Holidays at the Disney Parks and Beyond!

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. Welcome aboard!

Disneyland Resort

At Disney California Adventure Park

  • The nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – Season of Light” celebrates the warm and heartfelt spirit of the holidays as it illuminates Paradise Bay with a sparkling winter fantasy combining classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films.
  • Festival of Holidays” brings the spirit of the season to life through delicious food and special entertainment, including the popular “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” A new twist to this celebration presents the popular Festive Foods Marketplace with a mix of holiday comfort dishes that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions.
  • 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.
  • For the residents of Cars Land, holiday decorating begins with the 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 – also gets a holiday makeover that reflects the personality of its “Cars” character resident.
  • “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.

At Disneyland Park

  • Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle returns 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.

The Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, holiday displays, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus.

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Holidays at Disneyland – Visiting Tips For Busy Days

“Disneyland during the holidays is simply so magical! Sleeping Beauty Castle is dusted with the magic of snow! Parades and shows have a holiday theme. Several rides and attractions have holiday overlays. There are stunning themed winter decorations in both Parks. There are even special winter treats, like peppermint bark and limited hand-crafted candy canes. Naturally all this extra pixie dust also brings in extra crowds! And for many families, the holiday season is the only time they are able to visit the Disneyland Resort. So what do you do on busy holidays at Disneyland? Here are tons of tested tips for visiting Disneyland during the holidays!” – Julie

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Walt Disney World

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • NEW! Sunset Seasons Greetings – This new holiday experience features spectacular projections of Mickey, Minnie and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with stunning holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house and a frozen winter wonderland! A frosty summer-loving snowman might even make an appearance to share his holiday wish! This fantastic and heartwarming experience runs continuously throughout the night.
  • NEW! Enhanced holiday décor around Echo Lake – Extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water will make Echo Lake the merriest of places this holiday season. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Returns – The hit holiday show returns Nov. 9 sending beloved Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Dessert Party – Guests can wrap up their jolly holiday evenings with reserved viewing of the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular. The nightly party includes holiday-inspired snacks, delicious desserts, wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A surprise Disney character will also join the fun, posing for pictures and signing autographs. This fun-filled special event is offered Nov. 9-Dec. 30, 2017. Book online at DisneyWorld.com/dining or call (407) WDW-DINE. 
  • A new friend joins the cast of ‘For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’ – Holiday fun continues at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff welcome Olaf to this popular sing-along celebration. Just for the holidays, the show will include, all-new songs from Disney’s new animated short “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.” 
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine – Meet Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy for lunch and dinner celebrations centered on seasonal deliciousness. From Nov. 6-Jan. 7, the mouse-with-the-mostest will deck the halls for a banquet filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season! To make a reservation, check availability and book online at DisneyWorld.com/dining or call (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Santa Claus returns to the Once Upon a Time shop Nov. 9-Dec. 24 – The beautiful and vintage setting of the Once Upon a Time shop recalls bygone days of Santa’s visits to great department stores across the country. Santa will be at the shop daily to greet guests and listen to holiday wishes. Santa Goofy will step in Dec. 25-Dec. 31 after Old Saint Nick returns to the North Pole.
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Best Ways to Celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World

“Every year at Christmastime, the magic of Disney combines with the magic of the season to provide a truly remarkable experience. Guests visiting the parks will experience snow in central Florida, beautiful Christmas lights, spectacular holiday show, and so much more.” – Kimberly

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party features enchanting entertainment, including:

  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration: Mickey and his pals invite some of their friends over for an unforgettable Christmas party filled with music, dancing, color and fun on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage! The celebration features medleys of delightful holiday songs both classic and contemporary, along with special effects, magical projections and beloved Disney characters including Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Fantasyland friends such as Peter Pan and Snow White.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish: Arendelle royalty and their lovable snowman visit Magic Kingdom Park to help everyone feel the wintry chill in the air and love in their hearts. “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” presented on the Castle Forecourt Stage, features Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff. As a gift to the kingdom, Elsa lets it go and uses her icy powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a sparkling palace of ice. This glowing spectacle will be broadcast live on November 9 on the Disney Parks Blog, for all those who wish to be among the first to see Queen Elsa’s magic kicking off the holiday season at Magic Kingdom park.
  • Holiday Wishes Fireworks– Celebrate the Spirit of the Season: This holiday nighttime spectacular lights up the skies above Cinderella Castle with breathtaking fireworks and beloved music.
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride down Main Street, U.S.A. in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” Santa Claus, gingerbread men, elves, reindeer and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey and his pals for the happiest holiday parade.
  • Club Tinsel, located inside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland, becomes the coolest place to get down with a DJ and some North Pole pals in the cheeriest dance party this side of Santa’s Workshop!
  • “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” – Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and Stitch join host Haley Comet for an intergalactic musical revue on the Rockettower Plaza Stage. The show is full of modern twists on classic holiday songs and the coolest dance numbers in town!
  • Santa Claus is coming to town! – When he’s not appearing in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” Santa drops in on the Town Square Courtyard near City Hall over on Main Street, U.S.A, where Guests can whisper their fondest wishes to him.

The special party – complete with cookies, cocoa and snow flurries – begins at 7 p.m., after regular park hours.

