The holiday season at Disney’s Parks and Resorts is filled with delights for food fans, and if you ask us, it’s never too early to start planning for holiday fun!!
We’ve compiled years of Disney Parks holiday experience so that you don’t miss a single treat, holiday meal, event, or activity. The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2019 includes NEW events and holiday happenings for 2019, over 350 photos, an events calendar, and an informative FAQ section!
Below, you’ll find some of our favorite holiday events, tips, and suggestions for making this year’s Disney World holiday trip your merriest one yet!
Dining at Walt Disney World During the Holidays
There are plenty of special Disney holiday events for the food lover at Walt Disney World. For Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, guests can expect specialty menus and holiday meals at many Disney restaurants in the Parks, at the Resorts, and in Disney Springs.
Here’s what you can expect for Christmas Dining 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 quick service eats.
- Buffets will add holiday menu options.
- Many restaurants will add holiday meals to the menu.
For information on every single Disney World restaurant holiday option, treat yourself to the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2019!
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 the World, too!
Learn how to budget your time during the holidays at Walt Disney World in this DFB Guide Video!
If you’re looking to plan a festive News Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World, scroll on down for all the delicious and celebratory options!
Holiday Treats at Walt Disney World
The holidays are another welcome excuse for Walt Disney World to introduce lots of special treats just for the holiday season. From verrines to cupcakes to hot spiked beverages, there’s a holiday-inspired treat for everyone! We sampled 58 holiday treats and here are the MUST-HAVE ten eats for the 2019 holiday season!
Epcot Holiday Treats
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a global celebration of the Season! This year the Festival runs November 29 – 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 internationally-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
Magic Kingdom adds plenty of holiday treats to jingle our taste bells, and while some of them are exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, still more are available all day, every day during the long holiday season. We’re always fans of a seasonal cupcake or classic sugar cookie, but we love this Gingerbread Sundae!
Yep, it’s holly-jolly time again in the Magic Kingdom. And DID YOU SEE ALL THE TREATS!!???!!!?
Hollywood Studios Holiday Treats
In the past few years, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has really stepped-up its holiday game… as it should after the unfortunate closure of the Osborne Lights Spectacular in 2015! Flurry of Fun brings a projection show called Sunset Seasons Greetings, a fireworks and projection nighttime spectacular called Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!, and lots of sweet, festive treats!
We reviewed SO MANY holiday eats and drinks in Disney’s Hollywood Studios including: Olaf’s Snow Flurry, Spiked Holiday Cocoa Flight, Holiday Mule, Holiday Wreath Cookie, Frostbite Cocktail, Caramel Apple Verrine, Winterberry Margarita, Olaf’s Chocolate Marshmallow Verrine, Strawberry Mint Creme, Chocolate Chestnut Pinecone, Mickey Santa Hat Mousse, Goofy’s Hot Chocolate, Not Hot Chocolate Verrine, Elsa’s Magical Macarons, Gingerbread Cookies, Holiday Blondie, and a Cinnamon Apple Holiday Lunchbox Tart.
Animal Kingdom Holiday Treats
We took in all the sights, sounds, and tastes of the all-new Animal Kingdom holiday celebrations! Your must-have holiday treat is the Double-Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich at Dino-Bite Snacks.
Disney Springs Holiday Treats
We’ve already shared with you the yummy seasonal offerings to be found on The Christmas Tree Trail. Now, check out the reusable mugs. Watch for seasonal treats found at various locations throughout the entertainment, shopping, and dining district. We love the holiday turkey poutine at The Daily Poutine and the holiday turkey burger at D-Luxe Burger.
Disney Resorts Holiday Treats
Many treats include design elements and flavors typically associated with the holiday season, like gingerbread, cinnamon, and more!
Keep an eye out for seasonal beverages and holiday-themed cupcakes, tarts, and treats at all of the Resorts!
We love that Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has debuted a new gingerbread house.
Holiday Events and Experiences at Walt Disney World
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!
Magic Kingdom celebrates the holiday season in a BIG way with larger-than-life decor and — of course!! — Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Click here to read all about the Party in 2019 — including a brand new fireworks spectacular called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks!
Epcot celebrates with the Epcot Interntational Festival of the Holidays from November 29 to December 30, 2019! Expect delicious treats from the Holiday Kitchen food booths, festive decorations, and storytelling from around World Showcase!
Don’t miss out on Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree, a family-friendly scavenger hunt in which guests help Chip and Dale collect ornaments for their Christmas tree by purchasing a map 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!
