Holiday Itineraries at Walt Disney World: Part One

The holidays at Walt Disney World are filled with so many special events, shows, and displays that experiencing them all nearly requires its own itinerary. Here are some of the fun, not-to-be-missed holiday events at Disney World, and some tips to fit them into your itinerary, because you do not want to miss all the holiday fun Disney has to offer!

At the Animal Kingdom, Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade transforms into Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, with special holiday music and festive touches. This parade operates on the same schedule, so no real adjustment of your itinerary is required here – remember to check the Times Guide to confirm parade times.

Hollywood Studios lights up the night with the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, an enormous display consisting of millions of lights blanketing the Streets of America and timed to holiday music. The lights are turned on at dusk and remain on until after park closing. While the Streets of America are usually a quiet spot in the park the rest of the year, this beautiful display means that it will be crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds, try visiting during a showing of Fantasmic or late in the evening,  near park closing. Santa Goofy also greets guests here in the evenings, and he’s a popular guy, so if you want to meet him try getting in line before the lights go on so you don’t miss out much on the lights.

Epcot also has some great holiday fun planned. The World Showcase features Holidays Around the World, where storytellers weave tales about Christmas, Ramadan, New Year’s, and other holiday traditions around the world. Grab a Times Guide to see when the storytellers will be performing. Epcot also has the Candlelight Processional, a traditional telling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator, choir, and orchestra. Performed several times nightly, this event is free with park admission, but lines for a seat can be very long. If you want a reserved seat without the wait, consider the Candlelight Processional Dining Package. This package includes lunch or dinner at select table-service restaurants in Epcot as well as reserved seating for the Candlelight Processional. This way you can enjoy a meal at Epcot and then keep experiencing the park instead of waiting in line! This dining package also includes a special viewing location of Illuminations, which has an additional segment just for the holidays.

So much to see and do! Remember to make room for these special events in your itinerary, because that’s what makes visiting during the holidays so special! Next time I will talk about what to include in your holiday itinerary at the Magic Kingdom, as well as holiday fun outside the parks.

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful parents and sister. She enjoys long walks, happy thoughts, and Disney magic! Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong. After planning a second trip to Walt Disney World, Elizabeth is now her family’s go-to resource for Disney. She even has her own blog,, with advice on how to plan your next Disney trip. Someday, she even hopes to be an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Elizabeth’s Disney wish list is a mile long, so she’s always ready to plan her next Disney adventure.

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