Hey, holiday lovers! If you are planning a trip to Disney World between November 10 to December 30, 2023, then I have some fantastic news for you.
You do not want to miss the festive celebrations at Disney Springs and feel the Christmas spirit like never before.
Every year, Disney Springs pulls out all the stops to create a magical winter wonderland experience that is sure to make your jaws drop and your heart warm and fuzzy.
So if you’ll be visiting Disney World this holiday season, keep reading for my guide to Christmas at Disney Springs.
Christmas decorations at Disney Springs
First of all, let’s talk about the Christmas decorations at Disney Springs.
From the moment you step into this FREE entertainment district, you will be greeted with the most beautiful decorations and lights that will fill you with joy and happiness.
The entire place is draped in holiday cheer and magic, making it the perfect backdrop for your holiday getaway.
In particular, I love the Santa Mickey fountain topiary over by World of Disney and the DIY peanut moose family over by Paddlefish.
Be sure to bring a fully charged phone or camera to snap lots of photos. But if you forget, you can find a FuelRod swap station at Marketplace Co-op Photo. There’s also a charging station in the UnderArmour store.
In the photo above, you can find the Fab Five faux ice sculpture over by the Ferry/Ride Share exit in Marketplace, the Santa Mickey topiary next to the Toy Story Tree by World of Disney, and the peanut moose family by Paddlefish.
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll
Next up, the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll will take you on a merry adventure throughout Disney Springs.
This holiday exhibit features over 1.5 dozen stunning trees that are uniquely decorated to capture the spirit of various Disney movies, characters, and Disney World itself.
I love to do this activity on arrival day to set to mood for my holiday trip.
For more information, check out my post about the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail, complete with photos from the 2023 trail.
Where to meet Santa Claus
Want to meet the one and only Santa Claus? There are TWO places where you can meet him in Disney Springs!
Once Upon a Toy
The big dude himself is greeting guests at Once Upon a Toy from November 10 through December 24, 2023.
The meet-and-greet is running strictly on a virtual queue, so you’ll need to drop your name on the (naughty or nice) list to get in line.
But while you’re waiting, get some holiday shopping done, grab a meal, or perhaps do the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll.
Breakfast with Santa at Maria & Enzo’s
In addition, from November 24 through December 24, you can have breakfast with Santa at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.
This dining event includes a family-style breakfast, photos with Santa and his elves, a keepsake ornament, carolers, and other activities. Oh, and there are mimosas for adults, too!
Head to the Patina Group website to book your tickets for this unique character meal!
Starting at sunset, you can catch the occasional snoapfall, aka fake snowfall, near the Town Center Christmas tree.
If you live up North like me, you might think this is silly, but after experiencing it first hand, it’s cute and fun. Probably because there’s no snow to shovel or parking spaces to protect!
Get holiday photos taken
If you are looking for family holiday photos, then Disney Springs has got you covered at the Disney PhotoPass Studio, right behind the Ghiaradelli Ice Cream Shop.
This studios doesn’t require reservations, but you can make one if you have a specific time set in mind.
Plus, the photoshoot session is completely free – you just have to pay for the download of the photos or Memory Maker pass.
What a fun and unique way to grab some family photos for your Christmas cards!
Drawn to Life
If you’re trying to avoid the parks on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day due to crowds, consider taking in the Cirque du Soleil show, Drawn to Life, in Disney Springs.
This fun show, made in collaboration with Disney, has showings on both days, so why not make it dinner and a show, as a holiday treat?
Disney Springs always keeps their scheduled packed with a variety of seasonal entertainment and Christmastime is no different.
This time of year, you’ll hear lots of holiday tunes from groups like the Holiday Brass Band and Cast in Bronze (Christmas Carillon).
Check the Disney Springs website for entertainment schedule on the day you plan to visit to see who’s playing and when.
In addition to live music, there are a handful of entertainers that roam through Disney Springs.
The DJ Sleigh makes its way around Marketplace from 5-9 PM daily, playing fun holiday tunes.
From 6 PM to 10 PM throughout Disney Springs Town Center, you’ll see roller skating snowflakes, a drumming group, and icicle or toy soldier stilt walkers.
And if you’re lucky, you might run into Douglas Fir, a talking Christmas tree that rolls through Disney Springs, cracking jokes and brightening everyone’s day.
