Disney World Events

Holiday Highlights around Walt Disney World

November 8 - December 31, 2021

Holiday Events around Walt Disney World:

The Walt Disney World Holiday Services team provides décor for 780 locations within 41 different properties, including Disney theme parks, resorts, Disney Springs, and recreation and shopping areas. 41 cast members work year-round to make the holiday transformation a reality, with an additional 119 cast members added during the installation period.

The 2021 holiday season at Walt Disney World will look just a bit different than it has in years past. While there will be many holiday-related offerings, select guest favorites will be a little different. Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party will not take place in 2021; instead, Disney Very Merriest After Hours will be held on select nights at Magic Kingdom from November 8 through December 21, 2021. The Candlelight Processional has not been scheduled at EPCOT yet, but it has not officially been cancelled by Disney either. Read more about the individual offerings by clicking their links below.

Magic Candle Company

Disney Parks Holiday Programming

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration parade taping

Information and details on the 2021 programming will be added here once it's announced.

Related Articles:

Christmas at Magic Kingdom

During the holidays, Magic Kingdom is home to 40 festively decorated trees, 147 wreaths and 590 garlands that measure a total of 5,188 feet! Most of the holiday decorations can be found on Main Street, U.S.A. and the Castle hub areas.

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

What happens when you combine one 30,000 pound, 65-foot tree, one 40-foot star, 5500 twinkling lights, 430 feet of garland, 325 ornaments, 275 feet of strung popcorn, 400 flickering candles, 135 candy canes, 100 gingerbread cookies, and the Disney Characters? Why, you have the perfect recipe for Christmas at the Magic Kingdom!

The spectacular tree seems to touch the sky. With delightful oversized toys displayed at it's base, it's an amazing sight. What's that? Is there a hint of gingerbread and cinnamon in the air? No detail is too small when Disney magic is being made. More Info...

A Frozen Holiday Wish

In previous years, A Frozen Holiday Wish has taken place daily on the Cinderella Castle stage. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf can be seen in the show and Queen Elsa's ice powers will transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace. To create the effect, 200,000 twinkling lights are draped on the towers and turrets. You can watch a video of a previous year's version of the show HERE.

Jingle Cruise takes over the Jungle Cruise

During the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise attraction has a new storyline, just for the holidays. The Skippers are homesick, so they've handmade decorations for the queue and boathouse using things that have been mailed to them from home (plus a few they've created themselves). There will be new jokes, new holiday-themed names for the boats and even a holiday-themed radio broadcast playing in the background.

This version of the classic attraction will be open throughout the holiday season.

See Santa Claus

For the 2021 holiday season, Santa Claus will make surprise appearances and greet guests in a physically-distanced way.

This year, Santa Claus is checking his list twice as he makes his way around Walt Disney World for special appearances:

At Magic Kingdom Park, Santa Claus will glide down Main Street, U.S.A., in his sleigh, led by prancing reindeer.

Special Holiday Treats at Magic Kingdom for 2020

2021 details will be added once they're announced!

Twice Upon a Cupcake – A confetti Christmas tree tops a vanilla cupcake with a red velvet hidden Mickey (Available at Main Street Bakery through Dec. 30)

Let it Snow Taco – Sugar cookie “taco shell” filled with salted caramel and spiced chocolate mousse (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe through Dec. 30)

An Orange Bird Christmas – Orange–scented white chocolate mousse filled with orange curd (Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace through Dec. 30)

Chip and Dale Christmas Churros – Gingerbread churros topped with apple pie filling and chocolate chips (Available at Westward Ho through Dec. 30)

Pistachio Chai Tea Float – Pistachio soft–serve, spiced chai tea, and a red velvet cake pop ornament (Available at Aloha Isle through Dec. 30)

Christmas at EPCOT

Candlelight Processional
This event has been confirmed for 2021!

