The merriest time of year begins today with new entertainment experiences, festive treats, special merchandise and more
Wreaths are hung, lights are strung and trees are trimmed with care as holiday celebrations begin at three Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, with Disney Springs, EPCOT and Disney resort hotels joining the festive fun soon. Through Dec. 30, guests will discover enchanting décor, special merchandise, delectable treats and new entertainment experiences all across The Most Magical Place on Earth that celebrate the spirit of the season.
This year, Santa Claus is checking his list twice as he makes his way around Walt Disney World for special appearances:
- At Magic Kingdom Park, he glides down Main Street, U.S.A., in his sleigh, led by prancing reindeer.
- He makes the trek to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to spread the joyous spirit of the season from his very own flotilla as he sails down Discovery River.
- Led by an entourage of elves and riding in his red convertible packed with presents, he brings glitz and glamour to a motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Beginning later this month, he’ll be joined by Mrs. Claus at Disney Springs as the merry couple soaks up their last bit of Florida sunshine before their big night. They’ll cruise Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs in colorfully decorated pontoon boats.
- And starting Nov. 27 at EPCOT, he will take a grand, horse-drawn tour around World Showcase.
Other highlights for the upcoming holiday season at Walt Disney World include:
Magic Kingdom Park
- Several times daily, favorite characters don their holiday best and celebrate the season in a series of special cavalcades, complete with Christmastime floats and music:
- “Mickey’s Holiday Cavalcade” is a holiday celebration with Mickey Mouse and his friends.
- “Goofy’s Scrumptious Cavalcade” features Goofy cooking up some holiday fun from his gingerbread house and bake shop floats, joined by dancing gingerbread men.
- “A Royal Christmas Processional” heralds the arrival of Disney princesses on a crystal castle float.
- Main Street, U.S.A., is the place to catch the Holiday Trolley, delivering festive harmonies from the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet, while toy soldiers march with the Main Street Philharmonic as they bring musical cheer for all to hear.
- Holiday treats include Chip ‘n’ Dale Christmas Churros, a Pistachio Chai Tea Float and An Orange Bird Christmas – an orange-scented white chocolate mousse.
- When night falls at Magic Kingdom, projection effects transform Cinderella Castle with a kaleidoscope of designs, including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation. The iconic castle provides the perfect colorful background for guests seeking a magical holiday portrait.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- “Donald’s Dino Bash” takes its seasonal celebration to the waters of Discovery River, with Donald Duck and pals waving to everyone as they pass.
- Chip ‘n’ Dale jingle through the jungle, bringing their own style of holiday flair to the river on their own flotilla.
- The Discovery Island Drummers cruise along, entertaining guests on the shore with an energetic holiday beat.
- Beginning Dec. 1, the park will feature special holiday-themed food, such as White-Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse and a Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” adds a festive finale featuring Olaf and celebratory songs of the season.
- Minnie Mouse hosts a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, inviting some of her best pals – including Santa Goofy – to join the fun.
- Festive foodie items include Mickey’s Holiday Cookie, Holiday Whoopie Pie and Olaf’s Snow Flurry – a yellow cupcake with vanilla buttercream and snow-flurry sugar.
- After dark, the Hollywood Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard twinkles with projection effects as it becomes the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel. The icon magically transforming into a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”
- The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth invites guests to gaze with wonder at elaborately decorated, Disney-trimmed trees as they explore the shopping, dining and entertainment district.
- Seasonal treats will be available throughout Disney Springs, such as Holiday Mickey Mousse at Amorette’s Patisserie and a Mickey Santa Pinata at The Ganachery.
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar transforms into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with delightful décor and a limited-time menu of festive favorites.
- Outdoor DJs play holiday music during the day to get guests in the spirt of the season.
In the evening, stilt-walking toy soldiers, skating snowflakes and a snowfall add a touch of magic for holiday shoppers.
Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by Advent Health (Beginning Nov. 27, 2020)
- Holiday Kitchens located throughout World Showcase will offer tasty treats of the season, such as Duck Confit and Dumplings at Festival Favorites or the Gingerbread Milkshake from the Holiday Hearth.
- Characters dressed in their holiday best will travel around World Showcase, including Queen Anna and Elsa in the “Frozen Holiday Promenade” and Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy making merry on the “Mickey and Friends Holiday World Tour.”
- Special music will fill the air throughout the park:
- Inside World Showplace at EPCOT, JOYFUL! will take guests on a magical journey of holiday music.
- Also inside World Showplace, an EPCOT pianist will perform holiday music from around the world.
- Voices of Liberty will use their harmonies to share songs of the season at America Gardens Theatre.
- Also at America Gardens Theatre, Mariachi Cobre will bring to life Las Posadas, a celebration of Mexican holiday customs through music and dance.
- At the Canada pavilion, the JAMMitors will grace the Mill Stage with playful percussion full of merriment.
- The Holiday Cookie Stroll will offer a complimentary cookie as reward for completing the confectionary collection – a delicious array of sweet treats from half a dozen locations across the park.
- “Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition” scavenger hunt will invite children of all ages to join a festive adventure around World Showcase, where they will round up holiday traditions the lovable snowman has misplaced.
Disney Resort Hotels
- Disney resort hotels will deck their halls with festive flourishes for the holidays.
- The magic of the season will greet guests as soon as they arrive, with front entrances dressed in their holiday finest.
- Christmas trees will light up every lobby.
- All suite resort rooms will have their own Christmas trees.
- Gingerbread treats will be available at select resorts, along with other sweet treats of the season.
Disney Parks Holiday Merchandise Makes for a Magical Gift from Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort or shopDisney.com
Guests can bring the Disney Parks magic of the season home with them with new holiday-themed merchandise available throughout Walt Disney World Resort, as well as the Downtown Disney District and Buena Vista Street (opening Nov. 19) at Disneyland Resort in California and online at shopDisney.com. From apparel to accessories to homeware and more, these very merry collections feature the latest Minnie Mouse ear headbands, spirit jerseys for adults and children, plush, mini-backpacks by Loungefly, cloth face coverings and more.
Other highlights include:
- The first Disney Parks holiday snow blower
- Matching onesies for the whole family
- Fuzzy clogs by Crocs
- A new holiday collection from BaubleBar