Complete Guide to 2023 Disney World at Christmas

Complete Guide to 2023 Disney World at Christmas

This article is your ultimate holiday Disney World Christmas guide in 2023! There is simply no getting around it, a Disney Christmas is … so magical. There is no doubt that Disney World at Christmas time is the most popular time to visit Walt Disney World. Between the Christmas lights, food, and all-around atmosphere, there’s no beating it!

In this article we’re going to break down everything you need to know about Disney World at Christmas time including the Magic Kingdom Christmas guide, the best Disney parks during Christmas, how to purchase Disney World holiday tickets and so much more!

We hope you find this post helpful, and if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World during Christmas be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next vacation. This includes helping you find the best time to buy Disney World tickets as well as book amazing Walt Disney World vacation packages!

So if you’re looking for a Disney World Christmas vacation read on!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Disney World during the Holidays be sure to check out our Disney Crowd Calendar! 

Disney World Crowd Calendar

When Does Disney World Christmas Start 2023?


Like many people planning a trip to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, you may have a lot of questions. One of the first questions you might ask yourself is, so when does the 2023 Christmas season at Disney World start?

You can begin to enjoy Christmas at Disney World 2023 November 11th until December 31st. Which we learned as Disney recently released a ton of Halfway to the Holidays Christmas news, which includes the Disney holiday dates. Disney has recently been announcing the latest Disney Christmas news in the summertime to help tease the rest of the year for guests looking to book.

When Does Christmas Start at Disney 2023?

  • November 11th, 2023 – December 31st, 2023

2023 Holiday season at Walt Disney World usually kicks off around the second week of November, for the Spirit of the Season celebration. It’s important to note that this year is going to be unlike any other Christmas in Disney season we have experienced before, as WDW will also be celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary! 

Luckily you’ll have plenty of time to visit Disney World during Christmas for the holiday season. Christmas time at Disney starts the minute Halloween is over and lasts through the first week of January. When the final 2023 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ends on November 1, Magic Kingdom turns into a winter wonderland. It’s as if Halloween didn’t just exist the night before. All four Walt Disney World parks will be transformed with yuletide cheer by mid-November.

If you’re looking for the kick-off of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party dates, which is returning for 2023, guests can purchase tickets for dates starting November 8th.

Related post: Discount Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets

When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World During Christmas 2023?


The holiday season in Walt Disney World is the most sought out time during the whole year. The merriment and cheer draw in huge crowds, and can be very overwhelming especially the closer to Christmas you get. However, because Disney Christmas dates start so early in November there can still be some great times to visit!

When are the best dates to visit Walt Disney World for Christmas?

  • November 29th & 30th
  • December 1st – 15th

The best dates to visit Walt Disney World for Christmas are November 29th & 30th and December 1st – 15th. Our first step when trying to figure out the best time to visit Disney World during Christmas is to check out our Disney Crowd Calendar! We break down estimated foot traffic, daily ticket prices, and also average temperature for that time of year.

The second most important thing we would take a look at when deciding the best time to visit Disney World at Christmas is to look at the ticket prices. Disney World ticket prices now fluctuate based on day, with the least crowded days having the lowest prices. So if you’re trying to figure out the least crowded Disney Christmas dates, just look for the cheapest ticket prices! Historically, Disney World at Christmas time is busiest around Thanksgiving, and also the two weeks leading up to Christmas day and New Years Eve.

Related post: How Much Does it Cost to Visit Walt Disney World?

Disney Park Christmas Decorations 2023


Walt Disney World truly transports you to a Winter Wonderland for Disney at Christmas. Each park gets a wintery, magical makeover with twinkling lights, beautiful bows and Christmas trees! It’s during this time of year when you can see the famous Magic Kingdom Christmas tree! Walt Disney World has 29 large custom trees that are up to 70 feet tall, 596 smaller trees, and a Christmas tree trail at Disney Springs. Disney World holiday decorations truly make the holiday season special.

When Does Disney World Decorate for Christmas 2023?

  • November 2nd, 2023

As noted above guests will start to see Christmas decorations pop up at Magic Kingdom on November 2nd. From there, Christmas is in full force, especially with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom beginning November 8th. But don’t expect the entire park to be fully decorated on November 2nd. Yes, Disney World at Christmas does an amazing job at transforming the resort overnight. But the decorations wont be completed until the official start of the holiday season, November 11th!

Does Disney Decorate the Resorts for Christmas 2023?

  • Yes! No matter where you stay on property, you can find speciality holiday items or decor!

