Epcots Annual Candlelight Processional
For many, the main event of EPCOT’s festival of the holidays is the Candlelight Processional. This special experience took a break last year, like many other offerings, and is making a triumphant return for 2021.
A live orchestra, a live chorus , and a celebrity narrator dramatically tell the story of Christmas. Each celebrity that is selected to host the Candlelight Processional usually hosts for 2-3 days.
Animal Kingdom Christmas Events
From November 12th 2021
Animal Kingdom is featuring holiday events and decor this year and its totally magical! Discovery Island village is filled with sparkling white holiday decorations during Christmas at Walt Disney World. In the evening, colorful rooftop luminaries and bird lanterns light up the sky.
Almost all the lighting decor in Animal Kingdom is LED. The park uses 65,000 LEDs and over 330 holiday garlands.
Festival Of Holidays At Disney California Adventure And The Best Disneyland Christmas Food
The main celebration that takes place in California Adventure is the Festival of Holidays which includes dining booths with unique food items from all over the world along with holiday entertainment in the parade corridors of the park.
The show stopper of this event are the Festive Food Marketplaces where you can find a glorious amount of international and local holiday specialties.
Disneyland at Christmas is not complete without an assortment of great food and the Festival of Holidays has you covered when you’re in California Adventure. Here are the essential details you need to know:
- Sip and Savor Pass: this pass gives guests the chance to choose from eight different dishes or non-alcoholic beverages. You can purchase the pass at various locations throughout the park, including Festival Merchandise Carts, Seaside Souvenirs, Kingswell Camera Shop, and Rushin River Outfitters.
- I recommend looking at the foodie guide before purchasing in case you have any picky eaters in your cohort.
To be honest, I just went for all the dessert when we visited the marketplace booths and they did not disappoint.
Mickey and Minnie are decked out in festive outfits for the occasion.
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When Does Disney Decorate For Christmas
Did you know there are 25 Walt Disney World Cast Members who work all year round on all of the 2021 Disney Christmas decorations found on property. With that much detail going into each holiday display its no surprise it takes almost the entire month of November to decorate the entire property for Christmas.
The attention to detail does not go unnoticed with guests from all over the world coming to Orlando simply to see the 2021 Walt Disney World holiday decorations. And who can blame them, because there really is something so magical about Walt Disney World during the Christmas.Its also important to point out that although it takes the entire month of November to decorate the entire property but you CAN celebrate sooner in the theme parks!
Enjoy The Tasty Christmas Food At The Magic Kingdom
Delight yourself in all the holiday exclusive treats at the Magic Kingdom.There are so many cool things to try this year and Im here for ALL OF IT!
Auntie Gravitys Galactic Goodies
- Christmas Cookie Sundae Christmas Cookie soft-serve topped with whipped cream, hot fudge, and holiday sprinkles
- Christmas Cookie Milkshake Christmas cookie milkshake topped with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles
Golden Oak Outpost
- Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop Gingerbread almond cake pop dipped in white chocolate
Main Street Bakery
- Mickey Cinnamon Roll Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll drizzled with red and green icing
- Ginger Apple Funnel Cake Gingerbread funnel cake topped with apple pie filling, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce
How Do You Plan Your Days At Disney World
One thing youneed to know that while being at Walt Disney World during the holidays can befun, all the activities you might likely want to fit in your schedule can be abit overwhelming.
So, you needto plan each day carefully to prepare you for the activities as theycome.
Read how to maximize a short vacation at Walt Disney World here!
If you are staying on Disney World property, then it is best that you get an early start and take advantage of Disney extra magic hours.
This will helpyou avoid the unending queues that form during the holidays and get you on yourway to enjoying your day.
Hipster Power Tip: Use the Disney Genie+ system to make sure that youre able to experience your top attraction even on a busy Christmas day.
Feel The Spirit Through A Joyful Performance
Watch JOYFUL! bring down the house with their gospel celebration of the season. Just know that this group of singers are some of the BEST on Disney property PERIOD!
This year you can catch them on the Showcase Plaza Stage as they honor the holiday traditions of Christmas and Kwanzaa.
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When Is Christmas At Magic Kingdom Over
The last Mickeys Very Merry Christmas party of the season was on December 22nd, 2019, but that was to make way for the free-for-all that is Christmas and New Years week at Magic Kingdom!
From the 23rd to the 31st of December, 2019, every special overlay, show, and food offering made exclusive to Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party will be available to all park guests.
This includes Mickeys Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Mickeys Most Merriest Celebration stage show. If you cant make it to the parks, watch our YouTube videos – we caught the entire parade, and I showed off all the party perks in the video below! Everything in my video will be available to everyday guests until December 31st!
