Skip to Content

Disney World Christmas 2024 Complete Guide

Disney World Christmas 2024 Complete Guide

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.

magic kingdom at christmas

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 2024. Some information below is for 2023 but will be updated with the latest 2024 information as it is released.

Disney World Christmas FAQs

When does Christmas start at Disney World?

The 2024 Christmas season officially kicks off at Walt Disney World on November 8. The holiday action starts on November 8 at Magic Kingdom. That is the night of the very first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.

Castle Projections 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 29 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.

If you want to see the Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World, when is the best time to visit?

We recommend the first two 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.

Cinderella Castle at christmas

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 three 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.

Mickey Mouse at christmas

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 and pants for layering in the morning and evening. The weather can be variable, so it’s best to check the weather forecast before you pack.

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:

  1. 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 Lightning Lanes.
  2. Spring for Lightning Lane Multi Pass and Lightning Lane Single Pass. 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 Lightning Lane strategy so that you don’t waste it.
  3. Take advantage of the early hours. During the holiday season, the parks will open up early – sometimes as early as 7 a.m. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

disney world christmas checklist

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:

We don’t have the guides for 2024 yet, but here is what was available last year:

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is home to one of two 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.

Toy soldiers

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 $169 plus tax all the way to $219 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.

From December 21-31, you can see the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade twice a day (at 12 p.m. and at 3 p.m.) and from December 21-29, you can 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 is a castle show that is shown during regular park hours AND during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Frozen Holiday Surprise features Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Snowgies in front of Cinderella Castle in holiday looks.

a frozen holiday surprise projection on cinderella castle

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.”

The 7-minute show happens each night at 6:15 pm and again at 8:15 pm during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Santa Claus

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.

santa claus mickey's very merry christmas party

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.

Jingle Cruise

In addition, Space Mountain – Holiday Run! has made a return for 2024.

Monster’s Inc., Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Mad Tea Party also see an overlay for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.


At Magic Kingdom, you can expect to see lots of decorations down Main Street U.S.A. and around the hub.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

PhotoPass & Magic Shots

We don’t have specifics for 2024 yet, but this is what was available last year:

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
stitch gift box magic shot
  • Santa’s List: Available at the bridge leading from Cinderella Castle into Liberty Square through Jan. 6
santa's list magic shot
  • Winter Confetti: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park through Jan. 6
magic shot christmas
  • 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
christmas magic shot
  • Mistletoe: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park through Jan. 6
christmas magic shot
  • Mickey Mouse Lights: Town Square near the Christmas tree
christmas magic shot

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.

holiday super zoom magic shot

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
MVMCP Magic Shot 2023 7
  • Snowflake: near Storybook Circus entrance
MVMCP Magic Shot 2023 8
  • Mickey Mouse Sleigh: Main Street, Cinderella Castle Hub area
mickey sleigh magic shot
  • Muppets Christmas Carol: Liberty Square near Sleepy Hollow and Hall of Presidents
MVMCP Magic Shot 2023 6
  • Mickey Snowman: on Main Street
Mickey Snowman Magic Shot
  • Snowflakes: Main Street (also available during the daytime)
MVMCP Magic Shot 2023 4
  • Santa Tinker Bell: Main Street and Cinderella Castle Hub area (also available during the daytime)
MVMCP Magic Shot 2023 5
  • Tinker Bell Lantern: Cinderella Castle walls near Pinocchio Village Haus
tinker bell lantern magic shot
  • Zero: Haunted Mansion entrance
zero magic shot

What is not available for Christmas at Magic Kingdom?

Here are some things that we won’t see in 2024:

  • 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, 2022, or 2023, and we have not heard any word of it returning for 2024.
  • 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 kept the Castle Dream Lights away in 2021 and 2022. We were hopeful they would return for 2023 but instead Disney announced a new show called “Frozen Holiday Surprise” that utilizes projections instead of physical lights. Unfortunately, the Castle Dream Lights are not scheduled for 2024, either.
Dream lights on Cinderella Castle


Starting on November 29 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:

Candlelight Processional

It’s back for 2024! The Candlelight Processional and the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages are back once again for the holiday season.

Candlelight processional at epcot festival of the holidays

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 returning for 2024)

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, this will not be making a return for 2024.

guardians of the galaxy

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 debuted. We look forward to see what iteration is on display for 2024.

spaceship earth holiday light show 2022

“Olaf’s Holiday Tradition” Scavenger Hunt

The holiday scavenger hunt is once again returning in 2024!

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

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.

gingerbread man festival of the holidays

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 five in one day. You can spread it out over multiple visits to Epcot if you wish.

Gingerbread Display

In 2023, you could 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. We’ll update when we know if these will be returning for 2024.

Live performances (including Mariachi Cobre, JAMMitors, and JOYFUL!)

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 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.
canadian holiday voyageurs

Holiday Kitchens

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.

Santa Claus

In 2024, 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:

Epcot France storyteller Festival of the Holidays
  • 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?

