While many of us can hardly believe that it’s Halloween already, those of us who have been long-time fans of the Walt Disney World theme parks know that Disney doesn’t play when it comes to celebrating major holidays. I mean, we’ve all been celebrating Halloween since August but tonight, after the last ghost has made its way back to the Haunted Mansion, the installation of holiday décor usually begins throughout the parks and resorts.
Guests who visit Magic Kingdom on November 1st will typically see no traces of Halloween anywhere in the park. In fact, sometimes in years prior, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party would begin just two days after the final Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party event was held. It’s crazy to think that all of that work could possibly be done in two overnight shifts because none of that work occurs on Main Street, U.S.A. while guests are in the park. This year, the team of decorators has a whole week as the first day of the Christmas party isn’t until November 8th.
With that being said, I thought we’d take a little peek at what’s on the agenda so far for the holiday season at Walt Disney World.
Holiday Décor Abounds
Almost everywhere you look, you will be immersed in festive holiday décor. The theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs will soon be transformed into all that is merry and bright.
Décor highlights include:
- Christmas trimmings and theming throughout Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom.
- Holiday glamour on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and festive touches in Toy Story Land.
- Animal-inspired décor, luminaries on Discovery Island, and holiday cheer that expats from Earth have brought to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- Dazzling international decor around World Showcase at EPCOT.
- Nightly snow flurries and Disney-themed Christmas trees at Disney Springs.
- Iconic Gingerbread displays and embellishments at Disney Resort Hotels.
- And Christmas trees seemingly everywhere – more than 1300 at last count, some towering 65 feet.
Experience Enchanting Entertainment This Holiday Season
As the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration continues, select theme park icons will continue to transform into Beacons of Magic in between showings of glittering holiday-themed displays. Disney elves have gone above and beyond to bring guests a variety of yuletide entertainment experiences this holiday season.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- A Merry Menagerie of life-sized, artisan-sculpted puppets of winter animals bring Discovery Island to life as they interact with guests alongside serenading musicians.
- After dark, watch the Tree of Life awaken as a series of wintry tales emerge from within, complemented by holiday-inspired music.
- From November 25 through December 30, 2022, guests will find holiday magic throughout the entire park.
- Santa will be greeting guests inside the Odyssey Pavilion as he gets ready for the big day.
- Heartwarming performances around World Showcase include Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, the Chinese Lion Dance, and holiday storytellers.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Sunset Seasons Greetings brings holiday magic each evening as the iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel transforms into myriad scenes including a “Toy Story” toy hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle, and more.
- The Santa Claus Merry Motorcade features jolly St. Nick cruising down Hollywood Blvd. in his candy-apple red convertible stuffed full of presents.
- Olaf stars in a festive finale to “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” that delights guests with performances of celebratory songs of the holiday season.
- Magic Kingdom
- On nights when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not held, Cinderella Castle transforms to take on a magical holiday look complete with special projection effects, festive colors, and a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater, a jeweled castle look, and more.
So, what are you thinking about the Castle Dream Lights? I am feeling a bit melancholy about them because I’m nervous that we will not get to enjoy them in the future as we have in the past. Those lights were one of the biggest draws for me to start planning a holiday vacation to Walt Disney World. I had only ever seen Disneyland’s tiny pink castle with snow-covered peaks and with Cinderella Castle looking as though it was covered in sparkling sugar crystals, I dreamt of the day that I’d be able to see it in person. Anyhow, fast forward many years to right now, and with those lights still not showing any signs of returning, I’m nervous and hopeful that they’ll return in 2023.
- Disney Springs
- A collection of elaborately decorated Disney trees is on display as part of the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth. Located throughout Disney Springs, these festively decorated trees are sure to spruce up the holiday atmosphere. Guests can even go on a scavenger hunt to find all the trees. Once completed, they can bring it to a redemption location for a special surprise.
- Guests can walk in a winter wonderland, strolling through Town Center and the West Side as flurries of snow add a touch of magic to holiday shopping.
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar transforms into a Holiday Bar complete with jolly decorations to ring in the merry season. Guests can indulge in limited-time holiday-themed sips and snacks to get into the spirit of the season.
- Guests will find Santa at Once Upon a Toy where they can take photos and share holiday wishes with him.
- Enjoy new and returning festive food items throughout Disney Springs like the Olaf Hot Cocoa Surprise from The Ganachery.
I do love the way that Disney does the holiday season and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the fun that is coming this year!