Dont Miss The Fireworks Show
The Minnies Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks display for Disney Very Merriest After Hours is incredible. In fact, its one of my favorite fireworks shows Ive ever seen. Even if you arent going to stay awake for the whole party, dont leave before this show at 11:15 p.m. Id say if you cant stay up that late to enjoy the holiday-themed display, Id skip the party this year, as this was one of the biggest highlights of the night.
Because the crowd level at the after-hours party was so manageable, even on the sold-out night I attended, we were able to easily get a spot right in front of the castle just a few minutes before the show began. The show is virtually guaranteed to put you in a festive mood with holiday music, projections, fireworks and the best darn display that money can buy.
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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.
Do The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll Scavenger Hunt
My favorite holiday experience by far is doing the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll. All you have to do is pick up your Christmas Tree Stroll map from select locations, then you find the spot that has a tree marked on the map.
- Disney Parks Christmas Tree
- Nightmare Before Christmas Tree
Once you get to that area, youll see what the Christmas tree theme is and add the matching sticker to it.
This year youll be able to find the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll map at the following locations:
- Amorettes Pastisserie
Once you have found all of the Disney Springs Christmas trees, youll return to one of the map pickup locations and redeem your free holiday pin.
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Create A Disney World Christmas Decorations Crawl
We love resort hopping any time of year, but without a doubt, our favorite time to check out the Disney hotels is during the holidays. Thanks to complimentary transportation options like the Monorail, buses, and Disney Skyliner, visiting the Disney hotels with the best Christmas decorations isnt just easy, its also completely free.
All of the resorts at Disney World have their own unique seasonal décor, so narrow down which holidays youd like to see the most and plan your attack. As the hotels continue to expand their ornament collections, the list of must-see decorations gets longer. So, while you can experience the best of it in about a day, you could easily stretch it out to two days if you wanted to.
Keep in mind that due to parking restrictions and dining or room reservations being required to visit the resorts, you should plan to take Disney transportation to each hotel rather than driving. If you do plan to drive, you will need to show a valid room or dining reservation or else be turned away.
Well, Christmas fans, that wraps up our guide to seeing the Christmas decorations at Disney World. The holiday season truly is a magical time to go to Walt Disney World and we hope that youll plan a vacation to experience it all in the future if you havent had the chance already.
Are you planning to visit Walt Disney World at Christmas time? Which Disney hotel holiday decorations are your favorite? What theme park has the best Christmas décor? Let us know in the comments!
Is Santa At Disney Springs
Guests can now visit Santa Claus in Once Upon a Toy at Disney Springs. Santa meets between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. daily and a projected wait time is posted. We virtually waited about 40 minutes and then returned to check in. My Disney Experience will have a QR code for the Cast Member to scan and confirm your group.
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Notable Hollywood Studios Christmas Attractions
Hollywood Studios loves to put on theatrical and exciting events, and the Christmas season is no exception. If you are visiting Hollywood Studios during Christmas, you will have a lot to look forward to.
Sunset Seasons Greetings
Sunset Seasons Greetings is a charming light projection show on the Tower of Terror in the Sunset Boulevard section of the park. The show features favorite characters such as Olaf, the Muppets, and Toy Story characters. You can also expect to see seasonally appropriate appearances by the characters from Prep & Landing.
Minnies Holiday Dine
If you enjoy character meet and greets, this event is a must. Minnies Holiday Dine is a festive restaurant event filled with your favorite characters. This special meal is a fun opportunity to celebrate the season with Mickey and friends.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Like many Christmas celebrations, the Hollywood Studios Christmas firework show, called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While its unclear when it will come back, this immersive and visually stunning fireworks and light show has always been a fan-favorite for guests during the Christmas season.
Final Thoughts On Christmas At Disney World
As you can see, there is no shortage of things to enjoy during Christmas at Disney World. It is truly a fun and beautiful time of the year to visit. And lucky for us, Christmas at Disney lasts 2 months.
Remember, if you plan to go during the very busy Christmas week, make sure you have a solid plan and follow the tips provided in this post.
Along the lines of having a solid plan here are some links for you to check out to make sure you have the best Christmas trip to Disney World ever!
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Disney Spring Christmas Tree Stroll
2021 brings the return of the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs. The Christmas Tree Stroll is a cute addition to Disney Springs during the holidays.
It consists of elaborately decorated Christmas trees done up with Disney themes. Guests can see some of the best trees from previous years, plus some new ones.
