The holidays at Disney World – Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

(Article last updated: July 9, 2018)

The holidays at Disney World include a whole lot of different things - special events in the parks, beautiful decorations in the resorts and a couple of special tours.

Here is a guide to everything that takes place at Disney World during the holiday season, including tips and videos.

Not all details for 2018 have been released yet so be sure to check back often!

Save this post to Pinterest for later

Animal Kingdom

Decor during the holidays at Disney World

It’s a wild holiday time as decorations around the park frame new day-into-nighttime experiences, including Tree of Life transformations, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali Rivers Rapids and Expedition Everest. Guests will be greeted by a dramatic, animal-themed holiday tree, and festive garlands will have the park all a-glow with merriment.

Magic Kingdom

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Once the tree is up at Magic Kingdom, there's a tree lighting ceremony that takes place every evening at dusk (around 5:15-5:30).

Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish

frozenholidaywish1 600x400 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Not only does the castle look different during the holidays, but there's a little ceremony that precedes the lighting of the castle.

From early November to early January, Queen Elsa from Frozen appears twice each evening to get the Castle Dream Lights lit up for the night in a 7 minute show called "A Frozen Holiday Wish."

hqdefault - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Tip: The best place to watch the stage show is close to the stage. If you want to be able to view the whole castle better, it's best to stand back a little bit further. Show up about 30 minutes beforehand to make sure you get a good spot to watch.

castledreamlightsshow 590x600 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Jingle Cruise

The only attraction at Disney World to get a holiday-themed overlay is the Jungle Cruise which transforms into the "Jingle Cruise" where you join " homesick Jungle Cruise skippers as they set out on a holly jolly journey packed with shenanigans."

hqdefault - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

The biggest event held during the holidays is the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) which takes place on select evenings at Magic Kingdom. It features exclusive holiday entertainment, snow falling on Main St., and complimentary cookies and cocoa.

Get all of the details about this party in my complete guide to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.


Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Formerly known as "Holidays around the World," the new Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will run from November 18 - December 30, 2018. Like other festivals at Epcot, it is included with the price of your admission. During the Epcot International Festival of the holidays you can expect to see the items listed below.

Candlelight Processional

candlelightprocessional 600x375 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

In the outdoor American Gardens Theater in the American section of the World Showcase, celebrity narrators read a presentation of the Christmas story. A huge choir and 50-piece orchestra are also a part of this very moving event.

This 40 minute show takes place 3 times a day and for the first time, you'll be able to catch the magic over the Thanksgiving holiday. The dates for the Candlelight Processional in 2018 will be from November 22 through December 30th with show times at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

There is no cost to attend, although it is very popular so securing a seat can be a challenge.

One way to guarantee a seat is to book a Candlelight Dining Package. For 2018 guests can book breakfast, lunch, or dinner at select restaurants both inside and outside of Epcot.

Breakfast and dinner:

  • Trattoria Al Forno (Boardwalk)

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

  • Ale and Compass (Yacht Club)

Lunch and dinner:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway pavilion)
  • Biergarten Restaurant (Germany pavilion)
  • Chefs de France (France pavilion)
  • Coral Reef Restaurant (The Seas pavilion)
  • The Garden Grill Restaurant (The Land pavilion)
  • Nine Dragons Restaurant (China pavilion)
  • Restaurant Marrakesh and Spice Road Table (Morocco pavilion)
  • Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room (United Kingdom pavilion)
  • Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining (Japan pavilion)
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante & Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italy pavilion)

Dinner only:

  • La Hacienda de San Angel & San Angel Inn Restaurante (Mexico pavilion)

Prices will vary (depending on the restaurant) but in 2018 you can expect the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages to start at:

  • Breakfast: $38 adults / $22  kids (plus tax)
  • Lunch: $50 adults ' $16.99 kids (plus tax)
  • Dinner: $55 adults/ $16.99 kids (plus tax)

For that price you will receive:

  • Meal with appetizer (for lunch and dinner), entree, dessert, non-alcoholic beverage (or, if the meal is a buffet, you get 1 buffet meal)
  • Reserved section to sit in during Candlelight Processional
  • People using the Disney Dining Plan can use 2 Table Service credits to pay for the package.

