The first week of November, Disney’s Magic Kingdom transforms for Christmas and the holidays! Garland, Christmas trees, festive ornaments and holiday music. Even some of the rides are decked out for the holidays. We recently experienced our first time at Disney during Christmas. Here’s what to expect and our recommendations for a very merry Christmas at Magic Kingdom!
Before you go – Magic Kingdom During Christmas Time
We always stay in Disney Springs and take the free shuttle to the parks. Our go to hotel is usually the Lake Buena Vista Springs Hilton as it’s walkable to Disney Springs. Disney Springs also is decked for the holidays!
Before you go to Magic Kingdom:
- Unless you’re a annual passholder, you’ll want to get Genie+ so you can schedule rides and pass the lines. At 7am the day you’re going, log into the app to book your first 2 rides.
- Magic Kingdom opens at 8am, however unless you again are a passholder or are staying at a Disney property you cannot ride any rides until 9am. We did not know this and had 45 minutes to burn.
- The nicer restaurants fill up quick, make sure to book reservations well ahead of your trip.
- More tips below for seeing the fireworks!
The morning we went it was a “chilly” 60 degrees – we love it. The weather was beautiful the entire day. You can have one of Disney’s professional photographers capture your castle photo or any Disney Staff Member is more than happy to snap a photo with your phone.
Magic Kingdom Christmas Decorations
The excitement before any Disney trip is high but I couldn’t wait to see all the Christmas decorations at Disney! You might be wondering, what does Magic Kingdom do for Christmas? As soon as we arrived to Magic Kingdom, you could see the bright reds and greens. After getting through ticketing, is the massive Magic Kingdom Christmas tree. Great for a photo opp!
Christmas at Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is organized into six themed lands. All with their own unique scenery, attractions, and things to do. Each land decorates for the holidays a bit different for Christmas.
1. Main Street U.S.A
This is where you enter Magic Kingdom. Main Street U.S.A. is by far the most decorated out of all the themed lands. A gigantic Disney Christmas tree is decked with gold and colorful presents for the 50th Anniversary. If you look closely, it’s wrapped in large popcorn garland.
The rest of mainstreet is covered with garland and wreaths that hang from all of the arches. At night, Magic Kingdom is quite a thing to see.
2. Tomorrow Land
This futuristic themed land has far out attractions like Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and Tomorrowland Speedway. You can fly a rocket ship on the Astro Orbiter which propped high in the air. Its some of the best views of Magic Kingdom. We road this ride 3 times our last trip because the wait was short!
A Totally Tomorrow Land Christmas Stage show is part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This show features Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, and Mike Wazowski. During the day we got to meet Stitch on the stage.
Fantasyland is home to Cinderella’s Castle but it’s also broken up into 3 sections: Enchanted Forest, Storybook Circus, and Castle Courtyard. Our favorite rides here are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and The Barnstormer.
Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster is fun, but one of the longest waits everytime we go. While waiting in line for The Barnstormer roller coaster, we were able to see the new and much anticipated Tron ride which is set to open in 2023!
If you’re looking for Christmas Decorations in Fantasyland, Gaston’s Tavern is decked for Christmas, with poinsettias and pine cones garland.
Step into the wild west to find our all time favorite roller coaster in Magic Kingdom, Thunder Mountain! This land also has Splash Mountain where you ride in a log and plummet down a waterfall. (You’ will ‘ll get wet!) Christmas decor here was mostly garland adorn with pretty bright oranges and holly leaves. However we did get to see a Disney Christmas Parade.
Magic Kingdom Holiday Parade
There are holiday events and parades throughout the season! As we were heading over to ride Thunder Mountain, we stumbled upon a sea of red and green dancers and a high school band marched through Frontierland.
During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party check out the Reindeer Wranglers. Also make sure you keep an eye out for the Country Bears, who will be roaming the streets of Frontierland to take in the music and festive atmosphere!
Part Jungle, part tropical island and even a little desert makes up Adventureland. The first ride we got on with no wait was The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, if you like Dumbo this is a ride for you!
Jungle aka “Jingle” Cruise
The famous Disney’s Jungle Cruise was transformed for Christmas. Its renamed Jingle Cruise and there are holiday decorations throughout the lines and on the ride.
Each cruise boat is renamed for the holidays – fun names like Garland Gertie and Noel Nellie. Our cruise guide aka Skipper even belted out Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is you. The Jungle Cruise Skippers are hilarious.
Adventureland also has another popular ride, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Swiss Family Robinson climbable tree. This is one of the only spots where you can purchase Dole Whip, a soft serve pineapple ice cream.
6. Liberty Square
This Magic Kingdom land is full of history. Not many rides here, but we do enjoy the haunted mansion. The Liberty Belle steam-powered riverboat takes you on a scenic half-mile adventure around the Rivers of America and last 17 minutes.
Celebrate Christmas anytime of the year at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe located in Liberty Square.
Magic Kingdom Firework Show
This was our first time seeing Cinderella’s Castle come to life! The show was amazing. While you’re waiting, every 5-10 minutes the castle changes design and theme. For Christmas, there were lots of reds, greens and candy cane stripes. The fireworks light up the sky and the castle turns into almost a movie projector where you’ll see your favorite characters come to life with music.
Important to know before you go:
- Two hours before the show, people start lining up.
- Make sure to get food and hit the restroom before as you’ll be stuck where you are as it was VERY crowded.
- We were the only ones who left early as we knew it would be a mad dash to leave. We had to squeeze past people.
What is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?
Every November and December at Magic Kingdom, Disney puts on a special event for the holidays. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party includes exclusive fireworks, stage shows, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and lots of holiday entertainment and treats. You can also expect shorter lines at the rides.
Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are not included in your Magic Kingdom ticket during that time, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for the event. The prices range from $149-$199 and they event is only on select days.
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is one of the highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party each year. It features snow (shh bubbles) with prancing reindeer, dancing toy soldiers, gingerbread men, and your favorite Disney characters all dress up for the holidays. Santa is also there!
Will Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party return in 2023?
It’s highly likely that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party will return in 2023! The even sold out quick in 2022.
How much does it cost to get into Magic Kingdom?
A Magic Kingdom 1-day ticket range from $109 – $189. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets range from $149-$199.
Major eye roll. Pricing keeps going up and it can change by the day of the week and time of the year.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom during Christmas was unforgettable! Have you been to Magic Kingdom? We’d love to hear about it below!
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