Christmas at Disney World 2021: Disney Very Merriest After Hours | magicintheplanning.com

Christmas at Disney World 2023: The Return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (and more!)

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Christmas at Disney World is truly special. Holiday decorations start to spring up throughout the parks and resorts shortly after Halloween. In 2023, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be once again returning to the Magic Kingdom! Epcot will see the return of the International Festival of the Holidays. And if that’s not all, Disney has announced a brand-new nighttime party at Hollywood Studios!

 


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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more!


 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning to Magic Kingdom on select nights from November 9 through December 22!

Here are just some of the things you can expect at this year’s party:

  • The ticketed party will take place on 25 select nights.
    • November: 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 30
    • December: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22
  • It will be held after normal park hours from 7:00 PM to midnight.
  • Guests can enter with a party ticket as early as 4:00 PM. In other words, you do NOT need a park ticket or a park reservation for the day unless you want to enter the park prior to 4:00 PM.
  • Entertainment for the party includes:
    • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
    • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks
    • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (castle stage show)
    • A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show on the Rockettower Plaza Stage
    • Club Tinsel (dance party!)
    • Disney Junior Jingle Jam (dance party for the youngsters in Storybook Circus)
    • Character greetings with characters dressed in their holiday best
    • A festive holiday overlay on The Jungle Cruise (which is also available during non-party hours)
    • Space Mountain – Holiday Run!! will launch guests on an adventure accompanied by holiday music.
    • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
    • A range of holiday treats and drinks (available for purchase)
    • Special Disney PhotoPass opportunities

Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, including Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green, can begin purchasing tickets as early as June 29. Guests not staying on Disney property can begin purchasing tickets on July 6. Ticket prices will range from $149 to $199 depending on the date of your ticket. (Disney Vacation Club and Annual Passholders can receive a $10 discount on their tickets.)

 

Epcot International Festival Of The Holidays

France in Epcot | magicintheplanning.comHave you ever wondered what it was like to celebrate the holidays elsewhere around the world? Featuring traditions from around the globe, including some incredible cuisine and holiday treats, this festival is certainly to put you in the holiday spirit. This year’s festival will take place from November 24 through December 30.

This yearly festival offers some unique holiday entertainment including a celebrity-hosted Candlelight Processional. Here is the narrator lineup for 2023:

  • Chrissy Metz (NEW): November 24-25
  • Luis Fonsi (NEW): November 26-27
  • Ann-Margret (NEW): November 28-29
  • Simu Liu: November 30-December 2
  • John Stamos: December 3-5
  • Neil Patrick Harris: December 6-8
  • Marlee Matlin: December 9-11
  • Brendan Fraser (NEW): December 12-14
  • Eva Longoria (NEW): December 15-16
  • Joey McIntyre (NEW): December 17-18
  • Sterling K. Brown (NEW): December 19-20
  • Jordan Fisher (NEW): December 21-23
  • Steven Curtis Chapman: December 24-26
  • Audra McDonald (NEW): December 27-28
  • Lisa Ling: December 29-30

 

The following is also returning to this year’s festival:

Candlelight Processional Dining Packages

One of the best ways to make sure you get a seat at the Candlelight Processional is by booking a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. This package includes a delicious meal and a ticket for a guaranteed seat at the show. Depending on where you choose to eat, prices for adults usually range from $55 to $104, while children can expect prices between $24 and $53.

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway Pavilion) – Adult: $71 (B) $83 (L/D) | Child: $45 (B) $53 (L/D)
  • Biergarten Restaurant (Germany Pavilion) – Adult: $65 | Child: $37
  • Coral Reef Restaurant (The Living Seas) – Adult: $78 | Child: $32
  • Garden Grill Restaurant (The Land Pavilion) – Adult: $63 (B) $78 (L/D) | Child: $40 (B) $50 (L/D)
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada Pavilion) – Adult: $104 | Child: $42
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (American Adventure Pavilion) – Adults: $41 (same-day packages only)
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room (United Kingdom Pavilion) – Adult: $66 | Child: $29
  • Spice Road Table (Morocco Pavilion) – Adult: $55 | Child: $24

*Prices listed above do not include tax or gratuity. Child prices are for those ages 3-9. B = Breakfast, L/D = Lunch and Dinner

**Regal Eagle Smokehouse does offer same-day dining packages, but they are subject to availability. Keep in mind that while your seat is guaranteed, your specific seat location is not. You will still want to line up early if you have a specific place you’d like to sit. Also, your performance is determined by the time of day you have your dining reservation, and you aren’t able to use your guaranteed seating privilege at any show other than the one assigned to you.

