Christmas at Walt Disney World Resort

Laura Nazimiec

Cabo Pulmo National Park

Christmas is a magical time for a fun-filled family vacation at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Soak in the festive atmosphere and mingle with all of your favorite Disney characters at a variety of special events and celebrations. The holiday season at Disney starts early, usually by the first week of November, and continues through the beginning of January. Here are our top picks for must-see holiday attractions at Walt Disney World Resort:

Magic Kingdom

Christmas ParadeOne of the highlights of a Disney Christmas is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a nightly celebration with live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and Mickey’s Once Upon a Time Christmas Parade. The Christmas parade makes its way along a snowy Main Street, USA, complete with elaborate floats, toy soldiers, dancing reindeer, gingerbread men, Disney characters and Santa Claus.

For the first time in 2014, the characters from the movie Frozen will be making a special guest appearance in the parade, and they can also be seen helping to illuminate Cinderella’s Castle in an awe-inspiring display of sparkling lights at A Frozen Holiday Wish.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Osborne LightsA Disney tradition, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is a holiday extravaganza of dazzling light displays synchronized to upbeat Christmas songs. The display got its start at the home of Jennings Osborne in Arkansas, and was later relocated to the Streets of America, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the mid-1990s.


EpcotWorld Showcase is a colorful celebration of holiday festivities from around the globe with music, food and time-honored traditions. Listen as holiday storytellers, dressed up as their country’s version of Santa Claus, share Christmas stories from their native country.


Disney’s Candlelight Processional is one of the park’s most popular holiday events. It features a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, and music by a 50-piece live orchestra accompanied by a choir.

Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season is an inspirational showcase of gospel, jazz, R&B and urban music performed on the Fountain of Nations Stage.

IlluminationsNarrated by the voices of some of your favorite Disney characters, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a stunning fireworks display that celebrates the incredible history of our planet in three parts: past, present and future.


Downtown Disney

Downtown DisneyThe Festival of the Seasons is a holiday celebration in Downtown Disney that features elaborate Christmas decorations, live entertainment, holiday carolers, Christmas shopping and the opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus and even Santa Goofy.


Hotel and Resort Decorations

Throughout the holiday season, all of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels are decorated with Christmas trees, lights and other holiday-inspired décor. Some, like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, go out of their way to get into the Christmas spirit. Stop by to see the life size gingerbread house in its elegant five-story Grand Lobby. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you’re welcome to visit and enjoy the holiday décor.

Written by Laura Nazimiec