Disney Springs is the place to do all of your shopping, with plenty of places to stop for something to eat in between all of that retail therapy.
Best of all, you can meet Santa! Head to Santa’s chalet to tell him what’s on your Christmas list and get a keepsake photo to take home.
Remember- some of the Christmas events at Walt Disney World require a separate ticket, so make sure you check beforehand. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of fun Christmas-themed activities inside the parks that are completely free.
If you’d love to experience the magic for yourself, click here to view our Walt Disney World theme park tickets and start planning the holiday of a lifetime!
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