Living with the Land: Glimmering Greenhouses

The interior of Living with the Land will once again be adorned with decorations in 2023. From November 24 to December 30, visitors can immerse themselves in the festive ambiance. This year, the ride has a new name, “Living with the Land: Glimmering Greenhouses,” replacing its previous title, “Living with the Land: Merry & Bright Nights.”

Santa Claus

Meet Santa Claus at the Odyssey Pavilion through December 24th, 2023. He’ll be there every day, offering 60-minute sessions at 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 5:00 PM, and 6:30 PM. (Be sure to check the My Disney Experience app to confirm his schedule on the day of your visit.)

World Showcase Storytellers

Returning for 2023, the World Showcase Storytellers proudly present diverse holiday traditions from around the globe including Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, and more.

Holiday Cookie Stroll

The Holiday Cookie Stroll, first introduced in 2018, is returning in 2023. This exciting festivity allows guests to sample delicious cookies from various countries throughout World Showcase. To participate, purchase cookies from designated “Cookie Stroll” spots and receive a stamp for each one. Collect 5 stamps throughout the festival (over multiple days if needed) and receive a complimentary specialty cookie.

Holiday Kitchens

It wouldn’t be an Epcot Festival without authentic food and beverages from around the world! Here’s a look at this year’s kitchens:

  • American Holiday Table – American Adventure Pavilion (traditional dishes reminiscent of “grandma’s cooking”)
  • Bavaria Holiday Kitchen – Germany Pavilion (heartwarming holiday dishes and beverages)
  • Bubbles & Brine – Near Port of Entry (succulent seafood that pairs beautifully with Champagne)
  • Char & Chop – Near Disney Traders (gourmet meats)
  • Holiday Hearth Desserts – The Odyssey Pavilion (holly jolly desserts, hot cocoa, and more)
  • Holiday Sweets & Treats – Near Port of Entry (desserts and festive sips)
  • L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen – Between Morocco and France Pavilions (classic deli noshes with a side of New York flair)
  • Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen – Mexico Pavilion (Mexican-inspired food, drinks, and dancing)
  • Le Marché de Noël Holiday Kitchen – France Pavilion (food, wine, and specialty drinks)
  • Nochebuena Cocina – Near Test Track (dishes packed with bold Latin flavors)
  • Shanghai Holiday Kitchen – China Pavilion (popular plates and potables from the China Pavilion)
  • Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen – Japan Pavilion (festive dishes and drinks)
  • Swirled Showcase – Near Port of Entry (frozen treats and beverages)
  • Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina – Morocco Pavilion (kebabs and cocktails)
  • Tuscany Holiday Kitchen – Italy Pavilion (seasonal Italian food and beverages)
  • Wine & Wedge – Near Disney Traders (artisanal cheeses and wine)
  • Yukon Holiday Kitchen – Canada Pavilion (food and drinks from the Great White North)
  • Additional Locations:
    • Funnel Cake – Between the American Adventure Pavilion and Japan Pavilion (mini funnel cake topped with peppermint ice cream, chocolate whipped cream and crushed peppermint)
    • Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company – Throughout EPCOT (selection of coffees, plus special holiday treats)
    • Refreshment Outpost – Between the China and Germany Pavilions (snacks and beverages to go)
    • Refreshment Port – Showcase Plaza (comfort foods and festival specialties)

Joyful! A Celebration of the Season

This amazing performance combines Gospel and R&B vocals to celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas. It’s been a must-see at the Festival of the Holidays for so long, and being right at the entrance of the World Showcase makes it the ultimate holiday experience for guests.

“Olaf’s Holiday Tradition” Scavenger Hunt

This popular scavenger hunt will be back in 2023. To join in the fun, simply purchase a map from various shops like Creations Shop, Disney Traders, and World Traveler in Epcot. As you explore, keep an eye out for iconic traditions and add special stickers to your map. Once completed, return your map to Creations Shop, Disney Traders, or World Traveler at the International Gateway to receive your prize. Remember, you will likely have until December 31 to exchange your map and claim your prize.

 

Unconfirmed for the 2023 festival:

While Disney has confirmed some details for the 2023 event, there are a few festivities that were offered in 2022 that have not yet been confirmed for this upcoming festival.