There's nothing that's more inspirational than hearing the story of Christmas told nightly by a celebrity narrator. This beautiful show evokes the true meaning of the holidays and is not to be missed. Enjoy the video below for a previous year's performance of this beloved holiday tradition. 

Living with the Land – Merry and Bright Nights Holiday Overlay

Back in 2019, the Living with the Land attraction was given a brand new Merry and Bright overlay for the Christmas season. The overlay was thoughtfully done and brought a bit of a festive spin to this beloved attraction. We hope the overlay will return in 2021!

See Santa Claus

For the 2021 holiday season, Santa Claus will make surprise appearances and greet guests in a physically-distanced way.

This year, Santa Claus is checking his list twice as he makes his way around Walt Disney World for special appearances:

Beginning November 26th at EPCOT, Santa will take a grand, horse-drawn tour around the World Showcase.

Special Holiday Treats at EPCOT for 2020

2021 details will be added once they're announced!

Spiked Frozen Apple Pie – Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine with Minute Maid® Apple Juice and Cinnamon (Available at Block & Hans through Dec. 31)

Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Sneak Peek! Maple Bûche de Noël – Maple mousse and cranberry rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake

Christmas at Animal Kingdom

For the 2021 holiday season, characters will greet guests in a physically-distanced way via flotillas.

Decorations around the park showcase day-into-nighttime experiences, including Tree of Life transformations.

Pandora – The World of Avatar: The ex-pats who reside on the moon of Pandora will “bring a little Christmastime fun to their alien home, with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, combining vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.

See Santa Claus

For the 2021 holiday season, Santa Claus will make surprise appearances and greet guests in a physically-distanced way.

Santa will make the trek to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to spread the joyous spirit of the season from his very own flotilla as he sails down Discovery River.

Special Holiday Treats at Animal Kingdom for 2020

2021 details will be added once they're announced!

White–Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse – White chocolate peppermint cream cheese mousse with peppermint sauce and chocolate cookie crumbles (Available at Satu’li Canteen Dec. 20 – Jan. 2)

Menagerie Cupcake – Gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting topped with a white chocolate bear (Available at Creature Comforts, Flame Tree Barbecue, and Restaurantosaurus Dec. 1–30)

Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich – Vanilla Ice Cream sandwiched between two pumpkin cookies decorated with fall sprinkles (Available at Dino–Bite Snacks Nov. 1–30)

Santa Mickey Mousse – White chocolate peppermint mousse dome on a brownie base, snowflake sprinkles, and chocolate Mickey ears (Available at Creature Comforts Dec. 1– Jan. 2)

Christmas at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will enjoy a Flurry of Fun with holiday decor throughout the park. All the holiday decorations at Hollywood Studios have a retro style and are inspired by the 1950s. Tinsel town takes on a whole new meaning during the holidays. Echo Lake and the surrounding area is the merriest of places with extra-large ornaments (even some that float!), colorful garlands, and a giant 65-foot tall Christmas tree with a 25-foot base.

Even Dinosaur Gertie is dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat that is so big, four people could stand inside it.

Sunset Seasons Greetings

Flurry of Fun Photo Gallery

This popular holiday experience features impressive laser effects to complement the spectacular projections of Mickey Mouse, Olaf and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite seasonal stories. A snowy Sunset Boulevard will twinkle with festive holiday decorations making the perfect setting for this wintry display. 21 palm trees along Sunset Boulevard will be illuminated with programmable, color-changing LED fixtures transforming the entire area. Walt Disney Animation Studios produced custom animation of Wayne and Lanny from ABC’s Disney Prep & Landing as well as Mickey and pals, exclusively for Sunset Seasons Greetings.

Holiday magic (i.e. 12 high-definition projectors) will transform the facade of the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – Mickey and Minnie reminiscing about a hometown Christmas, characters from Pixar Animation Studios’ Toy Story films wondering which new toys are coming this holiday and more. This stunning experience runs continuously throughout the night.

