Are you headed to Disney World this Christmas season? Make sure to pencil in some time at Hollywood Studios for some holiday fun.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some of the best Christmas decorations, as well as some extra special offerings during this time of year.
In other words, you are in for a treat – and I don’t just mean the special seasonal treats!
Traveling during the holidays can be extra expensive and I want to make sure you make the most of your vacation if you’re at Walt Disney World during this time of year.
So in this post, I’m sharing all of the fun and festive Christmas activities at Hollywood Studios, where to find the best decor and holiday magic shots, character dining, after hours event info, and more.
By the end of the post, you’ll have a good idea of what you want to do during your visit, as well as what you want to skip.
OK, let’s get right to it!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Christmas decorations
Hollywood Studios has some of the most beautiful Christmas decorations in all of Walt Disney World!
Arguably the star of the show is the Hollywood Tower Hotel projection show, which turns it into the Hollywood Toy Hotel. The night time show includes holiday tunes and snoap and runs every few minutes.
Next up is Echo Lake, which has a very retro Christmas vibe, as well as the other star of the show during the holiday season: Santa Gertie!
This area is so beautifully decorated that you’ll find a PhotoPass photographer nearby, taking photos for a long line of guests!
Then there’s Toy Story Land, which is a lot of fun throughout the year – but even more so during the holidays!
At the main entrance, you’ll be greeted by Woody in a winter scarf with garland and ornaments hanging from the Toy Story Land sign.
Jessie and Rex are stringing up Christmas lights on Slinky Dog Dash year round, but Rex has some faux reindeer antlers on!
Nearby you’ll see a stack of Christmas ornaments, some of which look like green aliens! Plus, across the way, you’ll see a giant Mr. Hamm sugar cookie. Both make really fun photo ops!
Oddly, there are no holiday decorations at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. At least there weren’t when I last visited in November 2023. I’ll be back for a visit in December to see if that has changed!
Some days I think this makes sense, but other days I think it’s a wasted opportunity. What do y’all think?
Where to meet Santa Claus at Hollywood Studios
Yes, you can meet the big man himself at Hollywood Studios: Santa Claus.
Head to Grand Avenue, where you can meet Santa Claus at the It’s a Wonderful Shop.
This meet-and-greet is running on a virtual queue, but in order to join, you have to go there to register. You can’t do it on the My Disney Experience app.
The shop is a bit tucked away, but if you walk past the Miss Piggy fountain toward Pizzerizzo, you’ll run into it.
Christmas character meet-and-greets
Over in Toy Story Land, you can take photos with several of the Toy Story characters, like Woody and Buzz, with a holiday twist to their outfit.
In addition, Olaf is available year round at Celebrity Spotlight, but would be an extra cute photo for a holiday card!
Holiday themed magic shots
There are PhotoPass photographers stationed all throughout Hollywood Studios to help capture your Disney vacation memories.
During the holiday season, there are extra special holiday themed magic shots available, such as mistletoe and Santa Tinkerbell!
Just ask your photographer what they have available and they’ll set you up in the right pose!
At the Hollywood Studios arch near the entrance, there’s a Chip & Dale ornament magic shot available through December 31.
PhotoPass photographers on Hollywood & Sunset Boulevards have both Santa Tinkerbell and Christmas Chip & Dale through January 6, 2024.
At Echo Lake, there’s usually several PhotoPass photographers stationed. Here’s you’ll find Stitch breakout out of a Christmas gift through December 31, as well as a “naughty & nice” list overlay through January 6. Plus, year round, they have an Olaf Magic Shot, as well as a cute Frozen snowflake.
Last, but not least, most PhotoPass photographers in Hollywood Studios will also have a mistletoe magic shot and a blowing snowflake magic shot through January 6, 2024.
In addition to the Magic Shots, if you purchase Genie+ or are an annual passholder, you’ll get access to Disney PhotoPass lenses on the My Disney Experience app. The PhotoPass lenses are kind of like SnapChat filters, but Disney style!
For the holidays they have a fun Christmas snack lens where you can eat Mickey gingerbread cookies, Minnie brownies, hot cocoa, and more. Plus there’s a Frozen lens that’s extra cute this time of year.
Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine
For lunch and dinner, the Hollywood & Vine restaurant in Echo Lake transforms into Minnie’s Holiday Dine, a holiday themed character dining experience.
The meal is hosted by Minnie in her finest Christmas dress, and some of her friend join in on the fun, too.
When my family and I went, we met Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Santa Goofy. My favorite was Santa Goofy, of course!
Food is served buffet style, so you can try a little bit of everything. They had both fancy stuff like steak and salmon and kid-friendly foods, like macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, as well as healthier options, like chicken and salad.
This seasonal offering is available from November 8, 2023 through January 4, 2024.
Hollywood Studios Christmas food & drink
The holiday food and drink at Hollywood Studios is available from November 11, 2023 through January 1, 2024 – unless otherwise noted.
First up, the Trolley Car Café is a Starbucks in disguise, which means you can get the usual Starbucks holiday menu items, like peppermint mochas and iced oat milk chai lattes.
Next up, we have a red velvet whoopie pie at Backlot Express & the Trolley Car Café. The classic Mickey gingerbread cookie is also available at the Trolley Car Café.
At the ABC Commissary, you can get a Holiday Minnie Bundt Cake, which is a spice cake with apple pie filling and cinnamon-sugar coating, spiced maple butter cream and salted caramel icing.
You can get a Mickey Santa Hat cupcake at Rosie’s All-American Café, while PizzeRizzo has a melted snowman sugar cookie. Whatever you do, don’t tell Olaf!!
At the Dockside Diner and most of the snack carts throughout the park will have a holiday-themed Mickey Mouse brownie.
Woody’s Lunch Box always has a seasonal lunch box tart! This time of year, they have a hot chocolate lunch box tart and it will be available through January 31.
For drinks, you can get a frozen salted caramel hot chocolate, with or without cherry bourbon, at ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, PizzeRizzo, and Rosie’s All-American Café.
Plus, Hollywood Scoops has a candy cane milkshake with a chocolate cake donut topper.
Last, but not least, if you’re after more savory food items or want the viral Santa Gertie sugar cookie, those items are exclusive to Hollywood Studios’ new Christmas after-hours event, Disney Jollywood Nights.
Disney Jollywood Nights after-hours event
New in 2023 is the separately ticketed after-hours event, Disney Jollywood Nights. This holiday event is geared toward adults, but is open to all ages.
It includes tons of photo ops, rare character meet-and-greets, like Rescue Rangers Chip & Dale, as well as a Nightmare Before Christmas sing-along, and a holiday stage show hosted by Kermit & Miss Piggy that also features Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Tiana, and Belle.
In addition, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam, a projection and fireworks show, is back – but exclusive to this event.
Last, but not least, there are a ton of party-exclusive food and drink, like a Santa Gertie sugar cookie!
To learn more about this event, check out my Jollywood Nights Party Guide.
What is your favorite part about Christmas at Hollywood Studios?
All in all, there are a ton of things to do, see, eat and drink at Hollywood Studios during the Christmas season.
I hope my guide to Christmas at Hollywood Studios helped you plan your visit with ease.
What’s your favorite thing about Christmas at Hollywood Studios? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I hope you have a lovely holiday season!
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.