All narrators for 2018 haven't been released yet but this is who Disney has confirmed so far:

  • 11/22 – 11/23 – Chita Rivera
  • 11/24 – 12/2 – TBD
  • 12/3 – 12/6 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/7 – 12/9 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/10 – 12/12 – TBD
  • 12/13 – 12/14 – Blair Underwood
  • 12/15 – 12/17 – Gary Sinise
  • 12/18 – 12/20 – Pat Sajak
  • 12/21 – 12/23 – TBD
  • 12/24 – 12/25 – Edward James Olmos
  • 12/26 – 12/27 – Jodi Benson
  • 12/28 – 12/30 – TBD

After July 11, reservations can be on the Disney World website or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Take a look at a sampling of a show that was hosted by my pretend BFF, Neil Patrick Harris, who normally narrates CP for a couple of nights.

hqdefault - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Holiday Kitchens

holidays 600x338 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

For most people, a trip to Epcot isn't complete without sampling food and drink from around the World Showcase. From late November through the end of December you can find special treats in 15 themed Holiday Kitchens serving up traditional holiday foods and drinks from several different countries and regions of the world.

Chip and Dale's Christmas Tree Spree

Chip and Dale's Christmas Tree Spree invites guests to search out special ornaments as they traverse the World Showcase. To participate, guests simply need to pick up a map (available from many of the shops in Epcot for $6.99) and then keep their eyes open for the ornaments. Once spotted, there are special stickers you can add to your map. After complete you can take your map to Disney Traders to exchange it for a special holiday-themed surprise!

Special ending to Illuminations

The Illuminations nighttime show has a different segment on the end that doesn't play any other time of year. Skip to 13:09 on the video below to see it.

hqdefault - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Special entertainment during the holidays at Disney World

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase, as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music and time-honored traditions. Guests will discover an entertaining celebration of Hanukkah in a new location along World Showcase promenade, where a fun and interactive band interweaves the music of Hanukkah with jazz, Latin, rock and even hip-hop influences. Other returning holiday favorites include JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season and Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.

Hollywood Studios

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

Utilizing some of the same technology that has made Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular so popular, (state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks, fantastic music and, special for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, snow), Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! returns in 2017 on select nights in November and December. The show tells the story of a search-and-rescue mission to get Santa returned to the North Pole in time for the big day and includes holiday moments from several Disney classics including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pluto’s Christmas Tree,” “Bambi,”  and Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

For guests wanting to make a special night of it, Disney offers a dessert party that is available for an additional charge (in 2017 the price was $79 adults/$45 children, no word yet on 2018 pricing). The party includes reserved viewing, desserts, specialty beverages and the chance to mingle with a VIP Disney Character.

Like Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, the best viewing for this show will be close to the Chinese Theater, so if you are interested in seeing this show make sure you claim your spot early.

jingle bell jingle bam 01 600x338 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

Sunset Season Greetings

sunsetseasongreetings 1 600x338 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11

This holiday experience was new in 2017 and will be returning in 2018. It features spectacular projections of Mickey, Minnie and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with stunning holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house and a frozen winter wonderland! A frosty summer-loving snowman might even make an appearance to share his holiday wish! This fantastic and heartwarming experience runs continuously throughout the night.

Toy Story Land seasonal fun

While we don't have many details yet, Disney has confirmed that Toy Story Land will take part in the holidays in 2018.

So far all we know for sure is that there will be special holiday music on Alien Swirling Saucers but we expect there to be some other holiday aspects included, as well.

Minnie's Holiday Dine

For the past several years, Minnie has hosted year-round seasonally themed meals at Hollywood & Vine, including a holiday themed one. The Holiday Dine meal includes a buffet with holiday themed foods (including desserts), character greetings and photo opportunities with 5 of your favorites: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald & Daisy, all decked out in their holiday attire.

Minnie's Holiday Dine price starts at $46.99 per adult and $27.99 per child (plus tax and gratuity) and it is included on the Dining Plan. There is also Fantasmic! Dinner option (also available on the Dining Plan) that costs $53.99/adult and $32.99/child, plus tax and gratuity.

In 2017, you can dine holiday style with Minnie November 6 - January 7.

Olaf joins Frozen Sing-Along

A new friend joins the cast of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Holiday fun continues at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff welcome Olaf to this popular sing-along celebration. Just for the holidays the show will include all-new songs from Disney’s new animated short "Olaf’s Frozen Adventure."

Animal Kingdom

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

New for 2018, "Up! A Great Bird Adventure" will incorporate Diwali (the holiday Festival of Lights in India) into their shows.

