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Top 12 Holiday Experiences at Disney World

Visiting Disney World during November and December is a great time to experience the Holidays in a way that only Disney can offer. As everyone knows, Disney World is second to none when it comes to creating incredible atmosphere and experiences, but during the holiday season they turn it up from 10 to 11. The fun starts just a few days after Halloween as Cast Members transform the property in a matter of days. Even though the weather is warm, you’ll still slip into the Holiday spirit with some terrific offerings. Here are the ten ways you can celebrate the Holidays at Disney World.


12- Take a Ride on The Jingle Cruise, Magic Kingdom

Beginning early November, The Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom transforms itself into a holiday-themed Jingle Cruise. The additions offer guests the chance to experience a holiday transformation of this fan-favorite Disney attraction. Jingle Cruise is themed as if the Skippers are homesick for the holidays and decorated the attraction queue and boathouse with homemade decorations, gifts, and items from back home. (If you listen carefully, you may also hear a holiday-themed radio broadcast playing in the background in the queue). The boats have been renamed to receive holiday names, and the skippers are getting guests laughing with additional holiday jokes. The jungle has also received new seasonal supplies. Unfortunately, some missed their final destination falling deeper into the jungle. This an excellent opportunity to ride this classic ride but with a new spin.

Jingle Cruise

11 – Discover Diwali during Up! A great Bird Adventure

This all-new show takes guests on a journey to discover some of the world’s exotic birds along with fun-loving Russell and his furry friend Dug from Disney•Pixar’s hit film “Up.” During the holiday season, a particular version of the show will introduce guests to discover the story of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India.

10 – Explore the All-New Toy Story Land Holiday Decor

This new immersive land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be decked out with festive spirit during the holidays. New decor will include an oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland and a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie at Woody’s Lunch Box, as well as green alien ornaments near the entrance to Alien Swirling Saucers, just to name a few. Plus, guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two-holiday tracks with themed lighting. The characters will also show off new holiday looks for the season – Woody and Jessie will wear special holiday vests and sprigs of holly on their hats, while Buzz Lightyear will don a snazzy Santa hat.

9 – Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Studios

The special dining event will take place now through January 6, 2019, and will include the rare chance to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy dressed in their holiday best. Expect special holiday food favorites and plenty of Christmas spirit. Guests can pose for pics with Disney Characters, meet others as they stop by and participate in holiday table activities. Plus, the party gifts make great souvenirs!

Prices for Minnie’s Holiday Dine are $50 per adult and $30 per child ages 3 to 9. Taxes and gratuity are not included in this price. Lunch and Dinner reservations are available. Reservations will be essential and can be made online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. You can also make a Fantasmic! Dinner Package with the Minnie’s Holiday Dine.

Credit: Disney/Steven Diaz

8 – Enjoy Holidays at Disney Springs

Outside of the Parks, you’ll find many great reasons to include Disney Springs for a great place to shop for those on your list and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. All four neighborhoods have been decorated with distinct theming. Returning this year is an expanded Christmas Tree Trail in the Marketplace! To capture the spirit of the season, guests can stroll among an even bigger Christmas Tree Trail. Twenty-seven custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme, are on display including 10 new trees inspired by Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White, and Dumbo. Also returning is Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt. Stitch returns to Disney Springs with a scavenger hunt featuring 16 stops, including a special stop at the Christmas Tree Trail.

7 – A Frozen Holiday Wish, Magic Kingdom

Returning for another year, the top-rated seven-minute show at Cinderella Castle will light up this holiday season when Queen Elsa transforms Cinderella Castle into the gorgeous, glistening, icy holiday centerpiece of Magic Kingdom. Featuring appearances by Anna and Elsa, along with rugged mountain man Kristoff and the lovable snowman Olaf, this merry-and-bright seasonal show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom. Check the times guide for specific times, but the show on regular park days typically begin at 6:15 pm. On Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights’ there is a second show at 8:15 pm.

6 – Meet Santa and Even Mrs. Claus

A holiday tradition for many families is taking the time to have the kids meet with Santa Claus. At Disney World, this experience is taken to the next level. There are a few different places to meet Santa on Disney property. Read our article, “Meeting Santa Clause at Disney World – Seven Things You Need to Know” to get all the details!


5 – Enjoy a Tour of the Holiday Decor at Disney Resorts

One of our favorite pastimes is taking an afternoon or two to visit the Disney Resorts to see their Christmas trees and holiday decor. All Walt Disney World resort hotels are elaborately decorated, and many offer unique entertainment and dining during the season. We especially enjoy visiting Deluxe Resorts to see the fantastic gingerbread displays. We usually visit the resorts by way of Disney transportation as it makes getting in and out of the resorts a bit easier. Visiting the resorts during the Holiday Season is a great way to see the resorts for yourself and enjoy the fabulous holiday displays. These experiences are usually below the radar, but the displays are amazing, and it’s free!

Christmas at Grand Floridian

4 – Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, Epcot

From now until December 30, 2018, you’ll be able to celebrate our small world by enjoying a tour of international holiday celebrations with the Festival of the Holidays (formerly Holidays Around the World). Through music, seasonal food favorites, and time-honored traditions that will come to life you’ll get a hint of how others around the world celebrate this time of year. Highlights include fifteen-holiday kitchens with amazing foods from around the world, costumed performers presenting holiday heritage throughout World Showcase, and numerous musical performances that highlight the many different sounds of the holiday season.

Find out more about the Festival of the Holidays by clicking here.

Joyful Celebration at Epcot Festival of the Holidays

3 – Candlelight Processional, World Showcase, Epcot

You won’t want to miss the Candlelight Processional where you’ll experience the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. This is truly an amazing and moving experience. If you don’t want to wait in line for a seat, special Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are available. Guests will receive special seating badges for the specific date and show time they have reserved. Candlelight Dining Packages are available for lunch and/or dinner and include a 3-course meal or full buffet, depending on the location. You may book your package online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Read our article, “5 Things You Need to Know About Epcot’s Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World,” for all the details!

2 – Flurry of Fun, Hollywood Studios

Now through December 31, you can get wrapped up in a Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First, be sure to check out the all new Sunset Seasons Greetings. This new holiday experience features spectacular projections of Mickey, Minnie and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with stunning holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house, and a frozen winter wonderland! This fantastic and heartwarming experience runs continuously throughout the night. Also new this year is enhanced holiday décor around Echo Lake. Extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water will make Echo Lake the merriest of places this holiday season. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” returns sending Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself. Finally, be sure to check out ‘For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’ for a special guest and new songs from the new animated short “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”

For more details on Flurry of Fun be sure to read our article here.

1 – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Magic Kingdom

For the ultimate holiday celebration, you don’t want to miss Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This special ticketed event held on select nights at Magic Kingdom is a fantastic way to celebrate the season. You’ll be delighted with special holiday entertainment, an incredible parade with Santa himself, a spectacular fireworks show and much more! You’ll also be able to meet your favorite Disney characters wearing special holiday outfits. You’ll receive complimentary cookies and hot cocoa! Bundle up, because you’ll also be treated to magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. You won’t want to miss this fantastic night!

Read all about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party here:

5 Can’t Miss Entertainment Offerings at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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