Dates for this year:
November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 and 28
December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22

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5 Tips for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

“Fitting in everything that the party offers in the few hours it runs can be a massive and often overwhelming and deciding how to prioritize your time depends greatly on your expectations and travel party. Here are 5 tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that you need to know to insure your family feels the holiday magic.” – Lin

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Epcot

Holidays Around the World is transforming into the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays from Nov. 19-Dec. 30, surrounding guests once again in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season.

  • NEW! Holiday Kitchens – The number of holiday kitchens doubles in size this year to a total of 15, each bringing the flavors of the season to life. New this year, guests can indulge in cookies and desserts at the Cookie Nook located inside the Odyssey complex. Sweet treats include snowflake sugar cookies and a warm apple fritter with cinnamon ice cream and caramel sauce. Over at the Canada pavilion, dazzling delicacies like the Maple Buche de Noel (maple mousse rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake with cranberry sauce and pecan crumble) celebrate holiday traditions from the Great White North.
  • NEW! Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree – Chip and Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree. Guests can purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise locations and travel around World Showcase looking for the famous chipmunks with their ornaments. Guests can return their completed maps for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip and Dale. Maps are available for $5.99 plus tax.
  • NEW! Candlelight Processional Narrators – One of the most popular Epcot traditions returns with new celebrity narrators in 2017. Disney legend Kurt Russell is among the newcomers along with Pat Sajak, Matt Bomer and CCH Pounder who join the lineup of returning favorites like Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg and Jaci Velasquez. The Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the Christmas story as told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. The show takes place at the America Gardens Theatre each evening at 5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Nov. 24-Dec. 30. Candlelight dinner packages can be reserved by visiting disneyworld.com/holiday.
  • NEW! Holiday Entertainment – Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase, as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music and time-honored traditions. Guests will discover an entertaining celebration of Hanukkah in a new location along World Showcase promenade, where a fun and interactive band interweaves the music of Hanukkah with jazz, Latin, rock and even hip-hop influences. Other returning holiday favorites include JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season and Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.
  • Fireworks Finale – The nightly fireworks display, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, will feature a special holiday ending.
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Celebrating the Holidays at Epcot

“Epcot is still a really magical place to be for the holidays – especially around the World Showcase.  ” – Becky

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Disney Springs

Here’s a sampling of what’s new this holiday season:

  • An Even Bigger Christmas Tree Trail – To capture the spirit of the season, guests can stroll among an even bigger Christmas Tree Trail. Twenty-five custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme, will be on display including 10 new trees inspired by Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.
  • Santa’s Chalet – Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet newly located by the Christmas Tree Trail Nov. 10 through 24.
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt – Stitch returns to Disney Springs with an expanded scavenger hunt now featuring 16 stops, including a special stop at the even-bigger Christmas Tree Trail.
  • Meet & Greet with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear – This huggable eight-foot tall brand ambassador is available for holiday photos on the second floor of The Coca-Cola Store.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: This gravity-defying, jaw-dropping show takes its final bow on Dec. 31. Limited tickets are available at CirqueduSoleil.com/la-nouba. Since its premiere, La Nouba has entertained more than 11 million guests and performed more than 8,600 shows. 

Walt Disney World Resorts

BoardWalk Christmas - Rolling with the Magic

Every resort across Walt Disney World is decked out for the holidays. Entertainment abounds, including carolers performing on select nights at many resorts.

  • At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, guests can take in the grandeur of quintessential Pacific Northwest yuletide cheer beneath the towering lobby Christmas tree, as they cozy up to the fire and relax with a cup of hot cider and snack on holiday treats. They can also relax lakeside and enjoy a seasonal cocktail at Geyser Point Bar & Grill, then settle around the campfire with s’mores and hot chocolate at nightfall.
  • At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue spruces up for the season with live holiday music by the Pioneer Hall Players, including favorites like “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” and “Another Tennessee Christmas.” On select nights, the campground’s beloved carolers arrive by hay wagon spreading holiday cheer to all.

Resort guests can also experience life-sized edible creations at select Walt Disney World Resorts.

  • This year, Disney’s Contemporary Resort will house an 18 feet tall Cinderella Castle replica, crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks, rolled fondant, and modeling chocolate.
  • An annual treat, at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, is a life-sized holiday gingerbread house. This eye-filling (and aromatic) sight is in the resort lobby and is home to The Bake Shop that uses a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria for its tasty cookies and ornaments.
  • A life-sized, edible spinning carousel is a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, while a holiday village with miniature train takes center stage at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
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Holiday Decorations at the Disney Resorts

“Each Disney Resort usually decorates according to the theme of the resort. It’s so much fun to walk the lobbies and look at all the different themed trees. Disney holiday decorations add so much magic to an already magical time of the year.” – Pam

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Disney Cruise Line

Very MerryTime Cruises

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.
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How to Celebrate the Holidays at Disney Parks Around the World

“If you are a Disney Parks fan that also happens to be a big fan of Christmas festivities, you’ll really love Christmas festivities at your favorite Disney destination! We’re taking a look at how Disney celebrates the holidays at their parks and properties around the world.” – Jennifer

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Thank you for hopping aboard The Blogorail!

Now tell us what you think! What’s your favorite part of the Holidays at Disney?


By | 2017-11-02T09:02:28+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Blogorail Loops, Disney News, Top Ten|

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