Holiday magic will once again bring billboards on Sunset Blvd. to life and transform the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into a giant pile of wrapped Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house, the 'Hollywood Toy Hotel', and a frozen winter wonderland. A summer-loving snowman might even make an appearance to share his holiday wish. This stunning and heartwarming experience will run continuously throughout each evening.

Minnie's Holiday Dine - Hollywood & Vine

2021 dates will be added here once they're announced!


Minnie Mouse will host a festive and physically-distanced holiday dinner with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Santa Goofy! Hollywood & Vine will be all decked out with holiday decor, food, music, and activities.

Make reservations online here or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Holiday festivities continue at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff will welcome Olaf to the very popular sing-along, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Just for the holidays the show will include all-new songs from Disney’s animated short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. Olaf will be delivering a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along along with other experiences. 

Take a look at the clip below for a little peek at the new ending.

See Santa Claus

For the 2021 holiday season, Santa Claus will make surprise appearances and greet guests in a physically-distanced way.

This year, Santa Claus is checking his list twice as he makes his way around Walt Disney World for special appearances:

Led by an entourage of elves and riding in his red convertible packed with presents, Santa brings glitz and glamour to a motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Special Holiday Treats at Disney's Hollywood Studios for 2020

2021 details will be added once they're announced!

Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate – Frozen salted caramel hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, green sugar, and a chocolate drizzle served with a souvenir Mickey Glow (Available at PizzeRizzo, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, and Rosie’s All–American Café through Jan. 4)

Mickey’s Holiday Cookie – Vanilla butter cookie enrobed with white chocolate and sugar snowflakes (Available at ABC Commissary and Rosie’s All–American Café through Jan. 4)

Holiday Whoopie Pie – Red velvet whoopie pie filled with a classic cream cheese filling (Available at The Trolley Car Café and Backlot Express through Jan. 4)

Olaf’s Snow Flurry – Yellow cupcake with vanilla buttercream, snow flurry sugar, and Olaf Glow (Available at Rosie’s All–American Café through Jan. 4)

Christmas at Disney Springs

Guests visiting Disney Springs in 2021 can celebrate the spirit of the season with family-friendly fun, beautiful décor and gift ideas galore. Many of the dining locations throughout Disney Springs are offering special holiday treats and bites as well. Be sure to check out the new Christmas Tree Stroll this year! Click the image above for more details!

Religious Services

The details below are from prior years – 2021 details will be added once they are confirmed!

Catholic Mass: 9:00 p.m. Christmas Eve; 10:30 a.m. Christmas Day
Protestant Service: 9:15 a.m.

When: December 24th and 25th

Where: Disney's Contemporary Resort's Fantasia Ballroom

Walt Disney World Guests are asked to use WDW transportation to Magic Kingdom Park and board a shuttle to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Shuttle service begins at 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and at 8:00 a.m. on Christmas Day. The Parking lot will be restricted during this time as well as the lots at the Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian Resorts. Guests staying around the monorail beam are asked to use the watercraft or monorail transportation.

All guests should allow plenty of travel time when using Walt Disney World Transportation as they will go through bag check and metal detector screening processes at the Transportation and Ticket Center and monorail stations located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Find more Religious Services Around Orlando and Disney.

Holiday Magic Shots Around the World
The PhotoPass photographers that can be found all across Walt Disney World have hidden surprises in their cameras - we call them Magic Shots and they can add just a bit of Pixie Dust to the photos you have taken. Some of the photographers will automatically add them, but don't count on it. We recommend asking each photographer because you never know what can happen and it's always fun to see the surprise when you view your photos for the first time.

Here are just a few examples of some of the Magic Shots that have been available in the past:


Holiday Merchandise Around the World

Fun and creative offerings will be available for purchase all across the Walt Disney World Resort for the holiday season and including new Minnie Mouse ear headbands, trading pins, plush toys, ornaments, and so much more!

Discrepancies or Corrections? Please let us know.