The holidays at Disney are my favorite time of the year. My kids and I love to see all the seasonal fun, from festive holiday décor and ride overlays to special treats to new exclusive shows and holiday-themed merchandise, Disney knows how to make the holidays extra special.
This year’s holiday season has me so excited! I saw a sneak preview at a media event this past week at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort. I’m so excited to share all of the holiday fun that Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this holiday season beginning November 8! Even though I was a guest for a special media preview, all opinions are my own.
New Holiday Magic at Walt Disney World Resort 2019 Holiday Season
Epcot 2019 Holiday Season
Epcot Cookie Stroll
The Epcot Cookie Stroll is back! Stroll through kiosks at 5 counties in Epcot’s World Showcase. You can buy a holiday from 5 countries to try, and when you buy all 5 you’ll get the 6th special Mickey cookie for free. This was so popular last year they brought it back! Whether you love an almond cookie with a raspberry filling or a chocolate crinkle, you’ll find something that appeals to your holiday palate.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is back to celebrate the holiday traditions and cultures from around the globe. Beginning November 29, guests can experience live music, storytellers, lights and décor, and holiday treats.
Maybe one of the most beloved traditions at Epcot is the Candlelight Processional. This retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and master choir will feature returning narrators Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, and Pat Sajak. The celebrity Narrator for December 30 and 31 is CNN’s Lisa Ling.
If food is your jam, you want to miss the 12 specialty kitchen inspired by traditional holiday recipes around the globe located in the World Showcase. Did someone say Holiday Kitchens and Cookie Stroll pairing?
Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt
Guests can participate in Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations and then hunting for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. Return your completed map for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo.
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.
With its premiere scheduled for Oct. 1, 2019, holiday guests will be among the first to experience the new Epcot Forever nighttime spectacular show bursting above World Showcase Lagoon.
Animal Kingdom Joins the Holiday Festivities for the First Time
For the first time, Disney’s Animal Kingdom joins the holiday fun with entertainment and décor for the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort. Guests will be welcomed by a giant Christmas tree adorned with both traditional ornaments and hidden animals.
Discovery Island at Animal Kingdom
Discovery Island will dazzle during the day with stylized animal puppets. At night, the rooftops will come to life with animal shapes and bird luminaries The Tree of Life will feature a new holiday musical score as the Tree comes to life with projected wintery scenes.
Dino Land U.S.A. at Animal Kingdom
For you dancers, you want to miss the new “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip n’ Dale” in Dino Land U.S.A. You’ll find characters throughout the land in Donald’s Dinosaur Bash deck out in their holiday best.
Pandora – World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom
Maybe the thing I’m personally looking forward to most at Animal Kingdom Park is the holiday fun that you’ll be able to experience in Pandora – World of Avatar. The expats living and working on the moon of Avatar will roll out the holiday cheer for the visitors. Expect to see holiday décor at Pongu Pongu where you’ll see vintage piece of Earth holiday décor paired with handcrafted pieces from Pandora.
Diners at the Tusker House will get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
Magic Kingdom 2019 Holiday Season
From the iconic shimmering ice castle to fantastic treats and memorable holiday décor, holidays at Magic Kingdom are unforgettable. Bring on the light, garland, and holiday cheer!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom
Get ready for the return of 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which returns this year on select nights from November 8 through December 22 and nightly Dec 23-29, and includes Enchanted Attractions with new magical overlays at Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Returning favorite holiday attractions include A Frozen Holiday Wish show (where Queen Elsa and her magic transform Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice castle), Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show.
For those who love special fireworks shows, this year’s holiday at Walt Disney World Resort features an all-new Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights: Nov. 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; Dec. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, and 23-29.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios 2019 Holiday Season
Holiday touches and festive décor will be throughout Disney's Hollywood Studios, including new seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
Sunset Season’s Greetings
The Sunset Season’s Greetings nighttime show will transform Sunset Boulevard into a winter wonderland as you experience the iconic Hollywood Tower of Terror come to life for the holidays. From laser effects and snow to joyful songs and stories of holiday cheer your Disney friends will wow you with holiday merriment.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
We’re here for a new nighttime show! Guests will embark on a yuletide adventure to the North Pole in the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Stare-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects, and Christmas are married to create a one-of-a-kind seasonal experience for guests.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.
As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along show.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
While guests are merry-making throughout Hollywood Studios, they will want to stop at the all-new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge where they can live their own Star Wars adventures and find the perfect holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.)
One of the things I love most about Disney Springs is the Disney Magic it brings without having to buy a park ticket. Whether you live locally and want to spend time with some Disney magic or you have a partial day to spend at one end of your vacation, Disney Springs is the perfect place to soak up some Disney Magic without the expense of a park ticket.
During the holiday season, Disney Springs is extra magical. Visit the transformed winter wonderland of sparkling lights, enchanting décor, and whimsical walk-through Christmas Tree Trail lined with dozens of custom decorated Christmas trees, each dedicated to an individual theme. Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.
Stop for lunch or dinner with a friend while you finish up your holiday shopping. Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers, and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run Nov. 8, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020.
Disney Holidays Merchandise
If you’re anything like me, you’re a sucker for all the good merch. In our house, we collect pins, but we also love Spirit Jerseys, mug, and ears! We are LOVING the new exclusive Disney holiday merchandise for this season. From Buffalo check ears and Gingerbread man Spirit Jerseys (with matching jersey for Fido!) to limited edition pins and plushes. There are even a new Dress Shop purse and Dooney and Bourke collaboration!
Disney Resorts Deck the Halls
Per the usual, resort hotels across Walt Disney World will be decked out for the holidays. Seasonal décor and massive Christmas trees usher in the festive spirit.
A life-size holiday gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the place to pick up Christmas treats, including (of course!) tasty gingerbread. Disney’s Beach Club Resort boasts a life-size, edible carousel as a holiday tradition, while a holiday village with a miniature train takes center stage at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Order gifts or flowers to be sent to your room to make it even more magical!
Plan for a special dining experience, which always ties a big red ribbon around the holidays. Holiday menus that celebrate the season will be found at restaurants throughout Disney resort hotels. For holiday dining information and reservations, guests can call (407) WDW-DINE.
Experience the Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort
On my bucket list of things to do at Disney has always been to stay at a Disney Resort during the holidays. I’ve visited a few times during the holidays, but I've never stayed on property during the holiday season. Disney offers incredibly cool holiday vacation packages to make your holidays extra spectacular. Guests can purchase the Ultimate Christmas Package at the Most Magical Place on Earth. The Ultimate Christmas Package allows guests to stay on property at select Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas 5 days, 4 nights from December 21 through December 26. The package includes 4-day Park Hopper tickets for the whole family, tickets to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, gift cards to eat around the World Showcase and VIP seating to the nighttime show, and an exclusive holiday gift delivered to your room on Christmas morning. It’s all the holiday magic you can imagine!
What’s the first thing to do on your Disney holidays list?