NEWS: Disney Announces 2021 Holiday Season Offerings at Disney World

It’s crazy to think that we are #HalfwaytotheHolidays! Disney is celebrating by releasing details on the 2021 Walt Disney World holiday celebrations. Catch all the details below.


Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Sarah Domenech:

The holidays are my favorite time of year, and I’m so happy to be celebrating Halfway to the Holidays today! Because today it’s official – the merry season will begin Nov. 12 at Walt Disney World Resort during “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” marking the resort’s 50th anniversary.

Festive entertainment, whimsical décor, seasonal food and drinks, and holiday-themed merchandise will all be a part of this very special season at our theme parks, Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the magical experiences you can expect this season at Walt Disney World Resort:

Credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom Park

Holidays are sure to be enchanting at Magic Kingdom Park, where quintessential decorations will return to Main Street, U.S.A. When the sun sets, special holiday projections will appear most nights on Cinderella Castle, alternating periodically with the castle’s transformation into a Beacon of Magic.* What a great way to celebrate the holidays and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort!

Now, talk about an early holiday gift… Disney Very Merriest After Hours, a new special-ticketed event, will debut Nov. 8 before all the rest of the festive fun. It will be available on select nights through Dec. 21. The four hours of festivities will delight guests with “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” Disney characters throughout the park, holiday music and décor, treats included and so much more! As with other Disney After Hours events, a limited number of tickets will be sold for this event. It’s held after regular park operating hours, with lower wait times and access to more than 20 select attractions.

Tickets will go on sale next month, with an early purchase window available to guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Sunset Seasons Greetings returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard will twinkle once again with projection effects, magically transforming into a snowy corner of Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” This holiday show will also alternate with the tower’s nightly transformation into a Beacon of Magic.

Santa Claus will bring some North Pole cheer to a motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard. You will also be able to enjoy “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” with its festive finale featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. Minnie Mouse is also returning to host her festive meal at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Minnie and her friends will be donning their holiday best – even Santa Goofy will be there! And throughout the season, vintage-themed holiday décor will shine bright across the park.


Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

It will be a wild holiday time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with the return of seasonal décor and festive Disney character flotillas sailing down Discovery River to the sounds of joyful songs of the season. The park’s centerpiece – The Tree of Life – becomes another Beacon of Magic most nights during the 50th anniversary celebration. During the holiday season there’s even more magic inspired by nature as the holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings also takes place most nights.

Credit: Disney

Disney Springs

You can happily discover whatever you’re after this holiday season at Disney Springs. The shopping, dining and entertainment destination will transform into a winter wonderland, full of sparkling lights, enchanting décor and holiday surprises. This year sees the return of the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, with elaborately decorated, Disney-themed trees – some new and some inspired by “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”

A magical snowfall will add a touch of wonder for holiday shoppers in Town Center.

Here, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, including yourself. Discover holiday ornaments, matching family pajamas, festive Spirit Jerseys, and more – be sure to check your list twice so you don’t forget any holiday must-haves! There will even be themed food and beverages; one of my favorite spots, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, will once again transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar, with delightful décor and a delicious limited-time menu filled with festive favorites.

Disney Resort Hotels

Our Disney Resort hotels will be decked for the holidays, with iconic trees and other seasonal touches. And a guest favorite will return this year, as select gingerbread displays will once again be part of our holiday season! Also at select resorts, you will find restaurants offering holiday menus and specialty food and drink.

Credit: Disney


Where can you enjoy traditions from around the world, with inspiring music, tasty treats and family-friendly experiences? If you guessed EPCOT … … you are correct! The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will return this year, from Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, with Holiday Kitchens around the park, performances by Voices of Liberty, the guest favorite Cookie Stroll and more!

We’ll have so much more Walt Disney World Resort holiday fun to share with you in the months to come. In the meantime, be sure to be on Santa’s nice list and keep checking for all of our holiday news!

RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Reasons Winter is the Perfect Time to Visit Disney World

by D.W. Noonan

Most travelers to Walt Disney World favor specific times of the year to visit. Some prefer waiting until school lets out to enjoy Florida’s summertime fun; others can’t wait for Epcot’s spring and autumn festivals. Though these seasons certainly offer many wonders to enjoy, the following nine reasons reveal why the winter season, from mid-November to the end of January, is the perfect time to visit Disney World.


9 – Fewer Crowds

Except during school breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, the vacation population of Walt Disney World drops significantly in winter, creating several benefits for those looking to flock to their favorite destination. To begin with, crowds tend to be more mature, since most families with children hesitate to pull their kids out of school for extended periods, and retired “snowbirds” fly south to Florida to avoid frigid weather. This doesn’t mean that you won’t meet families with children at Walt Disney World in the winter, just fewer than normal. Locals still visit theme parks at this time, especially during weekends, and many South American families fly up for a bit of Mickey-time during their summer break. Nevertheless, imagine standing on Main Street, U.S.A. or in the middle of Central Plaza and watching Happily Ever After without having to keep your arms at your side to avoid elbowing strangers.

