This year The Most Magical Place On Earth is hosting holiday magic at all four parks, some resorts and Disney Springs. Christmas time at Walt Disney World feels extra magical with all of the twinkling lights, glittery decorations, traditional treats and, Florida’s winter wonder, snoap. Select resorts will also feature eye-catching trees and delicious gingerbread displays again! Disney Vacation Club Members who call Disney’s Grand Floridian or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge home know these resorts have incredible, stories tall Christmas trees themed to the resort. The holiday season kicks off November 12th, 2021. See what to expect in this Disney World holidays 2021 overview.
Disney Very Merriest After Hours at Magic Kingdom
Still no Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party again this year but Disney Very Merriest After Hours is a holiday event at Magic Kingdom with much of the same entertainment. After Hours events are said to have a low capacity and shorter wait times. The catch? After Hours is shorter than a typical Magic Kingdom special ticketed event, starts later and costs nearly double with tickets ranging from $169 to $249 per person. The price does include unlimited complimentary treats around the park like popcorn, ice cream and soda. There is also a $10 discount for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members on the first few event dates in November. Disney Very Merriest After Hours will debut the first real parade since the park reopened. Until now, there have only been sporadic cavalcade appearances throughout the day.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade typically appears at Very Merry and has some of the most exciting units like the marching toy soldiers! I hear Santa makes a cameo at the end as well.
Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories is a new stage show inspired by old favorites “Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Celebrate the Season” and “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” The soundtrack will showcase classic Christmas tunes and contemporary holiday hits.
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show is the returning firework show from the Very Merry event and also features jolly castle projections and a fly by from your favorite fairy.
On nights when there isn’t an After Hours event guests can see Cinderella Castle get extra festive. The icon will rotate between holiday projection designs and the Beacon of Magic glow that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays takes place November 26th through December 30th in 2021. This cultural affair celebrates holidays around the world with food, entertainment and decorations. Holiday Kitchens around World Showcase feature delicious, seasonal small plates. There’s also a Holiday Cookie Stroll.
Additional seasonal entertainment returns to World Showcase for the festival too including a Hanukkah storyteller on the promenade and holiday storytellers in the France, Italy, Japan, Norway and United Kingdom pavilions. More holiday musical acts will also be back with Las Posadas at the Mexico pavilion and Canadian Holiday Voyageurs in the Canada pavilion. In the China pavilion there will be a Chinese Lion Dance celebrating the new year.
Candlelight Processional returns this year! The spectacular show in Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre has a celebrity narrator tell the story of Christmas surrounded by a stage full of singers with a live orchestra. This musical masterpiece is really something to see, and hear, in person. This year, Candlelight will feature an expanded Cast Member choir instead of various community groups to ensure a safer experience for all.
For more incredible music and storytelling, plan to see the Voices of Liberty. This acapella group is a shining star on any Walt Disney World visit.
Holiday Scenes at Hollywood Studios
Christmas decor is popping up early on Sunset Boulevard! The famous red and white garland stars that line the street to Tower of Terror are a sign of what’s to come. Catch the Hollywood Tower Hotel illuminated with Sunset Seasons Greetings featuring Disney and holiday inspired scenes. My favorite is the overlay from Arendelle featuring Olaf’s shining tree.
Speaking of Olaf, the talking snowman will be back for the holiday edition of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. This adds a few songs from the heartwarming and humorous Olaf’s Frozen Adventure short film. Don’t miss the happy snowman’s cute holiday bow tie.
Merry Menagerie at Animal Kingdom
Much to the delight of fans, the Merry Menagerie makes a comeback at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This artistic experience fits in perfectly at this park. In this atmospheric show, performers walk creatively crafted animal puppets with real animal mannerisms around to holiday music. Some of these puppets are really big like a life size deer!
Tree of Life Awakenings will return in holiday style. This light overlay brightens the park’s icon. Keep watch on the waterways for holiday floatillas. These boat floats carry holiday cheer with characters and musical performers like the Discovery Island Drummers.
Disney Springs Features Decorations, Entertainment & Merchandise
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll returns! This started as a walk through tree trail experience near Earl of Sandwich with all of the trees and snow in one place. Now the elaborately decorated Disney themed trees are spread out all across Disney Springs. It will snow at night once again in the Town Center neighborhood. Typically snoap fall is found at the Disney resort bus entrance near the biggest, glitziest tree around. Disney Springs usually offers a wide range of treats and special food offerings during the holidays. For starters, Jock Lindsay’s will have special menu items to celebrate the season. You can also look forward to merry decor and holiday themed performances on your visit. World of Disney is one of the best places to shop for seasonal merchandise like decor or Christmas Minnie ears. Check the side of the store near Amorette’s. This whole section usually transforms for the holidays.
A Magical Update From The North Pole
Disney has shared that Santa Claus will have ‘individualized time’ with guests this year at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Springs. Meeting Santa may still look a little different but this is an exciting step for families that want to talk to Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. You may also see Santa cruising Discovery River on a floatilla at Animal Kingdom. At Hollywood Studios, keep an eye out for Santa in a red convertible in the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade on Hollywood Boulevard. Remember he’s only around until December 24th. Then it’s Santa’s big day! See more details on the Disney World holidays 2021 official page.