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From Christmas trees to snow on Main Street, from free hot cocoa and cookies to fireworks the holidays at Walt Disney World are full of magic, lights, and the best family memories. You won’t want to miss these 15 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at Walt Disney World.
Disclaimer: Thank you to the Disney Special Events team for hosting us Walt Disney World during the holidays.
I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Walt Disney World. Everything was decked out for the holidays and festive. I’m sharing my 15 favorite ways to celebrate the holidays at Walt Disney World. I can’t include everything here, but these were definitely my favorites.
Very Merry Christmas Party
The Very Merry Christmas Party is special ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom on select nights during the holiday season. You must have a separate ticket enjoy the event and only those with VMCP tickets are allowed in the park. That means it’s less crowded, wait times are reduced, and free hot cocoa and cookies are given out all over the park.
Holiday Wishes Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
You don’t want to miss the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom over Cinderella’s Castle.
Hosted by Jiminy Cricket, the Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular features dazzling pyrotechnics, transformational lighting on Cinderella Castle, holiday-themed projection effects and seasonal songs that includes such classics as:
- “Sleigh Ride”
- “Jingle Bells”
- “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
- “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
- “O Christmas Tree”
- “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
- “Spirit of the Season”
Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Disney World
Grab a seat early and wave to Disney friends during a holiday parade brimming with magic and cheer! You’ll see festive gingerbread men, elves, toy soldiers and others dance down Main Street, U.S.A. along with all your favorite Disney Characters.
Gingerbread House Displays
Step out of the parks and visit the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary resorts for unbelievable Gingerbread House displays. Watch this video for a tour and the official opening/ribbon cutting ceremony of the 2018 Grand Floridian Gingerbread house
Christmas Trees at the Parks & Resorts
Each park and every resort is decorated beautifully for the holidays. It was great to slow down and tour a few of the resorts to see their holiday decor. Of course the massive treats at each park are worth checking out. Probably the best (and quickest) way to make it around to the resorts is the use of the Minnie Vans. You just use LYFT to get one and pay through the app. It’s easy and doesn’t cost too much. Grab a holiday treat at each of the resorts too…they all have something festive to munch on.
Tree Lighting on Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios
Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios is beautifully decorated for the holidays and at sunset you can watch the lighting of the Christmas Tree. I’ve heard that a child is picked to light the tree every night, so get there early and enjoy the countdown to the tree lighting.
Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Sunset Boulevard is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland with laser beams, a projection show on the Tower of Terror. This was amazing that we stayed and watched it several times before heading over to the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Party.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Party
Y’all! This was amazing! There are so many different decadent desserts, specialty beverages, and savory treats to enjoy. Plus there was also a photo opp with a character. There is an extra fee for the party, but with it you also get an ornament and a reserved viewing area for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!
Grab a spot in front of the Chinese Theater and delight in a Santa-sized spectacular jam-packed with holiday music, fireworks, special effects and dazzling state-of-the-art projections.
There are so many special holiday treats. Each park and the resorts have different treats that there is literally no way to list them all. Just make sure to slow down and try something new because they won’t be around for long.
Snow on Main Street and Sunset Blvd
Yes, snow!!! Disney magic is at work on Main Street (Magic Kingdom) and Sunset Blvd (Hollywood Studios). It truly is magical.
Characters with Holiday Attire
Characters are dressed in festive holiday attire all over the parks. Make sure to save time to snap a picture with your favorite character dressed for the holidays.
Dress up yourself. Buy or make a pair of ears, wear festive shirts, and special Disney jingle bells will all get you in the Disney holiday spirit.
Give the Gift of Disney
Give the gift of Disney this Christmas. Plan a trip for the end of December or early January to take advantage of all the holiday offerings. Or buy tickets for a future trip, gift cards, resort stays, annual passes, and even merchandise to give this holiday season. You can send it straight to the recipient if you’d like. Givedisneyworldmagic.com is available now through 12/31 for all your gift giving needs.
