With summer vacation in full swing, we’re already halfway to the holidays, and Disney is getting into the spirit with announcements about its upcoming holiday season events. If you’re considering a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort this holiday season, now’s a good time to look into what’s being offered on each coast as you plan your Disney vacation.
The holidays are historically a busy time of year to visit Disney, but they’re also special because of the festive entertainment, after-hour events, and decorations. The newest holiday announcements from Disney are big enough to fill Santa’s sleigh, so there’s a lot to pack into this update. Let’s dive right in and get caught up on what you can expect to find at Walt Disney World and beyond this holiday season.
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All-New and Returning Holiday Parties Coming to Walt Disney World
One of the most anticipated elements of the holidays at Walt Disney World is the fan-favorite after-hours event Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Disney has confirmed that the party will return to Magic Kingdom on 25 select nights between November 9 and December 22, 2023. In addition to after-hours access to the park and its attractions (including the brand-new TRON Lightcycle/Run), attendees can take in the sights and sounds of the holidays with festive decorations, party-exclusive treats, character meet-and-greets, and more.
Entertainment at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party includes the return of three fan-favorite spectaculars: Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and the stage show Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party go on sale June 29 for Walt Disney World Resort guests; general on-sale begins July 6. Tickets range from $159 to $199 per person.
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But wait! There’s more! Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also celebrating the season in a big way this year with an all-new separately ticketed event called Disney Jollywood Nights. The event will take place from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on 10 separate nights from November 10 through December 20, 2023. As with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, attendees at Jollywood Nights will have after-hours access to the park and its attractions, including Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. In addition, there will be festive character meet-and-greets, photo opportunities, specialty treats, and more.
Entertainment at Disney Jollywood Nights includes the nighttime spectacular Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, a Muppet-themed special at Theater of the Stars, and limited-capacity entertainment experiences, which according to Disney includes “a jazz lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby and an other-worldly soiree at The Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard.”
Tickets go on sale June 29 for Walt Disney World Resort guests; general on-sale begins July 6. Tickets range from $159 to $179 per person.
More Holiday Magic Returning across Walt Disney World
If your holiday travel plans to Walt Disney World do not include any separately ticketed events, there’s still plenty to see and do across the resort. The parks and hotels come alive with seasonal decorations, limited-time treats, and more.
At Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle will be the home of Frozen Holiday Surprise, a new entertainment experience which, according to Disney, “will illuminate the castle in a whole new way,” signaling yet another holiday season where the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights from years past will not return. The show will be available during regular park hours as well as during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Over at EPCOT, the International Festival of the Holidays will return November 24 through December 30. This year’s festival will include the beloved holiday tradition Candlelight Processional, as well as Holiday Kitchens and other entertainment offerings. Other returning holiday offerings this year include the “yuletide projection show” on The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Merry Menagerie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs. And, of course, Santa Claus himself will be making appearances at all four Walt Disney World theme parks as well as Disney Springs and a Disney water park.
Four Ways to Save this Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
If you’re considering a trip to Walt Disney World this holiday season, you will be happy to know that there are several ways to save on your hotel accommodations. The cost of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can add up quickly, so it’s exciting to see that Disney is offering four separate hotel room discounts for the holiday season. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to save, depending on which discount you qualify for:
- Disney+ subscribers can save up to 35 percent off rooms October 22 to November 2 and November 26 to December 25.
- Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 35 percent off Sunday through Thursday nights from October 2 to November 18, and up to 40 percent off most nights December 10 to December 25.
- Florida residents can save up to 30 percent off Sunday through Thursday nights from October 2 to November 18, and up to 35 percent off most nights December 10 to December 25.
- As a general discount, guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels can save up to 25 percent off Sunday through Thursday nights from October 2 to November 18 and on most nights November 19 to December 9, and save up to 30 percent on most nights December 10 to December 25.
Additional Holiday Details Unveiled for Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort is also going full-out for the holidays this year with seasonal decorations and ride overlays making the season bright. While Disney has yet to announce dates for the anticipated return of California Adventure’s Festival of the Holidays, we do know that this year will include the return of the fan-favorite “it’s a small world” Holiday.
Disney also unveiled a sneak peek at new holiday outfits that will be donned by Mickey and Minnie featuring “mid-century modern inspired looks.” Like Walt Disney World, limited-time treats will also be available throughout the holiday season at Disneyland Resort, which typically begins in early November and concludes in early January.