The Christmas season at Disney World is one of the most popular times of year to visit, and when you check out the pics and information below, we think you’ll see why.
Not only are the parks decked out in their finest holiday decorations, you’ll also find unique seasonal entertainment, food, and even fun attraction overlays.
We absolutely love Christmas at Walt Disney World! Here’s everything you need to know to put together your dream Disney World Christmas vacation.
What you can expect in this guide
In this guide, we’re going to talk a little bit about what you can expect at the parks during Christmas at Walt Disney World. We’ll go over the best times to visit and the dates that will likely be the busiest, and then give you some tips on how you can still have a blast on your trip even if it is crowded.
After that, we’re going to go park-by-park (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) covering all the Christmas and holiday entertainment stuff you need to know so that you can put together the ultimate plan for your trip.
This guide has a TON of info, but it also has a lot of links that go off to more in-depth coverage of each topic. We encourage you to start here, but make sure you check out the companion posts for more tips and information.
Note: We have not received all the information for the holidays at Disney World in 2023. Some information below is for 2022 but will be updated with the latest 2023 information as it is released.
Disney World Christmas FAQs
When does Christmas start at Disney World?
The 2023 Christmas season officially kicks off at Walt Disney World on November 11. But the holiday action actually starts on November 9 at Magic Kingdom. That is the night of the very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.
Although that is the official start to the season at WDW, it is important to note that not everything will be decorated and ready at that time.
While we do expect the decorations to be up in Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, Epcot doesn’t officially start the Festival of Holidays until November 24 and the decorating of the resorts usually extends a few weeks into November before they are all complete.
As for an ending date, it takes several weeks for the decorations to all come back down. In general, that process starts the first Monday after New Year’s Day and can extend several weeks into January before all the decor makes its way back into storage.
When is the best time to visit Disney World at Christmas? (And when is it the busiest?)
First, let’s start with the busiest. If you didn’t already guess it, the absolute busiest time of the year will be between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Historically, that was when we would see the parks closing after reaching capacity, however, the new Park Pass Reservation System has kept that from happening in recent years.
If you want to see the Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World, when is the best time to visit?
We recommend the first 2 weeks of December for the lightest crowds and decent weather. The week before Thanksgiving is also an okay time BUT, keep in mind that the Festival of Holidays doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving, so you’d miss all the entertainment at Epcot if you go before then.
Whenever you go, it is important to note that the weekends will likely be a lot more crowded than the weekdays.
The holidays are a popular time for locals (and anyone within driving distance), so that makes all the weekends between early November and the first week of January extra busy this time of year.
Is it worth it to go to Disney World at Christmas?
Yes. We really do think it is worth it to go to Disney World at Christmas.
Even with the crowds, the parks never feel more magical than they do during this time of the year, and there is just something about being in a place surrounded by festive music and decorations to get you into the Christmas spirit!
The key to visiting Disney World over Christmas is having the right attitude, a good plan, and the correct expectations.
If you have those 3 things, even with the heaviest of Christmas crowds, you’ll still be able to see and do a lot.
What will the weather be like at Christmas?
November and December weather can be anything from really hot to downright chilly. But, the good news is that in general, the temps average 77°F / 25°C for a high in November and 73°F / 23°C for a high in December.
As for the lows, November’s average lows are around 61°F / 16°C and December’s are 55°F / 13°C.
Another pro to traveling in November and December are the decreased chances of rain. Unlike the summer where you are likely to have rain nearly every day, in November and December the chance of rain is still there, but you are far more likely to have sunny days.
As for what to pack for a Christmas Walt Disney World trip, we recommend summer clothes with light jackets for layering in the morning and evening.
VIDEO: Christmas at Disney World
5 Tips for Disney World at Christmas
Here are some of our best tips for having a great time at Disney World during Christmas:
- Have a plan & be flexible. Now is not the time to wing it. Check out our touring advice for guidance on putting together a touring plan – both with and without Genie+.
- Spring for Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Selections. Although we aren’t fans of spending extra money, the busy times of the year are a good time to pay a little more. But, if you are going to shell out the cash, make sure you have a good Genie+ strategy so that you don’t waste it.
- Take advantage of the early hours. During the holiday season, the parks will open up early – sometimes as early as 7 am. You can get a lot done in those first 90 minutes of the day, so whenever possible, try to make it to the park in time for those.
- Check out the Christmas stuff outside the parks, too. Parks getting busy? Head to the resorts to check out their holiday decorations, or visit Disney Springs for some shopping and the Christmas Tree Trail.
