After weeks of teasing, and slowly rolling out announcements about this year’s holiday activities, Disney revealed what’s coming to Walt Disney World this holiday season. ‘Tis the Damn Season—let’s get into it.
Updated 6/17/2023 to include new details from Tom Vazzana, Creative Director with Walt Disney World Live Entertainment!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is getting its own Holiday Party! This is not a drill. Disney announced the brand new Disney Jollywood Nights – an after hours, hard ticket event from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on 10 select nights: November 11, 18, 20, 27, 29 and December 4, 6, 16, 18, 20. Jollywood Nights celebrates different time periods with a Hollywood twist. Here is what to expect from this Hollywood-inspired Holiday fest:
- Hollywood Tower Hotel. A ghostly party will take place in the Hollywood Tower Hotel courtyard (where The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is located). Themed to the Tip Top Club—which, as the story goes, was on the thirteenth floor of the Hollywood Tower Hotel—the party will feature a ghostly band playing 1920s music, cocktails, and food.
- Latin Fair. Commissary Lane will turn into a Latin Street Fair! “Fiesta en La Calle” will feature specialty drinks, foods, and three Latin Bands. (This sounds promising!)
- What’s This? The Hyperion Theater will host a spirited sing-along themed to The Nightmare Before Christmas. The theater will be transformed into a somewhat dark, Tim Burton-inspiring setting, and both Jack Skellington and Oogie-Boogie will appear. (No word on Lock, Shock, and Barrel…)
- The Hollywood Brown Derby. The beloved Brown Derby will transform into a sing-along piano bar where a pianist and singer will perform songs from the ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Important note: according to Disney, this space will require a waitlist of sorts, similar to the waitlist required to enter Olga’s Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Stay tune for more information about this so you are prepared on the night of your party.
- The Muppets. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will host a holiday special at Theater of the Stars. Described as similar to a television variety show, it will feature numbers by Mickey and Minnie, Tiana, and Belle.
- Character Experiences. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the rest of the Sensational Six will be at Animation Courtyard. Powerline Max, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Phineas and Ferb will be at Echo Lake, and Edna Mode and Frozone (who will have a “Snow Zone”) will be at Pixar Plaza.
- Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!—the nighttime spectacular will make its return to conclude each party night.
- Attractions. Several rides, like Slinky Dog Dash, Rock N’ roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be available during the event. NOTE—Rise of the Resistance will require guests to join the virtual queue during DIsney Jollywood Nights—so there’s that.
- Photo Opps. There are several Magic Shots and PhotoPass experiences that will be included with your ticket.
- Music. A DJ spinning holiday tunes throughout the park.
- Disney Foodie. Several special food options will be offered, including a Spicy Korean Chicken on a Mini Funnel Cake and a Christmas Tree Cookie Stack.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is returning! For 25 nights during November and December, you can attend Mickey’s Christmas Party! Expect the holiday stage show, Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, the Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Spectacular, and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade—which is my personal parade favorite.
My Frozen Holiday Surprise. A new Frozen-inspired entertainment experience called Frozen Holiday Surprise is coming to the Magic Kingdom. Anna, Elsa, Olaf and company will feature in a Frozen-themed entertainment experience at Cinderella Castle. This will be offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party AND during regular park hours, which is great.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Merry Menagerie of winter animals will return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
EPCOT. The Candlelight Processional will return during EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays, which starts on November 24 and ends on December 30. (Check out my review of EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays.)
Expect More Announcements. Disney gave us the major news today, but do expect more details about the decor coming to the Disney World resorts (including the massive gingerbread displays). Special treats will be expected both during the holiday parties and during regular parks hours. And I have yet to see much in the way of drink sippers and popcorn buckets—you know, the things we *NEED* but end up sitting around at home.
What About the Dream Lights at Cinderella Castle? Disney kept mum on the crowd favorite that has yet to return since the COVID-19 pandemic. The lights that adorn Cinderella Castle were a crowd favorite, and are sorely missed. Stay tuned for more news about the Dream Lights.
That was a lot of Disney news. What are you most excited about? Will you be attending either of the holiday parties? Let me know below!