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Our Guide to Christmas at Magic Kingdom Park

by Mommy Frog on November 2, 2023 8 Orlando   Video

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The holidays are always so magical throughout Walt Disney World Resort, but it doesn't quite feel like the holidays until we visit Magic Kingdom Park. The entrance and Main Street, U.S.A. are decked out in decor along with the larger-than-life tree in Town Square. Jingle Cruise makes its festive holiday return, as well as a brand-new "Frozen" themed show at Cinderella Castle. Plus, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party dazzles on select nights. There's no place like home for the holidays — here's everything to know about Christmas at Magic Kingdom!

Christmas at Magic Kingdom — Castle projections and snowfall on Main Street

 

Overview of Christmas at Magic Kingdom

While the holidays officially kicked off Nov. 11, 2023, for all of Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom gets decked out well in advance. Most decor was up within the first few days of November in preparation for the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, running Nov. 9 to Dec 22, 2023, on select nights. The separately ticketed event features rare characters, special entertainment, jolly-good treats, ride overlays, “snowfall” on Main Street and more!

Outside of the party, you can enjoy the Jingle Cruise ride overlay, as well as specialty merchandise and food and drink. New this year, see Cinderella Castle illuminated in a whole new way with Frozen Holiday Surprise, including appearances from Elsa, Anna, Olaf Kristoff and the Snowgies!

Christmas at Magic Kingdom — Park entrance with decor

Magic Kingdom will continue to be a winter wonderland generally through Dec. 31. Psst — if you haven’t already gotten your tickets and hotel, hop to it soon before Disney Park Passes are completely booked this holiday season!

If you plan on visiting Magic Kingdom during the most wonderful time of the year, you'll want to be prepared for a busy (and exciting!) time in the park. Keep reading for our top tips for celebrating Christmas at Magic Kingdom in 2023!

Christmas Decorations at Magic Kingdom

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Most decor appeared on Nov. 2 as the transition from Halloween into the holidays practically hoppens overnight, as garland with giant red bows quickly replaces all of the pumpkin wreaths. The rest of the decor appears a few days later as the iconic Christmas tree rises above the rooftops of Main Street, while toy soldier statues keep watch nearby.

Christmas at Magic Kingdom — Tree and toy soldier on Main Street

You’ll find most of the Christmas decor as soon as you walk into Main Street, U.S.A — the iconic Christmas tree, along with toy soldier statues, wreaths and garland galore. Snow falling on Main Street, U.S.A. is a staple and returns during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. While the castle hub and Main Street are quite festive, you won't find many other decorations in the rest of the park.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party — Beginning of parade down Main Street U.S.A.

Celebrate the holiday season with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, back at Magic Kingdom Park on select nights Nov. 9 to Dec. 22, 2023. This special event occurs after regular park hours and requires a separate party ticket to enjoy all its exclusive offerings. Running from 7 p.m. to midnight on select nights, the party features rare characters, special entertainment, jolly-good treats, ride overlays and more! There is even “snowfall” on Main Street intermittently throughout the night.

Returning are big highlights such as Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration castle stage show and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters, some of whom are decked out in their holiday finest. Check out our festive party guide for all the exciting details!

If you'll be at Magic Kingdom the day of a party, remember that the park closes at 6 p.m. to regular day guests. At that time, we recommend hopping over to another park or enjoying the decorations at the resorts. Even with a shorter park day, you can often get a lot done in the morning and afternoon, as some people go to another park instead. Party guests are allowed in at 4 p.m. however, so the crowds will be noticeably higher from 4 to 6 p.m.

Christmas Entertainment at Magic Kingdom Park

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade — Mickey and Minnie

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is limited to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. But don't worry, if you are visiting Magic Kingdom in the last week of December, you'll have a chance to see this incredible parade during the day! The parade typically runs twice daily at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. from Dec. 23 through Dec. 31. It's always so great to see this limited parade! On the castle stage, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration also typically runs from Dec. 23 through Dec. 31 to regular daytime guests (showtimes vary).

Typically from early December through Dec. 24, you may even see Santa Claus himself make appearances for individual interactions at the Liberty Square gazebo. Check the My Disney Experience app for set times.

Confirmed for 2023, Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will run nightly from Dec. 23 through Dec. 29 to regular daytime guests. There will be no showing of Happily Ever After on those nights. The fireworks on Dec. 30 and 31 will be special showings of "Fantasy in the Sky" for New Year's Eve.

