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Disney World at Christmas - Special Events and Entertainment

Updated on August 18, 2014

Christmas and Holiday Special Events at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Disney World is always incredible but the holidays are even more amazing with special shows, parades, displays, and more. The Disney World resorts and theme parks are decorated to help get you in the Holiday mood and the best thing is that most of the Christmas festivities are included with admission. We've put together this one-stop guide to all the wonders of Christmas at Disney World.

Click Here for Disney World Crowd Information & Ride Closures During Your Vacation Travel Dates

Photo credits: All photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot - November 29 - December 30, 2013

Candlellight Processional at Epcot in Disney World.
Candlellight Processional at Epcot in Disney World.

Epcot's Candlelight Processional is a beloved holiday tradition at Disney World, though the show actually goes back to Disneyland (California) when it was first performed in 1958. The Candlelight Processional features a celebrity narrator tells the Christmas nativity story accompanied by an orchestra and choir who perform traditional Christmas songs. The Candlelight Processional is included with Epcot admission but seating is limited.

Candlelight Processional (Epcot) - November 29 - December 30, 2013. Performances at 5:00PM, 6:45PM, & 8:15PM. Very, very popular - arrive early for the 5:00PM performance for your best shot at getting in with the shortest possible wait. Anoher option is to book a Candlelight Processional Lunch or Dinner package (call 407-WDW-DINE) that guarantee a spot in the audience. You don't dine at the show itself but you dine at one of numerous Epcot restaurants and receive a voucher that guarantees a spot at a specific performance on the same day.

This year's celebrity narrators (subject to change without notice):

Nov. 29 - Dec 1: Gary Sinise

Dec. 2 - Dec. 3: Neil Patrick Harris

Dec. 4 - Dec. 5: Ashley Judd

Dec. 6 - Dec. 7: Whoopi Goldberg

Dec. 8 - Dec. 10: Sigourney Weaver

Dec. 11 - Dec. 13: Dennis Haysbert

Dec. 14 - Dec. 16: James Denton

Dec. 17 - Dec. 19: Edward James Olmos

Dec. 20 - Dec. 22: Trace Adkins

Dec. 23 - Dec. 25: To Be Announced

Dec. 26 - Dec. 28: Blair Underwood

Dec. 29 - Dec. 30: Amy Grant

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios - November 8, 2013 - January 5, 2014

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is an incredible display of millions of holiday lights and music at Disney's Hollywood Studios park. These holiday lights were created by Jennings Osborne and were originally on disply in Little Rock, Arkansas and were incredibly popular. Eventually, the crowds exceeded the practical capacity of the neighborhood and, in 1995, an arrangement was reached for Disney to host this amazing holiday display. The The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included in the cost of admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios park.

You can see the lights this season from November 8, 2013 - January 5, 2014

Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special of Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special at Disney's Hollywood Studios

2013 Dates to Be Announced

Family-friendly improvisational comedy, as performers take suggestions from the audience and add their own brand of humor right on the spot, inventing holiday songs, stories, poems and scenarios. No extra cost - included in regular Disney's Hollywood Studios park admission. Check the Disney's Hollywood Studios Times Guide (available near the maps at the front of the park) for show times during your visit.

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

November 9, 2013 - January 2, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom park joins of the holiday fun with a huge Christmas Tree and the afternoon parade is re-themed with a festival holiday.

Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade takes place daily at 3:45PM from November 9, 2013 - January 2, 2014

Santa Goofy's Holiday Village - Holiday decorations and fun character meet-and-greets in the Camp Minnie-Mickey area of Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Daily from November 9, 2013 - January 2, 2014

Photo credit: Photo by squigglybee via Flickr Creative Commons.