Disney Springs

Christmas Tree Trail

From mid-November through the beginning of January, Disney Springs hosts a seasonal walk-through trail that includes lots of trees (expanded from 15 to 25 for 2017!) themed after a Disney character or story.

Santa's chalet

In 2018, Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet newly located by the Christmas Tree Trail. From December 25-December 31, Santa Goofy will take over after Old Saint Nick heads back to the North Pole.

Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt

The mischievous experiment 626 is at it again with an expanded scavenger hunt featuring four new stops, including a special stop at the more-magical-than-ever Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail. A great activity for families older kids, it’s your chance to work together, decipher clues, and discover all the spots where Stitch is hiding. Complete the mission and receive a limited-edition button.


gingerbreadhouse 446x600 - The holidays at Disney World - Candlelight Processional Dining Packages on sale July 11The Disney resorts are all decorated for the holidays and many of the Deluxe resorts are worth a stop to check it out.

Some things you will find in some of the resorts:

  • Grand Floridian - a 16 foot tall gingerbread house sit in the lobby and smaller versions are available to purchase. If you visit just 1 resort, this should be the one.
  • Wilderness Lodge - a 60 feet tall tree fills the lobby (it takes 18 hours to put up!)
  • Beach Club - lots of decorations, including a large, edible carousel
  • Yacht Club - decor includes an edible train
  • Boardwalk Inn - an edible, miniature version of Atlantic City, complete with Ferris wheel, carousel, and beach sits in the lobby alongside other seasonal decorations
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge - gorgeous resort is made even more beautiful with a big tree with themed ornaments decorating it
  • The Contemporary Resort - a holiday village made of gingerbread and chocolate sits near the monorail platform

Special holiday tours

Yuletide Fantasy Tour

The Yuletide Fantasy Tour gives you a look at how the decor is done in some of the parks and resorts. The tour is $99/person, available late November through late December, takes place 9 a.m. daily except Sunday and begins at Epcot. You must be at least 16 to attend.

Holiday D-Lights Tour

Disney's Holiday D-Lights includes a performance of the Candlelight Processional, an opportunity to meet some of the staff that transform the Disney World Resort, and a family-style barbecue dinner. The Holiday D-Lights tour costs $259 and is offered on select nights in November and December. You must be at least 12 to attend.

You can book both of these tours by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.


Liked this post about holidays at Disney World? You can save it to Pinterest for later!

Ready to book a trip for 2018 or 2019?

The handpicked team of agents at Perfect Story Travel can help you out. Fill out the info below to get started.

Leave a Reply

63 Comment threads
42 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
79 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Hi guys, We have an ADR at Hollywood Vine for Nov 6. WDW site says this will still be Halloween Minnie and friends, but it looks like Jingle bell jingle bam will begin that evening. Do you think Minnie and friends will be geared up for Christmas, or would they possibly be still Halloween? Anyone else every been to WDW during this transitional week and have any advice for seeing a bit of both worlds? Thanks in advance!


Any idea when the gingerbread house decorating classes are at the Grand Floridian? Or when exactly Mickey and Minnie in the Victorian Christmas costumes are available for pictures at the Grand Flo?


We are heading to WDW Jan 4th-9th for the Marathon Weekend. Will Christmas decorations and the castle lights still be up?


Hello! I was planning my trip for next year around the last week of October and the first week of November. I was wondering if In that week in November the parks will still be decorated for Halloween or Christmas? Thanks so much!

jodi goulding

not christmas


Hello, I am a little confused and I hope someone can help. I haven’t been to WDW since I was a kid and me and my husband are planning a five day trip in December 2016. We have about four days to visit the parks and I want to plan this out well. On the days that Magic Kingdom is having Mickey’s Christmas Party, the park closes at 7pm. Does that mean most of the rides will be down and people without special tickets just leave around 7pm? And MK will be less crowded during that day? I’m an early… Read more »

Katie Greene

Do you recommend doing the candlelight processional dinner package or just lining up? I see it is 2 dining credits and trying to decide if it is worth it.

Thank you so much! LOVE your site!


can you tell me when the Christmas decorations come down, planning a visit in January 2017, 1st -6th

Ashley Hall

Can you tell me when Disney tears down the Halloween stuff and puts up the Christmas stuff? We are going November 2-7th and I’m curious if we will see lots of Halloween stuff still, Have Christmas stuff up or if we can bank on being there during the in between time where there aren’t any decorations 🙂



Shannon – are the storyteller/entertainment hours listed the same every year, or are those last year’s times? Just wondering if I can plan around these times, or if I should wait until times have been officially posted… thanks for all you do!


Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!


Is there a link to where we can find out what Christmas events will be available Nov. 14-20, 2016?


We will be visiting WDW Jan 8-14, will the parks still be decorated for Christmas? I keep seeing until early January…thank you!


Our company gives us 2 weeks off, of course it’s the 2 weeks around Christmas & New Years (Dec 31 is my BDay). We were wanting to spend 8 days in WDW. Best dates for that?? Or avoid that all together? 2 adults. We’ve been at peak summer, how awful does Christmas compare?


Your site is awesome and has been so helpful on past trips. When will the park hours for December 2016 be announced and best/worst parks by day? Advance dining booking opens next week for the first week of December. We have some planning to do for our next trip so would love to have that information.

Rebekah Staats

We plan to go to WDW the week of December 4-10. Do you know when the parade is going to be filming and if it will be during this time? Also Will there still be fireworks on non-party nights at the magic kingdom or for those who aren’t doing the VMMCP? We really want to enjoy some of the Disney Magic but are on a budget and can’t do the extra for the party. Thanks!!


The parade usually films the first weekend in December but last year they moved the date up to early November. So who knows when it will take place this year. And yes the regular Wishes fireworks show will happen on nights when there is no Christmas party.


Hello my family and i are going to WDW for the first time frim the 22/12/2016 tothe 29/12/2016 can u give me some advice how it would be there at WDW please thank you
And i do like how great your website is


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the week between Christmas and New Years is one of the most crowded weeks at wdw. That’s not to say you won’t have a good time, but you should know what to expect before you head there.


My family was just at Disney last week (Dec 6-12,2015). We wanted to visit a couple of the resorts to see Christmas decorations. We drove so we had our car to take to the resorts. We had no problem going to see the decorations at Animal Kingdom. The guard was very nice and told us where to go and park. When we went to the Grand Floridian we were told we could only come in if we valet parked for $25 or took the monorail from ticket and transportation center. The guard said they had no self parking. Just wanted… Read more »

We are going to Disney world January 3 2016. When do they remove the Christmas Decorations?


Hi! Do you have a map, or some type of direction or order to view resort decorations? Thanks!


Can you tell me if there’s special tickets for NYE?


Hey Shannon,
Which resort would you recommend staying at during Christmas? I was thinking WL but I was wondering what you thought.


I have a 6 year old that has his heart set on seeing jack skellington. I saw he attends mickeys christmas party, We are going to be there DEC 17-22. when entertainment begins nighly does jack still show up? Even if its just in the parade? We are trying not to spend the 300 dollars on mickeys christmas party. Any info would be great, thanks in advance.

Azur Simpson

Will Memory Maker photographers be in Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons, particularly with Santa?


Our family is planning a 7 day trip from 12/23 through 30th. We are excited about our adventure but have one question and possible concern. We have heard stories about the extreme crowds and were wondering if we would be better off scheduling a later trip? Any thoughts?


Hello Kim! The rumors are TRUE, Christmas is so busy, it is miserable. Go after the New Year (Jan 2 and on) and you will see a drastic reduction in crowds with the benefits of the Christmas atmosphere! Happy planning 🙂


Do you think the Christmas decorations will still be up by the weekend of January 9th? Or just January 2nd?


Going to Disney World Nov 11 – 18, 2015. Which would be a better day for MVMCP, Thursday (Nov 12), Friday (Nov 13), Sun (Nov 15), or Tues (Nov 17)? Is one day of the week better than another? Thank you in advance.

Jennifer schmidt

We are going to Disney World December 17th, 2015- December 23rd 2015. Our Magic Kingdom Days are December 18th and 22nd. Do you think I should by tickets for the Very Merry Christmas party on the 18th? Or will the party activities be going on at Magic Kingdom on the 22nd, therefore not needing a ticket. Thanks! Your site is IMMENSELY helpful in planning.



This is the best guide to the Christmas season. Thank you!


Hi there, just panicking and wondering what the likelihood of being able to get MVMC tickets at the gate on the day – or are they non existent by then? I see that Disney are putting them on sale in April, earlier than usual, and so presume tickets might sell out sooner online, in which case do Disney hold tickets back to sell on the day? Many thanks.


Last year only three of the MVMCP events sold out completely, this included the opening night and two others later in the season. All other parties had tickets available, even on the night of the event. Most likely there will be tickets available the day of, and if you are staying a few days, go to the ticket window on your day of arrival and ask about tickets for a date later in your visit.