Living with the Land Holidays

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

Christmas is also packed with lots of opportunities to grab photos and Magic Shots.

  • Olaf and Sven: Norway Pavilion
sven and olaf holiday magic shot epcot
  • Chip and Dale: all World Showcase locations
chip and dale holiday magic shot epcot
  • Tinker Bell: All World Celebration locations, near World Showcase entrance under Monorail beam, and UK pavilion
epcot christmas magic shot
  • Mickey Gingerbread prop: in front of Christmas tree as you enter World Showcase
mickey gingerbread photopass disney world
  • Winter Confetti: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park
epcot christmas magic shot
  • Mistletoe: Available at most PhotoPass locations around the park
epcot christmas magic shot
  • Snow Globe: Near World Showcase entrance
epcot christmas magic shot

Hollywood Studios

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.

Disney Jollywood Nights (specially ticketed event)

In 2023, a new specially ticketed event called Disney Jollywood Nights debuted. It 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.

Disney jollywood nights

The event takes place on 13 select nights and runs from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

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 figurines:

Hollywood Studios christmas lefton

To the gorgeous wreaths, swags, and trees:

hollywood studios christmas decorations

I mean, how cute is this?!

Hollywood Studios christmas decorations

Plus – you can even find holiday decorations back in Toy Story Land, too!

sugar cookie toy story land christmas

Minnie’s Holiday Dine

Available from early November through early January, you can dine with Minnie Mouse and friends at a “dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer”.

Minnie's Holiday Dine

This is an extremely popular reservation – and the only place you can dine with the characters dressed up for the holidays.

Meet Santa

Santa is once again back and meeting guests at Hollywood Studios – but this time he’s moved to the It’s a Wonderful Shop on Grand Avenue:

Hollywood studios christmas decorations its a wonderful shop

In 2024 at Hollywood Studios, Santa will be meeting from November 9 – December 24. Check the My Disney Experience app for times.

Santa hollywood studios

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)!

Sunsset Seasons Greetings

Frozen Sing-Along with holiday finale

The very popular Frozen Ever After Sing-Along gets a seasonal tag during the holidays!

Frozen Sing Along with holiday ending

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!.

The good news? After a three year hiatus, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! made a return for the 2023 holiday season!

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM view

The bad news is that it is only be available as part of the new specially ticketed event Disney Jollywood Nights.

PhotoPass and Magic Shots

We don’t have specifics yet for 2024, but these were the Magic Shots offered last year:

Here are the 2023 PhotoPass and Magic Shots at Hollywood Studios:

  • Stitch Gift Box: Available at Echo Lake through Dec. 31
stitch gift box magic shot at hollywood studios
  • Chip ‘n Dale Ornament: Available near the Hollywood Studios arch through Dec. 3
chip and dale ornament magic shot at hollywood studios
  • Tinker Bell: along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard through Jan. 6
tinker bell holiday magic shot
  • Mistletoe: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
mistletoe holiday magic shot
  • Winter Confetti: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
confetti magic shot

Animal Kingdom

Even Animal Kingdom gets in on the holiday fun!

Merry Menagerie

Merry Menagerie is back for 2024!

Merry Menagerie animal kingdom

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.

Merry Menagerie animal kingdom

Mickey and Minnie in holiday outfits

During Animal Kingdom’s holiday season, you’ll be able to meet Mickey and Minnie in holiday attire at Adventurers Outpost in Discovery Island.

Holiday flotillas

For the 2023 holiday season, two festive flotillas navigated the waters of Animal Kingdom:

  • Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
  • Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
Santa at Animal Kingdom flotilla

However, character flotillas have ceased operation during normal park hours. And Holiday Flotillas weren’t mentioned during the Halfway to Holidays announcements. So, we think it’s unlikely they return for 2024.


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 second look:

Animal Kingdom decorations

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.

Tree of life awakenings holiday

This projection show plays intermittently starting at sundown.

PhotoPass & Magic Shots

We don’t have specifics yet for 2024, but these were the Magic Shots offered last year:

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
chip and dale ornament magic shot at animal kingdom
  • Mistletoe: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
mistletoe holiday magic shot animal kingdom
  • Santa’s Naughty and Nice List: at the holiday tree at the entrance of the park through Jan. 6
santa's naughty and nice list magic shot animal kingdom
  • Tinker Bell: bridge leading from the entrance of the park into Discovery Island through Jan. 6
tinker bell holiday magic shot animal kingdom
  • Meeko: bridge leading from the entrance of the park into Discovery Island through Jan. 5
meeko holiday magic shot animal kingdom
  • Winter Confetti: most locations around the park through Jan. 6
confetti magic shot at animal kingdom
  • Chip ‘n Dale: Available at the holiday tree at the entrance of the park through Jan. 6
chip and dale holiday magic shot at animal kingdom

Disney Springs

Christmas Tree Stroll

Do you love a themed Christmas tree? You’re in luck because Disney Springs has a TON of them!

haunted mansion tree disney springs christmas tree stroll

Known as a Christmas Tree Stroll, guests can pick up maps of where to find the trees from several shops around Disney Springs.

