One of the best places to be around the holiday season is Walt Disney World. The most magical place on Earth becomes even more magical around the holidays. There are so many things to do and see. Here are 10 fun things to do and see at Walt Disney World around the holiday season.
1. Christmas Tree Stroll
The Christmas Tree Stroll is a really fun holiday activity to do at Disney Springs. First, head over to one of the select locations to get your Christmas Tree Stroll Map. The maps can be found at Amorette’s Patisserie, Basin, The BOATHOUSE, City Works Eatery & Pour House and Under Armour Brand House. Next, follow the map (or go rogue) and look at all the beautifully themed and wonderfully decorated trees all around Disney Springs. This year, you can find trees themed for Star Wars, The Little Mermaid, Moana, Frozen, Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, The Lion King and so many more!
2. Monorail Resorts
The monorail resorts always have beautiful decorations up around the holidays. If you have a day where you are taking a break from the parks or maybe you are staying at one of these resorts, it is fun to hop on the monorail and go to each of these resorts to see their holiday decorations. At the Polynesian Village Resort, it feels as if you are celebrating the holidays in the Polynesian Islands. It is beautifully decorated and still has that lovely tropical feel. The Contemporary Resort has Christmas trees and wreaths all around the resort and a really cool Christmas tree right in front of the resort (that one was my favorite Contemporary tree!) Perhaps the most beautifully decorated of all three monorail resorts, is the Grand Floridian. The Grand Floridian is decorated from floor to ceiling with the most elegant and lovely Christmas decorations. They also have a humongous gingerbread house there that is definitely a sight to see! Right outside of the gingerbread house, you can buy gingerbread “roof shingles”, cookies and more!
3. Visit Santa
Santa Clause has arrived at Walt Disney World! This year, you can meet or see Santa at a few different locations. Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours has a spot where you can have a socially distanced meet & greet with Santa and have your picture taken with him. Disney Springs also has a location to meet Santa at the Once Upon a Toy store. You can join the virtual queue on your My Disney Experience app or scan a QR code outside of the store to secure a place in line. Sometimes, if it is a less busy day at Disney Springs, they will have a standby line to wait in. Santa is available to meet most days from 10am-9pm. From December 15-24, he will be available to meet from 10am-11pm. There is a Disney PhotoPass photographer there as well so you can get a souvenir photo with Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick himself!
4. Holiday Treats
One of the best parts of being in Disney around the holidays is the holiday treats! All four parks have unique holiday treats that you must try while you are there! Here are some of the holiday treats that you can expect to find at each park (See #9 on list for Epcot):
- Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies: Christmas Cookie Sundae and Christmas Cookie Milkshake
- Golden Oak Outpost: Gingerbread Almond Cake Pop
- Main Street Bakery: Mickey Cinnamon Roll (red and green icing)
- Sleepy Hollow: Ginger Apple Funnel Cake
- Satu’li Canteen: Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse
- ABC Commissary: Sugar Cookie Snowman and Santa Belt Cookie
- Backlot Express and Trolley Car Café: Red Velvet Whoopie Pie
- PizzeRizzo: Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Butterscotch Caramel Cannoli
- Outdoor Carts: Holiday Brownies (Chocolate Mickey Brownie with holiday sprinkles)
- Rosie’s All-American Café and Trolley Car Café: Reindeer Mousse
Woody’s Lunchbox: Holiday Lunch Box Tart
5. Very Merriest After Hours
Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours is the modified version of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This ticketed event is available select nights in November and December and will fill you with holiday cheer! Here you can fill up on Hot Cocoa and Snickerdoodle cookies and see the return of a beloved Christmas parade! You can catch a spectacular fireworks show and see some fun Christmas stage shows right in front of Cinderella Castle. If that isn’t convincing enough, you can get on all the rides at Magic Kingdom with little or no wait, meet some rare characters….and you can meet SANTA!
6. Hollywood & Vine
Come to Hollywood Studios and eat at Hollywood & Vine this holiday season! From November 4, 2021- January 3, 2022, Hollywood & Vine is transformed into Minnie’s Holiday Dine. The whole restaurant becomes a “dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season”. Minnie, Mickey and Santa Goofy are dressed up in their holiday best and will come around to say “hello” while you enjoy your delicious meal. There is even a cute photo opportunity with an adorable Christmas backdrop in the front of the restaurant.
7. Candlelight Processional
The Candlelight Processional is one of Epcot’s most beloved holiday traditions. This year, from November 26 to December 30, 2021, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Christmas. They recount the biblical tale of a savior born in Bethlehem. Throughout the narration, there are songs performed by a choir and an orchestra. This year, some of the celebrity narrators include Auli’i Cravalho (the voice of Moana), Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel from The Little Mermaid), Andy Garcia, Pat Sajak and more! Seats fill up very quickly, so be sure to either book a dining package to guarantee you a seat or get to Epcot very early and wait in line to secure your spot.
As you may know, it doesn’t snow in Florida…or does it? While it may not be “real” snow, there is snoap! Snoap is Disney’s solution to anyone who is dreaming of a White Christmas in Florida. Snoap is basically just foamy soap that looks like snow. It is really cool to see it “snoaping” around the holidays down on Main Street USA and in Disney Springs.
9. Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays
From November 26, 2021 to December 30, 2021, you can celebrate the holidays around the world at Epcot! There are beautiful sights to behold at each of the countries around the world and delicious holiday treats to enjoy as well! Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays not only has great food, but it also has the Candlelight Processional, fun for all ages around every corner and the very fun Holiday Cookie Stroll! Stop for delicious cookies at select spots around the world and collect a stamp once you’ve purchased the cookie. Once you’ve collected all five stamps, simply present your Festival Passport at Holiday Sweets & Treats to receive a specialty cookie! This is one of the best festivals at Epcot.
10. Park Decorations
Starting on November 1, it becomes Christmas overnight at the parks. What was once a decorative pumpkin, is now a beautiful Christmas wreath. One of the coolest things to see, is the giant Christmas tree at each of the parks. Magic Kingdom has theirs right at the start of Main Street USA, Animal Kingdom has theirs right before you enter the park, Hollywood Studios has theirs at Echo Lake and Epcot has theirs right before the entrance of World Showcase. There is Christmas music playing everywhere, there is “snoap”, there’s holiday treats and lots of holiday merchandise. If you can, take a trip to Walt Disney World and experience the extra magic that comes during the holiday season!
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