The Parks

Walt Disney World For the Holidays – New Things You’re Going to Love

The only thing better than Disney World is Christmas, and the only thing better than Christmas is Christmas at Disney World. The holiday season kicks off early at the most magical place on earth—Guests are invited to celebrate the holiday season from November 8 through January 6, and what a celebration it is! Disney is known for its over-the-top magical celebrations all year long, but during the holiday season, it’s even more magical! If you’ve never been to the parks for the holidays, doing so should be at the top of your Disney World bucket list. If you have already experienced the holidays at Disney, it’s always the right year to do it again. Here are seven things you will absolutely love about celebrating the holidays with Mickey and the gang.

1. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is an annual event that requires a ticket purchased in addition to Magic Kingdom park admission. During this event, which begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends at midnight on selected dates, only Guests with tickets to MVMCP are permitted inside Magic Kingdom during the party where they will enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Mickey’s Party includes Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage shows. Because this merry event sells out, you’ll want to purchase your tickets well in advance. For more information about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or to purchase tickets, visit

Castle Night Float Merry Christmas Disney World

2. EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays

If you’re looking for a holiday celebration that looks at the holidays from the perspective of different countries and cultures, EPCOT has just the thing for you at the International Festival of the Holidays. The Candlelight Processional, which takes place outside at the American Gardens Theater in the America pavilion on the World Showcase, begins November 22 and continues through December 30. The Processional includes a retelling of the birth of Christ by celebrity narrators. A choir and 50-piece orchestra accompany the retelling. You can also enjoy desserts from different countries during the International Festival of the Holidays. Other special holiday entertainment is offered as well. Admission is included with park ticket. Don’t miss this special celebration!

3. Sleigh Rides at Fort Wilderness

If you’re looking for something as timeless as it is festive when celebrating the holidays, Disney’s Fort Wilderness has something just for you at the Tri-Circle D Ranch. The Ranch is not only home to 88 horses. It’s also the place to go at Disney for holiday sleigh rides. This year the sleighs will run every half hour from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, beginning November 23 and continuing through December 30. Cost is $84 per sleigh and reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.

4. Sunset Season’s Greetings

If you were lucky enough to spend some part of the 2017 holiday season at Disney World, you’ll probably remember Sunset Season’s Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This fun celebration features some really amazing special effects. You’ll see billboards along Sunset Boulevard “come to life” as it begins to snow! Yes—snow in central Florida! (Must be that Disney magic!) Even the Hollywood Tower Hotel gets a transformation that you have to see to believe! Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, the Swedish Chef from the Muppets and all the gang from Toy Story are part of this event that begins in early November and runs through the end of December.

Sunset Seasons Greetings
Photo Credit: Disney

5. Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

In this fun show that takes place in the evenings at Hollywood Studios, Guests can watch as the elves from Disney’s Prep and Landingsearch for Santa. The rooftops of buildings along Hollywood Boulevard are brought to life in this nighttime spectacular, which is truly nothing short of, well, spectacular! Scenes from beloved Disney films are projected onto the Chinese Theater. You’ll see images from Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree andThe Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s lots of festive holiday music, fireworks and even snow! The finale is out of this world and reminiscent of a holiday miracle! All the fun begins the second week of November and continues through the end of December.

6. Christmas at Toy Story Land

So far, Disney World has been pretty hush-hush about specifics, but they have said that the all-new Toy Story Land that opened over the summer will be decked out in its holiday best! What could be more festive and fitting for Christmas than toys? We do know that the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction will get a new soundtrack for the holidays—we can’t wait to hear it! If you haven’t seen the new land at Hollywood Studios, Christmastime might be the perfect time for you to visit!

7. Up! A Great Bird Adventure

Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates its 20thanniversary this year. Festivities and celebrations began in April, as the park’s anniversary date is April 22. But Disney isn’t stopping there. In honor of Animal Kingdom’s 20thanniversary and in celebration of the holiday season, the new Up-inspired bird show at the Caravan Theater will get a holiday twist to it. Dug the Dog and Russell invite Guests to learn all about exotic birds at their show, but during the holidays this year, the show will include a celebration of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India. We can’t wait to see what that celebration will include!

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels.  They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE!  It’s genius!


I am a writer and a Mom to four children and two baby shih-tzus. My first experience with the Magic was in 1988, when my parents surprised my brother and me with a visit to Walt Disney World after a short trip to see friends in Georgia. I still hum the tune played during the Main Street Electrical Parade and remember the feeling of excitement from my very first visit. I introduced my husband to the Magic several years ago, and we take our children to the parks every time we can. No matter how many times I visit Walt Disney World, it seems it’s not enough! The ever-changing experience only gets better with each trip, and I’m thrilled to share the Magic with others, as well as some of the tips and tricks to getting the most out of the Magic with each visit!

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