The holiday season at Disney’s theme parks and resorts is filled with delights for food fans!
We’ve compiled many years of Disney holiday experience so that you don’t miss a single treat, holiday meal, event, or activity. It includes NEW events and holiday happenings for 2018, over 350 photos, an events calendar, and an informative FAQ section!
As the resorts turn visions of gingerbread houses into life-size creations, guests walking into the hotels are greeted first by the memorable aroma that conjures up memories of long-ago Christmas mornings. Then there’s chocolate and icing decor to be admired too!
The Disney shops tempt us with seasonal merchandise and treats previously only seen in our candied dreams. When the Main Street Confectionery begins to offer Peppermint Fudge, it’s time to linger even longer — to watch and to indulge!
For another Disney Food Blog Christmas, we strive to capture the spirit of the holiday:
Walt Disney World Dining Planning for the Holidays
There are plenty of Disney holiday events and details for the food lover in Disney World. For Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, guests can expect specialty menus and holiday meals at many Disney restaurants.
Here’s what you can expect for Christmas Options in Disney World:
- Restaurants that are often closed will be open during this busy season. For example, look for Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom to be serving.
- Buffets such as the Biergarten in Epcot will have holiday menu options.
- Many restaurants will have holiday meals on the menu. For example, at the Grand Floridian, the Grand Floridian Cafe will add a special entree to the regular menu.
For information on every single Disney World restaurant holiday option, treat yourself to the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2018!
For more ideas, check out our reader-suggested restaurants for Christmas in Disney World! Plus our readers have chimed in on their favorite spots for Thanksgiving meals in WDW!
Learn how to budget your time during the holidays at Walt Disney World in this DFB Video!
Holiday Treats at Walt Disney World
Watch here for our first look at some holiday-themed treats popping up on Disney Property.
Scroll down to see all the options for your Disney World New Year’s Eve at the bottom of this page!
Epcot Holiday Treats
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a global celebration of the Season! This year the Festival runs November 18 – December 30! During the Festival guests can enjoy enhanced offerings around World Showcase and experience holiday traditions from various cultures as expressed through decorations, stories, music, cuisine, and additional special events.
Epcot will feature full themed food booths called Holiday Kitchens! Look for the ramped-up food offerings at booths like American Holiday Table and Feast of the Three Kings. Typically, many counter service restaurants (and even some table service locations) add holiday treats!
Magic Kingdom Holiday Treats
We’ve got the scoop on all of the holiday bites and sips at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Hollywood Studios Holiday Treats
Flurry of Fun returns for 2018! We sampled all the season’s goodies last year.
Disney Springs Holiday Treats
Christmas Tree Trail featured a few snacks while seasonal treats were found at various locations. We especially liked the Holiday Poutine and other treats that debuted in November. Of course, Amorette’s Patisserie is the spot for sweets and wine slushie sips.
For 2018, there will be superior treats and lots more holiday goodies!
Disney Resorts Holiday Treats
The resorts at Walt Disney World like to show off their seasonal creations too. And many of them are delicious! Last year, we sampled Frozen Apple Cider at the Contemporary Resort and shopped the impressive display of sugary options at the Grand Floridian.
Keep an eye out for seasonal beverages and holiday-themed cupcakes at the resorts!
Disney World Gingerbread Displays and Activities
There are wonderfully aromatic and gorgeous gingerbread displays at the Contemporary Resort, BoardWalk Resort, Beach Club Resort, Grand Floridian, Epcot, Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs, and more!
Events and Experiences
Festival of the Holidays
Epcot celebrates with Festival of the Holidays from November 18 – December 30, 2018.
Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree: Help Chip and Dale collect ornaments for their Christmas tree by purchasing a map ($5.99 plus tax) and stickers from various merchandise locations. Then travel around the World Showcase to find the chipmunks with their ornaments. Return your completed map for a festive surprise.
Holiday Entertainment: The heritage of countries in the World Showcase comes alive with festive music and a focus on traditions. Hanukkah will be celebrated along the World Showcase promenade from December 12-20 and listen to a fusion of Hanukah music with jazz, latin, rock, and hip-hop.
Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional Dining Packages
This is one of the most incredible events of the year, and the Dining Packages make it easy for you to get reserved seating!
See a list of 2018 Candlelight Processional narrators here!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! — a new Holiday Spectacular revolving around a search-and-rescue mission for Santa Claus — made its debut in 2016 and returns for 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 8 – January 6.
Flurry of Fun
Enhanced Decor Around Echo Lake
Festive decor will transform this central part of the park — including dressing Dinosaur Gertie up in her dino-sized Santa hat!
New Santa Meet and Greet
Don’t forget to have a chat with Santa at the Once Upon a Time shop.
Holiday Cheer in Toy Story Land
Celebrate the holidays with seasonal tunes at Alien Swirling Saucers.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine
This character-filled buffet meal is centered on seasonal delicacies at lunch and at dinner. Guests can dine with Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy from November 9, 2018, through January 6, 2019.
The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party
This party is also an option for guests to add to their experience including desserts (of course!), specialty beverages, a reserved viewing area, and a pair of 3D HoloSpex® glasses to enhance the show. In 2017, treats included warm cheese fondue with pretzel bread and spiced bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. In 2018, delicious eats and specialty drinks will once again keep the party going!
The cost for the dessert party varies per date and the 2018 prices have not been announced yet. Stay tuned!
Sunset Seasons Greetings:
This holiday experience will bring guests to a twinkling Sunset Boulevard where holiday decorations will set a festive mood. Throughout the night, scenes of the holiday will be displayed on the billboards of Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood Tower Hotel will feature a gingerbreadhouse, a pile of Christmas gifts, and a winter wonderland. And everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf will make an appearance as well! Sunset Seasons Greetings will run continuously every night of the holiday season.
From mid-November to early-January, Disney Springs will showcase festive décor, entertainment, and holiday shopping.
Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail: Stroll among 25 custom decorated holiday, Disney-themed trees! Holiday tunes and a light dusting of snow add to the magic of this winter wonderland.
Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt: Starting the day after Thanksgiving, this a scavenger hunt activity is fun for the whole family. Once complete, visit participating locations for a limited-edition button.
Santa’s Chalet: Santa will be meeting with guests and accepting wish lists at his new location near the Christmas Tree Trail through Christmas Eve.
The festive fun continues with pin trading, a nightly tree lighting ceremony, toy soldier stilt walkers, and Christmas-inspired treats.
Other Holiday Happenings in Disney World
Cookie Decorating and Crafts
Many of the resorts offer cookie decorating to small guests. After all, just because you’re on vacation, why should you miss one of the seasons most beloved traditions? Check your resort’s entertainment schedule.
Likewise, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels offer cookie decorating frequently throughout the holidays starting at 5PM in the Swan Lobby.
Special Holiday Music Performances
Holiday music is always a great way to set the mood for a festive celebration. And at Disney World during the winter holidays, you’re bound to find lots of talented musicians sharing joyful cheer!
Many of the Deluxe resorts will feature carolers throughout the season. You’re likely to see them at the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club.
In addition, the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra often provides jazz renditions of holiday favorites.
You will also find carolers strolling the “streets” of Disney Springs throughout the season. And On the Marketplace Dock Stage, watch for school choir groups singing festive songs.
Visits with Characters and Santa Claus
But it would hardly be Christmas for the little ones without a visit from Santa Claus. While you can spy him at various places throughout the parks and at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, he’s also available to hear your Christmas wishes at other spots. Disney Springs hosts both Santa and Santa Goofy!
Holiday times are so busy that Disney pulls out all the stops to entertain the large number of guests. It’s quite common throughout Christmas week to find character meet and greets at Deluxe Resorts! Really — can you imagine anything more enchanting than Christmas Minnie and Mickey? Be sure to check with the concierge for more information on appearance times.
And you’ll also spy the big guy in front of his Tiki Hut at the Swan and Dolphin — perfect for a Florida Santa photo op. In 2016, Santa and Mrs. Claus were hanging out by their Florida tiki hut on select evenings from 6:15PM – 8PM.
New Year’s Eve Dining Options
Unless otherwise noted, book these New Year’s Eve options at 407-WDW-DINE.
