Walt Disney World Christmas and Holiday Festivities 2019

Walt Disney World Christmas Festivities: 2019

The 2019 Holiday Season Begins on November 8, 2019 at Walt Disney World

The Christmas holiday season is arguably the best time to visit Walt Disney World Resort. If you can visit in the first three weeks of December — before the Christmas rush really kicks in to gear — then you can enjoy all the magic of this special time of year, without the most intense crowds.

For 2019, Walt Disney World has a huge array of new additions to make the holiday seasonal even better than even. It all starts on November 8, when Walt Disney World will kick-off the 2019 holiday season with very merry festivities across its theme parks, resorts and Disney Springs. 2019 also marks the debut of all-new seasonal offerings throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and what promises to be a dazzling new holiday-themed fireworks show at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Duffy at Christmas.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Duffy in their holiday best at Christmas.

According to Disney, “It all adds up the most fun this side of the North Pole, with special live entertainment, characters in festive garb, seasonal décor, holiday treats, specialty eats, miles of garlands and decorations, and a shimmering castle to lift holiday spirits.”

If you are planning to visit Walt Disney World this holiday season, your planning should start right now. To help with your Disney Christmas vacation planning, here is complete look at the key holiday happenings across Walt Disney World resort for 2019.

Disney holiday fireworks.

Disney holiday fireworks. (Photo: Matt Stroshane)

A New Holiday Fireworks Show will Debut over Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park

The night skies above Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park will explode to life this holiday season as an all-new nighttime show makes it debut. The show is called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and will be hosted by Minnie Mouse, of course. This new holiday extravaganza promises to bring guests together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas. The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates from November 8 through December 22, and nightly December 23-29.

Outside of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort (my favorite place to be at Walt Disney World for Christmas), the Magic Kingdom is the next most magical place during this festive time of year. Returning holiday favorites in the Magic Kingdom for 2019 include:

  • A glittery Cinderella Castle is the centerpiece of it all, allowing Magic Kingdom to shine at its very brightest during the holidays. You and your family will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters (in their festive finery) and fireworks bursting over head at night. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
  • Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. It’s important to not that dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. You can also experience select rides and attractions (including the popular “Jingle Cruise”), enjoy a few complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A. — a must-do classic for anyone who visits at this time of year.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates for 2019 are as follows: November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22. For more information and ticketing, guests can call (407) 939-1872 or visit Disneyworld.com.
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

For the First Time Ever, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park Joins in the Holiday Festivities

In 2019, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will introduce its biggest holiday season ever in its two-decade history. There will be new festive entertainment and holiday décor in every land — day and night — so you can experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic no matter when you visit the park.

Here is some of what’s in store for you at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park for Christmas 2019:

  • On Discovery Island, you’ll find some magical scenes. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day fades into night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
  • When the sun goes down, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
  • Dinoland, U.S.A. will rock out with the DJ-led Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
  • Looking for an international flavor for your holiday celebrations? Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur with glowing flowers, lanterns and more. These will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances. Not to be missed.
  • The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
  • Tusker House diners will experience holiday merriment as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
  • Over in Pandora, guests will find out-of-this-world Christmastime fun in The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal fun with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
  • Finally, as in all Disney Parks at this time of year, a majestic Disney Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. The tree will be decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals and gives a hint of the holiday magic that is to come once inside the park.
Candlelight Processional, Epcot.

Candlelight Processional, Epcot. (Photo Disney)

Epcot Shines with Holiday Magic, including the popular Candlelight Processional (which begins on November 29)

In keeping with the World Showcase theme of Epcot’s global community, you will find a celebration of holiday traditions from around the globe, all wrapped up and waiting for you to experience at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. From November 29, 2019 through December 30, 2019, immerse yourself in a vast world of holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine and costumed storytellers in many of the 11 World Showcase nations.

  • Leading the way — and a must-do if you are so inclined — is Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition: the Candlelight Processional. This stellar event features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances run three times nightly during the festival, but spots can fill up extremely fast. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase will serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe.
  • World Showcase pavilions will come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
  • At this festive time of year, Chip & Dale are gathering ornaments for their Christmas tree and your family can join in the fun. To be part of Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt, you’ll need to purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations looking for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. When you complete your map, you can return it for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo. This one is a lot of fun, especially for the kids.
  • With its premiere scheduled for October 1, 2019, holiday guests will be among the first to view “Epcot Forever,” a new nighttime spectacular bursting above World Showcase Lagoon and taking the place of the previous Illuminations show.
  • Still have some Christmas shopping to do? Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers and more.
  • Finally, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.
Anna and Elsa in For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Singalong, Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Anna and Elsa in For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Singalong, Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Sparkles with Special Holiday Entertainment

A lot has been happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the past couple of years, so it’s no surprise that this is a great destination for Christmas holiday fun. In addition to the great new attractions that are waiting for you to discover, there are seasonal shows, enchanting “snowfalls,” décor and more.

  • Disney promises that “park guests will be mesmerized by the Sunset Seasons Greetings show projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel.” The show will feature eye-catching laser effects and “snow” just for the holiday season. Plus, the experience also includes stories, songs and cheer courtesy of favorite Disney friends.
  • The nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will treat holiday-goers to music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the iconic Chinese Theatre.
  • For a sweet touch, make a reservation for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. As per all dessert parties (and other special events), the event is not included with theme park admission, and pricing and reservation information will be available later this year.
  • Finally, to add a festive atmosphere, holiday touches and festive décor throughout the park will include seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
  • As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along. This one is a lot of fun for Frozen fans and with Frozen 2 coming out during the holiday season, it’s likely going to be very popular.
  • Finally, you won’t want to miss Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where you can live your own Star Wars adventures and find the perfect holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. It’s hard to say how the crowds are going to be at this time of year, but a good guess is that it will be a hot ticket, so don’t forget that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity. So get there early in the day if you want to visit this hot new land.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. (Photo Gregg Newton)

Disney Springs: Another Must-Do for Your Season’s Greetings

Another magical place to visit during the holiday season, Disney Springs — and all of its retail, dining and entertainment options — is a place where you and your family can make a holiday list and check it twice. Discover dozens of trendy brand-name stores and a large and varied collection of Disney merchandise. If you love Disney treats, you’ll find a world of flavors at great dining spots that will also serve up seasonal cheer at this time of year.

Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run November 8, 2019, through January 5, 2020:

  • Guests strolling the Christmas Tree Trail will be treated to custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring favorite Disney characters.
  • Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.
Disney's Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

The festive full-size gingerbread house that adorns the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts Deck the Halls with Holiday Spirit!

Resort hotels across Walt Disney World will be decked out for the holidays.

Seasonal décor and massive Christmas trees usher in the festive spirit. A couple of highlights include:

  • A life-size holiday gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the place to pick up Christmas treats, including (of course!) tasty gingerbread.
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort boasts a life-size, edible carousel as a holiday tradition, while a holiday village with a miniature train takes center stage at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
  • A special dining experience always ties a big red ribbon around the holidays. Holiday menus that celebrate the season will be found at restaurants throughout Disney resort hotels. For holiday dining information and reservations, guests can call (407) WDW-DINE.

Considering visiting Walt Disney World for the Christmas Holidays?

As a Luxury Travel Blogger and author of The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort, I blog regularly about Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist