It’s time to start celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with Disney Parks, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney. Below is a reference of all the holiday magic you can find in the parks and beyond! Here is a look at all the fun you can find at Walt Disney World.
Queen Elsa from “Frozen” Transforms Cinderella Castle Nightly Beginning Nov. 5: New this year, Queen Elsa from “Frozen” will use her incredible powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic “Castle Dream Lights” celebration and “A Frozen Holiday Wish” stage show.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: On select nights from Nov. 7 – Dec. 19, 2014, guests with tickets to this special event, after park hours, can enjoy for the first time Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” joining the festive procession, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” along with a flurry of skiers and ice cutters from the Kingdom of Arendelle. From Dec. 20-31, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” is presented to day guests in the park in place of Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Jungle Cruise Goes ‘Jingle Cruise’: For the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a slew of seasonal jokes from the Skippers. This seasonal takeover of the attraction debuts Nov. 7 in Adventureland.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
An all-new nighttime spectacular, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!,” premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Nov. 14, sending beloved Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve.
The façade of the Chinese Theater comes alive with the merriment, music and sparkle of the Walt Disney World Resort 2016 holiday season. On, above and around the theater are state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and even snow. Adding to the immersive experience is a new musical score featuring familiar holiday tunes with an original twist. It’s a holiday show that couldn’t be more merry and bright.
It’s also a cranberry-red situation for elves Wayne and Lanny from ABC/Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated special “Prep & Landing,” as the duo leads a top-notch team on a search-and-rescue mission for Santa.
Snowy fun and holiday cheer set to the twinkling tunes of the season bring together holiday moments from Disney films including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pluto’s Christmas Tree,” “Bambi,” – even a journey into Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” – all building to a festive finale that’s “So tinsel!”
A special message from Santa Claus will cap off this unforgettable spectacular for the whole family.
“Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will run from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31, adding a sparkling finale to any holiday visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Dessert Parties Make the Holidays Even Sweeter
More holiday cheer is in store for guests who book a new dessert party that will be offered nightly during the show’s run. The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Party features holiday inspired snacks, decadent desserts and specialty beverages in the courtyard of the Chinese Theater.
Beginning one hour before each performance of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, the party is $69 for adults, and $39 for children, including all taxes and gratuities.
More Holiday Cheer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
During the holiday season, “Tinsel Town” takes on a completely different kind of meaning at this theme park that celebrates the magic of movies and television. A giant Christmas tree towers over the main entrance, holiday displays capture the imagination, and colorful garlands and lights sparkle.
In the spirit of bygone days and Old St. Nick visits to great department stores across the country, guests can share their wish list with him at the Once Upon a Time shop, a vintage setting along Sunset Boulevard.
To learn more about holidays at Walt Disney World Resort or to book a vacation, guests can visit Disneyworld.com/holidays, contact their travel agent, or call (407) 934-7639.
Holidays Around the World
A few new faces and voices join an exciting lineup of celebrities lending their dramatic talents to this year’s production, including:
Steven Curtis Chapman – November 25 to 27, 2016
Neil Patrick Harris – November 28 to December 1, 2016
Whoopi Goldberg – December 2 to 3, 2016
Edward James Olmos – December 4 to 6, 2016
Robby Benson – December 10 to 12, 2016
Meredith Vieira – December 13 to 15, 2016
Jim Caviezel – December 16 to 18, 2016
Joe Morton – December 19 to 21, 2016
Ming-Na Wen – December 22 to 24, 2016
Jodi Benson – December 25 to 27, 2016
Cal Ripken, Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2016
Disney Springs will celebrate its very first holiday season since it was completed with an entirely revamped lineup of offerings for guests between November 14th, 2016 and January 8th, 2017. Guests will be transported to a magical winter wonderland as they visit Disney Springs during the holiday season. Each neighborhood in Disney Springs has been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland for the seasons greetings, each reflecting the neighborhood’s role in the waterfront town. Disney Springs is the shopping, dining and entertainment venue at Walt Disney World Resort.
This year’s highlights include:
- A nightly tree lighting ceremony at the Once Upon a Toy fountain play area
- Elaborate storefront window displays at select shops
- Santa’s Chalet! Meet and take a keepsake photo with Santa Claus from November 14 through December 24, 2016; and with Santa Goofy from December 25 through December 30, 2016.
- A holiday-themed DJ dance party with games and activities at the Once Upon a Toy fountain play area
- Live entertainment, including toy solider and snowflake stilt walkers, pop carolers, acapella groups and more—6:00 PM to 10:00 PM from November 13 through January 8, 2017
- Special performances celebrating Kwanza on Waterside Stage in the Marketplace on December 26 and December 27, 2016
- Songs and stories in honor of Hanukkah at Waterview Park in The Landing, with evening performances from December 24 through January 1, 2017.
