It may still be summer, but the Walt Disney World Resort is already getting into the holiday spirit. Starting on November 8, the 2019 holiday season will kick off across all four theme parks, the resorts, and Disney Springs. In addition to returning holiday favorites such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, there will be new seasonal offerings debuting throughout the entire resort. Luckily, we can share a sneak peek at what’s to come during the upcoming holidays – from festive decorations to seasonal treats, magical entertainment, and much more!
14 – Holidays at the Resorts
At Disney, the holiday spirit is everywhere, including the resorts! In addition to the garland, lights, and Christmas trees filling the lobbies, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will have a life-size gingerbread house! Guests will be able to stop by and pick up gingerbread treats for themselves and their loved ones. Disney’s Beach Club Resort will have a life-size edible carousel on display in their lobby, and a holiday village with a miniature train will be on view for guests visiting Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Specialty themed holiday pieces will also be on view at Disney’s new Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, and Disney’s Riviera Resort.
If you get hungry gazing at all the holiday décor and treats, guests can take advantage of special holiday menus that can be found at Disney resort hotel restaurants this season. Guests can get more information on holiday dining by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
13- New Holiday Merchandise
If there’s a Disney lover in your life (or you’re just looking to treat yourself), then come shop at Disney World for the holidays! Disney’s Merchandise Team have created new festive items for 2019, including new spirit jerseys, Loungefly backpacks, Minnie Mouse ears, ornaments, pins, plush toys, holiday-themed magic bands, and Alex and Ani bracelets. Holiday merchandise prices have not yet been released, but I’m already composing my shopping list!
12 – “Epcot Forever” Nighttime Spectacular
Scheduled to premiere on October 1, 2019, guests visiting Disney for the holidays will be among the first to view “Epcot Forever,” a new nighttime spectacular which will be held above the World Showcase Lagoon. Epcot Forever is a temporary production that will replace IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and will run into the next year. The new show will feature lights, fountains, lasers, and of course, fireworks, as well as light-up special effect kites and music from several of Epcot’s attractions. If you find yourself in Epcot this season, make sure to check out this incredible new show!
11 – Disney Floral and Gifts In-Room Surprises
If you’re looking to make a Disney World resort stay extra special this holiday season, then Disney Floral & Gifts has got you covered. Imagine returning to your resort room to find holiday surprises from Mickey and Minnie! Guests can order an actual 30″ Christmas tree arranged with classic Disney ornaments for their room, or create their own “Santa Sack,” filling it with balloons, sweets, and toys, and personalizing it with the recipient’s name. Guests can also get a life-sized Jack Skellington balloon delivered if traditional presents just aren’t enough! Whatever you have in mind, these in-room surprises will put the perfect magical touch on any Disney holiday vacation.
10 – The Ultimate Christmas Package
New this year for guests looking to book a holiday Disney World vacation is the Ultimate Christmas Package. The package includes a 5-night stay at a select Disney resort hotel (with an arrival date of December 21, and a departure date of December 26). Also included are 4-day Park Hopper tickets for each member of the party, opportunities to attend exclusive events, and an itinerary that’s filled with magical holiday fun that can only be found at the Walt Disney World Resort.
9 – Festivities at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is always a great place to visit during the holiday season. Not only can you complete your holiday shopping here, but guests can also eat at restaurants serving seasonal dishes, enjoy live entertainment in the form of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers, and living statues, and stroll the Christmas Tree Trail. The Christmas Tree Trail is a returning favorite, where custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme, are presented for guests to enjoy. Another returning favorite is Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt, where guests can participate in a scavenger hunt involving Experiment 626. Holiday festivities at Disney Springs will run from November 8 through January 5, 2020.
8 – Festival of the Holidays at Epcot
Holiday traditions will be in full swing at Epcot during this year’s Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, which runs from November 29 through December 30. Among the many decorations, entertainment, and merchandise found throughout Epcot, guests will be able to partake in twelve special Holiday Kitchens. These kitchens will be found throughout the World Showcase and will serve holiday treats inspired by traditional recipes from around the world.
When you’re done eating around the world, make sure to check out Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt; by purchasing a map and stickers from select stores around Epcot, guests can look for the chipmunks and their ornaments hiding all over World Showcase. And of course, what holiday would be complete without meeting the big guy himself? Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at Epcot’s American Adventure pavilion.