There’s no set schedule for this little dude, unfortunately, but if you see him, take a moment to chat; he’s a hoot!
Holiday shopping at Disney Springs
Disney Springs has nearly 100 shops spread across its complex, but there are ten shops at the top of the list when it comes to holiday shopping.
First up is Disney’s Days of Christmas, a year-round Christmas decor shop. You can get ornaments, stockings, and other decor – including personalized items.
For more personalized gifts, head over to Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories, where you can get customized hats, jewelry, and more.
Next is World of Disney, the largest Disney store in the entire world. This is where you can find all kids of Disney World souvenirs, from t-shirts and Minnie ears to collectibles and stocking stuffers.
Once Upon a Toy is another excellent stop for toy gifts, with lots of hard-to-find collectibles.
The LEGO Store is another great stop for some Christmas gifts, whether it be the latest Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars set or a few mini-figs for the stocking.
Head over to the Marketplace Co-Op, where you’ll find an unofficial outlet. Perhaps you’ll find an item your loved one wanted earlier in the year – but on sale!
Sugarboo & Co. is one of very few family-owned shops at Disney Springs, which I love to see. They have cute clothes and home decor hand-selected to spread good vibes – gotta love that!
Disney’s Pin Traders is perfect for a few stocking stuffers. Of course, they sell mostly pins, but there are a few other items here, like MagicBands, too!
Goofy’s Candy Company is another great stop for some sweets to slip into the Christmas stocking, like gummy candy or chocolates.
Last, but not least, you can’t go wrong with some beauty or skincare goodies from Sephora, like sheet masks, lip balms, or even bigger ticket items like blow dry brushes or larger skincare sets and makeup kits.
Holiday food & drink at Disney Springs
Last, but not least, let’s talk about limited-time food and drink for the holidays, as well as the best spots for dinner on Christmas Eve & Day.
Jock Lindsay’s Christmas Bar
First up is Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar, an aviation-themed cocktail bar that goes all out during the Christmas season.
In addition, they have an entire holiday season menu with items like cranberry meatballs, pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs, a cookie flight with Coquito, and a boozy hot chocolate flight.
I love how homey their holiday menu is; it reminds me of Christmas Eve at my nana’s!
Limited-time snacks and drinks
Disney Springs has nearly 70 restaurants, lounges, and snack carts where you can grab whatever you’re craving.
Many of these spots have special menu items during the holiday season, too.
Here are my top 10 items to look out for this year:
- Caramel Apple Pie Shake from D-Luxe Burger
- Olaf Hot Cocoa Surprise hot chocolate bomb from The Ganachery
- Any of the November or December special flavors at Gideon’s Bakehouse, like Kris Kringle (coconut-caramel-vanilla) or Cookie Von Krampus (chocolate mint)
- Any of the special holiday flavors from Salt & Straw, like Pumpkin & Gingersnap Pie
- Santa Waffle from Vivoli il Gelato
- Olaf Waffle Sundae with vanilla soft serve and peppermint sauce from Marketplace Snacks
- Pistachio soft serve Christmas Tree Sundae from Swirls on the Water
- Mickey Winter Hat Dome Cake with layers of chai tea mousse, vanilla chiffon, cranberry-cherry fruit paste, brown butter ganache, and almond crunch at Amorette’s Patisserie
- Hot Chocolate Grail Flight, a boozy hot cocoa sampler at Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar
- Lavender Glaze Lemonade from Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew – not at all holiday related, but I know my fellow Swifties will want to try it!
For Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, treat yourself to a nice sit-down dinner at Disney Springs.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the table service restaurants at Disney Springs, but here are my top five recommendations for a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day meal.
- Casual: Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar
- Brunch: Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ or Wine Bar George
- Traditional Italian: Maria & Enzo’s
- Steak: STK Steakhouse
- Pan-Asian: Morimoto Asia
- Seafood: Paddlefish
What are looking forward to most for Christmas at Disney Springs?
Well, there you have it, friends – your guide to all things Christmas at Disney Springs.
I hope that this blog post helped you plan your time or even inspired you to spend more time at this fun entertainment and shopping district at Walt Disney World during the holiday season.
Wishing you a very merry holiday and joyous new year!
About the author
Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.
This post was originally published November 22, 2023. It was last updated December 5, 2023.