Epcot’s Candlelight Processional is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and available Dining Packages make it easy for guests to get reserved seating for a show that combines the traditional Christmas story with a choir of singers and meaningful music!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! — a Holiday Spectacular revolving around a search-and-rescue mission for Santa Claus — made its debut in 2016 and returns for 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 8 – January 5.
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!
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 in their holiday finest beginning November 8, 2019.
The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! features some our favorite holiday music, fireworks, special effects, and super-fun seasonal projections that are happening at Disney World this Christmas season! This party is an option for guests to add to their experience including desserts (of course!), specialty beverages, and a reserved viewing are. Click here for more info on this fun add-on!
Find out how to watch Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! from home.
Sunset Seasons Greetings
This holiday experience brings guests to a twinkling Sunset Boulevard where holiday decorations set a festive mood. Throughout the night, scenes of the holiday are displayed on the billboards of Sunset Boulevard, and the Hollywood Tower Hotel features a gingerbread house, a pile of Christmas gifts, and a winter wonderland. And everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf makes an appearance as well!
Sunset Seasons Greetings runs continuously every night of the holiday season.
From mid-November to early-January, Disney Springs will showcase festive décor, entertainment, and holiday shopping, including:
Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail: Stroll among custom decorated holiday, Disney-themed trees! Holiday tunes and a light dusting of snow add to the magic of this winter wonderland. We’ve shared with you the yummy seasonal offerings to be found on The Christmas Tree Trail.
Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt: This scavenger hunt allows you to search throughout Disney Springs for your favorite experiment 626!Starting the day after Thanksgiving, this 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 through Christmas Eve.
As you shop your way around Disney Springs this holiday season, be on the lookout for great entertainment offerings like the Toy Soldier stilt walkers, carolers, and Living Statues dressed in holiday attire. The festive fun continues with Christmas-inspired treats throughout Disney Springs.
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, you don’t have to miss one of the season’s 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 opp!
New Year’s Eve Dining Options
Unless otherwise noted, book these New Year’s Eve options at 407-WDW-DINE.
Here are three events at the Contemporary Resort — Disney Countdown to MidnightDisney Ink & Paint Club, and Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve. All of these events are currently available to book on Disney World’s website.
There is ANOTHER event taking place at the Contemporary Resort — An Elegant Evening Under the Stars at the California Grill. Enjoy a champagne toast, a magician, a portrait artist, and more as you approach the beginning of a new year. At the end of the night, you’ll get to witness Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from California Grill’s observation deck!To reserve this event, dial (407) WDW-DINE
A New Year’s Eve event is set to take place at the new Riviera Resort — Mezzanotte at Topolino’s: An Italian Masquerade. The event will take place at Topolino’s Terrace — Flavors of the Riviera and will include food, beverages, and musical entertainment. You can currently book this event by calling (407) WDW-DINE or by visiting Disney World’s website.
If you’d like the chance to celebrate the new year at one of Disney World’s newest locations, now’s your chance! Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, located at the new Gran Destino Tower, will hold Feliz Ano Nuevo: A New Year’s Eve Party at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Guests will dine on Spanish New Year’s cuisine while enjoying entertaining music. This event will cost $400 per person and you may call (407) WDW-DINE or visit Disney World’s website to book.
If you plan to be around Disney’s BoardWalk on New Year’s Eve, there are two events you need to know about! First up is Disney’s BoardWalk Countdown 2020 at Atlantic Dance Hall. The event “includes views of the Epcot Fireworks a live DJ, party hats and horns, a confetti drop, a mouthwatering light-bite menu with savory and sweet eats, and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight.” This event will be available to book soon, so keep checking Disney World’s website for more information!
You also have the chance to celebrate at the BoardWalk’s Flying Fish! Chef Tim Majoras will present a multi-course, pre-fixe menu during this dining event. According to Disney, “seatings are available from 5-6:30pm and 8:30-10pm on Dec. 31, with a sustainable seafood tower and intermezzo included in the second seating.” Booking information is expected to be available soon on Disney World’s website.
Disney’s Grand Floridian is also holding a duo of events. Narcoossee’s will host A New Year’s Eve Celebration at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. According to Disney, you’ll want to reserve an earlier dinner time for a relaxed experience and a later dinner time for an upbeat experience with a band and dance floor. Call (407) WDW-DINE for more information and to book!
If you want to have a truly luxurious experience on New Year’s Eve, look no further than Victoria & Albert’s! During your meal, you’ll enjoy live music from a harpist, a champagne toast, and a AAA Five Diamond culinary experience. Booking information will be available soon on Disney World’s website.
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!