Some of our favorite specialty Holiday decorations at Disney Resorts include:

  • Life-sized Gingerbread House – The Grand Floridian
  • Extravagant Christmas Chocolate Creations – Yacht and Beach Club
  • Specialty Holiday Menu Items – All Walt Disney World Resort hotels
  • Gigantic Christmas Trees – All Walt Disney World Resort hotels. But our favorite tree can be found at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort.

If you’re staying at Disney World for Christmas, you can expect the Holiday cheer to expand to your hotel room! If you are staying in one of the Deluxe Disney resorts, expect there to be a lot more magic than at the value resorts. No matter where you stay, you can find Christmas time at Disney speciality holiday items or decor!


Related Post: When Does Disney World Decorate For Christmas? 

Magic Kingdom at Christmas 2023


All of the parks have a beautiful charm to them in Disney during Christmas. While the other parks really do a great job with celebrating the holidays, a Magic Kingdom Christmas is unlike any other. It is our favorite and the best park at Christmas. Not only is there an abundance of activities, but there simply is nothing more amazing than walking down Main Street U.S.A as the Christmas music plays and snow falls. So below is everything you need to know about Magic Kingdom during Christmastime! 

Magic Kingdom Christmas Events 2023

  • Main Street USA Seasonal Decor – From toy soldiers to Mickey Christmas wreaths. Main Street’s halls are fully decked for the holiday season!
  • NEW! Frozen Holiday Surprise – This delightful entertainment experience will be offered to guests at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party, and guests during regular hours. We have little details, but know its going to be a new way to illuminate Cinderella Castle during the holidays.
  • Cinderella’s Castle Holiday Projections – Every 15 minutes after sundown, guests can enjoy the holiday projections on the iconic Cinderella Castle with a burst of fireworks at the end! This show will only be presented on nights MVMCP is not offered.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – This is Magic Kingdom’s specialty ticketed event that is finally returning in 2023! The Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party includes free treats like ice cream, popcorn, and beverages.
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade – After December 22nd, guests can enjoy Mickey and his friends, along with Santa, periodically throughout the night! Before the December 22nd, this parade is only available to be seen at MVMCP.
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show – After December 22nd, guests can enjoy Minnie Mouse as our holiday host celebrating the most wonderful time of the year! Before the December 22nd, this parade is only available to be seen at MVMCP.
  • Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration – After December 22nd, guests can head over to Cinderella Castle for a yuletide stage show, starring Mickey Mouse! Before the December 22nd, this parade is only available to be seen at MVMCP.

Want to watch Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Firework show and you don’t have a party ticket? Make a reservation at the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! You can enjoy dinner with a rooftop view of the firework show. Or indulge in deliciously themed holiday treats, the amazing decor on Main Street, or the other holiday feels that come with Christmas at Disney World 2023.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2023

Back again for 2023 is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party which is the signature holiday event for all of Disney World held in Magic Kingdom.This separately ticketed event will be spreading the festive cheer on 25 select nights from November 9th to December 22nd. It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the most wonderful time of the year!

Prepare to be dazzled as the magic unfolds with beloved holiday favorites like the spectacular stage show, “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration,” the sparkling extravaganza of “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” and the merry must-see “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” These enchanting experiences are sure to fill your heart with joy and put a jingle in your step!

But that’s not all – you’ll also have the chance to enjoy some of your favorite classic and thrilling attractions, including the highly anticipated TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise. Just a heads up, a virtual queue* will be in place for this incredible ride during the event, so you can make the most of your time and experience all the holiday magic.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are the following:

  • 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

Magic Kingdom Holiday Ride Overlays 2023

  • Jingle Cruise – Get ready to take an adventurous boat ride through the jungle with holiday-themed puns!
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – Cruise a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights, stylized décor and a fun, futuristic holiday soundtrack as you get behind the wheel.
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – Filling their laugh canisters with some holiday cheer at their “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Holiday Show” for everyone visiting the Monster World.
  • Space Mountain: Holiday Run – Be prepared to launch on an adventure through the cosmos, filled with interstellar lighting and high-energy holiday tunes. Since this is a new overlay, we are unsure if you will be able to enjoy it outside of MVMCP.
  • Mad Tea Party – Spin your teacup to one of 4 holiday combos of lights and music.

Related post: When Does Disney World Decorate for Christmas?

EPCOT at Christmas 2023


Epcot creates its very own magic for the 2023 Disney World Christmas season. This park is known for its culture, food, and uniting the World. The holiday season features a very special festival, a brand new ride overlay, and live holiday music from around the world. All harmoniously joining together to bring you a truly magical experience at Disney World for Christmas.