Even More Holiday Magic…
There are so many amazing holiday events going on at the parks this year. Here’s a quick highlight of more holiday events:
Epcot: International Festival of the Holidays, International Yuletide Extravaganza, JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season, Candlelight Processional
Animal Kingdom: Characters dressed up, African marketplace made out of gingerbread (Tusker House Restaurant)
Disney Springs: Christmas Tree Trail, Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt, Santa’s Chalet
You can Give the Gift of Disney this year! Enter to win this entire package of Disney items (valued at $400), including:
- Monorail Play Set
- Cinderella’s Castle Play Set
- Disney Monopoly
- Mickey Ears Hat
- Minnie Holiday Ears
- Mickey Ice Cream Wallet
And yes, it will arrive pre-wrapped just like this!
Shawn katz says
The food, the shows, the lights Holy cow is this awasome. Main street at Christmas time, amazing
Jenny Ham says
Looks like fun but never seen Disney during the holidays
Cassandra D says
I love Disney and it is a great experience.
I’ve been to Disney World as a kid and an adult but never during holidays. When I was young I really wanted to go for Halloween and Christmas because it seemed so magical in pictures.
My niece is Disney obsessed, she would love this.
I love Christmas at Disney!
Lindsay @ Laughing Lindsay says
Thank you for the tips. I am planning a trip next week to Disney World and am excited about experiencing all of the festivities.
Rita A says
I live near Disneyland! I like to visit during the holidays. Everything is so festive and sparkly!
Shelby Terwell says
Disney always has so many amazing things going on! I can’t wait until I’m able to take my kids to experience it!
Amanda Whitley says
i’m so jealous of my mom who is in Disney right now and am ready to start planning my trip. this would be great for the kids to unwrap to surprise them with the news.
Jenna P says
The Disneyland Holiday Parade is by far my favortie. And there’s some of the best macarons I’ve ever had. That new campfire macaron was insanely delicious.
no one i know has actually got to visit Disney but everyone wants to. I would love to go and take my whole family.
Disney makes my heart happy!
Kayla Klontz says
Spending the holidays at Disney World looks and sounds like a dream!
Ken C says
Disney looks like so much fun during the holidays. Love all the decorations and especially the Christmas trees
Morgan Watson says
I’ve never been to Disney World, but have been to Disney Land. It’s so beautiful before Christmas. I love the fake snow. (:
I loved reading this post it reminded me of when I was little and first went to Disneyland.
I Pray one day I will be able to take my daughters to Disney!! How beautiful and magical!!
I would love to go back to Disney. Me and my family loved it so much.
angela smith says
I love disney I have heard it’s amazing during the holidays i have not been during those times but would love to
Kayte CookWatts says
i bet Disney during the holidays would be extra magical.My nieces and nephew are dying to go.
Bridgett Wilbur says
I just love your blog.
Ae Minx says
This makes me want to go to Disney so badly! I love that yule log
It truly looks magical during the holidays at Disney!
Dana Esker says
Would love this for our upcoming Disney trip!
Disney World is always the BEST! I sure wish we lived closer so we could visit more often. I have always wanted to go for the holidays!!! Just beautiful!
Mandy Blank says
I’ve been to Disney a few times near Christmas. When it snows on Main Street, it is just magical!
Kristy Graboski says
Disney looks like so much fun around the holidays.
Lance M says
I have heard that Disney World is great to visit during Christmas, but I have not really seen pictures of it. It looks like they do an amazing job and I appreciate you showing the pictures, makes me want to go visit during the Christmas season.
Kate F. says
I love how festive the Disney parks are during the holidays.
Mandi Bartz says
So excited to be heading to Disneyland next weekend! Love the holidays in the parks!
Kayla Carrillo says
This looks amazing, I am drooling over those treats!
carol clark says
i love mr cricket so cute i love disney world never been but one day with hand held high
Looks like so much fun. We plan to save up next year to take our kids to Disney during Christmas
Nicole Zerbini says
So much fun! We’d love this for our trip to Disney in March.
Laura Bradley says
DISNEY would be the BEST gift to give because it’s literally the happiest place on Earth! There is something for everyone… from ages 3 months to 103 years! So many delicious things to eat, see, and do! I cannot think of a better gift!
Stephanie O'Day says
What a cute gift idea! I love the little coin purse!
Janet W. says
Disney World is such a magical place! I’ve always wanted to visit during the holidays and attend The Very Merry Christmas Party. The décor around the park looks amazing!
Margaret S Porter says
Ive never been to Disney. We want to go with my grandson in a year or so. I cant wait.
Lisa Walker says
Our family is hoping to go to Disney World next year for my daughter’s graduation!
