Walt Disney World Christmas: Tips and Tricks Guide 2018

Updated 9/16/18. Walt Disney World has so much to offer at Christmas and our guide seeks to give you all the information you need to know for a successful vacation including tips, discount tickets, and tricks to making the most out of your time.

What could make a Walt Disney World vacation even more magical? Visiting around the holiday season! Walt Disney World has so much to see and do for the holidays including Mickey’s Very Christmas Party, holiday overlays at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Toy Story Land holiday overlays, the Candelight Processional, more!

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Read on to find out everything you need to know for enjoying the holiday season at Walt Disney World.

The Basics

The holiday season begins at Walt Disney World this year on November 8th which allows for plenty of time for guests to plan a seasonal vacation to one of the Happiest Places on Earth! Typically you can expect the holiday decor to remain up until early January. Walt Disney World’s website lists most holiday events as ending on January 6th. 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey in front of the Christmas tree

The dates have been announced for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party held in Magic Kingdom for this current holiday season.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018 Dates:

  • November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27 and 29
  • December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets start at $95 in advance or $105 at the gate, if available. We recommend buying them in advance not just to save money but they will sell out!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party experience includes entertainment options such as:

  • A Frozen Holiday Wish
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Holiday Wishes—Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
  • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas
  • VoicePlay
  • Club Tinsel
  • Snowfall on Main Street

Most popular Magic Kingdom attractions are open during this party and you can expect shorter lines due to many guests enjoying the entertainment options. You can expect to see the Jungle Cruise transformed with holiday decorations into the Jingle Cruise during this party (and all seasonal dates).

During the party you can enjoy meet and greet from classic and popular Disney characters dressed in seasonal fashion along with rare appearances from Santa, Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws and Scrooge McDuck.

And don’t forget the food options! Complimentary seasonal sweets and beverages will be available all throughout the park. Several holiday treat locations will be open until midnight during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World Parade

Magic Kingdom is where most of the Christmas magic happens at Walt Disney World. This is the theme park where Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place and so most of the best decorations can be viewed here.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (and after the party dates end) you can enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade that takes place in the evening and features SNOW on Main Street, USA. The parade features a Christmas theme with bright lights and popular characters such as Anna, Elsa, Mickey, and Santa!

Holiday Wishes

Season of Light fireworks

The seasonal fireworks that take place in Magic Kingdom are called Holiday Wishes and they are breathtaking. Hosted by Jiminy Cricket, the fireworks include holiday-themed projection effects on Cinderella Castle along with seasonal classics such as:

  • “Sleigh Ride”
  • “Jingle Bells”
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
  • “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
  • “O Christmas Tree”
  • “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”
  • “Spirit of the Season”

Guests can enjoy these fireworks during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and for a limited time after the party dates end.

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

This Magic Kingdom attraction gets the seasonal treatment and renaming from Jungle Cruise to Jingle Cruise during the holiday season. Disney describes this holiday overlay as:

Jingle Cruise is again themed as if the Skippers are once again homesick for the holidays and decorated the attraction queue and boathouse with homemade decorations, gifts and items from back home. (If you listen carefully, you may also hear a holiday-themed radio broadcast playing in the background in the queue). The boats have been renamed to receive holiday names and the skippers are getting guests laughing with additional holiday jokes. The jungle has also received new seasonal supplies. Unfortunately, some missed their final destination falling deeper into the jungle.

Make sure that you don’t miss this holiday themed attraction on your visit which is open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and regular park hours.

Epcot

Christmas decor in front of epcot

Epcot has plenty to see and do during the holiday season including great food, a candelight processional, and more!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays takes places during  – , 2018 this holiday season.

The festival is a celebration of international holiday traditions from around the world. This festival experience includes:

  • An International Yuletide Extravaganza: featuring 11 holiday traditions of the 11 World Showcase nations
  • Holiday Kitchens: featuring seasonal food from around the world at select kiosks around the park
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth: a fireworks show featuring laser and water technology to celebrate the holiday season.

Epcot Candlelight Processional

Epcot Candlelight Processional

The Epcot Candlelight Processional is quite popular and due to this Walt Disney World offers dining packages available to help you reserve your spot.

In the Candelight Processional you will hear the biblical story of Christmas typically told by a celebrity narrator and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir.

