Well, that was a LOT of Christmas news that Disney just dropped! We are sure you’ve already started planning your trip to Disney World after reading about everything appearing during the holiday season.
But, we’re breaking down all the holiday entertainment you’ll be able to find in Disney World for your itineraries this Christmas!
NEW After-Hours Party
Although Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party won’t be happening this year, the event has been replaced with the brand new Disney Very Merriest After Hours! The event will run on select nights from November 8th through December 21st from 9PM to 1AM for four hours of holiday magic! Guests will be able to enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 7PM, but they will need a separate ticket for the after-hours event.
Disney has also confirmed that the holiday parade will be returning to Magic Kingdom as part of this event.
There will also be a stage show for guests to enjoy called “Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories.” The show will feature “music, dancing, and nostalgic yuletide fun” on the Cinderella Castle Stage!
Attractions will also receive holiday overlays, most of which are exclusive to the event. Currently, Disney World hasn’t released which attractions will have these overlays. But, we’ve previously seen them appear at Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, and Tomorrowland Speedway (although the Speedway decorations could be viewed during the day, they were only lit up at night during the party). Along with holiday lights and music, these overlays sometimes also include themed decorations or other Christmas aspects.
However, we’ll hopefully see the return of the Jingle Cruise holiday overlay at the Jungle Cruise ride this year again, as this is available to ALL guests. The overlay isn’t exclusive to the party, so you can climb aboard the special cruise (which will be extra fun after the refurbishment is completed)!
Along with the holiday events, themed projection shows are also returning to the parks! In the Magic Kingdom, there will be special holiday projections on Cinderella Castle most nights! These will alternate with the Castle’s 50th Anniversary projections.
Disney has stated at this time that “Beacons of Magic [the 50th Anniversary nighttime celebrations in each park] will be available nightly at select theme parks.” So, we’ll have to keep you updated on the schedule, along with details on whether the Holiday Dream Lights will be returning or not this year! As of right now, details have not been shared, and it looks like the 50th-anniversary decorations and the holiday projections may be the castle decor seen this year.
Lastly, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will feature the holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings, which will alternate with the Tree of Life’s “Beacon of Magic” look. We can’t WAIT to see all of this decor and lighting when they debut during the holiday season!
The event will include the Holiday Kitchens around the park, live entertainment, and even the famous Cookie Stroll! If you’ve never participated in the Cookie Stroll, it’s an opportunity to eat five different designated cookies to snag stamps and redeem a FREE completer cookie.
- Chita Rivera — November 29th — December 1st
- Jodi Benson — December 2nd — December 4th
- Alton Fitzgerald White — December 5th — December 7th
- Lisa Ling — December 11th — December 13th
- Steven Curtis Chapman — December 23rd — December 25th
- Blair Underwood — December 26th — December 28th
- Pat Sajak — December 29th — December 30th
Disney also confirmed four dining packages will be available for Candlelight Processional:
- Biergarten Restaurant – $62 per adult, $35 per child
- Coral Reef Restaurant – $74 per adult, $25 per child
- Garden Grill Restaurant – $71 per adult, $46 per child
- Rose & Crown Dining Room – $63 per adult, $25 per child
These dining packages will be available to book later in October. Click here for more details.
Of course, when we have more information, we’ll be sure to update you on all the events, eats, and entertainment coming to this year’s festival!
Santa Claus will be arriving all the way from the North Pole to Disney World this year! Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the jolly guy will make an appearance in the park’s motorcade…
Also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll be able to see a special finale at For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration that will feature everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf!
In EPCOT, guests will be able to say “hello” to Santa outside of The American Adventure.
Disney has also released a full list of the festive flotillas that will appear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! You’ll be able to see the following flotillas float by in this wild park:
- Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
- Chip & Dale’s Festive Flotilla
- Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
This year the holiday puppets featured as part of the Merry Menagerie are also coming back to Animal Kingdom! From pint-sized penguins to big bears, you’ll be able to meet these fun puppets again in the park. They were missing from last year’s festivities, but this year they’re making a comeback!
Disney has not released specific cavalcades for the other parks just yet. But, we’ll have to update you with more details when Disney releases them!
Holidays at Disney Springs
But, you don’t HAVE to go to the parks to celebrate Christmas! You can head over to Disney Springs for a few festive events. The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll will return again this year with trees that feature elaborate decorations themed after Disney movies, attractions, and more! There will also be new trees that draw inspiration from Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebrations!
Usually, the Christmas Tree Stroll is in the Marketplace. Last year, though, the trees were placed throughout the shopping and dining district instead. This year, Disney shares that the trees will be spread throughout the neighborhoods of Disney Springs, so we expect it’ll be similar to last year’s setup.
There will also be a “magical snowfall” on the West Side. It’s almost SNOAP time everyone!
You can also enjoy the transformation from Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to Jock Lindsey’s HOLIDAY Bar in Disney Springs! The bar saw plenty of holiday decorations and special holiday menu items last year, like the Milk and Cookies by the Fireside.
But, we’ll have to check back for the full menu soon!
We’ll keep an eye out for the Gingerbread House announcements coming soon, so you can schedule your treat walk around the resorts!