Disney World Holiday Celebrations in 2021
Are you ready for some holiday magic?! The Christmas season has always been my favorite time to visit Walt Disney World and I am so excited for all the special events and celebrations they are bringing back for 2021! Our family visited during the Christmas season last year, when many of the regular programs and activities were on hiatus. I will honestly say, it was still the most magical place to be during the holiday season and we loved every minute of it, but we’re so excited for the return of our favorite festivities and the arrival of some new things!
With Walt Disney World celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, you can expect a sprinkling of anniversary magic throughout the holiday festivities. For example, castle projections will alternate between holiday themes and the special anniversary “Beacon of Magic” display.
What to Expect
Disney has reveled some of the details for this year’s holiday season, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more as the date approaches. You can find more details on the Disney Parks Blog. Here is what we know so far.
Main Street, USA is my favorite spot to be when it’s all decorated for Christmas. Holiday décor will return to the Magic Kingdom, as well as special night time magic. After sunset, holiday projections will appear on Cinderella’s castle. This was one of my favorite things that we enjoyed last year, even when there weren’t any fireworks. We really enjoyed sitting in the grass, watching the different projections on the castle while the kids twirled around and danced to holiday music.
The annual “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas” event was canceled last year and will be replaced this year by “Disney Very Merriest After Hours.” This will be a ticketed event much like MVMC was and will debut on Nov. 8. The After Hours event will be available on select dates through Dec. 21. It will last four hours and will include “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” characters throughout the park, holiday music, décor and treats. Like other After Hours events, a limited number of tickets will be sold and is a separate ticket for after regular park hours. In my experience, these After Hours events are always worth it! There are so many special things that make the event memorable, and the wait times are always shorter!! Tickets will go on sale next month, with an early purchase window available to guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
The Christmas season at Hollywood Studios is a unique, festive experience! I love the vintage décor throughout the park. The Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard will be transformed with projection effects, which include a snowy corner of Arendelle, a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a Toy Story toy hotel, and a Dickensian village inspired by “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”
You can catch Santa Claus’s motorcade coming down Hollywood Boulevard. You will also be able to enjoy “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” featuring, Olaf. My kids loved this last year! Minnie Mouse is also returning to host her festive meal at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Minnie and her friends will be donning their holiday best – even Santa Goofy will be there!
Animal Kingdom Theme Park
We really enjoyed the Christmas season at Animal Kingdom last year. One of the fun additions last year, were the character flotillas which are returning this year! It was really fun to spot them floating by throughout the day. We felt like we got to see more characters this way, without the wait. The Tree of Life will become a Beacon of Magic most nights during the 50th anniversary celebration. The holiday edition of Tree of Life Awakenings will also take place on most nights.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will return this year, from Nov. 26 – Dec. 30, with Holiday Kitchens around the park, performances by Voices of Liberty, the guest favorite Cookie Stroll and more! More details will be revealed at a later date.
Disney Springs is a must-visit spot at Christmas time. Aside from the fact that entrance and parking is all free, it really gives you a great taste of Disney magic. This year sees the return of the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll, with elaborately decorated, Disney-themed trees. Some themes will be new and some will be inspired by “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” Don’t miss the magical “snow fall” in Town Center!
Disney Resort Hotels
Disney Resort hotels will be decked for the holidays, with iconic trees and other seasonal touches. And a guest favorite will return this year, as select gingerbread displays will once again be part of our holiday season! Also at select resorts, you will find restaurants offering holiday menus and specialty food and drink.