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2023 Christmas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

2023 Christmas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has really stepped it up when it comes to decorating for the holidays.

And just like the park, the decorations here are *very* unique.

Here’s everything you need to know about the holidays at Animal Kingdom:

Animal Kingdom holiday offerings for 2023

Holiday Flotillas

If you’ve had a chance to visit the parks since they reopened in July 2020, you may have seen some of your favorite characters floating down the waterways in Animal Kingdom.

Goofy and Pals set sail

These are one of our favorite new things about Animal Kingdom! And we are excited to share that during the holidays, these character floats are getting a special seasonal makeover!

Here’s who you’ll see:

  • Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
  • Santa Claus Festive Flotilla

In addition, you can also see other flotillas decorated for the holidays, including the Dino Bash Flotilla and the Adventure Flotilla.

Tree of Life Awakenings (Holiday Edition)

The Tree of Life Awakenings projection show gets a holiday makeover in November and December with a colorful tableau of wintry tales accompanied by a musical score.

Tree of life awakenings holiday

Santa Claus

Santa Claus will make a return to Animal Kingdom in 2023.

You can catch him floating in the waters on his very own flotilla! Check the My Disney Experience app for times.

Mickey and Minnie in holiday outfits — NEW!

In 2023 (and for the first time during Animal Kingdom’s holiday season), you’ll be able to meet Micky and Minnie in holiday attire at Adventurer’s Outpost in Discovery Island.


If you are a fan of unique decorations, you are going to LOVE Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom christmas decorations

Not only are there plenty of decorations to see, you’ll be happy to know that they aren’t all concentrated in one area.

Animal Kingdom decorations

Instead, you’ll see decorations spread throughout the park. Here’s what you’ll find where:

Discovery Island

Once again, this heart of Animal Kingdom will become the centerpiece for the celebration of winter.

Here, guests will find the buildings transformed into a holiday village filled with sparkling white decorations.

animal kingdom christmas

At night, “rooftop luminaries and bird lanterns all around Discovery Island bring a warm and festive glow to the entire village.”

Animal Kingdom holiday

During the daytime, you can also find life-sized animal puppets:

And, after the sun goes down, guests will be entertained by gorgeous projections as the Tree of Life awakens for the holidays.

Dinoland U.S.A.

Dinoland goes full kitschy during the holiday season!

Dinoland at christmas
Dinoland at christmas


In Anandapur, you’ll find the theatre district decorated for Diwali (which is the festival of lights in India). 

Diwali at Animal Kingdom

Here, guests will be greeted with glowing flowers and lanterns that will illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage.


Guests visiting Africa will find a “unique holiday presentation” with a blend of western traditions and the colors and textures of African celebrations.

africa animal kingdom decorations


And even the residents of Pandora get in on the holiday action:

pandora at christmas

Probably our favorite in this area is this Na’vi nutcracker!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Although there isn’t a ton of stuff out at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you can even find festive trees in this area of the park, too!

rafiki's planet watch tree

Holiday Treats

Disney puts out a Holiday Foodie Guide every year with details on all the seasonal sweets, treats, and beverages you can find in each of the parks.

Creature Comforts (Available Dec. 22 through 31) 

  • Mickey Holiday Mousse Dome: Amaretto-chocolate mousse, cherry-cranberry coulis, orange-chocolate cake, white chocolate glaçage, and chocolate Mickey ears

Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus (Available Dec. 1 through 29; mobile order available) 

  • Merry Menagerie Cupcake: Gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese filling and frosting

Satu’li Canteen (Available Dec. 22 through 31; mobile order) 

  • Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse: Peppermint-cream cheese mousse, peppermint sauce, peppermint candy pieces, and chocolate cookie crumbs

What are we waiting to hear about?

Holiday Character Dining

In previous years, Tusker House got in on the action, and you were able to find Mickey and his friends (complete with holiday-themed accessories) spreading holiday cheer to all who dined. We haven’t heard anything about the themed costumes coming back for 2023.

Tusker House at the holidays