I know Halloween just started at Walt Disney World, but I can’t help thinking about the holidays. Disney does a fantastic job celebrating Christmas and other winter holidays throughout the parks. Today I was thinking, “Is it too early to start getting excited for Christmas at Disney?” and my answer is no. If Starbucks can release fall drinks in late August, we can start thinking about the holidays now.
I hope you all are as excited as me, but if you aren’t, it’s okay. Come back to this article on November 1st. Anyway, let’s jump into my five reasons to get excited for the holidays at Disney World.
New Holiday Party Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This summer, it was announced that a new hard-ticket holiday event was coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney Jollywood Nights will be a fun and exciting party filled with never before seen entertainment. From what we’ve heard, it’s a holiday vibe like you’ve never felt before. Sights of sparkling décor, sounds of modern beats over classic holiday songs, tastes of craft cocktails, and decadent dishes. It’s nostalgic, and it’s glitz and glam galore.
The new separately ticketed event is from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on ten select nights, Nov. 11-Dec. 20, 2023. For an extra dose of cheer, the party wraps with the return of the nighttime spectacular, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” (Editor’s Note: The first night of this event has already sold out!)
I am most excited about Commissary Lane’s lively Latin Street fair. This is somewhere I will be spending a lot of time when I go to the event. It will be a very special spot for me, and I’m sure it will remind me of all the Christmas events from my childhood.
Fun fact about me, I grew up in a mixed family, so our holiday season was extra fun. We celebrated Chanukkah and Christmas (Noche Buena), and my birthday kicked off the month of celebrations. I still continue the traditions I grew up with now in my own home. So seeing part of my heritage embraced at Hollywood Studios makes me so happy.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays
This year the 2023 EPCOT Internation Festival of the Holidays will take place from November 24th – December 30th, 2023. It’s a short festival but an enjoyable one. Here guests can learn how different cultures celebrate the holidays and which foods they use to make the festivities even more fun.
One of the highlights of the holiday season at EPCOT is the festival entertainment and the storytellers. The storytellers teach guests about the holiday traditions of all the countries represented in the World Showcase pavilions. It’s a tradition for my family to see each performance in between grabbing food from the booths nearby.
My favorite storyteller is the Chanukkah one. It’s such a fun performance yet educational all at once. Seeing a holiday I celebrated my whole life represented at this festival makes my heart happy.
Christmas Trees at Disney
In my opinion, Disney has the best Christmas trees ever and they are absolutely breathtaking. Christmas trees can be found at the resorts, parks, and Disney Springs.
My favorite way to see the trees are by participating in Christmas Tree Stroll. The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll brings elaborately decorated Disney Christmas trees to the neighborhoods throughout Disney Springs. Each twinkling tree will be themed to personify beloved Disney characters, stories, and celebrations.
Guests wanting to participate in the stroll can pick up a complimentary activity map and complete it. When returned completed, you’ll get a surprise gift.
Merry Menagerie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
During the holiday season and beyond, nature holds the truest magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. As a part of the yuletide entertainment, Discovery Island will spring to life with a Merry Menagerie of winter animals, realized in the form of life-size, artisan-sculpted puppets. Reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins, and more interact with guests, accompanied by serenading musicians, as they create a whimsical display and playful atmosphere for guests of all ages to enjoy.
This is such a unique holiday offering, and it has started to become one of my favorites. The puppeteers are extremely talented so are the musicians that take part in the celebration. It brings so much life to Discovery Island, along with the decorations that go up around the area.
Each holiday season, Disney creates fantastic treats and sweets that make us all merrier. A fan-favorite snack location is the huge gingerbread house that goes up in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It fills the area with the wonderful scent of gingerbread. To me, this makes the lobby feel nice a cozy.
Not only does Disney do that beautifully, they also create terrific snacks in the parks. To get an idea of what they put together, take a look at last year’s Holiday Foodie Guide.
Hopefully this list of five reasons to get excited for the holidays at Disney World got you feeling enthusiastic for what’s to come in a few months. If you haven’t booked your holiday vacation yet, be sure to reach out to Dreams Unlimited Travel today for a free, no-obligation quote to start planning your dream Christmas vacation.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.