Your Complete Guide to Christmas at the Walt Disney World Resort (2021)

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 2021, the festivities start on November 12th and extend through the new year.  

From theme parks to hotels, this complete guide will show you what’s offered during the 2021 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: 

  • Disney Very Merriest After Hours: This 4-hour premium event is held on select nights starting at 9:00 PM.  Tickets for guests ages 10 and up  start at $189.00 while children ages 3 to 9 start at $169.00.  Click here to purchase tickets for Disney Very Merriest After hours.
  • Projection show on Cinderella’s Castle: This amazing holiday themed show is projected on the castle about every 15 minutes during evening hours.
  • 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 26th and extends through the New Year.  There will be live musical productions, holiday entertainment (cavalcades and Disney characters) and holiday themed food throughout Epcot’s World Showcase.

Back for 2021 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 2021 include:

  • Chita Rivera: November 29th through December 1st
  • Jodi Benson: December 2nd through December 4th
  • Alton Fitzgerald White: December 5th through December 7th
  • Lisa Ling: December 11th through December 13th
  • Andy Garcia: December 14th through December 16th
  • Asa Gasteyer: December 17th through December 19th
  • Courtney B. Vance: December 20th through December 22nd
  • Stephen Curtis Chapman: December 23rd through December 25th
  • Blair Underwood: December 26th through December 28th
  • Pat Sajak: December 29th through December 30th

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional is approximately 45 minutes in length and there are typically three shows per night which are held at 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:15 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 the prices for each are as follows:

  • Biergarten Restaurant: Located in the Germany Pavilion, guests ages 10 and up cost $62.00 per person and children ages 3 to 9 cost $35.00 per person.
  • Coral Reef Restaurant: Located in The Living Seas Pavilion, guests ages 10 and up cost $74.00 per person and children ages 3 to 9 cost $25.00 per person.
  • Garden Grill Restaurant: Located in The Land Pavilion, guests ages 10 and up cost $71.00 per person and children ages 3 to 9 cost $46.00 per person.
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room: Located in the United Kingdom Pavilion, guests ages 10 and up cost $63.00 per person and children ages 3 to 9 cost $25.00 per person.

Guests with the dining package will receive Candlelight Seating badges at the restaurant after their meal and will enter through the America Gardens Theatre via a separate queue.  Seating is guaranteed but on a first-come, first serve basis.

Click here to make reservations for the Candlelight Processional Dining Package.

Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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

  • Sunset Seasons Greetings:  A holiday themed projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel that runs throughout the night.
  • Santa Claus Motorcade:  Catch Santa as he travels up Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine:  This popular seasonal dining experience is offered for lunch and dinner runs from November 4, 2021 to January 3, 2022.  Advance reserved are highly recommended.
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration with your friend, Olaf the snowman.

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.
  • Santa Claus Festive Flotilla: Watch Santa Claus sailing down the Discovery River
  • Donald’s Dino Bash Festive Flotilla: See Donald and his friends take a holiday boat ride along the Discovery River.
  • Chip & Dale’s Festive Flotilla: Dance along with Chip & Dale as they meander through the jungle with holiday music.
  • Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla:  Watch the percussionists as they cruise down the Discovery River.

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

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:

  • Mission: Save Christmas Featuring Elf
  • Snow Flow Mountain (tube slides)
  • Snowball Build and Blast
  • Cirque: Spirit of Christmas
  • The Greatest Story Stage Show
  • Shine Light Show

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

Click here for rates and availability at the Gaylord Palms Resort

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