The holidays are an extra magical time at Walt Disney World Resort! Magic Kingdom hosts its Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties. Epcot celebrates the season with International Festival of the Holidays. Disney's Hollywood Studios offers up Sunset Seasons Greetings. Comparatively speaking, in the past, we've felt that Disney's Animal Kingdom lagged a tad behind the other parks in terms of holiday celebrations. But this year, visiting Animal Kingdom at Christmas time will be merrier than ever before! You can now catch new holiday decor and entertainment throughout all of the park's lands.
Visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom at Christmas Time
As the first land you see once you enter the park, the holiday decorations begin as you walk over the bridge into Discovery Island. The village is in the middle of celebrating the winter season, so you'll see lots of sparkling white holiday decorations. Animal-inspired luminaries line the rooftops ... we didn't see any frogs, but we love the colorful patterns! Additionally, wireframe bird-shaped lanterns are placed throughout the land.
During the day, Discovery Island comes to life with life-sized, artisan-sculpted puppets of winter animals that include reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins and more. These "Merry Menagerie" puppets are accompanied by serenading musicians, and they interact with guests to create a fun and festive atmosphere. We love how adorable they are! You can even reach out to pet them.
Tree of Life Awakenings
At the heart of Discovery Island, the Tree of Life awakens to tell a special series of holiday tales. Each story is told in a unique artistic style, complete with heartwarming holiday-inspired musical scores. Just like Santa preparing for his annual ride across the world, the Disney Parks Live Entertainment team had been hard at work for months to create these new awakenings. In between the awakenings, the Tree of Life continues to glisten and glimmer with the magic of nature and spirit of the holidays.
All of the Disney characters from Donald’s Dino-Bash! are celebrating the holidays at Animal Kingdom. Donald Duck, Daisy, Goofy, Launchpad McQuack and Scrooge McDuck have fun holiday decor and accessories at their meet and greet locations. At night, gather around the Truck-O-Saurus for the Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n’ Dale for plenty of fun and interactive games.
In Anandapur, the theater district is decorated for Diwali, which is the holiday festival of lights in India. Glowing flowers and lanterns light up the pathway between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage. Be sure to catch a special Bollywood Beats performance that captures the spirit of Diwali!
In the village of Harambe, the inspiration of western traditions blend with the colors and textiles of African celebrations. The entertainment groups who usually perform in the area, such as the Harambe Village Acrobats, introduce holiday-inspired enhancements, including new costumes and music. Meanwhile, over at the Tusker House, Mickey Mouse and friends are spreading holiday cheer during their character meal. If that’s something you don’t want to miss, be sure to snag an advance dining reservation (ADR) sooner than later!
Last but not least, the expats living and working on Pandora have brought a bit of Christmas spirit to their home on the moon. Stop by Pongu Pongu to see a display of kitschy decor that’s made up of vintage pieces from Earth, along with items crafted from materials indigenous to Pandora. Pandora is already an amazing land to see at night with its bioluminescent plants … we’re excited to add Christmas decor into that mix!
Photo Opportunities During the Holidays at Disney's Animal Kingdom
In addition to all of the new festive decorations, be sure to visit your favorite friends in their best holiday attire for some jolly photo opportunities!
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Adventurers Outpost
- Russell and Dug at Discovery Island
- Donald Duck and pals at Donald's Dino-Bash
Are you excited about the new decorations coming to Animal Kingdom at Christmas time? We're looking forward to seeing the "Merry Menagerie" in action!