Thinking about going to Disney World for Christmas? Check out all of the fun ways to have a joyful holiday at Disney!
Christmas at Disney World is a magical and enchanted time, full of festive decorations and activities!
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Every day is magical at Disney World, but Christmas at Disney World? That’s a whole new ballgame!
Planning a Disney vacation for the Christmas holidays is one of the best ways to spend time with your family and get into the holiday spirit.
Today I’m sharing all of the information that you need in order to plan an unforgettable trip. We have more tips for visiting Disney World in the winter, but today we’re talking all things Christmas!
From when the decorations are up, what holiday events are available, and how to book reservations ahead of time, we have it all!
Disney Christmas Holidays
Planning a Disney Christmas trip can be a daunting task with so many great options to explore.
In this article, you’ll get an overview of everything that you need to know to make your Disney Christmas trip perfect!
When does Disney decorate for Christmas?
If you’re wondering when Disney World decorates for Christmas, the answer is: sooner than you think!
The decorations at Walt Disney World Resort typically go up just after Halloween at Disney is over, and stay they usually stay up until early January.
This allows for plenty of time for visitors to enjoy them and to get in the holiday spirit!
What to expect during Christmas Time at Walt Disney World
There are so many fun things happening around the holidays at Disney World. Let’s take a look at each specific area.
The Magic Kingdom is adorned with festive decor as the park prepares for the holidays.
Throughout the park your family can enjoy special castle projections, holly jolly seasonal décor, and limited time treats.
Disney characters are decked out in their holiday finest for cavalcades and shows.
Nothing will get your family in the holiday spirit faster than visiting the Magic Kingdom!
The Magic Kingdom also has a special ticketed event this year called Disney Very Merriest After Hours where you can celebrate with character sightings, themed fireworks, tasty treats and more!
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks show will also be on full display in the evening, which you won’t want to miss.
Animal Kingdom’s holiday transformation includes the gorgeous Tree of Life Awakenings– Holiday Edition coming to life to celebrate the season.
Guests will enjoy seeing these characters sail down the Discovery River to a festive holiday soundtrack, including:
- Santa Claus Flotilla
- Donald’s Dino Bash Flotilla
- Chip & Dale’s Festive Flotilla
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
The best place to see the decked out flotillas are on the bridges around the Animal Kingdom Park.
Be sure to also check out the Discovery Island luminaries, which are stunning!
One of the best places to spend Christmas at Disney is at Epcot’s World Showcase, where you can embrace holiday traditions, décor and cuisine from around the world.
The highlight of the season is the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
Family-friendly experiences include seasonal décor, delicious flavors from Holiday Kitchens, inspirational music from the Voices of Liberty, and a tasty Holiday Cookie Stroll.
In fact, we wrote an entire article about what to do at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays, so you won’t miss any of the fun!
Hollywood Studios transforms into a magical place filled with lights and colors to celebrate Christmas holidays.
Guests can enjoy daily shows including For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration with everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf.
Minnie typically also serves a special meal during the holiday season at Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Although 2021 plans haven’t yet been announced, if this festive event occurs this year, you’ll definitely want to book reservations for this delicious dinner.
Make sure you also catch the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade, traveling up Hollywood Blvd. in his red convertible, packed with presents!
The Sunset Seasons Greetings is a captivating projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which your family is sure to love.
Disney Springs & hotels
The holidays are the perfect time to visit the Disney hotels to see their Christmas trees and special decorations. Several locations have limited time snacks to enjoy as well.
Disney Springs has a Christmas tree that’s perfect for holiday photos. It also has the famous Disney snow that kids and adults alike will love.
Not only that, but the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll is a fun way to see themed Christmas trees!
Is Disney World Crowded on Christmas Day?
Yes, Christmas Day is more crowded than you might think at Disney World! Typically, busy parks like the Magic Kingdom reach capacity fairly early in the day on Christmas.
If you’re planning to visit a park on actual Christmas Day, I recommend getting there an hour before they open, to make sure you are admitted.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to ride many rides and you’ll likely have longer lines.
I’d plan on staying most of the day, as you probably won’t be able to get back in if you leave mid-day.
Is it Worth Going to Disney at Christmas?
The week of Christmas Day through New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest times of the year at Disney World. If you don’t like crowds, I would recommend avoiding this week.
However, since the Disney Christmas festivities begin a few weeks before Christmas, you have plenty of time to enjoy the fun prior to Christmas! Mid-November or the first couple of weeks of December will typically be less crowded.
Enjoying Christmas at Disney World
We hope you enjoyed these ways to celebrate your Disney holiday vacation. Now that you know more about what to expect, you can get even more excited about spending Christmas at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
Be sure to check out our favorite Disney family shirts to see the Christmas-themed options!
If you’re planning a Disney Christmas, be sure to take advantage of the Disney payment plan options to make it more affordable.
More Disney Planning Resources:
- Best Disney Advent Calendars
- Best Shoes to Wear to Disney World
- How to Prevent Blisters at Disney World
- 7 Must-Know Tips for Park Hopping at Disney World
- The Best Disney World Park for Adults
- Mother’s Day Gifts for the Disney Lover
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