- Keep expectations manageable. The goal of the trip should be to make happy memories and NOT to see and do everything! Keep your expectations in check, and we think you’ll have an amazing time.
Christmas at Disney World Bucket List
Heading to Disney World for the holidays? Make sure you save this graphic to your phone! How many activities can you cross off?
Christmas Foodie Guides
What would Christmas be without food?
Disney World has TONS of holiday treats to feast upon.
If we listed everything that was available, your arm would get tired from all the scrolling. Instead, we are just going to link off to the official guides put out by Disney Parks Blog:
- 2023 Magic Kingdom Foodie Guide (includes both items exclusive to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party PLUS everything you can purchase outside the party, too)
- 2023 Foodie Guide to Walt Disney World
- 2023 Jollywood Nights Foodie Guide (NEW! in 2023)
Magic Kingdom is home to one of 2 specially ticketed holiday-themed events – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
But, even if you don’t spring for the party, you can still find lots of other festive cheer spread throughout the park:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (specially ticketed event)
During the holidays, one of the hottest tickets around is for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), which takes place on select evenings at Magic Kingdom in November and December.
The party features exclusive holiday entertainment, “snow” falling on Main Street, complimentary treats, special character meet and greets, the chance to see Santa Claus, and so much more.
The event takes place on 25 select nights and runs from 7 p.m. to midnight (yes, that can make a late night for little ones!).
And, it isn’t cheap. Tickets range from $159 plus tax all the way to $199 plus tax (depending on the day you attend).
For that price, you’ll get nearly everything you’ve come to expect from MVMCP, including the holiday fireworks, the Once Upon a Christmastime parade, some character sightings, and of course, free hot cocoa and cookies.
After the last party, select entertainment will be available
After the final party of the season, select party-exclusive entertainment will be available.
While not yet confirmed, in 2023, from December 23-31, you can expect to see the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade twice a day (at 12 p.m. and at 3 p.m.) and from December 23-29, you can expect to see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks at 8:15 p.m.
On December 30 and December 31, the special New Year’s Eve Fireworks “Fantasy in the Sky” will likely be shown twice nightly – at 6:30 p.m. and again at 11:50 p.m.
Frozen Holiday Surprise
The Dream Lights are NOT returning, but there will be a new castle show that will be shown during regular park hours AND during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Frozen Holiday Surprise will feature Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Snowgies in front of Cinderella Castle in new holiday looks.
The “festivities culminate as Elsa adds sparkling finishing touches, transforming Cinderella Castle into a shimmering crystallized palace – a look that will remain throughout the evening.”
It debuts Nov. 7 and will occur nightly throughout the holiday season.
The 7-minute show happens each night at 6:15 pm and again at 8:15 pm during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Of course, what would a Christmas Party be without the big man himself? During MVMCP, you can find him at the Liberty Square Gazebo.
Note: While Santa meets exclusively during MVMCP, as it gets closer to Christmas, he will also meet during the day.
Cinderella Castle projections
No, there will not be any Dream Lights or a Frozen Holiday Wish in 2023. And we aren’t sure if there will be projections on the castle or not this year.
If these special projections do return for 2023, here’s what you can most likely expect:
Similar to the projections used during the nighttime shows, on nights when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party is not offered, guests can expect to see Cinderella Castle transformed into seasonal favorite vignettes.
Jingle Cruise (Jungle Cruise attraction overlay)
The Jingle Cruise is back!
Attraction overlays are a new-ish phenomenon for Walt Disney World. But, if you’ve visited Disneyland during the Christmas season, you’ll have an idea of what it means.
During the holiday season, the popular Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise and when you ride it, you’ll see a sprinkling of holiday-themed props and signage.
And jokes. We can’t forget the jokes. The jokes get a dash of Christmas, too.
Disney has also confirmed that Space Mountain – Holiday Run! will also return for 2023.
In the past, Monster’s Inc., Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Mad Tea Party also saw an overlay for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but they have not been confirmed for 2023.
At Magic Kingdom, you can expect to see lots of decorations down Main Street U.S.A. and around the hub.
