LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – For families around the globe, a trip to Walt Disney World Resort is a holiday tradition. Whether guests are returning during their favorite time of year or spending their first holiday season with Mickey Mouse and all his friends, there is plenty of excitement and enchantment around every corner of the 40-square-mile resort.
At this special time of year, Walt Disney World transforms into a wonderland of holiday sights, sounds and tastes. Whether meeting a favorite character or gazing at the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree, indulging in a scrumptious morsel or discovering the perfect gift for family and friends, this is the place where holiday dreams come true. Here’s a look at 18 different ways Walt Disney World will be new to guests during the most wonderful time of 2018.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Toy Story Land Holiday Decor and More – Holiday fun comes to this brand-new land, including an oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland and a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie. Guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tunes with themed lighting. Toy Story characters will also don new looks for the season, as Woody and Jessie will sport special holiday vests and sprigs of holly on their hats, while Buzz Lightyear will wear a snazzy Santa hat.
- Disney Junior Dance Party! Debuts Dec. 22 – Like a great big present tucked under the tree, the new Disney Junior Dance Party! will hit the stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios just before Christmas. This high-energy live show will feature beloved Disney Junior pals including Vampirina and Doc McStuffins.
- Sunset Seasons Greetings Adds Laser Effects – New laser effects complement this popular holiday experience that transforms the Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season. Stroll along Sunset Boulevard as snow twinkles in the twilight and Disney characters share their favorite seasonal stories.
- Meet Vampirina at Animation Courtyard – The star of hit Disney Junior television show “Vampirina” now greets guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Vampirina welcomes visitors in the park’s Animation Courtyard.
- Indulge in the Holiday Cookie Stroll – Guests can stroll World Showcase and purchase delicious cookies at various locations, collecting cookie stamps along the way. Those who acquire five or more stamps will be rewarded with a complimentary “completer” cookie and a cold glass of milk!
- First-Time Candlelight Processional Narrators Take to the Stage – Each year at the America Gardens Theatre, celebrity narrators tell the story of Christmas accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra. New narrators this year include Helen Hunt (Nov. 24-25), Alfonso Ribeiro (Nov. 26-27), Bart Millard (Dec. 10-12) and Auli’i Cravalho (Dec. 21-23). And for the first time, this holiday tradition will be presented on Thanksgiving evening, Nov. 22.
- Enjoy Fresh New Bites at Holiday Kitchens – During the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, guests will savor some of the most delectable holiday dishes from across the globe at 12 specialty kitchens set around World Showcase. New items this year include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains and olives at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen. A brand-new kitchen this year, L’Chaim!, will feature traditional Hebrew dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, egg cream and more.
- Bid a Fond Farewell to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – This nighttime spectacular of fireworks, special effects, flame torches and more includes a special holiday finale from Nov. 18 to Dec. 30. This will be the final holiday season for IllumiNations, as the show is scheduled to conclude at the end of summer 2019, with new thrills on World Showcase Lagoon set to debut immediately afterward.
Magic Kingdom Park
- Discover New Merchandise and Collectibles at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – The specially ticketed event will feature a wide range of new items to make everyone’s holiday extra special. Gift ideas will include new short- and long-sleeve shirts, pins, a merry Magic Band and more.
- Very Merry Morsels Await – Guests will find festive new treats at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, such as the Sugar Rush Jumbo Red Velvet Cupcake or the Vanellope Éclair with rainbow cereal topping.
- Holiday Music Happening in Tomorrowland – A new a cappella group will sing holiday favorites in Tomorrowland during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Look for them in between performances of “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas”!
- New Sweet-and-Savory Party Debuts on Town Square – Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party will debut this year as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In this special experience, guests will discover a mix of sweet and savory treats including Tony’s famous meatballs, red velvet cupcakes and much more. The $99/person ticket also includes beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as special reserved viewing for Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Celebrate Diwali with Friends from “Up” – New this year, a Diwali celebration lights up the new live show UP! A Great Bird Adventure. Diwali is India’s annual Festival of Lights, and this year it adds a holiday touch to the magic of nature. Guests will join fun-loving pals Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “Up” in hearing about the story of Diwali from a Wilderness Explorer and discovering some of the world’s most exotic birds.
Play Disney Parks Mobile App
- Holiday Cheer Adds to Fun on the Play Disney Parks Mobile App – New this year, guests will discover several holiday-themed offerings in the Play Disney Parks mobile app. This fun new app debuted earlier this year and brings to life unique interactive experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, including themed games, digital achievements, Disney trivia, music and more. More details about holiday offerings on the Play Disney Parks app will be announced soon.
- Experience the Reimagined World of Disney – One of the best and most exciting places to shop for holiday gifts is the reimagined World of Disney store at Disney Springs. This retail destination features new decor, displays and magical flourishes that turn shopping into a truly Disney
- Discover Holiday Merchandise at Disney Springs – Guests stepping inside the reimagined World of Disney or the festive Disney’s Days of Christmas shop will discover a bountiful array of seasonal delights, including the Nordic-inspired Disney Parks Holiday Collection 2018.
- Skip Down the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs – Guests will enjoy a walk-through wonderland of Christmas trees decorated with Disney imagery and characters. This year’s trail features 27 unique holiday trees with new additions inspired by Toy Story, The Haunted Mansion, vintage Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Star Wars.
- Look Festive and Fabulous with Character Couture – Character Couture packages offer sophisticated hairstyles, as well as detailed makeup and nail designs inspired by Disney characters. During the holidays, guests will be able to look their best for the season with wintry and festive makeovers. Services are available at salons at select resort hotels; appointments are strongly recommended.