2022 Disney World at Christmas Time Bucket List

If you’ve ever been to Disney World at Christmas time, you know they take it seriously! When I was growing up, my family went once for the week of Christmas and even with seven days, we still didn’t experience all the holiday events. Now that I am a local, I try to experience a few Disney World Christmas offerings every year.

This Disney World at Christmas time bucket list has everything there is to do at Disney World in November and December 2022. I have included experiences inside and outside the theme park as well. These can change from year to year, so try and see as much as you can!

Disney world christmas things to do

Magic Kingdom Christmas Experiences

Disney World’s flagship park is decorated beautifully for the holidays. Here at the Magic Kingdom, you will start to see wreaths go up the day after Halloween and can experience all the Christmas lights and decor only a week after. Park guests will be treated to gorgeous displays throughout the park and castle projections with a holiday theme.

However, most of Magic Kingdom’s Christmas experiences require a ticket to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a five-hour event, beginning at 7 PM, where you can see the Christmas time fireworks, a holiday parade, and characters in holiday attire.

If you happen to be in the park between 12/23 and 12/31, you can actually see the parade and fireworks during normal park hours, without a special ticket. The park is extremely crowded that week though, so be sure to stake out a spot early!

I recommend just going during normal park hours earlier in the month. There’s still plenty to experience without a party ticket! My favorites include the musical Jolly Trolley show and the ride overlay where the Jungle Cruise is turned into the Jingle Cruise. Make sure to get the Christmas Cookie Churro from the Main Street Carts as well!

magic kingdom at christmas time

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Over at Epcot, and the other three parks for that matter, all Disney World at Christmas time experiences are included in a basic park ticket. Epcot is extremely festive, not just for Christmas, but for holidays around the world. Here you can visit each country for the Festival of Holidays and see what they are celebrating this time of year.

In addition to performers in each country, there are also Holiday Kitchens with traditional dishes, drinks, and cookies. While you are touring the world, be sure to look out for Olaf hiding in each country. If you buy a map for the scavenger hunt, you will receive a prize once you find all 13 of them!

One of the main events going on at Epcot is the Candlelight Processional. This is a narration of the story of Christmas by a celebrity guest, as well as a choir singing classic songs. It is a beautiful display that can get very crowded, so line up early to get a seat!

If that weren’t enough, other special entertainment includes carolers, meet and greets with Santa, and my favorite, an upbeat holiday concert by Joyful! You can even experience the holidays on rides, as Living with the Land gets a special Christmas overlay. And new this year, Spaceship Earth will have a winter projection show.

It’s impossible to experience all this in one day! I recommend taking a meandering stroll through the countries and stopping at what catches your eye. We have really enjoyed Norway’s Barn Santa, the Chinese Lion Dancers, and the Hanukkah Storyteller in the past so look out for those!

Disney Christmas

Hollywood Studios at Christmas Time Shows

Hollywood Studios used to be the site of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Sadly, that ended over five years ago, but they have made up for it with lots of decorations and a couple of holiday shows.

The headliner is Sunset Seasons Greetings. This is mainly a projection show at the Tower of Terror. This occurs intermittently all night with fun music and a snowfall! Other Christmas time things to do at Hollywood Studios include the Santa motorcade, where there is a little parade daily. The Frozen Sing-Along show also has a special Christmas ending all season!

For more holiday entertainment, you can meet the Fab Five in their Christmas best at Minnie’s Holiday Dine dinner. Of course, you can plenty of festive treats around the park including a hot chocolate lunch box tart at Woody’s Lunch Box.

hollywood studios

Animal Kingdom Winter Experiences

You may be surprised to learn that Animal Kingdom also has lots of holiday offerings! I would describe them more as winter themed than Christmas-themed, but they are still super fun.

My favorite things take place at Discovery Island. During the day, the Merry Menagerie is out greeting guests. This is a group of wooden puppets that have some adorable interactions! Then at night, projections on the Tree of Life show wintery scenes set to music. The imagery with this was gorgeous, especially when set to instrumental holiday tunes.

Each land inside Animal Kingdom has its own theme to match the holidays. Africa has some subtle Christmas decorations with wreaths made of natural materials. In Pandora, it is said that the expats miss Christmas back home, so they have put up their own lights and Avatar-like trinkets. Then in Asia, Diwali is celebrated and there is a beautiful display of lanterns and daily musical performances!

DinoLand U.S.A. is another big spot for Christmas at Animal Kingdom. There are plenty of quirky decorations and lots of lights. You can also see a bunch of characters here in their festive attire on flotillas.

Don’t forget about all the holiday goodies here either. My preference is the Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse at Satu’li Canteen, but you can find whatever your sweet tooth is craving!

animal kingdom holiday

Christmas Time at Disney Springs

I also never count out Disney Springs for some Christmas fun. They have some beautiful decorations matching each district. The festivities start on Black Friday with tons of deals at each store. We went last year and got so many good discounts. It’s a great way to start off the holiday shopping.

As far as decorations go, the Christmas Tree Trail is a must-see. These trees are spread out around the springs with all sorts of themed decorations. Another cute spot for decorations is Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, where there is a holiday overlay.

There are tons of delicious goodies to eat here, even more than usual! You can find holiday specials at restaurants like D-Luxe Burger, YeSake, and Amorette’s. And there is even a special ice cream booth, Swirls on the Water, serving Frozen Hot Chocolate and Peppermint chocolate bark soft-serve nachos!

Disney Springs Christmas Time

Other Disney World at Christmas Time Happenings

Believe it or not, there are tons of Christmas things to do outside the parks as well! Honestly, I could never miss a year without checking out the Christmas displays at each resort. You really have to check out the Magic Kingdom Deluxe resorts, as all of these are decorated perfectly. I usually follow this self-guided tour to see them all!

The crème de la crème is the Grand Floridian Resort. We went here for Christmas Eve in 2018 and it was magical! Here you can find one of the tallest trees I have ever seen and a 15-foot-tall gingerbread house! It has over 5,000 edible gingerbread shingles! Inside the gingerbread house, you can buy a variety of treats including the shingles! They aren’t my favorite though, I would stick to other desserts.

A little bit away from Disney World sits a Christmas hidden gem. Disney’s Vero Beach resort also is one of the best-decorated resorts. Everything is themed to beachy Christmas and I loved all the cute sea creature touches. Even if you aren’t staying at the resort, you can drive down for a nice dinner and a walk on the beach amidst the lights!

For those who love the water, Blizzard Beach is a great place to celebrate the holidays. They actually play Christmas music all year round. I can’t think of a more Floridian way to experience the holidays than swimming around a fake snowy village. If it is too cold for a water park, then next door you can go to the Winter Summerland mini golf! This is an adorable course that is half winter Christmas/half beach Christmas and filled with so many cute details.

I’d be remiss to not mention New Year’s Eve, which also has tons going on at Disney World. Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios each have their own spectacular fireworks display. You can fight through the crowds to see them, or watch from a special resort party. Disney Springs has its own parties, including a glamorous one at the Edison complete with live entertainment.

grand floridian christmas

Know Before You Go: Disney World at Christmas Time Bucket List

One thing is for sure, you won’t be bored if you go to Disney World at Christmas time! Keep in mind, many of these events start shortly after Halloween, however, the world will not be fully in the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving. As always, check the official Disney World website for specific details. I have included a checklist below so you can keep track of all the Disney World at Christmas time experiences you have had!

Have you ever been to Disney World during the holidays? I think it’s the most magical time of year there! For more ideas for Christmas things to do in Florida, check out this blog post.

Disney World at Christmas time