PhotoPass & Magic Shots
There are Magic Shots available during the day at Magic Kingdom in 2023:
- Stitch Gift Box: Available at the bridges leading from Cinderella Castle into Tomorrowland and Adventureland through Dec. 31
- Santa’s List: Available at the bridge leading from Cinderella Castle into Liberty Square through Jan. 6
- Winter Confetti: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park through Jan. 6
- Tinker Bell: Available along Main Street, U.S.A., in Sir Mickey’s Royal Portrait Studio, and in the gardens in front of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza Restaurant through Jan. 6
- Mistletoe: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park through Jan. 6
- Mickey Mouse Lights: Town Square near the Christmas tree
Holiday Super Zoom
Super Zoom shots are fun pics and videos that start off far away, but then zoom in. The Super Zoom spot in Magic Kingdom is in the Hub area. To find it, look for a Disney PhotoPass Cast Member holding a tablet.
This year’s Holiday Super Zoom is available near the East Lawn and Plaza Restaurant within the Cinderella Castle Hub area through Jan. 6.
Some of these Magic Shots are exclusive to MVMCP in 2023, with a few that are also available during the day (as noted):
- Pixel Stick: near Storybook Circus entrance
- Snowflake: near Storybook Circus entrance
- Mickey Mouse Sleigh: Main Street, Cinderella Castle Hub area
- Muppets Christmas Carol: Liberty Square near Sleepy Hollow and Hall of Presidents
- Mickey Snowman: on Main Street
- Snowflakes: Main Street (also available during the daytime)
- Santa Tinker Bell: Main Street and Cinderella Castle Hub area (also available during the daytime)
- Tinker Bell Lantern: Cinderella Castle walls near Pinocchio Village Haus
- Zero: Haunted Mansion entrance
What is not available for Christmas at Magic Kingdom?
Here are some things that we won’t see in 2023:
- Tree Lighting Ceremony – Typically held once the tree is up at Magic Kingdom, during normal years there’s a tree lighting ceremony that would take place every evening at dusk (around 5:15-5:30). It didn’t happen in 2020, 2021, or 2022, and we have not heard any word of it returning for 2023.
- Holly Jolly Trolley Show – While we don’t expect to see the typical Holly Jolly Trolley Show, we do hope we can see the Dapper Dans performing from the Main Street Train Station.
- Castle Dream Lights and A Frozen Holiday Wish – The 50th Anniversary decorations have kept the Castle Dream Lights away in 2021 and 2022. We were hopeful they would return for 2023 but instead Disney has announced a new show called “Frozen Holiday Surprise” that will utilize projections instead of physical lights.
Starting on November 24 and running through December 30, Epcot includes all of its holiday offerings under the umbrella of the popular International Festival of the Holidays.
Here’s what you’ll find there:
100th Holiday Decor
For the 2023 festival, there will be holiday decor at the park entrance commemorating the Disney100 celebration.
It’s back for 2023! The Candlelight Processional and the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are back once again for the holiday season.
For those unfamiliar, the Candlelight Processional is probably the most well-known piece of the Festival of Holidays.
During the 40-minute show, celebrity narrators read a presentation of the Christmas Story while joined by a huge choir and a 50-piece orchestra.
It is a beautiful holiday tradition that many families return for year-after-year.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Overlay (not confirmed for 2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is known for its music, and during the 2022 holiday season, they switched out their current list for a new song that’s a “mash-up” of all your favorite Christmas hits.
But, as of right now, Disney has not confirmed that this will return for 2023.
Spaceship Earth Holiday Lighting Composition
Spaceship Earth’s beautiful new lights take on a festive feel with every season. For the 2023 Holiday season, a new light show featuring the song “I’m a Star” from the new animated film Wish will debut on November 22nd.
“Olaf’s Holiday Tradition” Scavenger Hunt
The holiday scavenger hunt is once again returning in 2023!
Guests wanting to join in can simply purchase a map for $9.99 from select locations (Creations Shop, Port of Entry and World Traveler at International Gateway) and then they will be able to hunt the World Showcase for holiday traditions that Olaf has misplaced.
Once you complete it, you’ll be able to snag a gift!
We love the scavenger hunts at Epcot. They are a great for both kids AND adults.
Holiday Cookie Stroll
While we do know the cookie stroll is returning in 2023, we don’t have further details. Below is what the 2022 cookie stroll entailed.
Perfect for those of us with a sweet tooth, all you have to do is collect five stamps after trying five different cookies on the list.
You must purchase the cookies, but after five stamps, you’re able to receive a complimentary cookie as a reward.
And, just an FYI – you don’t have to complete all 5 in 1 day. You can spread it out over multiple visits to Epcot if you wish.
In 2023, you will find recreations of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and The American Adventure building all created out of gingerbread inside the American Adventure Rotunda.
Live performances (including Mariachi Cobre, JAMMitors, and JOYFUL!)