Cinderella's Castle Dream Lights at Magic Kingdom
Cinderella's Castle Dream Lights at Magic Kingdom

Christmas in the Magic Kingdom

2013 Dates to Be Announced - Cinderella's Holiday Wish / Castle Dream Lights. Cinderella's Castle is in its full Christmas glory with 200,000 lights and holiday decorations Every evening, Cinderella and other favorite Disney characters take to the stage to help you celebrate the lighting of the castle lights. Check your Magic Kingdom Times Guide (found near the park maps at the front of the park) for the time this will happen during your visit to the Magic Kingdom.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom

Select Nights in November and December

The Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 2013. This event requires a special ticket - your Magic Your Way ticket won't get you in. Tickets are $55 - $67 depending on the date and age of the participant. It is a fun event but it costs a chunk of change so use your own judgment as to whether this is a "must do" event for your trip. Just call and we'll be happy to answer your questions or to book those tickets for you. If you are not doing this event, you will want to be aware that the Magic Kingdom closes early - at 7PM - on the nights of the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and they generally won't have the Main Street Electrical Parade those nights.

Tip: In years past, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom & Disney's Hollywood Studios Opened to Everyone at 8:00AM on Select Mornings. We'll update this information as soon as it is released.

Magic Kingdom opens to everyone (not just Disney resort guests) at 8:00AM on TBA

Special Early Opening For Disney hotel guests only: The Magic Kingdom will open at 7:00AM on TBA

Disney's Animal Kingdom opens to everyone at 8:00AM on TBA.

Disney's Hollywood Studios opens to everyone at 8:00AM on TBA.

Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club resort.
Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club resort.

Disney World Resorts - Decorated for the Holidays

The Disney World Resort Hotel lobbies will be decorated for the holidays - especially the Deluxe resorts. The Disney World chefs create some really elaborate gingerbread pieces that will be on display. The gingerbread carousel in this photo was from Disney's Beach Club Resort. Even the Disney moderate and value resort lobbies will have decorations. You don't have to stay at the Disney resort to enjoy these displays - they're in the public areas of the hotels and are open to the public.

Christmas Morning Church Services at Walt Disney World Resort

Christmas Day Church Services Disney's Contemporary Resort's Fantasia Ballroom

* Catholic Mass: 8:00AM and 10:15AM

* Protestant Service: 9:00AM

Walt Disney World Guests are asked to use WDW transportation to the Contemporary Resort - start at the Magic Kingdom and take the Monorail to the Contemporary Resort. There is also a walking trail between the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort. Guests parked at the Disney World Ticket and Transportation Center (also Magic Kingdom parking) can take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort. The Disney's Contemporary Resort Parking lot will be restricted during this time as well as the lots at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts.

Most Sundays, Disney does not have religious services on resort property.

Click Here for A List of Churches Near Walt Disney World

Polaroid

Polaroid
Polaroid

Happy Holidays from the Dapper Dans

From Halloween to Christmas at Magic Kingdom Park

We'd love for you to share your favorite Disney World memories.

Have You Been to Disney World at Christmas?

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    • profile image

      theadoredhome 4 years ago

      I go every year to see the amazing decorations and lights. I can tell you that you cannot see it all in one day! It is awesome

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      I've always wanted to go to Disney in December - I think it would be amazing to see Disney all decked out for the holidays!

    • BuildABetterMouse profile image
      Author

      Steve and Annette 5 years ago

      @Tagarack: No, they don't have ice skating in Downtown Disney - unfortunately. I think there just got to be too many people for the space. They had to discountinue the trick-or-treating at Downtown Disney because of crowd safety issues. Thank you for stopping by my lens and for your comments.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      No, but would love to.

    • Tagarack profile image

      Tagarack 5 years ago

      Yes, it's wonderfully festive. Do they still have the ice skating at Downtown Disney? I know that they had moved it into it's own like tent setup near the Disney Vacation Club booth. I liked it better when it was over the fountain and you could sit down and relax and watch the talented and the not so talented (grin). I was there for a few of the tapings of the WDW Christmas parade too.

      Great info for those travelling around the holidays.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Nope, but I bet the scenery is astonishing!

    • WayfarersGuide profile image

      WayfarersGuide 5 years ago

      I've been to Disney World once during the holidays. The decorations are beautiful and the cooler temperatures are nice too. Great photos!