A Note from Mommy Frog: Holiday hoppenings will once again return to Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2021, beginning Nov. 12! Sunset Seasons Greetings will return, as the Hollywood Holiday Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard lights up with projection effects, alternating with the tower’s nightly transformation into a Beacon of Magic for Walt Disney World Resort's 50th Anniversary Celebration. Santa Claus will motor on down Hollywood Boulevard, while Minnie will host her festive meal at Hollywood & Vine, with her friends — including Santa Goofy! — in their holiday best. Keep hopping back — we'll update this guide with more details on 2021's festivities as new details are released!
We know ... you're all still mourning the departure of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which was the main holiday event taking place at Disney's Hollywood Studios for so many years. We are too! Luckily, Hollywood Studios has really stepped up its Christmas game recently to bring Christmas joy and fun throughout the entire park.
The special entertainment at Disney's Hollywood Studios, which kicked off Nov. 6, 2020, captures all of the magic of the holidays with a fun, modern twist, featuring some of your favorite characters. Some events, such as Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and Sunset Seasons Greetings, are not returning this year, but Minnie Mouse is hosting a holiday feast at Hollywood & Vine to celebrate Christmas cheer and the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration has a festive finale with surprises. We're here to share all of the hoppin' happiness available for your enjoyment during the holiday season at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Enjoying Disney's Hollywood Studios Holiday Lights and Festivities
Disney's Hollywood Studios has a bunch of fun holiday decor sprinkled around the park (though this year, you won't find any in Toy Story Land or Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge). From Gertie with a Santa hat to the red and white stars that line Sunset Boulevard, the park deserves a Hollywood star for its festive flashiness.
Minnie's Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine
Minnie Mouse will be hosting a yuletide gathering for all her friends at Hollywood & Vine starting Nov. 6, 2020. Santa Goofy will be there, along with Minnie and more in their holiday best.
A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Holiday Show
Catch the Arendelle historians, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff recount the story of their kingdom and sing along to your favorite musical moments from the movie. The holiday edition features a special festive finale with a surprise appearance from a certain snowman and songs from "Olaf's Frozen Adventure."
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Hollywood Studios
Note: Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! is not returning in 2020.
In Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, Santa's gone missing from the North Pole! Elves Wayne and Lanny from ABC's animated special "Prep & Landing" are called in to help. The holiday spectacular features memorable moments from Disney films such as "Mickey's Christmas Carol," "Beauty and the Beast," "Pluto's Christmas Tree," "Bambi," "Cinderella," Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and more, which come alive on the buildings and rooftops. In addition to the projections, there are special laser effects, pyrotechnics, an original score and, yes, even snow! The fireworks spectacular takes place in the Chinese Theater courtyard.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party
Note: Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party is not returning in 2020.
While there is plenty of room to see the show from multiple locations, there is a reserved viewing area for guests of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. In previous years, the party pricing started at $53 per child and $89 per adult, and also included holiday desserts and specialty alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks at Echo Lake. Dessert Party attendees also got to mingle with a VIP Disney character and a pair of 3D HoloSpex glasses — which create holographic illusions of gingerbread men, candy canes, snowflakes and ornaments on the bright points of light — for the show.
Best Places to Experience Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney's Hollywood Studios
As we've mentioned in our tips for viewing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, the areas around Hollywood Boulevard and Center Stage become crowded very quickly ahead of the show. To get a viewing spot in this area, you will need to arrive early! During the week of Christmas up until the last day of the show, we would recommend arriving at least 45 minutes early for one of these prime spots. If you don't mind not having the perfect view, you can arrive later for the locations further back on Hollywood Boulevard, or left or right of the stage. If you'll be coming from Fantasmic!, expect a traffic jam of sorts. We recommend following Sunset Boulevard up to Hollywood Boulevard, then the path over near Min & Bill's Dockside Diner.
Even if you're not planning to attend Fantasmic!, if you want to see Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, you should be in place for it at least a half hour before the Fantasmic! showing so you can find your spot before Fantasmic! lets out. There are some dates where Fantasmic! will be during or after the show, so that presents more tough decisions if you are torn between the two.
Last year, we found a spot about a half hour early, but then it started to rain about 10 minutes before the show! However, it was a light rain, and we stuck it out — but other frog families didn't, so we were able to get closer to the Chinese Theater. As long as there isn't lightning or thunder in the area (and you don't mind getting a little wet from the sprinkling rain), the show goes on!
Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Note: Sunset Seasons Greetings has been modified in 2020.
You know it's the holiday season when the Tower of Terror turns into The Hollywood Toy Hotel. Sunset Seasons Greetings lights up Sunset Boulevard with dazzling projections and more falling "snow" on both the street's billboards and the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Holiday scenes featuring Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, Woody, Buzz and more come to life with lasers and tons of captivating color. This show takes place intermittently most nights, so it's perfect to catch in passing on your way to or from Rock 'n' Roller Coaster or visiting Santa Claus.
This year, the Tower of Terror still turns into a holiday backdrop with light projections, but the lasers, snow and the holiday stories that are told simultaneously are not hoppening.
Santa Claus at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Santa Claus needs a little extra time to prepare for Christmas this year, so he will not be greeting tadpoles individually. However, it wouldn't be the holidays without him! He will still be making time for special pop-up appearances during a merry motorcade at Hollywood Studios.
Toy Story Land Holiday Fun
During past years, Andy's backyard gets decked out with all of the trimmings. Buzz typically wears a Santa hat for his meet and greet, while Woody, Jessie and Bo Peep swap their usual outfits for some red and green swag. Lily even spotted mistletoe on Woody's hat! You can find a giant sugar cookie of Hamm (propped up by a green army man, of course), as well as giant popcorn garland on Woody's Lunch Box.
This year, galactic holiday tunes play on Alien Swirling Saucers, and Slinky Dog Dash has some seasonal audio as well ... it's almost as if Slinky Dog is wearing sleigh bells! Who needs Rudolph?
It wouldn't be the holidays without some festive food, right?? This year, find the following treats around the park until Jan. 4, 2021:
- Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (PizzeRizzo, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary and Rosie’s All–American Café): Frozen salted caramel hot chocolate topped with marshmallows, green sugar, and a chocolate drizzle served with a souvenir Mickey Glow
- Mickey’s Holiday Cookie (ABC Commissary and Rosie’s All–American Café): Vanilla butter cookie enrobed with white chocolate and sugar snowflakes
- Holiday Whoopie Pie (The Trolley Car Café and Backlot Express): Red velvet whoopie pie filled with a classic cream cheese filling
- Olaf’s Snow Flurry (Rosie’s All–American Café): Yellow cupcake with vanilla buttercream, snow flurry sugar and Olaf Glow
Have question about Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney's Hollywood Studios or any of the Walt Disney World holiday events? Share them in comments below! Ready to visit this holiday season? Pick the best dates to visit using our Orlando Crowd Calendar. Check out our Orlando planning timeline for a stress-free family vacation.