It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Disney World! Okay- so we’re a little bit ahead, but it will be here before you know it. And I know that spending the Christmas holidays at Disney World is one of the most magical gifts you can share with your family. I love a Disney World holiday trip! So you came to the right place if you need a Disney Christmas guide. Here’s everything we know about Christmas at Disney World for 2023.
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Everything We Know About Christmas At Disney World (2023)
While I am a big fan of Halloween at Disney, I’ll admit there’s something incredibly magical about Main Street USA decorated for the Christmas holidays at Disney World.
And unlike the Halloween festivities at Disney World, a Disney Christmas can be celebrated at all four parks.
Here’s the rundown of everything we know about Christmas at Disney World for 2023.
When Does Disney World Christmas Start?
For most years, Disney World starts Christmas changes pretty much at the stroke of midnight from October 31 to November 1, just like the memes say.
For 2023, however, there is a Halloween Party on November 1, so the Magic Kingdom changes won’t occur until November 2nd.
You can read more about when Disney World decorates for Christmas here.
The official dates of Christmas at Walt Disney World are November 11 through December 31, 2023.
Does Each Theme Park Have Holiday and Christmas Decorations?
Everyone seems to have a favorite, but I lean toward the nostalgia of old Hollywood and the vintage Christmas decorations at Hollywood Studios.
Magic Kingdom will, of course, be decked out in shimmering lights and boughs of holly.
Animal Kingdom should not be skipped at Christmas time as it really does some beautiful and creative decorating for the season.
Epcot will also have loads of decorations, including a cute holiday overlay of Living With The Land.
We’ll break down what there is to do in each Disney World park for Christmas.
Magic Kingdom: Disney World Christmas
Magic Kingdom is the park that gets the most love for the holidays.
It’s the premiere park at Halloween time and it’s also the star of the show during Christmas.
Main Street, USA and the castle will be adorned with holiday decorations starting on November 2, 2023.
The World Famous Jungle Cruise gets a holiday overlay and becomes the World Famous Jingle Cruise- filled with tons of corny holiday-themed dad jokes. This is a must-do!
You can also attend the Disney World Christmas Parties, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP), starting November 10. This extra-ticketed party happens on select nights from November through December and offers exclusive Disney holiday experiences.
Here’s everything you need to know about MVMCP- including some tips for the Disney Christmas party and things NOT to do as well.
- Disney Christmas Party Tips: 3 Things NOT To Do At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (2023)
- Where To Find The Magic Shots At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (2023)
- Where To Find The Characters At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (2023)
There’s nothing like snow on Main Street, USA, during these events!
One Christmas at Disney cost-saving tip: If you visit the Magic Kingdom after the last Christmas Party, you’ll get the holiday fireworks and Christmas parade- and NOT have to pay the premium party cost to do so.
Disney At Christmas: EPCOT
Epcot is chock full of special experiences for Christmas at Disney World thanks to the International Festival of the Holidays that begins on November 24.
If you visit Epcot during the Festival of the Holidays, you may experience:
- The Holiday Cookie Stroll
- Holiday Kitchens food booths located around Epcot
- Holiday Storytellers located all around World Showcase
- Meet Santa Clause at the Odyssey Pavillion
- Hear the JOYFUL! ensemble celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa with uplifting Gospel, R&B and holiday songs
- Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt
- Candlelight Processional
Candlelight Processional Narrators
Possibly the biggest Christmas event at Epcot is the Candlelight Processional.
This is the Christmas story retold by a narrator and a massive choir, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra, herald trumpets, and the incredible Voices of Liberty.
You can book a dining package to ensure premium seating beginning October 17.
Here is the list of Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators and dates for 2023:
- Chrissy Metz (NEW): Nov. 24-25
- Luis Fonsi (NEW): Nov. 26-27
- Ann-Margret (NEW): Nov. 28-29
- Simu Liu: Nov. 30-Dec. 2
- John Stamos: Dec. 3-5
- Neil Patrick Harris: Dec. 6-8
- Marlee Matlin: Dec. 9-11
- Brendan Fraser (NEW): Dec. 12-14
- Eva Longoria (NEW): Dec. 15-16
- Joey McIntyre (NEW): Dec. 17-18
- Sterling K. Brown (NEW): Dec. 19-20
- Jordan Fisher (NEW): Dec. 21-23
- Steven Curtis Chapman: Dec. 24-26
- Audra McDonald (NEW): Dec. 27-28
- Lisa Ling: Dec. 29-30
Hollywood Studios Christmas
I already confessed I love the way Hollywood Studios decorates for Christmas.
Toy Story Land gets a cute holiday overlay, and we absolutely love Santa Gertie.
It also is the home of one of my favorite character meals, Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood And Vine.
Minnie, Mickey, Pluto and Santa Goofy show up in their holiday best for lunch or dinner.
These guys make me smile so much!
There’s also the Sunset Seasons Greetings, a projection show that changes the Tower of Terror into an array of holiday scenes as snow falls along Sunset Boulevard.
And this year, I have another reason to head to my favorite holiday park: The Jollywood Nights Christmas Party.
This is another extra-ticketed event, like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom. It’s running on select nights in 2023.
Here’s everything we know about this inaugural event
This is a new party and may not be the perfect Christmas experience for everyone, so I give 3 reasons you may not want to attend Jollywood Nights this year.
But I’m going and will report back after our party.
Animal Kingdom | Christmas At Walt Disney World
First off, the tree in front of Animal Kingdom is S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G.
The carved ornaments are spectacular, so on your way in (or out) of the park, be sure to stop and check it out.
Inside the park, you’ll get to meet the Merry Menagerie puppets. Aren’t these guys adorable?
Asia is decorated for Diwali, while the rest of the park has Christmas decorations.
There’s a Santa here, too; he gets his own boat that circles Discovery River throughout the day.
The Tree of Life has a special holiday light show called Awakenings. This should happen nightly once the sun has gone down (usually around 6 p.m. during winter).
While this park doesn’t have quite the same level of holiday offerings, it’s still worth visiting during your Disney World Christmas trip.
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Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguiltlife.com and noguiltfangirl.com