There will even be a tree done up with the 50th anniversary celebration theme.
Disneyland Christmas Attraction Overlays
Disneyland pulls out all the stops for two of its most classic rides it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion. These fantastic holiday overlays is one of the best parts of Disneyland at Christmas. Both of these rides get busier than usual this time of year due to the popularity of these themes.
I recommend following our Christmas time Disneyland touring strategy to help you plan your day which prioritizes both of these attractions. For it’s a small world holiday, that ride is best experienced after dark so you can take in the brilliant display of lights on the facade while you wait.
You can see the benefits of an early morning from our last visit!
The Haunted Mansion Holiday is an overlay based on The Nightmare Before Christmas. For some guests, they actually prefer this version over the classic because it’s just that good! If you haven’t seen the Tim Burton flick then you should definitely add it to your Disneyland movie list before your visit.
The Haunted Mansion gets the makeover from start to finish from the decorations outside to the music.
The main thing to watch for on the ride is the famous gingerbread house display that actually gives off a gingerbread scent as you drift by in your doom buggy!
Every year the Disneyland chefs pull out all the stops for the enormous gingerbread house with a different theme each year.
You will see many of your favorite characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas featured throughout the ride. Oogie Boogie is my favorite!
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How Should I Dress For Disney World In December
The weather in central Florida in December varies quite a bit. Highs could be in the 70s or the 40s.
That said, youll likely need to pack everything from shorts and t-shirts to coats, hats, and gloves. I have been in the pool in December one year and the next year been bundled up in my winter coat!
Check the forecast extensively before you leave to make sure you are packing appropriate clothing. This will help avoid having to buy a $70 sweatshirt to stay warm!
Now on to my tips and tricks for doing Christmas at Disney World without breaking the bank!
Disney Springs Christmas Decorations
Youd be hard-pressed to find a more festive place to do some holiday shopping than Disney Springs. Christmas decorations are sprinkled throughout the sprawling entertainment complex with some storefronts, restaurants, and more all receiving the holiday treatment.
If youre on the hunt for Disney World Christmas trees, Disney Springs is the destination. Each year, this popular shopping and dining district gets taken over by a dozen or more unique trees themed after beloved Disney characters films, and attractions for the annual Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll. You may even get caught in a faux flurry or two. While youre out, be sure to stop by Jock Lindseys Holiday Hangar Bar for Christmas decorations that are just as spirited as the bars selection of seasonal snacks and cocktails.
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When Does Disney World Put Up The Christmas Decorations At The Theme Parks
The holiday season has begun and you can see it at Walt Disney World! Christmas decorations have started to appear at the theme parks and resort hotels. Have you ever wondered when these decorations start to go up? Some appear as soon as Halloween ends and even a little bit before! Technically, the holiday season at Walt Disney World doesnt begin until November 12 but you can never start decorating too early right?
Magic Kingdom received its first holiday decorations right after Halloween! Overnight, the park transformed from Halloween decor to Christmas decor. The 60-foot Christmas tree is up at the front of Main Street USA, wreaths hang from the shops lining Main Street, and festive decor can be seen around the park.
Disneys Hollywood Studios
Disneys Hollywood Studios started to see holiday decorations show up before Halloween was over! Christmas stars line Sunset Boulevard leading to Tower of Terror. If you head over to Echo Lake you can also see the big ornaments in the water.
Disneys Animal Kingdom
Disneys Animal Kingdom is looking very festive already! The iconic 45-foot Christmas tree is up outside of the park entrance. Garland and wreaths line the entrance sign, shops and light poles inside the park. We love all of the animal touches included in the decorations!
Disney Very Merriest After Hours Party
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will not return in 2021 and instead be replaced by the holiday themed after hours party Disney Very Merriest After Hours.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours will take place from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM on select nights, from Tickets will go on sale August 20th with any early purchase window available to guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Event tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom park as early as 7:00 PM. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.
Very Merriest After Hours Dates
The four hours of festivities will include:
- Character sightings
- Minnies Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show
- Mickeys Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
- After-hours access to Magic Kingdom park and less time waiting in line for popular attractions
- Holiday-themed attraction overlays and Cinderella Castle projections
- Snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Holiday treats, ice cream, popcorn and bottled beveragesall included with the cost of admission
- Themed food and beverages available for purchase
- Holiday-themed Disney PhotoPass photo opportunities
- Special lighting, music and more!
Most popular Magic Kingdom attractions are open during this party and you can expect shorter lines due to many guests enjoying the entertainment options. You can expect to see the Jungle Cruise transformed with holiday decorations into the Jingle Cruise during this party .
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