- A decked out trail near the Marketplace bus loop with custom-decorated holiday trees—all centered around a different Disney theme
- Photo ops with oversized toy sculptures throughout Disney Springs
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns on November 10 and runs through January 8. Your old favorites will return along with some new experiences.
- Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle returns for the first time since 2014, with magical nighttime snowfall moments that conclude with “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks and its stirring snowfall finale.
- Guests will be enchanted by the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. It’s 60 feet tall and filled with nearly 1,800 ornaments. This festive backdrop is a popular location for holiday photos.
- Disney characters celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching “tin soldiers” and holiday cheer. Santa, who makes a jolly appearance in the parade, also will be found welcoming guests at his special location in Critter Country.
- Disneyland guests definitely will want to experience the popular seasonal transformations of these park attractions:
- “it’s a small world” becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday with children around the world enjoying the distinctive holiday traditions of their countries.
- Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday, with Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” causing a collision between Christmas and Halloween.
- Jungle Cruise is transformed into Jingle Cruise, as the jungle skippers gather jettisoned holiday gifts and decorations to brighten the rugged landscapes surrounding their riverboats.
Disney California Adventure
- The all-new nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – Season of Light” celebrates the warm and heartfelt spirit of the holidays, with powerful water fountains telling the story. “World of Color – Season of Light” will take guests through a sparkling winter fantasy, combining classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films to create an experience filled with magic.
- The new “Festival of Holidays” celebrates time-honored traditions and heartwarming experiences inspired by holiday festivals around the world. Guests at the “Festival of Holidays” will enjoy delicious internationally inspired food and beverages at 14 themed festival marketplaces, and participate in diverse cultural holiday celebrations, including the popular Disney ¡Viva Navidad! The global sounds of special guest musical groups will ring throughout the festival, and the young and young-at-heart will celebrate with some of their favorite Disney characters.
- Princess Elena, from the Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor,” will make her Disneyland Resort debut as part of the “Festival of Holidays.” She is the first Disney Princess inspired by diverse Latin American cultures. After Holidays at the Disneyland Resort conclude Jan. 8, Princess Elena will remain at Disney California Adventure to continue visiting with guests.
- Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes) returns as the finale of “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” in the “Festival of Holidays.” The special four-day celebration of Three Kings Day will run 5-8, 2016, in Paradise Garden. Treats for this holiday will include traditional Rosca de Reyes bread.
- Santa Claus, with a sleigh full of mischievous elves, appears at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, where guests of all ages will join the festive fun with a series of holiday-themed activities along the trail.
- The residents of Cars Land also decorate for the holidays, beginning with a whimsical “snowcar” that greets guests on the road to Radiator Springs. Each address along Route 66–Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more–features holiday décor that reflects the personality of the “Cars” character who lives there.
- “a bug’s land” transforms for the holidays, too, as Flik and his bug friends deck their land with oversized lights and ornaments.
- A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments.
Disney Cruise Line
This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked out with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship during Very Merrytime Cruises, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.
During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:
- “Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where Disney characters lead holiday carols and the lighting of the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
- “Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball” in the atrium lobby, where Disney cruisers welcome the guests of honor, Santa and Mrs. Claus, with a grand celebration featuring Broadway-style entertainment, favorite Disney characters and classic holiday tunes. This evening of enchantment is made complete when a special pair of royal sisters joins the party and causes a flurry of “frozen” fun as a magical snowfall overtakes the atrium.
- Dickens-inspired carolers carrying the spirit of the holidays throughout the ship while singing holiday classics, sometimes with the help of favorite Disney friends. At the end of the cruise, children will have the opportunity to join the carolers onstage for a special farewell show.
- Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus.
- Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
- “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.
- A special holiday edition of the cheerful farewell celebration on the final night of the cruise, with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.
On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast and visits from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screens – Funnel Vision – located near the family pool.
Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his helpers will have a surprise for all the kids, and guests will delight in a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.
Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.
When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.
For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, special amenities are available for stateroom delivery. Purchased in advance of sailing, these include holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets and even mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper. Plus, during the holiday cruises, the Disney Cruise Line holiday merchandise collection and ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments will be available in the gift shops.
To ring in 2017, voyages during the holiday include a special New Year’s Eve party, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown.
To celebrate the holidays, the Disney Magic sails four- and five- night Bahamian cruises, five-, six- and seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises, and seven-night Western Caribbean cruises departing Nov. 5 to Dec. 23; the Disney Wonder sails four- and seven-night Western Caribbean cruises, and seven-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 10 to Dec. 23; the Disney Dream sails three- and four-night Bahamian cruises departing from Nov. 7 to Dec. 22; and the Disney Fantasy sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises departing from Nov. 19 to Dec. 24.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.
For More Information
- Favorite Holiday Movies & Television Specials
- Best Disney Resort to Spend the Holidays
- Family Adventure | Regional Holiday Events
- Holidays Around the World at Epcot