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 alternating projections on 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!
Overview of Christmas at Magic Kingdom
While the holidays officially kicked off Nov. 11, 2022, 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. 8 to Dec 22, 2022 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. After dark, special holiday projections appear most nights on Cinderella Castle, alternating with the castle’s transformation into a Beacon of Magic for Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Magic Kingdom will continue to be a winter wonderland generally through Dec. 31. With the 50th anniversary of Disney World hoppening this year, this holiday season will likely be even busier than normal. Psst — if you haven’t already gotten your tickets and secured your reservations, 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 2022!
Christmas Decorations at Magic Kingdom
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Most decor appears on Nov. 1 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.
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
Celebrate the holiday season with Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, back at Magic Kingdom Park on select nights Nov. 8 to Dec. 22, 2022. After three years, this frog event is back — what a present to us! 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!
Note that tickets are sold out for the remainder of the 2022 season.
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 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 will run 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 will run from Dec. 23 through Dec. 31 to regular daytime guests (showtimes vary).
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.
Once it gets dark outside, Cinderella Castle transforms into a picture-perfect holiday backdrop. These festive projections will alternate with the Beacons of Magic for the 50th anniversary. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Minnie's Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks will run nightly from Dec. 23 through Dec. 29 to regular daytime guests. There will be no showing of Disney Enchantment on those nights. The fireworks on Dec. 30 and 31 will be special showings of "Fantasy in the Sky" for New Year's Eve.
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
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.
Some of our favorites at Magic Kingdom include the Christmas Cookie Churro. Who knew the classic churro could get any sweeter? Topped with marshmallow cream, cookie crumbles, and Christmas sprinkles, you'll definitely want to share this festive sugar rush! Other standouts were the Holiday Dinner Hot Dog topped with cranberry mustard, savory stuffing funnel cake, and cheese curds. Talk about a fun mix of flavors!
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
- 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 Disney Park Pass reservation 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