Ah, Christmas – that time of year when life feels a little cozier, a little more magical, and a lot more… crowded at Walt Disney World.
But don’t let that deter you! With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of spirit, you can experience the most wonderful time of the year without losing your sanity.
In this post, I’ll go over everything you need to know about Magic Kingdom at Christmas, including holiday entertainment, limited-time treats, magic shots locations, where to meet Santa Claus, and more.
So don your best Christmas sweater and a mug of something tasty, it’s time to start planning your day at Magic Kingdom during the holiday season.
Frozen Holiday Surprise
New this year is the Frozen Holiday Surprise stage show that involves Olaf and his snowgie siblings decorating Cinderella’s castle for the holidays.
Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff also join the celebration, with a touching song-and-dance number between the two sisters.
The show takes place at 6:15 PM each day, but if you’re attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you’ll be able to see it at 8:15 PM, as well.
Where to meet Santa Claus
Santa Claus greets guests in the gazebo in Liberty Square from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
Head toward Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and you’ll see signs pointing you in the direction of this fun meet-and-greet.
Check the My Disney Experience app for meet-and-greet times on the day you wish to visit.
Holiday ride makeovers
During the holiday season, everyone’s favorite punny boat ride, Jungle Cruise, transforms into Jingle Cruise.
The ride queue, boat names, some sections of the ride, and even the jokes all get a holiday twist. It’s a fun way to experience this classic ride and is well worth the wait!
I like to go when it’s dark out, so I can see the Christmas lights set up in a few sections of the ride.
Tomorrowland Speedway also has some holiday decor set up through the race track.
Lastly, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party, Space Mountain: Holiday Run is in session. It’s basically holiday jams, plus red and green lights added to the track and it’s a whole lot of fun!!
That said, when I went to MVMCP earlier this year, it was running during non-party hours.
I’m not sure if it just starts running during the overlap between regular park hours and party hours or if it’s now running during regular park hours too.
I have an email out to Disney, but if I don’t hear back, I’ll ask cast members when I visit soon!
Christmas magic shots
Have you ever seen a photo from someone’s Disney World trip and wondered how they got such a cool photo? Chances are, they took advantage of PhotoPass Magic Shots, where Disney photographers add fun elements to your photos, like a character overlay.
During the Christmas season, there are a handful of limited-time Magic Shots available, making it perfect for some fun photos for your holiday cards.
Plus there are a few year-round Frozen-themed shots that are extra cute this time of year.
At the bridge from Cinderella Castle to Tomorrowland, as well as Sir Mickey’s Royal Portrait Studio, you can ask for an Olaf magic shot.
Also at Sir Mickey’s Royal Portrait Studio year round is a simple Frozen-style snowflake.
Available through December 31, 2023
At the Christmas tree in Town Square, you can get a photo with a cute bokeh affect that looks like a flurry of Christmas lights and Mickey heads.
On the bridges from Cinderella Castle to Adventureland and Tomorrowland, PhotoPass photographers can add Stitch bursting out of a Christmas gift box to your photo.
Available through January 6, 2024
In the hub grass area near the East Lawn and Plaza restaurant, you can get a magic show video that transforms your castle photo into a winter wonderland snowglobe. Just look for a PhotoPass photographer with a tablet!
Another fun option is a Naughty or Nice list photo available from the PhotoPass photographer on the bridge from Cinderella Castle to Liberty Square.
On Main Street, the gardens by Casey’s Corner and The Plaza Restaurant, and at Sir Mickey’s Royal Portrait Studio, you can get a Tinkerbell in a Santa dress.
Most PhotoPass photographers around the park have magic shots with snowflakes and a mistletoe, as well.
Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
Nearly all of the souvenir shops in Magic Kingdom will have Christmas merchandise in November and December, including ornaments. Heck, sometimes it’ll start trickling in during October, too!
However, there is one shop in Liberty Square where it’s Christmas year-round: Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.
For the absolute best selection in ornaments at Magic Kingdom, this is where you want to go!
Holiday treats at Magic Kingdom
Of course, no Disney World trip is complete without some delightful snacks and beverages.
During the holiday season, Magic Kingdom offers a few special treats to get you into the spirit.
My top recommendations are the Mickey shaped gingerbread cookies from Main Street Bakery and the peppermint eclair from the Cheshire Cafe.
Here’s a list of the remaining holiday snacks available:
At the popcorn carts, you can get a Mickey Mouse Toy Soldier popcorn bucket or Gold Musical Rotating popcorn tin.
In addition, you can get a Donald Duck Christmas Tree sipper at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, The Friar’s Nook, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Pinnochio Village Haus, and Sleepy Hollow.
If you’re craving ice cream, look out for the reindeer chow sundae at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies or the peppermint brownie sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. You might also like the cranberry citrus float with orange-vanilla twist soft serve and winter spiced cranberry Sprite and fruity flavored boba.
At the snack carts near Cinderella Castle, you can get a holiday wreath donut or hot cocoa flavored churro.
Main Street Bakery has a Minnie Mouse cinnamon roll with red icing and a chocolate bow.
Lastly, Main Street Bakery is actually a Starbucks in disguise, so you can get the usual Starbucks holiday menu, too!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
In November and December, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special-ticketed after hours event at Magic Kingdom that you don’t want to miss.
On select dates, the park transforms into one giant Christmas party, complete with a parade, stage shows, fireworks, free cookies, and more.
To learn more about this party, check out my Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party planning guide.
Christmas week at Magic Kingdom
If you can’t make it to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there is a chance to see some of the entertainment during regular park hours.
The catch? You have to brave the busiest crowds of the year at Magic Kingdom: Christmas & New Year’s week!
And when I say busiest, I’m not kidding! The parks – Magic Kingdom especially, is known to hit capacity early on in the day.
But, if you’re willing to brave the packed crowds and are able to get in, you’ll have some fun Christmas-y entertainment available.
From December 23-31, 2023, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show will run during regular park hours.
Plus, from December 23-29, 2023, you can also see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.
Then on December 30-31, the Magic Kingdom has a special New Year’s fireworks show.
Check the My Disney Experience app for show times on the day you plan to visit.
What is your favorite part about Christmas at Magic Kingdom?
I hope this post helped you plan your day at Magic Kingdom during the Christmas season.
With Magic Kingdom being Walt Disney World’s first, and most popular park, it’s no wonder Disney goes all out with its holiday offerings here.
I’m especially loving the new Frozen Holiday Surprise show that debuted this year – it’s so cute and heartwarming!
How about you? What is your favorite thing about Christmas at Magic Kingdom? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Merry Christmas & Happy 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.