Epcot Christmas Events 2023

  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – Beginning November 24th, 2023, surround yourself with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors during a beloved extravaganza boasting themed Holiday Kitchens and a scrumptious Holiday Cookie Stroll.
  • Candlelight Processional – Nightly from November 24th to December 30, hear the stirring story of Christmas presented by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by an orchestra and massed choir.
  • Live Music Around the World Showcase – Behold heartwarming performances around World Showcase, including Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, the Chinese Lion Dance and holiday storytellers.

Although the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays may not be our favorite Epcot festival. It surely delivers on the promise to experience and enjoy the holiday season in Disney World for Christmas 2023. Checkout our complete guide to EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays for the latest menu and event updates!

EPCOT Holiday Ride Overlays 2023

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Overlay – This season, the Guardians are trading in their classic hits playlist for a mash-up of seasonal jams at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Blast off to the tune of an awesome holiday single, bringing joy to Xandar and Terra, too.
  • Living with the Land Holiday Overlay – Enjoy holiday themed vegetation as you cruise through the green houses of Disney’s Living with the Land attraction.

Related Post: What is the Best Time to Visit the Festival of the Holidays?


Hollywood Studios at Christmas 2023


Dazzling decorations sprinkled around Echo Lake, Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard really bring in the California Christmas vibes. From a spectacular light show on Tower of Terror to Santa Gertie, Hollywood Studios doesn’t get left out for Christmas. There are no holly jolly ride overlays in this park. But there are some amazing festive events that take place only at Hollywood Studios!

*Brand New 2023! Jollywood Nights in Hollywood Studios

Get ready for Disney Jollywood Nights, an extraordinary holiday extravaganza that is brand new for 2023 at Hollywood Studios. From November 11th to December 20th, 2023, on 10 select nights, this separately ticketed event from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. will immerse you in a glitzy and glamorous holiday wonderland. Experience the holiday vibes of Disney’s Hollywood Studios with sparkling décor, modern beats fused with classic holiday songs, craft cocktails, and decadent dishes. Dance the night away, snap selfies with iconic characters, and indulge in festive treats. Be dazzled by limited-capacity jazz lounges and other-worldly soirees. The night concludes with the spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” featuring music, fireworks, and state-of-the-art projections. Plus, enjoy after-hours access to favorite rides and coasters.

Disney Jollywood Nights is a limited-capacity holiday event. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, and Shades of Green can buy tickets starting June 29. Tickets may be purchased by all guests starting July 6 and ticket prices will range from $159 – $179 per person. Party dates are:

  •  November: 11,18, 20, 27, 29
  •  December: 4, 6,16,18, 20

Hollywood Studios Christmas Events 2023

  • *New Jollywood Nights in Hollywood Studios – Brand new ticketed Disney Christmas event coming to 2023 for guests looking to live up the night in glitz and glamour.
  • Sunset Seasons Greetings: One of our favorites in all of Walt Disney World during Christmas time plays right atop the Hollywood Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard. Once the sun sets, festive yuletide projections begin and change out ever 15 minutes!
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine: Another unique Christmas experience at Walt Disney World which can only be found at Hollywood Studios is Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine. This unique character dining experience is only available during the holidays.
  • Santa Claus Motorcade– Catch the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade right down Hollywood Blvd in his bright red convertible!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – Its our favorite Frozen show but featuring Olaf in the finale!

Related Article: The Complete Guide to the Best Restaurants in Hollywood Studios 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Christmas 2023


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the latest park to get a Christmas makeover, and is one of the reasons we can’t choose the best Disney park for Christmas.  We truly feel that each park brings something special to the table. Holidays in Walt Disney World Florida cannot be complete without a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom Christmas Events 2023

  • Pandora World of Avatar – This newer feature provides cheery entertainment and decorations in the newest addition to this park Pandora World of Avatar. (decorations are also displayed all over the park).
  •  Merry Menagerie – Artisan-sculpted puppets roam Discovery Island throughout the day! Including reindeer, polar bears, penguins, and seals.
  • Tree of Life Holiday Awakenings: The Tree of Life projects a nightly show with snow at its trunk, and tells a series of winter tales throughout the night.
  • Santa Claus Festive Flotilla – See Santa Claus as he sails down the Discovery River to a jolly, world-beat holiday soundtrack.
  • Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla – Feel the beat as a colorful group of percussionists cruise along the Discovery River, entertaining Guests like you on the shore.

Disney continues to bring new and exciting experiences to delight guests, and one of the highlights is the enchanting flotillas at Animal Kingdom. These pontoon boats gracefully navigate the park’s surrounding river, showcasing beloved Disney characters aboard. Last year, during the magical Christmas season, Mickey, Minnie, and even Santa Claus himself joined in on the festive fun, waving to guests and spreading holiday cheer.