7 – Holiday Entertainment at Hollywood Studios
The holidays are always pretty amazing at Hollywood Studios, and this year will be no different. Park guests will be treated to Sunset Seasons Greetings, a projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Laser effects and a “snowfall,” combined with festive music, will turn Sunset Boulevard into a true winter wonderland. “Jingle Bell, jingle BAM!” will return as a true nighttime spectacular, with fireworks, special effects, and holiday projections displayed across the Chinese Theatre. Guests will even be able to make reservations for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. To round out the Hollywood Studios festivities, holiday touches will be found throughout the park, including seasonal entertainment in Toy Story Land. A special tag ending will be added to First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, which will include a sneak peek of Frozen 2, as well as a special holiday finale from Olaf.
6 – Epcot Cookie Stroll
Cookies are usually the first treat that comes to mind when I think of the holidays, and Epcot definitely won’t disappoint with this year’s Cookie Stroll! Taking place during the Festival of the Holidays. Guests will be able to take on the challenge of eating all the cookies featured during this year’s stroll. Epcot Bakery Pastry Chef, Noah French, shared the lineup: Chocolate Crinkles, Peppermint Pinwheels, Raspberry Linzer, Black and White cookies (with a new plant-based recipe) and a Santa Mickey redemption cookie. All of these treats will be baked fresh daily by the Epcot Bakery Team, and walking around World Showcase will surely feel more festive while munching on holiday cookies!
5 – Holiday Tree of Life Awakenings
The Tree of Life will awaken at Animal Kingdom during the evenings this holiday season with new winter-themed stories. The awakenings will be accompanied by a familiar holiday musical score, and between shows, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, transforming with the spirit of the holidays. The Tree of Life will be the heart and soul of Animal Kingdom this season, and Discovery Island is sure to be the most festive land of all, especially as the sun sets.
4 – Candlelight Processional
The Candlelight Processional is probably Epcot’s most iconic holiday offering. Every year, a celebrity narrator leads in the retelling of the Christmas story backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances run three times nightly during Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays, and narrators announced for 2019 include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman, Edward James Olmos, and Lisa Ling (who was announced on July 25). More narrators will be announced as the event gets closer, and guests can reserve dining packages that guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional.
3 – Holiday Attraction Overlays During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Perhaps the most exciting announcement made this year was the news of holiday overlays on select attractions during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The Christmas party, held at the Magic Kingdom, takes place on select nights starting November 8 through December 22. The Jungle Cruise will once again transform into the “Jingle Cruise,” with Skippers telling festive-themed jokes and puns. The Tomorrowland Speedway will allow drivers to speed through a “festive freeway” filled with holiday décor and lights.
Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor will also get the Christmas treatment this year- monsters will deliver all-new jokes while discovering the true meaning of the holiday season. Space Mountain will be transformed for the holidays, blasting guests into space with festive music and new lighting. Finally, in Fantasyland, the Mad Tea Party will become a Christmas Tea Party, as the teacups spin in time to four combinations of holiday lighting and music.
2 – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will offer spectacular entertainment this year in the form of Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. This all-new nighttime show will be hosted by (of course) Minnie Mouse and will invite guests to celebrate the magic of Christmas. The show replaces Holiday Wishes and can be viewed throughout the Magic Kingdom park during party nights (and every night starting from December 23-December 29).
Guests will have the option to book Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties for an additional fee. Other festive entertainment offerings taking place during the party are A Frozen Holiday Wish (where Queen Elsa decorates Cinderella’s Castle with glittering ice), Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show.
1 – Holiday Décor at Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be going all out for this year’s holidays- every land will offer festive décor and entertainment, both for daytime and nighttime guests. In Discovery Island, guests will have the chance to interact with life-sized animal puppets, and in the evening, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns will give Discovery Island a lovely, festive glow. DinoLand, U.S.A. guests will get into the spirit by attending the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n’ Dale,” and characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will don colorful costumes.
In Asia, the land will celebrate Diwali, as the villagers have become inspired by the Holiday Festival of Lights in India. Anandapur will come aglow with lanterns, flowers, and colorful cultural performances. In the village of Harambe in Africa, guests will be welcomed with a holiday presentation which mixes Western traditions with African celebrations; each celebration will showcase colorful costumes and new music. Finally, in Pandora- The World of Avatar, guests will see how ex-pats living on the moon of Pandora celebrate holiday traditions from Earth. At Pongu Pongu, there will be a display of kitschy vintage holiday décor, with items made from materials native to Pandora.
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