10 Magical Experiences for the Holidays at Walt Disney World

WDW Christmas lights

Walt Disney World does nothing in a small way, but makes special things, especially holidays spectacular. Check out these 10 special offerings for the holidays.

1. The Jungle Cruise becomes “The Jingle Cruise” – This nostalgic ride dresses up in holiday decorations, the boats take on special holiday names, and the boat captains even make their jokes more festive and holiday flavored. This transformation begins on November 7.

2. Get “Frozen” at Hollywood Studios – While the Frozen takeover has been going on since summer, this is the first year it has been available for the holidays. At the Premier Theater you can enjoy “The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration”  along with characters from the popular film. Or, if singing is not your cup of cocoa, you can shop at “Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post” or play in the snow (yes, snow in Florida!) in a nearby play area.

3. “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” – This display of millions of lights dancing to music, along with some snow falling on the Streets of America at Hollywood Studios is simply too good to miss!  Catch the holiday spirit beginning November 7.

4. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade – From December 20 -31, this replaces the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade as the daytime parade.

5. Epcot’s World Showcase Promenade and “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth – Explore the various traditions and celebrations of the countries represented in the World Showcase, including storytellers, and shop for holiday merchandise, food, and beverages. A Gingerbread village is displayed at The Land pavilion in Future World.  And the nightly video and fireworks extravaganza, “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth shares a holiday finale with a special guest narrator and the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” each night at 9:30.

6. The Festival of Seasons at Downtown Disney – Holiday decorations, entertainment, and a chance to visit with Santa Claus. You’re likely to find special holiday treats as well.

7. JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season – Jazz, urban, and R &B music combine with gospel and inspirational music on Epcot’s Future World Fountain Stage from November 28 – December 29.

8. Queen Elsa Turns Cinderella Castle into a Festive Ice Palace –  In this new-this-year stage show, “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” guests at Disney’s Magic Kingdom view the Castle Dream Lights, and Frozen’s Queen Elsa uses her powers to “freeze” the 200, 000 lights on Cinderella Castle, giving it an icy glow. This spectacular takes place nightly and begins November 5.

9. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – This special ticket event takes place on select nights November 7 – December 19. After regular park hours, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” brings characters from Frozen, along with Disney favorites all dressed in winter holiday finery. As snow flurries fall, guests can enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. The evening culminates in a “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks show. Tickets for this event are available by calling 407-WDW-7679, or at WaltDisneyWorld.com

10. Epcot Candlelight Processional – a multi-generational choir, a live orchestra, and a celebrity narrator retell the Christmas story each night from November 28 – December 30 with three performances per night – at 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 in the America Gardens Theater. Guests who purchase a Candlelight Dining Package are guaranteed a reserved seat, and a preferred viewing location for fireworks.

Celebrity Narrators:

Jodi Benson 11/28 – 11/29
Neil Patrick Harris 11/30 – 12/2
Jonathan Groff NEW! 12/3 – 12/4
Whoopi Goldberg 12/5 – 12/6
LeVar Burton 12/7– 12/9
Edward James Olmos 12/10 – 12/11
Joe Morton NEW! 12/12 – 12/14
Chita Rivera 12/15 – 12/17
Ana Gasteyer NEW! 12/18 – 12/20
Marlee Matlin 12/21 – 12/23
Isabella Rossellini 12/24 – 12/25
Blair Underwood 12/26 – 12/27
Steven Curtis Chapman 12/28 – 12/30

For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or visit Walt Disney World

Which of these opportunities is your favorite?  Your can’t miss?  Are there other offerings you can’t do without? Let me know!


I’m Jeri – I’m a wife, a mom, a nana, and a lover of all things Disney!  I love writing for ChipandCo, and I’m thrilled to be an Independent Travel Agent with World of Magic Travel, the preferred travel agency of Chip and Co. If you’re ready to plan your holiday trip to Walt Disney World, contact me at jeri@worldofmagictravel.com. I’d love to help make your trip more magical!

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