Related Post: Celebrating New Years Eve at Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels at Christmas 2023


All of Walt Disney World’s Deluxe resorts decorate for Christmas time at Disney at the same time the parks do. That’s not to say the other hotels aren’t receiving the holiday spirit as well! But the Value and Moderate resorts generally receive wreaths, trees, garland, and bows. Since there are so many Walt Disney World resorts to cover, below is just a list of our favorite resorts! These resorts are definitely part of our Disney World Christmas guide for a reason and are worth planning into your trip.

Best Disney Resorts for the Holidays 2023

  • The Grand Floridian – It’s here where you’ll find the iconic gingerbread house, a massive Walt Disney World Christmas tree, and more elegant decorations. The Grand Floridian markets as a Christmas attraction, so it’s something to consider seeing during your visit.
  • Wilderness Lodge – Arguably our favorite resort for Christmas feels, the Wilderness lodge sports a “cabin in the woods at Christmas” feel. This resort has Christmas tree that stands at 60 feet tall! That’s the same size as the Magic Kingdom Christmas tree!
  • Polynesian Village Resort – Stop into this Monorail resort for a splash of the holidays with a South Pacific twist! The tree in the central lobby is filled with golden lights and beautiful floral garland.
  • Contemporary Resort – Historically, you can find the famous Mary Blare inspired Cinderella gingerbread display at this resort! This iconic display did not return in 2021 so we are keeping all fingers crossed it makes it return in 2023!
  • Yacht & Beach Club – The show stopper at this resort is the life sized gingerbread carousel that spins in the main lobby. You can also spot sea side decor throughout the holiday trimmings!
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge – Although more muted, this resort shares similarities in decor feels to the Wilderness Lodge. Here you can find a smaller 45- foot tree sprinkled with African-inspired decor.

Our favorite resort to visit for Christmas at Disney World 2023 is a difficult one to nail down. The Grand Floridian is one of the most sought out Christmas spots outside of a theme park. While the Wilderness Lodge really plays into the Hollywood movie ideal Christmas setting. Both resorts offer astounding decorations, treats, and unique activities. If you visit these two resorts for the Christmas at Disney season, let us know which one was your favorite!

Related Post: Guide to the Best Disney Resort for Families


Disney World at Christmas 2023 FAQ


Q: When do Christmas Decorations Come Down at Disney?

A: Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so when does Disney Christmas end? Most activities run through December 30 or 31st.  January 5th is the latest any holiday décor would be seen in the parks.

Q: What Time Does Magic Kingdom Open on Christmas Day?

A: Magic Kingdom opens the same time on Christmas Day as any other, but beware of the crowds. Everyone wants to experience the magic of a WDW Christmas (and rightly so) but the park tends to get near full capacity. If you are a resort guess, you may want to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours to get an extra hour or so before the crowds pour in.

Q: What Time Does the Cinderella’s Castle Holiday Projection Show Start?

A: The Cinderella’s Castle holiday projections can be viewed every 15 minutes after sun down.

Q: When Does Festival of the Holidays Start at Epcot?

A: Beginning November 25, 2023, surround yourself with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors during a beloved extravaganza boasting themed Holiday Kitchens and a scrumptious Holiday Cookie Stroll.

Q: When is the First Day of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

A: MVCP begins BEFORE the official holiday season at Disney World on November 8th, 2023.

Q: When Does Christmas Start at Disney?

A: The official holiday season kicks off November 11th, 2023 and runs though the entire holiday season!

When is The Best Time to Visit Disney World 2023?

Our Disney  World Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Disney World Trip?

Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be sure to speak with a Disney World Travel Agent for the most recent deals and promotions. The Park Prodigy will provide a Free Quote for all Disney World Vacation Packages. The Park Prodigy can also help you save up to $20 per ticket when purchasing your Walt Disney World Tickets, and we offer promotional discounts for special events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets. If you’re brand new to Disney vacation planning we recommend our Walt Disney World Planning Page! Learn more about Disney hotels by reading our Walt Disney World Hotels Review page.

Don’t forget to check out our wonderful friends over at Theme Park Today, as well!

Michael Belmont

Michael Belmont is the owner and chief editor at, an authorized Disney and Universal travel agent. He specializes in Disney and Universal theme park tickets and vacation packages, as well as daily park plans to help optimize vacation time. Michael and The Park Prodigy have been featured on ABC’s Florida affiliate, WTFV, as well as over 10 Disney focused blogs. As owner, Michael manages The Park Prodigy blog and social media, a Disney themed podcast, and a Disney and Universal focused YouTube channel. Prior to starting The Park Prodigy, Michael was a long time Disney and Universal enthusiast, frequent visitor of the parks, and even served as a Walt Disney World Cast Member in Orlando, Florida!