8 – Shorter Lines (Most of the Time)

While children are in school, the lines at attractions are shorter than you’ll find in the summer. Then again, they grow very long during the winter holiday break. Planning your trip for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas or a week or so after New Year’s Day will result in shorter wait times at most attractions and shows. With reduced waiting, you’ll experience more rides each day, get better seats at shows, and avoid long delays at counter-service restaurants, all of which are great reasons to visit in the winter.

A short wait at Twilight Tower of Terror
A short wait at Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

7 – FastPass+ Selections

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily suspended.

Even though lines are smaller than usual during most weeks in the winter, they aren’t necessarily fast enough to zip through at popular attractions. You should still make your FastPass+ selections as soon as possible. However, with fewer resort guests staying on the Walt Disney World property during slow winter weeks, you’ll have better opportunities to choose passes for attractions that would normally run out. Also, making additional FastPass+ reservations after using your first three becomes a breeze, because you’ll face less competition in grabbing the remaining time slots.

6 – Restaurant Reservations

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants have reopened. Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app for up-to-date hours.

Reservation hunting at Walt Disney World in peak season frustrates even the most patient restaurant guests. Trying to book tables at establishments like Le Cellier Steakhouse or ‘Ohana during these busy periods proves to be an impossible task, and those you manage to snag are usually inconvenient. Reserving tables during the winter lull offers visitors better time selections and more opportunities to dine at eateries normally out of reach for most guests during crowded weeks.


5 – Mild Temperatures

The scorching heat of Florida spikes into the high 90s in the summer and temperatures hover in the mid-80s during spring and autumn. Add sweltering humidity to the mix, and the heat almost smothers you. On the other hand, you’ll enjoy temperatures in the 70s as you stroll through your favorite theme park in the winter. Be certain to bring a jacket for evening activities, however, because nights can dip into the 40s and 50s. Those who love swimming at Disney Resorts shouldn’t worry about these low temperatures since the pools maintain a comfortable 82 degrees.

4 – Dry Weather

Florida’s dry season begins in late November and extends until May, making winter an ideal time to visit. The rest of the year features the national hurricane season and Florida’s normal wet season. From June to October, 70% of the state’s annual rainfall falls in a seemingly unpredictable fashion, keeping you dry for hours and then drenching you in a span of minutes. Also, Floridian storms often produce an incredible amount of lightning, which easily disrupts theme park operations. Winter travelers to Walt Disney World won’t have to worry about Expedition Everest being closed due to dangerous weather conditions.

3 – Lower Travel Prices

Because winter isn’t the tourist season for Central Florida, Disney Resorts and other hotels in the area lower their room rates, making them more affordable for Mickey fans on a tight budget. Additionally, many airlines discount tickets during this time due to low traffic to the region. Of course, you’ll have to avoid the holiday weeks to get these rates, since the demand for travel arrangements increases at this time. Nevertheless, purchasing a world-class vacation at bargain prices may be worth the trip when tourism lags, even if the timing is problematic.

Castle with Lights

2 – Christmas Décor

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, the holiday offerings in 2020 were modified with some cancellations. Nothing has been announced for the 2021 holiday season. 

Christmas serves as one of the most beloved holidays of the year, and Walt Disney World remains the most popular vacation destination. During the winter holidays, Disney cast members decorate the parks and resorts with garland, Christmas lights, bows, trees, and more; small “snow flurries” even appear, though they consist of soapflakes rather than snowflakes. Even Jungle Cruise undergoes a makeover, becoming “Jingle Cruise” to exhibit its holiday spirit. Intertwining Christmas and Disney magic provides the perfect occasion for feeling both holiday and vacation delight, which is why this two-week, holiday break is one of the busiest times of the year. Nevertheless, if you want to avoid the crowds of Christmas but desire to feel its spirit, then schedule your trip two weeks before Thanksgiving or the first two weeks of December. Disney cast members will have already decked the halls with boughs of holly, but most of the holiday visitors will not have arrived yet.

1 – Holiday Events

Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, in 2020 both the Christmas Party and the Candlelight Processional were canceled. No annoucement has been made for the 2021 holiday season. 

The Imagineers and event planners at Walt Disney World have cooked up some pretty remarkable activities for the winter season, beginning with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which runs from early November to a few days before Christmas. This party includes all of Mickey’s friends, dressed in their best Christmas attire to perform for all attendees. The party also features “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” a special show with Elsa and Anna. As you make your way to Epcot, be sure to check out the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, a presentation of Christmas décor and traditions from the nations represented at the World Showcase. Your visit to Epcot can be capped off with the Candlelight Processional, a mass choir and orchestral show at America Gardens Theatre that’s hosted by a well-known celebrity. Overall, these activities will enhance your holiday celebrations, providing you with a winter vacation that you’ll never forget.

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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