NEWS: Disney Announces New Holiday Decor and Entertainment Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2019

The holiday season is a fantastic time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. There are so many things to see and do during this time at the resorts and the parks. Disney World goes all out when it comes to decorating the parks, with once exception. Compared to the other parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has always been a little light on the holiday entertainment and decor. Well, this year that is going to change. Disney has announced new holiday offerings in Animal Kingdom. Catch all the details below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Shawn Slater:

Everyone will be feeling extra merry and bright at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this holiday season, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land!

It all begins when you cross the bridge to Discovery Island, finding yourself in the midst of a celebration of winter, hand-crafted by the eclectic community of artists who make the island their home. The village is filled with sparkling white holiday decorations. Colorful, animal-inspired luminaries line the rooftops, and wireframe lanterns in the shape of beautiful birds can be found perched throughout the area. And during the day, Discovery Island springs to life with a holiday gathering of winter animals, realized in the form of life-size, artisan-sculpted puppets. Reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins and more interact with guests, accompanied by serenading musicians as they create a playful atmosphere of festive fun.

As day becomes night, the rooftop luminaries and bird lanterns all around Discovery Island bring a warm and festive glow to the entire village. At the center of everything, the Tree of Life awakens with a series of wintry tales, complemented by a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life continues to shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.

Over in Dinoland, U.S.A., all the Disney character friends gathered for Donald’s Dino-Bash! get into the spirit with colorful holiday decorations in the style of Donald Duck and each of his pals, and at night, you’re invited to gather ‘round Truck-O-Saurus for the Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale and plenty of interactive fun and games.

In Asia, the residents of Anandapur have decorated the theatre district in celebration of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India. Glowing flowers, lanterns and more illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage, home to authentic cultural performances.

The village of Harambe in Africa welcomes visitors with a unique holiday presentation, blending the inspiration and style of western traditions with the colors and textiles of authentic African celebrations. The various groups appearing throughout Harambe introduce holiday-inspired enhancements, including costume additions and new music, to their performances. The holiday fun continues inside Tusker House for dining with Disney friends, where Mickey and his pals spread holiday cheer throughout the meal.

The holiday spirit even reaches Pandora – The World of Avatar, where the ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora bring a little Christmastime fun to their alien home, with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, combining vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.

It’s going to be an extra magical holiday season at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and across Walt Disney World Resort, filled with wonder and delight in all four parks! Make plans to join us, starting November 8, 2019.

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Tips & Tricks for Celebrating the Holiday Season at Disney World

by Christy Caby

The holiday season is my absolute favorite time at Walt Disney World.  I am a Christmas fiend and no one does quite as well as Disney does.  If you are considering traveling to Disney during this time, then this list is definitely for you.  Here are 10 tips and tricks for celebrating the holiday season at Disney World:


10 – Check out other parks besides the Magic Kingdom.

So many guests think of the Magic Kingdom first when it comes to holiday fun, but really all of the parks decorate and go all out for the holidays.  Each park will have its own Christmas decorations, events and activities.  You won’t want to miss all of the holiday fun to be had at each park.

9 – Plan your visit during non-peak dates.

If you visit in early December (and even early November in most cases), you get to experience all of the fun Christmas activities, attractions, and events without as many of the crowds.  The closer to the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays that you get, you will notice that the crowds start to get pretty insane.

8 – Prepare to be extremely patient if you plan to visit the week of Christmas.

There is nothing like being at Walt Disney World for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Some folks assume that because it is a theme park that it will be slow, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  These are two of the busiest days of the entire year for Walt Disney World.  The parks will close to capacity (especially the Magic Kingdom which is known to close by 10 AM) and will be wall to wall guests.  You can still have a great time; you just should set your expectations and go in with a lot of patience.


7 – Consider the Candlelight Processional Dining Package.

If you know you want to see the Candlelight Processional, and especially if you there is a particular time or narrator that you want to see, you should consider booking the dining package.  The dining package will guarantee you seating at a certain time for a certain show way you don’t have to wait in the standby line.  The standby line can sometimes mean that you still end up standing for the show and/or don’t get your desired seating.  We find the dining package to work so much better for us.

6 – The holiday fun isn’t limited to the theme parks.

You will definitely want to tour the resorts and Disney Springs.  The resorts are also decorated and go all out for Christmas.  Many of the resorts will have extra activities, character interactions, cookies and more.  Disney Springs has really stepped up its Christmas game.  You can meet Santa, take a walk through a trail of Disney-themed trees, and so much more.  You definitely won’t want to miss all of these new events and they are completely free and don’t require any special admission!


5 – Buy tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

If you aren’t visiting the week of Christmas, then you will want to try to work the Christmas party into your budget.  At the Christmas party you get to see the holiday parade, the holiday fireworks show, the snow falling on Main Street USA, unlimited cookies and cocoa and a ton of holiday magic that only Disney can provide.  The tickets are extra outside of regular park admission for the day, but we find that they are well worth it!

4 – Don’t miss out on limited character experiences.

The characters get into the holidays, too.  Many of the characters change over to their winter or holiday attire so that they have on festive scarfs, hats, coats, etc. when you meet and greet with them.  There are also characters that come out for limited times and for special events that you don’t get to see very often throughout the year.  These are characters like Jack Skellington (dressed as Sandy Claws), The Seven Dwarfs and others.  Of course, don’t forget to make time for meeting Santa Claus! The characters vary from year to year, but you’ll definitely want to check who is doing meet and greets!

Kids with Santa at Disney Springs

3 – Be sure to wear layers and pack a hoodie or light jacket.

The weather can vary a lot this time of year.  Sometimes it will be warm and sometimes it may be a little chilly.  Usually, as the sun sets and it gets dark out, it will be cooler than in the daytime.  It is a good idea to wear layers or come prepared with a hoodie or jacket so that you aren’t cold as the sun goes down.  This will make you much more comfortable as you are enjoying the parks!

2 – Decorate your stroller, windows, room, door, etc.

The parks and resorts will be decorated, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own flare.  There are many guests that will decorate a tree in their rooms.  You can also add battery operated Christmas lights to your stroller.  It makes your stroller festive and makes it easier to see and find it, too.  Many guests like to also decorate their doors and/or windows at their resort, too.  It can be a lot of fun for the whole family!

1 – Check out holiday dining options.

There is also special holiday dining that you can enjoy.  Hollywood & Vine restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios changes their dining theme for the season.  During November and December, it is a Christmas theme with a themed Christmas dinner for the meal and the characters in their holiday best.  There are many restaurants that are decorated and extremely cozy for Christmas with holiday offerings on their menus.  Be sure to look around and see which themes will help get you into the holiday spirit.

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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