We don’t have showtimes or performances yet for 2023, but the following was available in 2022.
During the day, you’ll have opportunities for other live performances. Make sure you check the My Disney Experience app for show times:
- JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season (confirmed for 2023) will perform holiday music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa on the Showcase Plaza Stage.
- The JAMMitors typically modify their performances based upon the season. Currently, they can be found performing in the entrance plaza to the right of Spaceship Earth
- Mariachi Cobre joins in the with dancers and piñatas for the Los Posadas festivities in the Mexico Pavilion.
- Canadian Holiday Voyageurs part of the Holiday Storytellers, the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs take you on a musical tour of the Great White North.
What would the holidays be without food?
Much like what you find at other festivals, the kitchen kiosks will offer both sweet and savory choices, plus a selection of themed holiday beverages.
In 2023, Santa will once again be greeting holiday guests inside the Odyssey Pavilion.
World Showcase Storytellers
In addition to Santa Claus, you can find a wide variety of storytellers spread throughout the World Showcase:
- Mexico: Las Posadas Celebration – Feliz Navidad! Join the fun and pageantry of Las Posadas with dancers, piñatas and the music of Mariachi Cobre
- Norway: A Mischievous Magical Barn Santa – Celebrate the season with laughter as a mischievous Barn Santa visits Sigrid, an unsuspecting Christmas storyteller
- China: Chinese Lion Dancer – Catch a glimpse of this colorful performance that brings good fortune and happiness in the Lunar New Year
- Italy: La Befana – Listen to the tale of La Befana, a kind-hearted witch who visits sleeping children on the eve of the Epiphany
- The Odyssey Pavillion: Santa Claus (through December 24) – Enjoy a visit with Santa, who has slipped away from his workshop at the North Pole to bring good cheer to you this holiday season
- Japan: Daruma Storyteller – Hear the fascinating story of the Daruma doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year!
- Between France & Morocco: Hanukkah Storyteller – Join the storyteller Zachary as he shares legends, tells tales and sings songs, highlighting Hanukkah celebrations throughout the world
- France: Père Noël – Visit with Père Noël and rediscover the magic of Christmas through the letter of a delightful child
- United Kingdom: Father Christmas – Join Father Christmas as he rings in the season, sharing the traditions of the United Kingdom and good cheer
- Canada: Canadian Holiday Voyageurs – Explore holiday customs from across the vast regions of Canada on a musical tour of the Great White North
Living With The Land: Glimmering Greenhouses
How do you make one of the best attractions in all of Walt Disney World get even better?
You decorate it for the holidays!
Living with the Land gets decked out with Christmas lights and decorations. It is a cute way to add a touch of the season to this beloved classic.
PhotoPass & Magic Shots
While we don’t have the list for 2023 quite yet, here’s what was available back in 2022:
- Olaf and Sven: Norway Pavilion
- Chip and Dale: all World Showcase locations
- Tinker Bell: All World Celebration locations, near World Showcase entrance under Monorail beam, and UK pavilion
- Mickey Gingerbread prop: in front of Christmas tree as you enter World Showcase
- Winter Confetti: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park
- Mistletoe: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park
- Snow Globe: Near World Showcase entrance
It is no secret that our favorite park for Christmas is Hollywood Studios.
And, to be honest, we don’t think you can get much more “Christmas” than what you’ll see here.
NEW in 2023: Disney Jollywood Nights (specially ticketed event)
In 2023, there is a new specially ticketed event called Disney Jollywood Nights, which takes place on select evenings at Hollywood Studios in November and December.
The party features exclusive holiday entertainment, access to attractions, holiday-themed Magic Shots and unique PhotoPass experiences, special character meet and greets, the return of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and so much more.
The event takes place on 10 select nights and runs from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 AM (yes, that can make a late night for little ones!).
And, it isn’t cheap. Tickets range from $159 plus tax up to $179 plus tax (depending on the day you attend).
If you want to see a park ALL decked out, head to Hollywood Studios.
Sure, the other parks have decorations, too. But they just can’t compete with Hollywood Studios.
From the giant-sized Lefton figurines:
To the gorgeous wreaths, swags, and trees:
I mean, how cute is this?!
Plus – you can even find holiday decorations back in Toy Story Land, too!
Minnie’s Holiday Dine
Available from early November – early January, you can dine with Minnie Mouse and friends at a “dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer”.
This is an extremely popular reservation – and the only place you can dine with the characters dressed up for the holidays.
