How Disney Celebrates the Holidays in Orlando

There's nothing like spending the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. From the special holiday entertainment and fireworks to characters dressed in their holiday finest to holiday-only meals and treats. Disney puts on a dazzling celebration. There are also festive decorations and lights everywhere you look. This includes 1,300 Christmas trees throughout the theme parks. Here's what you can expect this year in a Disney holiday celebration.

Top Disney Holiday Celebrations

The main holiday event is Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a special ticketed event on select nights Nov. 8 through Dec. 22. Enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Magic Kingdom, along with a castle-lighting performance by Queen Elsa. There is also a unique fireworks show and a dance party in Tomorrowland. There are also special event-only treats, and a spectacular parade featuring favorite characters as well as Santa Claus. As a bonus, attendance is limited during the event, so you often have less of a wait for attractions.

For a moving musical celebration of the holidays, visit Epcot Nov. 29-Dec. 30 for the nightly Candlelight Processional. A 50-piece orchestra and local choirs perform traditional holiday music while celebrity narrators read about the story of Christmas. These celebrity narrators have included Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, and Warwick Davis. This event is included with park admission. The best way to get seating is to reserve a table at one of the park's restaurants with a dining package.

In Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, a firework and laser show happening Nov. 8 through Jan. 5. The show includes clips of classic Disney movies projected onto buildings, along with a little "snoap" snowfall. The show is included with park admission.

Theme Park Festive Cheer

All of the Disney World parks are decked out for the holidays and offer festive cheer. Each corner of Disney World celebrates in its own way.

At Animal Kingdom, characters Chip and Dale come out nightly in DinoLand USA to spend time with kids during the Holiday Hoopla Dance Party. There are also culture-specific decorations in the park. The areas include Africa, Discovery Island, Pandora, and Asia, including a nod to the Indian festival of Diwali.

Around Epcot's World Showcase area, the countries represented there will feature holiday foods and performances for the park's International Yuletide Extravaganza. You can also challenge yourself to the Holiday Cookie Stroll. You can sample cookies from Germany, America, Canada, Mexico, and the L'Chaim Holiday Kitchen. Kids will have fun on the Chip and Dale's Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt throughout the park. You purchase a map and sticker set, find the chipmunks' ornaments throughout the World Showcase and show your completed map for a reward. Then, at the park's enormous Future World fountain area, enjoy listening to gospel and R&B vocalists singing songs of the season.

Disney Springs -- the shopping and entertainment area on Lake Buena Vista. It will feature a Christmas Tree Trail perfect for snapping holiday photos. Kids will enjoy Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt, a scavenger hunt with a reward at the end. They can also meet Santa Claus. Disney Springs also has live holiday entertainment and special treats.

More Disney Holiday Fun

If you really love the holidays and want to know how Disney World transforms itself for the season, you can take the Yuletide Fantasy behind-the-scenes tour. A second tour, Disney's Holiday D-Lights, reveals the magic of decorating Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It also includes a meal, Epcot's Candlelight Processional, fireworks, and keepsakes.

Foodies might want to make reservations for special holiday meal experiences that give you a great view of the fireworks shows. These experiences include the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party during the Epcot Forever fireworks show. Also Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios and a Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland Terrace.

Having a holiday vacation in Disney World is a magical experience for your family or group. Stay near all of the fun in one of our superb vacation rentals in Orlando. Find the perfect Orlando luxury vacation home for you.