Are the Magic Kingdom shows (Once Upon a Christmas Parade, Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show, Celebrate the Season, & Dance Parties) only for the Mickey Christmas Party? Or are they available on non party days too?


These special events are for Christmas Party guests only, UNTIL December 18th. After the last MVMCP on the 18th, these events become part of the regular Magic Kingdom day and are available to all visitors until after New Year. Before then however they can only be seen during the party, and are for party guests only. (Anyone not wearing a wristband is politely shown the exit)


Planning on going to Disney in Dec. Would you recommend visiting the Magic Kingdom in the day and doing the Mickey Very Merry Christmas party that evening? Or would it be too exhausting. Will be taking a 3 year old. Thanks a bunch


hi – just so you know – the Mickeys Very Merry Christmas is an additional cost – even tho you might have purchased a park pass the party is extra !! It is really beautiful and fun


Last October we were there for the Halloween Party. (Different party, same schedule) with our three year old son. We went to MK at opening and stayed until lunch. Then took a few hours break to go back to the hotel, nap, rest, shower, etc. Around 5:00 we headed back to MK, had dinner in the park before the party officially began. This plan worked great, and my son (who loves his sleep and usually has an 8pm bedtime like clockwork) LOVED the party and was still wide and awake and ready to go at midnight when it ended.


I had this question too and decided to save the day on our tickets and sleep in, tour resorts and have a leisurely lunch outside of the parks. We plan to get to MK at 4pm. This way we have a whole extra day and don’t have to “pay double.” We have a 5 year old and I think she’ll need the morning to sleep in. I know I will!


Hi, Just had an amazing 1st trip to WDW! Most everything was very magical for my children and we will definitely visit again. But… I have to share that Mickey’s Very Special Christmas Party was my least favorite part of our trip. In fact, I would not recommend it to anyone that minds large crowded streets, obstructed views and long lines. I read from several sources that we’d be able to go on the rides without any lines. All of the popular rides had long lines (during the show and 1st parade), sometimes even longer than what we experienced during… Read more »


Would love to know what day of the week you went to the Party. We’re devising our plan of attack for December 2015 and trying to figure out which MVMCP day makes the ost sense. You are not the first to complain of huge crowds this past season!


I went in 2013 for MVMCP and in 2014 MNSSHP, and you get more for your money with MNSSHP. The Christmas party is fun, but very crowded. We didn’t have any little ones with us, so it was a little easier to keep to a set schedule. Also, we went the last week before Christmas and didn’t realize that the parade, stage show and fireworks would be shown daily anyways. So, basically we paid for the chance to meet different characters, a little less crowded rides (we didn’t try popular ones), hot chocolate and cookies, and the snow. Still, I… Read more »

Tracey Cole

We only have 1 day in Orlando as we are traveling through. We want to go and see all the beautiful decorations at the resorts. Can we do this if we do not have disney passes and are not staying on the property? I read about a tour somewhere and cannot find it?

Theresa Martin

Great story and wonderful overview. That being said, I think you should update the rides that will be open for the party (or at the very least add a special comment) as the Haunted Mansion will be closed the first 2 weeks in December and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin will be closed from November 10 until November 21.


Great info — thanks for this! For the Frozen Holiday Wish show, for the first show of the night (6:15) do you know if the castle lights up and then turns off again (so that it can again be lit up as part of the second show) or do the lights just stay on after the first show?


I am a huge Disney fan, but despite nearly 50 trips under my belt I still learn new things from different websites. I love this article on the Holidays. You give such thorough advice and have thought of everything. I love it. Thanks. We are planning our first December trip (hard to believe) and this planner is wonderful. We only have 3 days so we want to make the most of our time.


I am planning a trip from Dec 3-10, 2014. As I plan my days, I am looking at the issue with the filming of the parade. Would it be concluded by the Sunday? I assume it would just be on Saturday.

Also, I read somewhere that I can’t book the dates for the Candlelight Processional dinner until July. Would you recommend making an ADR for a restaurant now (in my 180 window – as it begins June6) and then just cancelling it when I book the processional dinner?


My daughter was part of the parade in 2012. Sunday is a rain date. She was told she needed to be available on Sun until the afternoon. We were lucky the weather was perfect.


Do you have a touring plan for the Christmas party?

Karen Downing

We are going the first week in December. When we booked our rooms and purchased park pkgs., I was told we could not buy Mickey’s Christmas Party tickets until June 3. May I buy them today?

Thanks! We’re planning to do this, but I was worried it was going to sell out fast.


So, if we go to MK the second week in december, but don’t go on a day when they are doing MVMCP, will they just have the regular parade those nights? or no parade? still light the castle etc?


If you wait until park closing for the Osborne lights, are the Disney PhotoPass photographers still there?


Do you know when in January the light of the castle are taken down? thank you

Kelly Ann

Hi! We’re headed to WDW December 3rd and we’re thinking of doing the Very Merry Mickey Party. I called Disney to ask a few questions and the telephone rep was very firm in telling me that she cannot confirm we could get into the park at 4pm. Have you or anyone you known gotten in at 4pm? I’d love to do the party but would also like to get there earlier than 4pm. Please help?! 🙂


BUT only if it hasnt reached capacity, if it has you will have to wait. Otherwise you can come in at 4pm. You can only enter before 4pm if you have park tickets


Yes, you sure can! We got in with no problem at 4 and you shouldn’t either – unless, it is past capacity as state above.


I have the same question as John. When do they take down the decorations/stop the Christmas festivities? We are going to be at WDW from January 4th thru the 11th. Will Christmas still be at Disney?


I’m so happy you posted about this…. I’m considering adding VMCP for 11/17 evening and wanted info. Searched on your site and this popped up! I never understood it before but do now! Thanks, Shannon!

Our favorite trip to Disneyworld was in December–we loved everything about it. The decorations were absolutely gorgeous, we spent a bit of time just about every day resort hopping to see some of the different themes. We were there the second week of December and it wasn’t overly crowded, but be sure to have reservations for dinner in advance if you don’t want to eat hamburgers and hot dogs all week.! For some reason it was next to impossible to get in anywhere without them, even with the reduced crowds.


We were there this past Christmas. The Candlelight Processional is a must do. We really enjoyed being at DHS for the lighting of the Osborne Lights. We would grab a cup of hot cocoa and wait for the lights. Thanks for this overview. Really brings back the memories.

John Zabetakis

Do you know when in January that the Christmas decorations are taken down? I would like to take a trip to the World in early January at cheaper rates but still see the holiday decorations.

Thanks John

Sue Walizer

Shannon, I just watched your video of Mickey’s Magical Christmas Parade, it was wonderful.
You had the best seats in the house. I have to remember that when we go on 11/15/13 to the party. You have the best Disney web site.


Excellent information! I agree with the tip to see Osbourne lights toward closing for less crowds. We like to watch Fantasmic and then go over to see the lights after. Even though the park closes, they keep the lights on for about an hour after official closing time. Also stick around because they change the music sequences, so each one is different. Music for about 10 minutes, then still lights and then different music sequence. Also agree with going to the various resorts to see decorations. This is a good thing to do on a down/rest day. Grand Floridian is… Read more »

Sue Walizer

We are going to Disney World 11/13/13 to 11/19/13, will the Epcot Illuminations have the special Christmas fireworks show during that period? I also booked Mickey’s Merry Christmas party for the 15th. I can’t wait. Last time I had booked it, I got sick and we could not stay for the whole party. Your website is the best. I appreciate all the tips that you give and I printed off the packing list. What a big help that will be. This will be our 6th trip, but there is always something that I forget to pack. We always stay at… Read more »

Animal Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios Magic Kingdom Water Parks
Behind the Seeds tour
How the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot works
Early Morning Magic - fantasyland
A guide to Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
foodandwine 300x215 - Food and Wine Festival has begun! Here's an overview.
Food and Wine Festival has begun! Here’s an overview.
Planning Process Overview Step 1: Pick a Date Step 2: Lodging Step 3: Make a Daily Plan Step 4: Dining Step 5: Park Touring Step 6: Extra Magic
Behind the Seeds tour
How the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot works
Disney World short trips Short trips to Disney World
Our best tips for planning a short trip to Disney World
Disney World Thrill Rides (1)
Top Disney World thrill rides in each of the parks
Babies and Toddlers Characters General Reference Group Travel Luxury Saving Money Special Needs Technology Transportation
Everything you need to know about MagicBands
How MagicBands at Disney World work
Tips for planning disney world arrival and departure days 300x215 - How to plan Disney World arrival and departure days
How to plan Disney World arrival and departure days
Tips and tricks for booking flights to Disney World | WDW Prep School
Complete guide to flights for your Disney World trip