What’s Happening at Walt Disney World for Christmas 2020

Cinderella Castle Christmas 2020

Cinderella Castle Christmas 2020 (Photo Matt Stroshane)

Christmas at Walt Disney World in 2020

The Christmas holiday season is the most magical time of year to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth and for 2020, Walt Disney World has a lot to offer holiday Disney travelers.

All Disney theme parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs are decked out for the holidays and the Christmas spirit will be bringing joy to visitors through December 30, 2020. So if you’re lucky enough to be planning a visit to Walt Disney World this year, get ready to discover enchanting décor, special merchandise, delectable treats and new entertainment experiences all across the property as Disney celebrates the spirit of the season.

Where to find Santa Claus at Walt Disney World

First things first. Knowing where to find Santa at Walt Disney World is an important piece of information. You won’t be able to sit on Santa’s knee, of course, but you will be able to wish him a Merry Christmas with a festive wave.

This year, Santa Claus will make special appearances at the following Walt Disney World locations:

  • Magic Kingdom Park: Santa will be gliding down Main Street, U.S.A. on his sleigh led by reindeer.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park: Santa spreads the spirit of the season from his very own flotilla as he sails down Discovery River.
  • At Hollywood Studios watch for Santa and an entourage of elves riding in a red convertible packed with presents.
  • Beginning in late November, Santa will be joined by Mrs. Claus at Disney Springs as the merry couple soaks up their last bit of Florida sunshine before the big night. They’ll cruise Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs in colorfully decorated pontoon boats.
  • And starting November 27 at EPCOT, Santa will take a grand, horse-drawn tour around World Showcase.

Other highlights for the upcoming holiday season at Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Park

  • Several times daily, favorite characters don their holiday best and celebrate the season in a series of special cavalcades, complete with Christmastime floats and music:
    • “Mickey’s Holiday Cavalcade” is a holiday celebration with Mickey Mouse and his friends.
    • “Goofy’s Scrumptious Cavalcade” features Goofy cooking up some holiday fun from his gingerbread house and bake shop floats, joined by dancing gingerbread men.
    • “A Royal Christmas Processional” heralds the arrival of Disney princesses on a crystal castle float.
    • Main Street, U.S.A., is the place to catch the Holiday Trolley, delivering festive harmonies from the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet, while toy soldiers march with the Main Street Philharmonic as they bring musical cheer for all to hear.
    • Holiday treats include Chip ‘n’ Dale Christmas Churros, a Pistachio Chai Tea Float and An Orange Bird Christmas – an orange-scented white chocolate mousse.
    • When night falls at Magic Kingdom, projection effects transform Cinderella Castle with a kaleidoscope of designs, including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation. The iconic castle provides the perfect colorful background for guests seeking a magical holiday portrait.
Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, Christmas 2020.

Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, Christmas 2020. (Photo Matt Stroshane)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • “Donald’s Dino Bash” takes its seasonal celebration to the waters of Discovery River, with Donald Duck and pals waving to everyone as they pass.
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale jingle through the jungle, bringing their own style of holiday flair to the river on their own flotilla.
  • The Discovery Island Drummers cruise along, entertaining guests on the shore with an energetic holiday beat.
  • Beginning December 1, the park will feature special holiday-themed food, such as White-Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse and a Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” adds a festive finale featuring Olaf and celebratory songs of the season.
  • Minnie Mouse hosts a yuletide dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, inviting some of her best pals – including Santa Goofy – to join the fun.
  • Festive foodie items include Mickey’s Holiday Cookie, Holiday Whoopie Pie and Olaf’s Snow Flurry – a yellow cupcake with vanilla buttercream and snow-flurry sugar.
  • After dark, the Hollywood Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard twinkles with projection effects as it becomes the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel. The icon magically transforming into a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”

Disney Springs

  • The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth invites guests to gaze with wonder at elaborately decorated, Disney-trimmed trees as they explore the shopping, dining and entertainment district.
  • Seasonal treats will be available throughout Disney Springs, such as Holiday Mickey Mousse at Amorette’s Patisserie and a Mickey Santa Pinata at The Ganachery.
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar transforms into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with delightful décor and a limited-time menu of festive favorites.
  • Outdoor DJs play holiday music during the day to get guests in the spirt of the season.
  • In the evening, stilt-walking toy soldiers, skating snowflakes and a snowfall add a touch of magic for holiday shoppers.

Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays (Starting on November 27, 2020)

  • Holiday Kitchens located throughout World Showcase will offer tasty treats of the season, such as Duck Confit and Dumplings at Festival Favorites or the Gingerbread Milkshake from the Holiday Hearth.
  • Characters dressed in their holiday best will travel around World Showcase, including Queen Anna and Elsa in the “Frozen Holiday Promenade” and Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy making merry on the “Mickey and Friends Holiday World Tour.”
  • Special music will fill the air throughout the park:
    • Inside World Showplace at EPCOT, JOYFUL! will take guests on a magical journey of holiday music.
    • Also inside World Showplace, an EPCOT pianist will perform holiday music from around the world.
    • Voices of Liberty will use their harmonies to share songs of the season at America Gardens Theatre.
    • Also at America Gardens Theatre, Mariachi Cobre will bring to life Las Posadas, a celebration of Mexican holiday customs through music and dance.
    • At the Canada pavilion, the JAMMitors will grace the Mill Stage with playful percussion full of merriment.
    • The Holiday Cookie Stroll will offer a complimentary cookie as reward for completing the confectionary collection – a delicious array of sweet treats from half a dozen locations across the park.
    • “Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition” scavenger hunt will invite children of all ages to join a festive adventure around World Showcase, where they will round up holiday traditions the lovable snowman has misplaced.
      Disney Resort Hotels

Disney Resort Hotels

While some holiday favorites will not be happening this year, Disney resort hotels will still be decking their halls with festive flourishes for the holidays.

  • The magic of the season will greet guests as soon as they arrive, with front entrances dressed in their holiday finest.
  • Christmas trees will light up every lobby.
  • All suite resort rooms will have their own Christmas trees.
  • Gingerbread treats will be available at select resorts, along with other sweet treats of the season.

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Mike Belobradic, The Finer Side of Travel™
A Luxury Disney Travel Blog