Disney For the Holidays! – What You Need to Know to Plan a Holiday Trip!

Disney Christmas
Disney World At Christmas

Disney goes above and beyond when it comes to holidays. While there will always be crowds, I think you should make it at least once for each of the holidays. There is just something about the magic that comes from being at Disney.

Tips for every holiday:

1. Book hotels early! Do not forget to get special event tickets as well.

2. Check Disney’s website and the My Disney Experience app for times and places of what is going on.

3. Make dinner reservations ahead of time, especially if you are looking into Character Dining Experiences. Reservations can be made via the My Disney Experience app, online at or on the phone 180 days before the date of your desired reservation.

4. Get to the parks early. Once the park hits capacity, they will close the park. This does happen during the holidays, especially during Christmas. Staying at a Disney Resort may guarantee you admission to A park, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the park you want. Also, plan to stay all day.

5. Have back up plans, just in case the parks hit capacity or weather is not cooperating.

6. Make sure to get your Fastpass or Magic Band, it will help with the lines.

Here are some of the highlights you can expect on each of the holidays:

New Years Eve

  • New Years Eve is known for its great dining experiences and its amazing fireworks shows.
  • Magic Kingdom has two shows – Wishes and the New Years Eve spectacular.
  • Epcot usually runs Illumination twice.
  • Hollywood Studios also has a fireworks display at midnight.


  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – It includes live entertainment, fireworks, and a parade. The park is filled with holiday music and the lights on the castle are simply breath taking. Remember, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate ticket (usually around $60), so get yours in advance if this is on your list.
  • Once upon a Christmastime Parade – Always a favorite of the young and young at heart. Whets better than Disney favorite and Santa wishing you happy holidays?
  • Tommorowland has its own surprises. Stop by to see what Monsters, Inc. has going on.
  • Don’t forget your FREE cookies and cocoa as well as the snowfall on Main Street.
  • Epcot is the home to the Christmas Candlelight Processional, which is a reading of the story of Christmas as well as a concert. Naturally, this is part of the Holidays Around the World event. This is a wonderful way for children to learn about holiday traditions from around the world.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios has their own spectacular light show. The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing lights. There are over 5 million lights, sparkling and dancing.


  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party -You can dress up and trick or treat from September till October 31 on certain nights. Be sure to get there early as this is a big deal and the parks can hit capacity quickly. Remember, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party requires a separate ticket (usually around $60), so get yours in advance if this is on your list.
  • Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade- The stars of this parade are your favorites from the Haunted Mansion, but the Headless Horseman starts this parade off right.
  • The castle is lit up in the colors of the season and the Villains run the fireworks show. Check out their favorite songs as they control the show.
  • Don’t miss the Villain show that takes place right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and stop by Frontierland to see what’s happening there. It just might make you lose your head.
  • For those fitness buffs, there is also the Tower of Terror 10 miler that happens in October of each year, coinciding with Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.

Bonus Tip!

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Fourth of July

  • For the Fourth of July, a HUGE fireworks show is visible from three parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios) since it happens over Seven Seas Lagoon.


  • Easter is another one that is great for the kids. Check out the resorts and you will find that a few of them offer egg hunts as well as games and crafts. There are usually hand-painted over sized eggs on display at the Grand Floridian.
  • If you look carefully, you may find Mr. and Mrs. Bunny too. There will be Photopass photographers in the area to get some wonderful pictures.
  • The Spring Trolley show is a beautiful and lively show, with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny staring in the pre-parade festivities.
  • Epcot also hosts Easter egg hunts as well as a relay.

Always add a little Disney magic and pixie dust to any holiday and you will have a holiday to remember.

About Kelly Marie

I am a lifelong Disney fanatic and mother of a future Disney fan. I've run several of the RunDisney events, including hte Disney Princess Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Half Marathon. When I'm not planning my next vacation to WDW, I can be found online at

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