Holiday-themed motorcade with Santa (not confirmed for 2023)
Disney has confirmed that Santa will be making appearances at Hollywood Studios in 2023, we just don’t know if he will be in his motorcade OR if he will return to a traditional meet-and-greet. We will update this section as soon as we hear more.
Sunset Season’s Greetings
When the sun goes down, guests will be dazzled by a beautiful projection show on the Tower of Terror.
And, one of the best parts? The entire area gets sprinkled with snow (aka Snoap)!
Frozen Sing-Along with holiday finale
The very popular Frozen Ever After Sing-Along gets a seasonal tag during the holidays!
And, unlike the non-holiday version, this one has Olaf!
What about Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!?
We have some good news and some bad news when it comes to Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! for 2023.
The good news? After a 3 year hiatus, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! is finally making a return for the 2023 holiday season!
The bad news is that it will only be available as part of the new specially ticketed event Disney Jollywood Nights.
PhotoPass and Magic Shots
Here are the 2023 PhotoPass and Magic Shots at Hollywood Studios:
- Stitch Gift Box: Available at Echo Lake through Dec. 31
- Chip ‘n Dale Ornament: Available near the Hollywood Studios arch through Dec. 3
- Tinker Bell: along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard through Jan. 6
- Mistletoe: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
- Winter Confetti: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
Even Animal Kingdom gets in on the holiday fun!
Merry Menagerie is back for 2023!
During the daytime, you’ll be able to see giant artisan-sculpted animal puppets.
And at night, the buildings are framed in gorgeous rooftop luminaries.
NEW in 2023: Mickey and Minnie in holiday outfits
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. Stay tuned for photos of the two in their festive costumes!
While we know festive flotillas are returning for the 2023 holiday season, we aren’t sure exactly which ones will make an appearance. Last year, we saw:
- Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
- Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
Santa Claus will make a return to Animal Kingdom in 2023.
It sounds like we will actually get to meet him in person rather than watch him float by in a flotilla, like he’s done in the past. Stay tuned for more details.
Animal Kingdom’s decorations are definitely worth checking out. They are different from what you see in the other parks, but their uniqueness is what makes them worth a 2nd look:
Tree of Life Awakenings
Also returning this year is the holiday-themed version of the Tree of Life Awakenings projections on the Tree of Life.
This projection show plays intermittently starting at sundown.
PhotoPass & Magic Shots
Here are the 2023 Magic Shots at Animal Kingdom:
- Chip ‘n Dale Ornament: Available closest to the Tree of Life in Discovery Island through Dec. 31
- Mistletoe: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
- Santa’s Naughty and Nice List: at the holiday tree at the entrance of the park through Jan. 6
- Tinker Bell: bridge leading from the entrance of the park into Discovery Island through Jan. 6
- Meeko: bridge leading from the entrance of the park into Discovery Island through Jan. 5
- Winter Confetti: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
- Chip ‘n Dale: Available at the holiday tree at the entrance of the park through Jan. 6
Christmas Tree Stroll
Do you love a themed Christmas tree? You’re in luck because Disney Springs has a TON of them!
Known as a Christmas Tree Stroll, guests can pick up maps of where to find the trees from several shops around Disney Springs. The 2023 Stroll begins November 10.
In 2022, you could get the maps from City Works Eatery & Pour House, Planet Hollywood, UNIQLO, The BOATHOUSE, and Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers. We will update with the 2023 locations as soon as we hear more.
Click on the maps below for a closer look.
You can also find the trees on the map in the My Disney Experience app.
Let it snow! Disney Springs gets in on the snoap (aka fake snow) action, with flurries taking place each evening usually through the end of December around the Town Center area of Disney Springs.
Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar
And, don’t forget Jock Lindsey’s! Once again for 2023 they will get a special holiday-themed menu plus lots of fun decorations.
What would Christmas be without Santa?
We don’t have all of the details yet for 2023 other than Santa is returning to Once Upon a Toy for a meet and greet in Disney Springs beginning November 10.
In 2022 you could find him at Once Upon a Toy and we anticipate it to be the same this year.
Here’s how the virtual queue for Santa worked in 2022:
Using your phone, you joined a virtual queue in the My Disney Experience app to meet Santa Claus.
You’d open the app, clicked the three lines at the bottom right of the screen, selected “Virtual Queues,” tapped “Join Virtual Queue,” and then went to the “Disney Springs” tab to join the queue.
Important: You could either join starting at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., or 6 p.m and you must be at Disney Springs to do so.
DJs will play music at the AdventHealth Waterside Stage during the day and at night. There will also be performers in the evenings, including toy soldier stilt-walkers and snowflake skaters.
