The Holiday Season At Walt Disney World Is Returning

Lamp Post with Christmas Decorations - Magic Kingdom

It is officially Halfway to the Holidays, and Disney has just announced that the holiday season at Walt Disney World is returning in its full glory this year! Disney promises that this merry season will be the most magical yet, as the traditional holiday festivities will be experienced simultaneously with the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Each of the four theme parks, as well as Disney Springs and all of the Disney Resorts, will have amazing seasonal decor, festive foods and drinks, and special entertainment for the holiday season. Here is what you can expect in each of the Walt Disney World locations.

Magic Kingdom

Holiday Decorations

Magic Kingdom Park will be returning with some of the most whimsical holiday decorations along Main Street, U.S.A. As guests look down Main Street at night, they will be greeted with holiday tidings from Cinderella’s Castle. The holiday projections will be leaving guests in awe again this year, after premiering last holiday season. This does mean that the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights will not be returning again this year. However, the castle will additionally be transforming into a Beacon of Magic on select nights, bringing even more holiday and celebratory spirit.

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

In lieu of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year, a new ticketed event will be premiering. Beginning on November 8th and ending on December 21st, the event, which is being called “Disney Very Merriest After Hours“, will be available on select nights, so guests will want to book tickets as soon as they are able next month. No official ticket sale date has been released yet, but Disney does state that guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be able to purchase these exclusive tickets in advance.

Guests who are able to purchase tickets to Disney Very Merriest After Hours will enjoy four hours of after hours fun. In addition to the holiday decor and music, guests will get to spend extra time with Disney characters in the parks, enjoy some festive holiday treats, experience over 20 attractions without the crowds, and witness “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.”

Hollywood Studios

Sunset Seasons Greetings – Sunset Boulevard

Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel
Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel Projection Lights

Disney will be bringing back Sunset Seasons Greetings, and lighting up the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel with a variety of projections. Some of these effects will include themes of Arendelle, Muppets, Toy Story, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. As guests walk along Sunset Boulevard they will enjoy traditional holiday decorations to get them in the spirit. Guests will also be able to enjoy a Beacon of Magic on the Tower on select nights.

Hollywood Boulevard

Holiday entertainment will surround guests along Hollywood Boulevard. Santa Claus will ride in his motorcade and Olaf will make an appearance in “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration”.

Festive dining experiences will also be available in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Hollywood & Vine, Minnie and her friends will be donning their holiday apparel, including a special appearance by Santa Goofy for one of the best character dining experiences of the year.

Animal Kingdom

The Disney character flotillas that guests came to know and love last holiday season will be returning again this year. In addition, rustic, seasonal decor will be reappearing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park as well to bring the holiday spirit.

animal kingdom christmas tree of life
Christmas Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

The Tree of Life will continue to come alive during the nights, becoming a Beacon of Magic for the vast majority of nights for the 50th celebration, as well as holiday Tree of Life Awakenings.


Epcot is the perfect place to experience holiday celebrations from all over the world in one beautiful place. From November 26th to December 30th, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will be bringing Holiday Kitchens to guests. Here guests can sample traditional holiday food and drink from around the globe and finish it off with the classic Cookie Stroll.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will be having a celebration of its own this holiday season. Guests can indulge in treats and shopping while admiring the holiday lights, decor, and wonder. Guests will be thrilled to participate once again in the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll. Various Disney themed trees will be placed all over Disney Springs for guests to find, with new ones decorated for the Most Magical Celebration. If that doesn’t bring the holiday spirit, this certainly will. In the Town Center guests will be able to enjoy a majestic snowfall while they shop.

Dining in Disney Springs will take on a festive twist as well, with various desserts and beverages. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar will redecorate to transform itself into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar, featuring a limited-time holiday menu. After a delicious meal and holiday themed treat, guests can enjoy shopping for all the best Disney presents to gift to loved ones, and themselves.

Disney Resort Hotels

All of the Disney Resort hotels will receive festive holiday makeovers for the season. Gingerbread displays will also be back to wow guests! Restaurants in select resorts will also be offering special holiday menus as well, with holiday food and drink offerings that guests will not be able to find elsewhere.

Happy Holidays

This Halfway to the Holidays announcement comes after Disney released their Fall and Halloween festivities, and we could not be happier! The holiday season at Walt Disney World will be returning with some classic festivities, as well as some new ones to impress guests. As always, holidays at Walt Disney World and the Disney Resorts are a spectacular and magical occasion, and something that everyone should experience at least once.

What are you looking forward to most for the winter season? Which Disney theme park is your favorite to be in during the holidays? Have you booked your Disney vacation yet for this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

For the newest news and details on the upcoming holiday festivities, be sure to keep checking in with the DVC Shop blog!

Written by

Rachel Van Norman

Contributing Writer

Rachel fell deeply in love with all things Disney as a little girl. Now as a wife and a mother herself, she shares this Disney obsession with her son and everyone around her. From her love of princesses to eating all the Disney food, Rachel spends her time radiating Disney magic and keeping everyone up to date on Disney news.

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