"Frozen Holiday Surprise" at Magic Kingdom

 

New for the 2023 holiday season, Magic Kingdom presents “Frozen Holiday Surprise,” a "Frozen”-inspired show that illuminates the castle in a whole new way. Guests are able to see Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and the Snowgies in front of Cinderella Castle. Running through Dec. 31, this new offering is available during regular park hours (6:15 p.m.) and during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We frogs loved this cool new entertainment!

Jingle Cruise is back! The homesick skippers have decorated once again to show off their festive spirits, turning the tour into a yuletide adventure. Hop aboard the Eggnog Annie or Vixen Val, and sit back and relax as you listen to the punny yuletide jokes.

Festive Food and Seasonal Flavors at Magic Kingdom Park

Holiday Food at Disney World — Wreath Donut from Magic Kingdom

One of our favorite things about the holidays at Disney World is the seasonal treats! Almost every quick-service restaurant at Magic Kingdom offers specialty food and drink for the occasion.

We can't wait to try all the festive goodies this year at Magic Kingdom. Some are exclusive to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party while others will be available during regular park hours. Favorites such as the Red Velvet Wreath donut and the Minnie-shaped Cinnamon Roll return from last year, along with lots of exciting new treats such as the Reindeer Chow Sundae, Hot Cocoa Churro and Letters to Santa cake. Check out our foodie guide for more delicious details!

Merry Merchandise

As for holiday merch, let's just say that all I want for Christmas is the Loungefly backpacks ... and the Minnie ears ... AND the holiday sweaters. It's easy to get yourself decked out for the holidays from head to toe! The widest variety of holiday merchandise at Magic Kingdom is at the Emporium or Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. (If you'll be hopping to Disney Springs during your trip, you'll find most of the Christmas merchandise at World of Disney.) Unwrap our holiday merchandise wishlist for our favorite items and top tips!

Tips for Visiting Magic Kingdom Park During the Holidays

Christmas at Walt Disney World — Main Street, U.S.A. at night with Christmas decorations and tree

  • If you arrive at Magic Kingdom and Main Street feels too busy, you can sometimes take a shortcut by Tony’s Town Square Restaurant for an easy hopping path toward Tomorrowland.
  • For the best parade viewing area, we suggest finding a spot at the hub near Cinderella Castle and avoiding Main Street, particularly if it's a busier day. For the least amount of waiting, catch it in Frontierland or Liberty Square so you can get back to hopping on more rides!
  • If you want to do any holiday shopping, we recommend doing it earlier in the day. The line to get into the Emporium tends to be the longest at the end of the day.
  • We mentioned this early on, but it bears repeating: If you plan on heading to Christmas at Magic Kingdom, book your tickets and stay ASAP. Things fill up quickly!

Have you been to Christmas at Magic Kingdom Park? What was your favorite part? Be sure to share with us in the comments below! 

Related: Complete Guide to Walt Disney World Christmas Events

Related: A Complete Guide to Walt Disney World New Year's Eve Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Nov 3, 2023 at 5:28 p.m. T Dillon Says...

Are there any Christmas parades the week after Christmas?

Reply
Nov 7, 2023 at 10:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi T Dillon!

It's not officially on the schedule yet, but typically, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (which exclusively happens during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) does occur during regular park hours between Christmas and New Year's Eve as an extra special gift.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 19, 2022 at 11:48 a.m. Erin Says...

Do you know when the taping of the Christmas Day Parade/musicians will take place this year?

My daughter and I try to go every year.

Thanks,

Reply
Oct 19, 2022 at 10:11 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erin!

The dates are not announced in advance, so it's hard to say. Last year, filming took place around Nov. 10-14.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 24, 2020 at 3:06 p.m. Tina Says...

Why are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios closing early on new yr Eve and day? Will they extend hours?

Reply
Nov 24, 2020 at 1:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tina!

This year, Walt Disney World is scaling back their NYE festivities in order to avoid entertainment that typically draws crowds (such as fireworks, dance parties, etc.). Since NYE is typically a really busy day at the parks, we think this is just a proactive step. We're monitoring, though, so if we hear of any celebrations (or extended hours), we'll be sure to update you!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 18, 2020 at 7:21 p.m. Mabel Says...

Is there anything special New Years Eve?

Reply
Nov 18, 2020 at 5:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mabel!

Nothing has been announced just yet, but we've got our eye on it! We'll be sure to keep you posted if anything pops up. In past years, there have been special fireworks celebrations, but those currently aren't running.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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