Your Complete Guide to Christmas at the Walt Disney World Resort

If you love Christmas than the Walt Disney World Resort is one of the top places for you to visit during the holiday season.  From amazing holiday decorations to themed shows and experiences, Disney puts on a spectacular show for the holiday season. The holidays at Walt Disney World will encompass all four theme parks, Disney Springs and a number of the resort hotels.

The Walt Disney World Resort is always one the best places to be during the holidays. For 2023, the festivities start on November 11th and extend through the new year.  

From theme parks to hotels, this complete guide will show you what’s offered during the 2023 Christmas Holiday’s at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Click here for Information about On-Site Disney Resorts & Hotels

Christmas at The Magic Kingdom

There is no place better to visit during the holiday’s than Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.  Christmas decorations area just about everywhere as you walk up Main Street USA.

Highlights of this year’s festivities at the Magic Kingdom include: 

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This 5-hour premium event is held on select nights from November 9th to December 22, 2023.  Tickets for guests ages 10 and up  start at $159.00 while children ages 3 to 9 start at $149.00. 
  • Frozen Holiday Surprise (New for 2023): This amazing holiday themed show is projected on the castle during the evening hours.
  • Jingle Cruise:  Hop on the Jungle Cruise for a holiday themed ride.
  • Holiday themed food and beverages:  Disney is putting out a host of holiday inspired treats that area only offered for a limited time.

At this time Disney has not announced if there will be any special parades or cavalcades for the Christmas holidays.  However based on prior year traditions, we are fairly sure that Mickey and his friends will take part in some type of holiday procession along Main Street USA.

Christmas at EPCOT

Experience Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays which begins on November 24th and extends through December 30th.  There will be live musical productions, holiday entertainment (cavalcades and Disney characters) and holiday themed food throughout Epcot’s World Showcase.

Candlelight Processional

The featured show for the holidays is the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Candlelight Processional. This amazing show features the story of Christmas told by a celebrity narrator which is set to holiday music by a 50-piece orchestra and full choir.  Shows take place three times per night and are one of the most popular features of the holiday season at Walt Disney World.

Celebrity narrators for 2023 include:

  • Ann-Margaret
  • Simu Liu
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Eva Longoria
  • Brendan Fraser
  • Lisa Ling

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional is approximately 45 minutes in length and there are typically three shows per night which are held at 5:15 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:30 PM.  

Disney offers a special Candlelight Processional Dining Package including includes breakfast, lunch or dinner along with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional.  There are four different restaurants offered in this package and guests with the dining package will receive Candlelight Seating badges at the restaurant after their meal.  Seating is guaranteed but on a first-come, first serve basis.

Click here to learn more about Epcot’s Candlelight Processional and the Dining Package.

Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses

Make sure you take a ride on Living with the Land after dusk as the greenhouses light up for the holidays.  Guests will find a number of holiday decorations and lights throughout. 

Additional holiday attractions and entertainment at EPCOT include:

  • Santa Clause meet & greet at the Odyssey Pavilion
  • Holiday Cookie Stroll
  • Storytelling 

Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The holiday festivities continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Highlights of this years events and experiences include:

  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration with your friend, Olaf the snowman.
  • Sunset Seasons Greetings:  A holiday themed projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel that runs throughout the night.
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine:  This popular seasonal dining experience is offered for lunch and dinner service.  Advance reserved are highly recommended.
  • Toy Story Land Characters in Holiday Attire

Guests will also find the new nighttime party Disney Jollywood Nights which runs from November 11th to December 20, 2023.  This separately ticketed event is one that should not be missed.  Click here to learn more.

Guests will find seasonal décor featured throughout Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Christmas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom gets dressed up for the holiday’s like only Disney can do.  Watch the Tree of Live Awakenings – Holiday Edition where the tree comes to life with the holiday spirit.  Highlights of this years events and experiences include:

  • Merry Menagerie:  Located on Discovery island, a winter celebration featuring animal puppets.
  • Meet Disney Pals at Adventurer’s Outpost 

Guests will also find seasonal décor throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Christmas at Disney Springs

From festive decorations to holiday inspired food & drink offerings, make sure you put Disney Springs on your “must visit” list.

  • The Christmas Tree Stroll: Guests will enjoy a holiday themed scavenger hunt as they seek decorated Christmas Trees located throughout the Disney Spring neighborhoods.
  • Let It Snow (snow flurries)
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Holiday Takeover
  • Special Entertainment

Our Favorite Disney Area Hotels for the Holidays

The on-site hotels and resorts at Walt Disney World will be decked out for Christmas with seasonal décor and holiday themed specialty treats.  There will also be an enormous amount of Disney holiday  themed merchandise available in just about every gift shop in the Walt Disney World Resort.

The Grand Floridian Resort (Walt Disney World)

The Grand Floridian Resort is the premier hotel on the Monorail loop of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.  During the holiday season, Disney spares no expense to dress up this resort for Christmas.  

There is a three-story (or more) Christmas tree in the hotel lobby surrounded by a number of amazing decorations as well as a full size gingerbread house.  There are also a number of holiday themed activities and events held throughout the season.

Click here to make reservations at The Grand Floridian Resort.

The Gaylord Palms Resort (off-site resort hotel)

The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center is one of our favorite (if not our favorite) off site hotels in the Orlando theme park area.  Although its right outside the entrance to Walt Disney World, it’s only 10 to 15 minutes to SeaWorld Orlando and about 20 minutes to the Universal Orlando Resort.

In addition to its fantastic rooms and amenities, the resort hosts CHRISTMAS AT THE GAYLORD PALMS which features a number of amazing holiday themed shows and experiences.  Its lineup for 2021 includes:

  • ICE!
  • Snow Flow Mountain (tube slides)
  • Snowball Build and Blast
  • Cirque: Spirit of Christmas
  • The Greatest Story Stage Show
  • #LIT Light Show

Check our our post CHRISTMAS AT THE GAYLORD PALMS to make reservations to the hotel and watch our video below.  

Living in Florida

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Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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