I’ve never been to Disney World
Darlene Carbajal says
Omg, this is amazing! I love Disney!
Tonya Flores says
I have never been to DisneyLand or Disney World but man it would be super awesome to !!
I went to Disney World in January once…it would be amazing to go during Christmastime.
Tracie Cooper says
We love Disney during the holidays and plan to celebrate my birthday there next week! I am so excited to experience the magic!
Everything is so cute, I think my niece would love it all.
christina moore says
I would love to take my granddaughter to Disney
Luna S says
My kids would love this gift pack, we are huge Disney fans. Thanks for hosting this.
christina moore says
I have been to Disney World, but never at Christmas, this is on my bucket list.
This trip looks awesome, my daughter would love it.
The holiday season is one of my favorite times at Disney. I love doing a monorail crawl of the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian and looking at all of the holiday decorations – especially the gingerbread house displays.
Bryan Vice says
My parents took me to Disney World when i was little i would love to take my 2 kids before they get too old
Julie Baswell says
I’ve never been to Disney, but even as a grownup, I would love to visit it. It’s such a magical place that stays in your heart forever.
Jessica W. says
One day, we will make our first family trip to Disney World. Sunset Boulevard sounds like an amazing experience!
Peggy Johnson says
Disney at Christmas time is just extra magical
carey cole says
I’ve never been to WDW, only Disneyland! I would love to see the magic of that HUGE park at Christmastime!
Cindy Peterson says
Disney is magical all times but is especially magical during the holidays.
athena graeme says
My daughter would love this! We just adopted a 5 year old and haven’t gotten to take her to Disney yet. We’ve been waiting and planning it out to “do it right”, stay in the park resort for a week or so, get the whole experience rather than rush into a trip with her. We’re so excited! She’s crazy about Disney, her favorite right now is Mickey Mouse!
I’ve never been to Disney World, but I’d love to go!
Alexandra Y says
I’ve never been to Disneyland but my kids would love it.
Tori Howes says
I would love to take my kids to Disneyland or Disneyworld. They would absolutely love it! It looks amazing, for sure.
Jack B says
I always loved going to Disney World as a child and even today as an adult. Hope to take my boys there someday.
I’ve never been to either Disneyland or Disneyworld, but I can see how fun it could be to take kids and see them light up!
brittany doerfler says
I didn’t know the characters dressed up for the holidays as we always go in summer, thank you for that info. We will now be planning some winter trips too!
SHELBIE HAWKINS says
I haven’t been to Disney around the holidays in years so it would be magical if I could bring Disney to my home. I do hope I can make a trip soon!
Gina Ferrell says
I’ve been to Disney several times and always wanted to go during Halloween and Christmas time.
I love the Candlelight Processional.
WE just returned from Disneyland. It wasn’t completely decorated yet, but it was so magical already, We can’t wait to go back some December.
Brian K says
I’ve never been to Disney World
Katie J says
I’ve only been to Disney once when I was little but would love to take my daughter in the future!
Stephanie Grant says
I have been to Disney a few times but never during the holidays and I want to go so bad. Now that my son is old enough I’m going to try and talk them into going next December and this list is perfect so we don’t miss anything!
This looks amazing! I would love to take my family in the future.
Alex O says
I would love to see the characters geared up for Christmas. I didn’t know that Disney did that.
We went a few years ago right as they were putting out the Christmas decorations. Would love to go again sometime!
Kelly D says
The Animal kingdom holiday events sound like a lot of fun. I would like to take my family.
Stacie Humphrey says
This would be amazing! We love Disney!
Will G says
I still have never gone, but hope to take our daughter eventually!
Penny Moore says
Kim Nilan says
I’ve been to Disney three times, but it’s been a long time since I was there. And I never went at Christmas time, which is something I always wanted to do. I guess it’s on my bucket list now.
Beth Hern says
Oh wow, Never been to Disney at Christmas but have taken my kids to disney over the summer. Definitely going to look into going at Christmas time.
Jenny Q. says
I haven’t been to Disney for Christmas, but that would be so much fun. I brought my kids in the summer a few years back and really want to go again!
Jennifer Harris says
I have taken my kids to Disney World twice – both at Christmas. I love all the decor 🙂
Never been to Disney around a holiday, but my sister loves to spend Halloween there and has done it three times.