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When do the Christmas decorations go up at Disney World?

When do the Christmas decorations go up at Disney World?

If you are planning a trip to Disney World to see the Christmas decorations, you may be wondering when those decorations actually go up!

The good news is that it is earlier than you might think…

Looking for more information on all things Christmas at Walt Disney World? We have you covered.

Magic Kingdom

Because of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Magic Kingdom gets decked out first – and the entire process happens in the days between the last Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the first Christmas party (which is typically about a week later).

In fact, it is such a magical transformation that you can even find amazing time-lapse videos (like the one below) that give you a peek into the process:

By the time of the first Christmas party (which is November 9th in 2023) the park should be entirely decorated except for maybe the giant tree.

When that goes up can depend on the Christmas parade taping they do for ABC. Because of its size, the tree can interfere with the taping, so they generally leave it down until they get all the shots they need for the show.

When (and where) the parade taping happens used to be easier to predict, but Disney has been changing things up recently. But, even if the giant tree isn’t up when you go, you’ll barely notice it missing with all the other decorations!

Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree

Hollywood Studios

The decorations at Hollywood Studios typically go up before those at Magic Kingdom.

However, unlike Magic Kingdom where the majority of decorations reside in one spot (on Main Street U.S.A.), Hollywood Studios has some of the most immersive decorations of all the parks with decorations sprinkled throughout.

New in 2023, Hollywood Studios will also have a specially ticketed event called Disney Jollywood Nights that starts on November 11 so it is safe to expect the park to be fully decorated by that time.

sunset seasons greetings on tower of terror

Animal Kingdom & Epcot

The other 2 parks (Animal Kingdom and Epcot) generally find themselves completely decorated shortly after Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Animal Kingdom’s holiday offerings include some special decorations around the park and is expected to begin on November 11 for 2023.

Epcot has special holiday offerings too, like the Festival of Holidays and the Candlelight Processional. Traditionally, those begin right around or shortly before Thanksgiving. For 2023, these offerings begin on November 24th.

Spaceship Earth

Resort decorations

Putting up the decorations at the resorts is a gradual process which starts in the days during the first week of November and continues through those leading up to Thanksgiving.

Not all resorts are decorated at the same time, and which resort gets decorated first varies from year to year. So, just because you saw XYZ resort decorated the 2nd week of November last year doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll see the same thing this year.

Gingerbread house Grand Floridian

Disney Springs

Disney Springs gets in on the Christmas fun, too.

Decorating there starts in early November and look for the opening of their premier holiday event, the Christmas Tree Stroll, to happen around mid-November.

annual passholder tree at disney springs christmas tree stroll

Want to see it all?

If your goal is to see all the holiday decorations at the Walt Disney World parks, resorts, and at Disney Springs, plan your trip for anytime Thanksgiving or later. If you opt for any sooner than that you’ll likely catch all the parks mostly decorated, but you could possibly miss some of the decorations at the resorts as well as on the full Festival of the Holidays.

But, don’t wait too long, either. The Christmas decorations at Disney World come down shortly after New Years Day!

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Heather Thomas

Stephen Vuono

Thursday 8th of October 2020

I want to book a family trip to WDW in 2021 to correspond with the end of the Wine & Food Festival and Christmas Decorations We need dates for the overlap of theses 2 events. also While there we would like to update our photos on the Wall to add additional family members What do we need to do this?