Food & Beverages
There are, of course, several locations to purchase limited-time, holiday treats. Stay tuned for 2023 offerings!
PhotoPass & Magic Shots
Here’s what was available in 2022. We will update once 2023 photo ops are revealed.
- Christmas Present: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Mistletoe: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
- Winter Confetti: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Christmas Gift: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Holiday Props: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Joy Prop: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
- White Mickey Wreath and Holiday Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Mickey Bokeh Lights: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
- Sven and Olaf: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Holiday Sweater Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
- Santa’s Workshop Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
In 2023, Blizzard Beach gets in on the holiday action, too! Following its annual refurbishment, the water park reopens on November 6 and just in time for the holiday fun.
Swimming in December may not sound fun, but rest assured, the heated waters of Blizzard Beach are the perfect place to cool off on warm December days.
And for the holidays, you can expect this already festive winter wonderland to get even a little bit more into the spirit!
Here’s some of what you can expect:
- holiday-themed treats (peppermint shakes, cookie decorating, and more)
- “snow” fall
- festive inner tubes for the lazy river (unconfirmed for 2023)
- chance to meet a tropical-dressed Santa
Resort Christmas Decorations & Gingerbread Houses
All the resorts get in on the action, complete with gorgeous holiday decorations themed to the resort and festive drinks, sweets, and treats.
While all resorts (including the Values and Moderates) are decorated for the holidays, it is the Deluxe-level resorts that really go all out. We highly recommend you take some time to explore them if you can. In fact, during the middle of the day when the parks are at their busiest is a great time to check them out.
Here are the locations of the 2023 Disney World gingerbread displays:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (NEW for 2023)
- American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT
If you are looking to do a resort tour, here are some of our favorites. Some of these pictures are from 2022, but we will update with 2023 images as soon as the resorts get decorations up.
- Grand Floridian: Giant, life-size gingerbread house packed with tons of details. You can purchase smaller versions and gingerbread ornaments to take home with you.
Oh, and there’s even a “Gingerbread House Menu,” where you can order festive treats!
- Contemporary Resort: Not only does the Contemporary Resort have a GIANT tree, they have an adorable gingerbread house (done in the style of Mary Blair), too!
- Polynesian Resort: Gorgeous tree and garland filled with flowers, shells, and pineapples.
Boardwalk Area Resorts
- Beach Club: Life-size spinning carousel made of gingerbread. As seen below, the 2022 theme celebrated the Disney Princesses. In 2023, the carousel will honor DuckTales!
- Yacht Club: Fun holiday village and miniature train. The resort is also finally getting a gingerbread display in the shape of the Crescent Lake Lighthouse!
- Boardwalk: One of our favorite lobbies with a gorgeous tree and tons of garland. Plus, they typically have a miniature gingerbread display of the Boardwalk.
Wilderness Lodge & Ft. Wilderness
- Wilderness Lodge: Fan favorite known for its decorations. The lobby here is always stunning, but it is especially gorgeous during the holidays
- Ft. Wilderness: The only place you can book a holiday “sleigh” ride! The cost is $75 plus tax per ride, and the sleigh fits up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: Not only will you find an extremely unique tree (that is absolutely gorgeous), but you’ll also find a life-sized baby giraffe and baby zebra – both made from gingerbread!
PhotoPass & Magic Shots
The following holiday-themed photos were available last year. Stay tuned for the 2023 PhotoPass and Magic Shots!
- Grand Floridian
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Wilderness Lodge
- Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge
Special holiday tours
Unfortunately, the 2 holiday tours typically found this time of the year – the Yuletide Fantasy Tour and the Holiday D-Lights Tour, weren’t held in 2022. No word yet on 2023.
Read more about Christmas at Disney World
Can’t get enough of the holidays at Walt Disney World? Check out these posts for helpful information and tips!
- All About Christmas at Walt Disney World
- Complete Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Overview of Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays
- Why you should consider purchasing a Candlelight Processional Dining Package
- Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Christmas at Animal Kingdom
- Where to Find Santa Claus at Walt Disney World
- The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
- Guide to Storytellers at Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays
- Every gingerbread house at Disney World
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Private car service
Quicksilver Tours will transport you in style. They assist with luggage at the airport, provide car seats, and include a free grocery stop. Book your car ➡️
Need a stroller, wheelchair, or scooter?
Buena Vista Scooters is a company with a great reputation who offers in-person resort drop off and pick up of strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs. Book your rental ➡️
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