Epcot’s World ShowPlace Pavilion: A dining event geared toward the whole family returns in 2017! The event features buffet dining set to classic Disney music. The kids get their own buffet station with mac ‘n cheese, meatballs, chicken fritters, and more. Seatings for 2018 have not been announced yet.
Monsieur Paul in Epcot’s France Pavilion: Two dining experiences will be offered on New Year’s Eve. Choose from a special prix fixe lunch between 12PM and 6:30PM or an enhanced prix fixe dinner starting at 9PM. Both prix fixe menus will feature classical French cuisine. Prix fixe lunch costs $89 per person (adult or child). Dinner costs $245 per adult ($310 with wine pairings).
Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration: This family-friendly event will feature meet and greets with Pixar favorites, lively music spun by a DJ, and vignettes from Pixar movies. A buffet-style meal with keep party-goers’ energy up as a special viewing from the Porte Cochere of the Magic Kingdom fireworks will take place at midnight. Pixar Party begins at 8PM on December 31, 2018, and goes until 12:15AM on January 1, 2019. The cost is $90 per guest and is all inclusive.
Disney Countdown to Midnight: This party is an evening of dining, dancing, and enchantment in the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Come discover a world sparkling with magic – everything from a Mickey Mouse mirror ball to Disney Character topiaries – as you move and groove to the high-energy New Year’s Bash Band and a live DJ providing music all night long. Guests wil enjoy a “cheftainment” station featuring a seasonal menu inspired by some Disney Signature Dining restaurants; a special appearance by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse; and a champagne toast to the New Year while enjoying the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
Ink & Paint Club: Offered only as a VIP enhancement to the Disney Countdown to Midnight party and located adjacent to the Fantasia Ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this special reception begins prior to the opening of the main event. At the Ink and Paint Club, guests will step back in time into a vintage Disney Animation-inspired room with silver Chiavari chairs, metallic tables and references to classic Disney Animation filling the room. Ticketed guests can visit the lounge throughout the evening, starting with a featured reception from 7-8 p.m. Disney Ink & Paint Club is only available as a part of an enhanced ticket that includes access to both the Disney Countdown to Midnight and the Ink & Paint Club for $450 total per guest. Access to Ink & Paint Club must be purchased concurrently with the Disney Countdown to Midnight ticket and cannot be added on at a later date. To purchase tickets, call (407) WDW-DINE.
Narcoossee’s: This waterside restaurant at the Grand Floridian hosted two dinner seatings on New Year’s Eve in 2016. Seatings between 5 and 5:45PM featured a four-course menu. A five-course menu was offered with seatings from 8:30-9:25PM with live music. Both menus featured Narcoossee’s lobster bisque, seared Wagyu beef, and pan-seared halibut. First seating $150 for adults, $70 children ages 3-9. Second seating $255 for adults, $95 for children ages 3-9. No word yet whether this is returning in 2018.
Il Mulino: A prix-fixe Italian dinner will be served at Il Mulino New York Trattoria in Disney World’s Swan Hotel throughout New Year’s Eve. The first seating will be a la carte from 4PM – 6:15PM. The second seating will be a four course dinner from 7:15PM to 11PM for $105 for adults and $39 for children (alcoholic beverages, taxes, gratuities not included). Reservations and seating after 9PM will include party favors and a champagne toast at midnight! For reservations, call 407-934-1717.
Victoria & Alberts: Enjoy a luxurious evening with “butler-style” service, live harp music, and personalized menus. The 10-course dinner boasts eight savory courses and two desserts including eclectic wines from around the globe. Seatings between 6-7:45PM. $600 per person.
Look for other New Year’s Eve special meals at Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grove, Shula’s Steakhouse, and Todd English’s bluezoo.
Holiday Options at On-Property Hotels
Disney and non-Disney owned hotels on Walt Disney World property have an assortment of holiday options.
Featuring an entire calendar filled with holiday activities, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel celebrates the season with two special guest hosts – Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Tables in Wonderland
Keep an eye out for holiday events for Tables in Wonderland members!
Disney Foodie Gift Ideas:
Just like last year, we’ll be bringing you inspiring gift ideas for the Disney foodies on your list! Stay tuned for our suggestions every week until the Christmas Holiday!