  • Mariachi Cobre – This popular mariachi band gets in on the fun with dancers and piñatas during the awesome Los Posadas celebrations at the Mexico Pavilion.
  • Voices of Liberty – During the holidays, this amazing a cappella group transforms into the “Dickens Carolers” and sings delightful holiday tunes in the American Adventure rotunda.
  • JAMMitors – The JAMMitors change up their shows depending on the time of year. Catch them doing their thing in World Discovery near Connections.
  • Spaceship Earth Holiday Lighting Composition – Spaceship Earth featured a holiday-themed composition in 2022. It is likely that there will be some sort of lighting show in 2023, but it is uncertain at this point if it will be the same show or if a new one will be introduced.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Overlay – During the 2022 holiday season, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind replaced their usual music playlist with a new “mash-up” of popular Christmas songs.

 

The Holidays at Animal Kingdom

While there isn’t necessarily a formal party held at Animal Kingdom, there will once again be seasonal decorations, holiday-themed photo opportunities with Mickey and Minnie, and the Tree of Life holiday awakenings each evening.

Also included in this year’s festivities will be the return of The Merry Menagerie! Located in Discovery Island, these life-size, artisan-sculpted winter animal puppets will come to life. Interact with reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins, and more while accompanied by serenading musicians.

 

Disney Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios

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Disney Jollywood Nights – This brand-new nighttime party will be a ticketed event held on select nights from November 11 to December 20, 2023!

Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, including Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green, can begin purchasing tickets as early as June 29. Guests not staying on Disney property can begin purchasing tickets on July 6. Ticket prices will range from $159 to $179 depending on the date of your ticket. (Disney Vacation Club and Annual Passholders can receive a $10 discount on their tickets.)

  • The ticketed party will take place on 10 select nights.
    • November: 11, 18, 20, 27, 29
    • December: 4, 6, 16, 18, 20
  • It will be held after normal park hours from 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM.
  • Guests can enter with a party ticket as early as 7:00 PM. In other words, you do NOT need a park ticket or a park reservation for the day unless you want to enter the park prior to 7:00 PM.
  • Festivities include:
    • Dapper Décor – The party will feature a “shimmering holiday scene with glitz and glam galore.”
    • Entertainment – More details will be announced later, but here’s what we know so far about the shows featured during this ticketed event:
      • Enjoy a festive welcome to Disney Jollywood Nights with a DJ spinning holiday tunes.
      • Experience a lively Latin Street Fair on Commissary Lane.
      • Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy host a live holiday special at Theater of the Stars with special appearances from Princess Tiana, Belle, and more.
      • Hyperion Theater hosts a spirited Nightmare Before Christmas sing-along with special appearances by Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie.
      • Encounter glitz and glamour at two limited-capacity entertainment experiences:
        • Jazz lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby
        • Other-worldly “soiree” at The Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard where the area will be transformed into the Tip Top Lounge referenced on the ride, complete with 1920’s theming, a ghostly band, themed cocktails, and food.
      • Wrap up the night with the ever-popular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular with music, fireworks, special effects, and projections.
    • Select Attractions – Guests will be able to enjoy some of their favorite attractions with lower wait times. Disney has not yet announced a full list of attractions that will be open, but here’s what we know so far:
      • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
      • Slinky Dog Dash
      • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (with a virtual queue)
      • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    • Characters – Expect to encounter some of your favorite nostalgic Disney friends as they spread holiday cheer.
      • Meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and friends in Animation Courtyard on a hot set with holiday props.
      • Powerline Max and Phineas & Ferb will be at Echo Lake.
      • Edna Mode will be at Pixar Place.
    • Themed Dining – Holiday food and beverages will be available for purchase including savory options, treats, classic cocktails, and holiday beverages.
    • Disney PhotoPass Opportunities – This event will feature holiday-themed Magic Shots and 2 new PhotoPass experiences. All PhotoPass photos captured during the event are included with the price of your ticket!

And in case you can’t make the ticketed event above, Hollywood Studios will be celebrating the holidays throughout the season:

  • Returning again this season is the holiday projections on the “Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel.”
  • Frozen characters will star in “For the First Time in Forever:  A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.”  And once again, Olaf will make his festive finale at the end of the show!
  • Minnie Mouse’s holiday character dining at Hollywood & Vine will also be returning, and she will be joined by none other than Santa Goofy. This year, it will once again be served buffet-style.
  • Toy Story Land Characters in Holiday Attire – See some of your favorite Pixar pals dressed for the season.

 

**Be sure to check back for more details as they are announced by Disney!

Planning a visit to Walt Disney World in November or December 2023? Check out our monthly guides/crowd calendars below:

 

We hope you enjoyed our guide to Christmas at Disney World! Be sure to visit our step-by-step guide to start planning your next Walt Disney World Vacation!

 

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