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.

disney springs snowman holiday decoration

Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar

And, don’t forget Jock Lindsey’s! Once again for 2024 they will get a special holiday-themed menu plus lots of fun decorations.

jock lindsey's holiday bar disney springs


What would Christmas be without Santa?

Santa is returning to Once Upon a Toy for a meet and greet in Disney Springs beginning in November.

santa claus once upon a toy disney springs

Here’s how the virtual queue for Santa works:

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., 11:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. or 6 p.m and you must be at Disney Springs to do so.

santa virtual queue disney springs

Other Entertainment

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.

advent health waterside stage disney springs

Food & Beverages

There are, of course, several locations to purchase limited-time, holiday treats. Check out all of the offerings in the 2023 Holiday Foodie Guide.

PhotoPass & Magic Shots

We don’t have specifics yet for 2024, but these were the Magic Shots offered last year:

Look for opportunities around Disney Springs to get some holiday specific photos.

  • Christmas Present: Disney PhotoPass Studio
christmas present photopass studio
  • Mistletoe: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
mistletoe magic shot disney springs
  • Winter Confetti: Disney PhotoPass Studio
winter confetti disney springs photopass studio
  • Christmas Gift: Disney PhotoPass Studio
christmas gift disney photopass studio disney springs
  • Holiday Props: Disney PhotoPass Studio
christmas photo disney springs photopass studio
  • Joy Prop: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
joy prop disney springs magic shot
  • White Mickey Wreath and Holiday Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
mickey wreath disney springs photopass photo studio
  • Mickey Bokeh Lights: in front of Christmas tree in Town Center
  • Sven and Olaf: Disney PhotoPass Studio
sven and olaf disney springs photopass studio
  • Holiday Sweater Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
disney christmas flannel background disney springs
  • Santa’s Workshop Background: Disney PhotoPass Studio
santa's workshop background disney springs photopass studio

Blizzard Beach

In 2024, Blizzard Beach gets in on the holiday action, too! Following its annual refurbishment, the water park reopens in November 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.

tropical santa blizzard beach

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 2024)
  • chance to meet a tropical-dressed Santa (unconfirmed for 2024)

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 2024 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
  • American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT

If you are looking to do a resort tour, here are some of our favorites.

Monorail Resorts

  • 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.
grand floriidan gingerbread house

Oh, and there’s even a “Gingerbread House Menu,” where you can order festive treats!

grand floridian gingerbread house 2021 menu
  • 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!
contemporary gingerbread house 2022
  • Polynesian Resort: Gorgeous tree and garland filled with flowers, shells, and pineapples.
polynesian village resort christmas tree

Boardwalk Area Resorts

  • Beach Club: Life-size spinning carousel made of gingerbread.
gingerbread little mermaid carousel display at disney's beach club resort
gingerbread little mermaid carousel display at disney's beach club resort
  • Yacht Club: Fun holiday village and miniature train, and a gingerbread display in the shape of the Crescent Lake Lighthouse!
Yacht Club miniature train
gingerbread lighthouse at yacht club
  • 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.
Boardwalk lobby christmas

Wilderness Lodge & Fort Wilderness

  • Wilderness Lodge: Fan favorite known for its decorations. The lobby here is always stunning, but it is especially gorgeous during the holidays
Wilderness lodge at christmas
  • Fort Wilderness: The only place you can book a holiday “sleigh” ride! The cost is $80 plus tax per ride, and the sleigh fits up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Gingerbread giraffe and zebra at 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 resorts join in on the holiday-themed photo fun. Look for some special shots around select resorts.

  • Grand Floridian
grand floridian gingerbread house magic shot
grand floridian christmas magic shot
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
animal kingdom lodge christmas magic shot
mistletoe magic shot animal kingdom lodge
  • Wilderness Lodge
wilderness lodge christmas magic shot
sven and olaf magic shot wilderness lodge
  • Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge
winter confetti magic shot disney world hotels

Special holiday tours

Unfortunately, the two holiday tours typically found this time of the year – the Yuletide Fantasy Tour and the Holiday D-Lights Tour, weren’t held in 2022 or 2023 and will not be held in 2024.


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

christine lynch

Monday 29th of October 2018

Do you know any details on the ultimate Christmas package Disney has going on for Dec 17 2018 for 5 nights. Particularly what it means to have exclusive access to Toy Story Land and Animal Kingdom? Wondering if I will be able to get on the rides easily without fast passes during this time. Especially because if I book now, no fast passes for Slinky or Flights of passage are available.


Thursday 30th of August 2018

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!


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

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?


Wednesday 30th of November 2016

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


Saturday 22nd of October 2016

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

Thursday 17th of November 2016

not christmas

Comments are closed.