The 2018 Narrators and Dates:

  • Chita Rivera – November 22 to 23, 2018
  • TBD – November 24 to December 2, 2018
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
  • TBD – December 10 to 12, 2018
  • Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
  • Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
  • Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
  • TBD – December 21 to 23, 2018
  • Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
  • Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
  • TBD – December 28 to 30, 2018

This dazzling presentation runs November 22 through December 30, 2018.

We will keep this page updated as Disney continues to announce their celebrity narrators this holiday season.

Animal Kingdom

Close up of Christmas tree

At Animal Kingdom you can expect the park to be decked out in breathtaking holiday decor. During the holiday season Rivers of Light and Pandora- The World of Avatar will still be running nightly.

UP! A Great Bird Adventure

UP show

This favorite entertainment option featuring characters from the movie UP! is tranformed into “A Special Holiday Celebration” that runs from November 8, 2018 to January 1, 2019,

During the show except to discover the story of Diwali—the holiday festival of lights in India—during this special version of the show.

You can find characters such as Mickey and Minnie dressed in seasonal attire at the Adventurer’s Outpost. Around the park you can also find characters such as Santa, Goofy, Baloo, King Louie, Donald, Chip and Dale dressed in seasonal clothes.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios at Christmas

There is plenty of entertainment to be found in Hollywood Studios for the holiday season along with fabulous holiday decorations.

Sunset Seasons Greeting’s

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Sunset Seasons Greeting’s projection show is definitely worth a look as the Hollywood Tower becomes full of light including laser projections and snow! Taking place November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

When evening falls, the billboards transform into real life characters tell a tale of their love for the season.

These holiday scenes include:

  • Mickey and Minnie reminiscing about a hometown Christmas as the scene shifts into a romanticized, Norman Rockwell-inspired town—starting in black and white before slowly changing into color.
  • The Toy Story characters guessing which new toys are coming this Christmas as the scene becomes covered in holiday wrapping paper.
  • The Swedish Chef from The Muppets babbling as only he can while the scene turns into giant gingerbread houses.
  • And finally, Olaf pining over his holiday wish as iconic music plays and the scene freezes over into a Frozen winter wonderland—complete with dancing Aurora Borealis lights and projected falling snow.

“Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

Jingle BAM

This spectacular holiday show includes festive music, special effects, and Disney grade entertainment.

Santa’s Gone Missing

This show centers around searching for Santa in this festive show with celebrity stars leading the entertainment.

Join the festive fun as the stars of ABC’s Prep & Landing search high and low for Kris Kringle. Landing nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a limited time, it’s Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

The Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party is the reserved viewing and dining package option for this popular show in Hollywood Studios.

Holiday Cheer in Toy Story Land

Stay tuned for more information as we receive for Disney! From what we know so far, we an expect a level of holiday cheer from Toy Story Land for this coming holiday season!

Echo Lake Holiday Decorations

Echo Lake gets a merry makeover with extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be festively dressed for the occasion!

Disney does not disappoint with their seasonal decorations so take the time to soak it in and enjoy!

Santa Greetings

Little girl with Santa

Visit with Santa Claus from November 9 to December 24, 2018—or meet Santa Goofy from December 25 to December 31, 2018.

Minnie’s Holiday Dine

Join Minnie and her friends for a holiday themed dinner party at Hollywood & Vine! This seasonal option is available November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs is fully decked out in its holiday finest along with the theme parks in early November. You can find seasonal treats and shopping in this Disney district

Disney Springs also features a variety of entertainment for the holiday season such as:

  • Christmas Tree Trail: a walk through wonderland of Disney themed Christmas trees featuring falling snow and holiday music.
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt: a scavenger hunt to find all of Stitch’s lost items, if you find them all you receive a prize!
  • Santa’s Chalet: Santa meet and greet options are available at select times.

There are also carolers wandering through Disney Springs along with other roaming varieties of seasonal entertainment.

Seasonal Treats and Shopping

Half of the fun of enjoying a Walt Disney World Christmas is enjoying the delicious food and great seasonal shopping options! Walt Disney World will offer many seasonal themed treats and dishes in all of their theme parks that are worth trying.

In addition to treats, the shopping at Walt Disney world offers many Christmas and seasonal themed items sure to make someone on your Christmas list very happy.

As you can see, there is much to see and do to enjoy a Walt Disney World Christmas!

Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation!

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

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