Disney World at Christmas - Special Events and Entertainment
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.
Photo credits: All photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.
Candlelight Processional at Epcot - November 29 - December 30, 2013
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 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 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
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.
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 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.
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.
Happy Holidays from the Dapper Dans
From Halloween to Christmas at Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy a Disney Christmas at Home...
We'd love for you to share your favorite Disney World memories.