If you are planning on going to Disney World at Christmas this year, you might be wondering what to expect. While the holidays at Disney World is not what it once was due to the pandemic, it doesn’t mean it won’t be wonderful, it will just be something new.
Guide to Going to Disney World at Christmas
We try to visit Disney World each year at Christmastime to experience the holiday magic. This is one of our favorite times to go to the parks because each one offers a unique Christmas experience. Here is what you will find this year at Disney World!
Christmas at Magic Kingdom
If you are worried that a Disney World Christmas won’t be near as magical as years in the past, know that Magic Kingdom will be decorated and you can expect to still see it snow on Main Street USA.
You might stumble upon toy soldiers marching down Main Street USA, or Gingerbread Men dancing or even floats carrying some of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday best.
Unique Disney holiday treats will still be available and you can find unique holiday souvenirs to bring home with you!
This holiday celebration will be held select nights November-December for an extra price.
Christmas at Animal Kingdom
While Animal Kingdom doesn’t do it up like some of the other Disney parks, you can expect to find a few new holiday enhancements.
At Discovery Island, you will find life-size, artisan-sculpted animal puppets—including reindeer, foxes and polar bears.
Your favorite Disney characters will be dressed in their holiday finest and appear in festive flotillas along Discovery River.
Lastly, the Tree of Life will take on a NEW Holiday Theme transformation at night!
Christmas at Hollywood Studios
You will still find plenty of Christmas magic at Hollywood Studios as in year’s past.
One of my favorite spots in Hollywood Studios during Christmas is Toy Story Land. You will find it decorated with giant presents, toys and fanciful ornaments!
Minnie Mouse will host a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, inviting some of her best pals – including Santa Goofy – to join the fun.
This year, there will be merry motorcades at Disney’s Hollywood Studios featuring some of your favorite Disney characters! There are also Disney Characters walking through the park in their own Christmas costumes!
Christmas at EPCOT
EPCOT is often overlooked at Christmastime, but it is one of the best parks to visit! Not only will you find it decorated, there are plenty of fun events and Christmas activities to take part in.
Our favorite thing to experience is EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays where you can experience Christmas traditions from different cultures.
Not only can you experience traditions, you can also try holiday food from different cultures! This Disney World Christmas celebration runs the entire month of December!
EPCOT also features a Holiday Cookie Stroll where you canexplore the park & taste holiday cookies!
Official Holiday Cookie Stroll Locations
- Yukon Holiday Kitchen
SNICKER-Doodle Cookie made with SNICKERS® bar pieces
- L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
Black and White Cookie
- American Holiday Table
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie made with DOVE Dark Chocolate
- Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
- Holiday Hearth Desserts
Speaking of cookies, you should definitely make time to see the gingerbread display inside American Adventure! Each year, it seems to grow in detail!
Not to be missed is the Candlelight Processional!
Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas, recounting the biblical tale of a savior born in Bethlehem. Woven into the production are stirring songs of hope and joy performed by the orchestra and massed choir.
Here is the 2021 Christmas Candlelight Processional celebrity lineup:
- Auli’i Cravalho November 26 through November 28
- Chita Rivera November 29 through December 1
- Jodi Benson December 2 through December 4
- Alton Fitzgerald White December 5 through December 7
- Bart Millard December 8 through December 10
- Lisa Ling December 11 through December 13
- Andy Garcia December 14 through December 16
- Ana Gasteyer December 17 through December 19
- Courtney B. Vance December 20 through December 22
- Steven Curtis Chapman December 23 through December 25
- Blair Underwood December 26 through December 28
- Pat Sajak December 29 through December 30
Christmas at Disney Springs
Elaborately decorated Christmas trees will spring up throughout Disney Springs and you won’t want to miss seeing them decorated.
There will also be a magical snowfall at Town Center, West Side and The Landing.
Want to get a photo with Santa? Here is when you can find him in Disney Springs:
- November 12 to December 14, 2021 –10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- December 15 to December 24, 2021 –10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Finding Santa Claus at Disney World
Santa will be still making an appearance at the Christmas Parade in Magic Kingdom and can also be spotted at some of the other Disney parks in impromptu motorcades.
While you won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year, Santa Claus will have photo opts located at each of the Disney parks.
What makes this year special is that it is the first time you will be able to find a Santa of color at Disney World. Disney is working on inclusion, so we are excited to find Santas in different skin tones and etnicities showing up for both photo opts and at the Magic Kingdom parade!
If you are one fence about making the trip to Disney World for Christmas, know that while things will be different, you still will feel all the Disney holiday magic!