If you’re already thinking about Christmas and the holiday season in Disney World, you’re not alone! 🎄
We had been patiently waiting for Disney to announce what we can expect from the holiday season this year, since 2021 brought us Disney’s Merriest After Hours event instead of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but we now know that the Christmas party is returning, so let’s take a look at what else has been confirmed to return to Disney World this holiday season!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
First and foremost, we know that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a special ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom will be returning this year with 24 parties throughout November and December. The party is returning with many of the fan-favorite entertainment options like Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade!
Also during the event, you’ll get to see Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays and snow on Main Street, U.S.A., and you’ll be able to grab some complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, too.
Also during the party, you’ll have the opportunity to dance the night away at not one but three different dance parties around the park! Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe will be turned into Club Tinsel, at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland, you can join Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, and Mike Wazowski for a Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, and over in Storybook Circus, you can take part in the Disney Junior Jingle Jam and dance with characters from popular Disney Junior shows!
Also during the event, in celebration of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, guests will have access to three different photo ops AND they will take home a special commemorative keepsake in honor of the anniversary.
There will also be some new sweet treats at the party this year, including Texas-sized Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue and Candied Pecans from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café. This will join returning treats like the Mickey-shaped Cinnamon Roll with White Icing and Holiday Sprinkles from Main Street Bakery.
Holiday overlays will also be returning, like the world-famous Jingle Cruise (which is also available during daytime hours), plus there will be overlays for other rides like Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and the Tomorrowland Speedway for Christmas party attendees only.
And for a NEW attraction overlay, Disney has shared that instead of the typical songs you can get on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, during the holiday season, guests will be able to hear festive mixes instead!
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
Much like the other festivals, the Festival of the Holidays features holiday food booths from around the world, and we know about ALL of the booths that will be at the festival! We’ll let you know when we have an update on what the menus will be, but we do know that there will be some new offerings like the Impossible Chorizo Tamale, a Plant-based Cotija Cheese, and Spicy Red Chile Sauce found at Nochebuena Cocina Holiday Kitchen.
One of the returning items is the Maple Bûche de Noël found at Holiday Hearth Holiday Kitchen. This is a Maple Mousse and Cranberry rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake.
The Candlelight Processional, which is an event that tells the story of Christmas with a celebrity narrator, orchestra, and choir, will also be returning. Here’s a look at the dates and the celebrity narrators:
- 11/25 – 11/26: Simu Liu (NEW)
- 11/27 – 11/29: Edward James Olmos
- 11/30 – 12/1: Raul Esparza (NEW)
- 12/2 – 12/3: Whoopi Goldberg
- 12/4 – 12/6: Isabella Rossellini
- 12/7 – 12/9: Daymond John (NEW)
- 12/10 – 12/12: Josh Gad (NEW)
- 12/13 – 12/14: Gloria Estefan (NEW)
- 12/15 – 12/18: Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/19 – 12/20: Mariska Hargitay (NEW)
- 12/21 – 12/23: Cal Ripken Jr.
- 12/24 – 12/26: Marie Osmond
- 12/27 – 12/28: Courtney Vance
- 12/29 – 12/30: Angela Bassett
Also coming back this year are Santa Claus and the other holiday storytellers from around the world! And, “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season,” will be coming back with performances of music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa. You’ll also be able to check out the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, and the Chinese Lion Dance.
The Holiday Cookie Stroll is coming back as well! To participate in the Cookie Stroll, you grab a Festival Passport and visit the booths at the festival that are taking part in the stroll, buying cookies along the way.
When you’ve bought five cookies (and received five stamps in your passport), you get a prize for completing the stroll! Check out all of the cookies that are a part of this year’s stroll right here.
If you want to go on a scavenger hunt around EPCOT, be sure to check out Olaf’s Holiday Traditional Expedition.
With this activity, you’ll search for holiday traditions Olaf has gathered together and then lost. If you purchase a map ($9.99 plus tax) you’ll be able to redeem it for a special prize!
Park Icon Festivities
Once the sun sets, the park icons will be lit up with holiday decorations! At Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle will be lit up with holiday projections (on nights when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not taking place).
Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, and the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also get special holiday projections that will rotate with the Beacons of Magic each night.
Guests will also have the opportunity to see and meet Santa Claus throughout the holiday season! He will be making appearances in Animal Kingdom on the Santa Claus Flotilla on the Discovery River, and at the Odyssey Pavilion in EPCOT during the Festival of the Holidays.
You’ll also be able to spot him in the Santa Claus Motorcade in Hollywood Studios, and you’ll be able to meet him in Disney Springs at Once Upon a Toy, too!
In terms of entertainment, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in Hollywood Studios will be getting a holiday finale that features Olaf!
At Animal Kingdom, the Merry Menagerie will be returning, as well. The Merry Menagerie consists of artisan-sculpted puppets of arctic animals, and they are very cute. Also at Animal Kingdom, you’ll be able to see the Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla, which is the holiday version of the drummer flotilla that can be seen now.
Disney Springs is getting in on the fun with snow in the Town Center plus the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, which is a scavenger hunt to find all of the decorated Christmas trees throughout Disney Springs.
You’ll also be able to catch live entertainment and Toy Soldier Stilt Walkers, and Snowflake Skaters in Disney Springs, as well. And if all that wasn’t enough, there will also be special PhotoPass Magic Shots and lenses throughout Disney World during the holiday season, so make sure to keep your eye out for those.
Blizzard Beach Holiday Fun
Though Blizzard Beach keeps that snowy fun-in-the-sun theme all year long, the holidays will bring some special items to this water park when it reopens on November 13th.
According to Disney, Blizzard Beach will have an “enhanced holiday atmosphere.” There will be limited-time holiday offerings made available there through December 31st.
What will this include? Well, you’ll want to be on the lookout for holiday-themed snacks, snowfall, and even inner tubes with a festive look. You might even get the chance to meet Santa while there, but he’ll be dressed for some tropical fun!
Festive Food Offerings
And now we come to one of our favorite parts: the food! First up, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs is once again turning into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar.
Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood Studios is also being transformed into Minnie’s Holiday Dine, and other limited-time treats will make their way around the parks and Disney Springs, as well.
Disney hasn’t shared what treats we can expect from this holiday season, but we’ll be on the lookout for more news.
Disney also announced that a brand new holiday merchandise collection will be coming to the Disney parks. It includes things like spirit jerseys, ears, a Loungefly backpack, and more. There will be Mickey’s Vintage Christmas, which will feature hues of red and green as well as snowfall and peppermint to celebrate the holiday season. Or, guests can sport the plaid Homestead collection and a specially themed line to celebrate Hanukkah.
Of course, the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs will be decorated with a ton of Christmas trees, small and large. Disney said there were more than 1300 at last count, with some towering 65 feet tall! There will also be the usual jolly trimmings throughout Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom.
Over in Hollywood Studios, you’ll see some holiday glamour on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, as well as some festive touches in Toy Story Land.
In Animal Kingdom, there will be Animal-inspired décor, luminaries on Discovery Island, and holiday cheer that ex-pats from Earth have brought to Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Over in EPCOT, the World Showcase will be filled with different international decor depending on what country you’re in!
And, we will also see the return of those epic gingerbread displays at some of the Disney World Resort Hotels.
Over at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, holiday sleigh rides will be returning! You can book a 25-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride for $75 per person.
We’ll be bringing you more updates as Disney continues to reveal more about the holiday season, so make sure to stay tuned to DFB for all the latest!
Will you be heading to Disney World this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!