Family Travel, Orlando Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

The Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

We spent three Christmas breaks at the Walt Disney World Resorts. Disney changes its event and attraction offerings every year for the holidays. No matter when you go, you can always expect world-class decorations and entertainment, as well as no shortage of themed merchandise.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom offers ticketed after-hours parties through the holiday season with themed holiday shows and parades. During our trips In 2017 and 2018 many of these special programs were offered for regular daytime ticket holders between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. (We would have booked reservations to dine at California Grill Contemporary Resort on the party nights if we were there earlier in the holiday season, where you can watch the fireworks from the balcony.)

Magic Kingdom, 2017

Monorail Resorts

In 2018, we spent Christmas Eve at Walt Disney World before flying to New Orleans. Even without park tickets, we found plenty to do around the resorts. The Grand Floridian’s traditional Gingerbread House display is world-famous. We watched a public workshop with the designer and sampled the gingerbread used to build the house.

In 2019, we found an exceptionally long line to enter the park from the Transportation Center. Instead of waiting, we slid out the side exit to Polynesian Resort for drinks at the Tambu Lounge before hopping the monorail to Magic Kingdom.

Epcot & Boardwalk Resorts

I highlighted the Festival of the Holidays in my Festivals at Epcot Blog. During our Epcot days, we stayed at the Dolphin Resort in the Boardwalk Resort Area. This gave us easy access to dine at and tour the holiday decorations at the Yacht, Boardwalk, and Beach Resorts. From the Boardwalk we were able to easily hop on the skyliner to go to Hollywood Studios also.

Disney Springs

Because we were on the road for Christmas for three years, Disney Springs provided the perfect place to buy gifts for each other (bonus was having our 20% off discount as Passholders.) The photo studio shoot was also included with our Memory Maker. In 2019, we spent Christmas Eve at Raglan Road, where they added holiday songs to their traditional collection of Irish tunes and dancing instruction.

The Christmas Tree Trail and Stitch’s Holiday Gift Scavenger Hunt also added to the holiday feel of the very consumer-driven destination.

Animal Kingdom

In 2019, Animal Kingdom started offering holiday-themed programming, featuring traditions from around the world. The winter animal puppets near the entrance and the Diwali lanterns in Asia were highlights.

IClick here for information on 2021 Walt Disney World Holiday Events.)

Animal Kingdom, December 2019

Hollywood Studios

At Hollywood Studios, we found multiple holiday-themed projection shows through the evening, both on the Chinese Theater and on the Tower of Terror. The bonus was a last-minute visit with Santa on Christmas Eve!

Click here for information on 2021 Walt Disney World Holiday Events.

Let me help plan your trip to Walt Disney World, Florida


Choose a Resort

Staying on Walt Disney World property helps you be immersed in the Disney magic for your entire vacation. From affordable campsites and value options to deluxe villas, there are options for every budget.


Get My disney Experience

The key to a fun and well-planned Disney Vacation is getting well acquainted with the My Disney Experience App. Order food, check Access Disney Genie+, see wait times, search for the nearest restroom, book dining reservations, and so much more.


Pick your Parks

Staying on Walt With four theme parks and two water parks, you’ll have no trouble finding something to interest all members of your family.
Magic Kingdom offers the most classic Disney Attractions, as well as reimagined rides and shows. My advice is always to take advantage of the “off the beaten path” experiences too, like those highlighted in this blog.


Dine at Disney

Dining at Disney comes in all forms, from Mickey-shaped snacks to quick service meals to fine dining in Signature Restaurants.

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