Disney World is known for its magical experiences throughout the year, but there’s something truly extraordinary about visiting during Christmas. From the dazzling decorations to the joyful entertainment, the holiday season at Disney World is a time when dreams come true. Christmas offers a vast sleight of fun events and activities at Walt Disney World, highlighted by the newcomer, Jollywood Nights, this year.
Jollywood Nights Christmas party takes place on select nights throughout the holiday season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As you step into the park, you’ll be transported to a winter wonderland filled with sparkling lights, festive music, and beloved Disney characters dressed in their holiday best.
During Jollywood Nights, Disney’s Hollywood Studios comes alive with extraordinary offerings. Immerse yourself in the magic of the season with enchanting attractions like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Land’s Slinky Dog Dash, and the iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard. These attractions take on a whimsical holiday charm, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.
Be prepared to be dazzled by the captivating shows and performances that await you during Jollywood Nights. Head to the Hyperion Theater to catch the spellbinding Jazzy Holidays, where your favorite Disney characters come together for a musical extravaganza that celebrates the spirit of the season. And don’t miss the mesmerizing “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” show a sensational mix of fireworks, projections, and holiday cheer.
Off to a Rough Start
Jollywood Nights got off to a rough start during its inaugural inception this year. Long lines and shows that didn’t come close to meeting guest expectations were ultimately the culprits to the failed event.
Of course, Disney World changed the trajectory for the event, adding rare characters and fixing some of the cosmetic and line issues that Jollywood Nights experienced during its first week in operation.
Although most were underwhelmed with Jollywood Nights, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything good about the event. In fact, fans cited two musical shows, What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along and Disney Holidays in Hollywood at the Theater of the Stars are highlights.
While Disney set out to work out the kinks surrounding their new holiday offering, fans to the event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were still impressed with the entertainment offerings.
Disney’s Holidays in Hollywood
As Hollywood Studios is an ode to theater, we’re used to seeing many special characters and attractions throughout the park, especially related to popular franchises like Star Wars.
Not to miss a chance to stay true to the park, much like Magic Kingdom does with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Jollywood Nights encompasses the glitz and glam of old Hollywood.
One show that stays true to the overall theme of Jollywood Nights is Disney’s Holidays in Hollywood, billed by Walt Disney World as follows:
“Behold an all-new stage show inspired by the glitz and glamour of vintage Hollywood TV specials—with a contemporary twist and some holiday magic—at Theater of the Stars.”
“See the holidays through a fresh lens in this star-studded series of jolly vignettes. Enjoy appearances from special guest stars, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Tiana, Belle, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse—accompanied by a talented cast of singers, dancers, and jazz musicians.”
As the sun sets and the stars come out, the Hollywood Hills come alive with a captivating display of lights, music, and merriment. The Disney Holidays in Hollywood Show is a celebration of the joys of the season, sprinkled with that special touch of Disney magic.
The show takes place on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, a bustling street lined with palm trees, vintage facades, and the glitz and glamour reminiscent of its namesake in Los Angeles. As the bustling crowds gather, anticipation builds for the spectacle about to unfold.
One of the big draws to the show are the beloved Muppet characters, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog; however, we know the real stars of the show are Minnie Mouse and Mickey.
Disney’s Changes Carol Lyrics
During the Jollywood Nights show, guests can expect to get their Christmas on, enjoying fun, a few surprises, and Christmas carols alongside some of their favorite Disney characters.
In one scene in particular, Mickey and Minnie share popular Christmas carols during the live TV special. Mickey begins by singing “O Christmas Tree,” followed by Minnie belting “Deck the Halls.”
However, there’s a little change that Minnie Mouse incorporates into the carol. Instead of singing the traditional lyric, “Don we now our gay apparel… Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol,” Minnie instead sings, “Don we now our cozy sweaters… I can think of nothing better,” according to Inside the Magic.
The change is subtle but obvious, as most people know this cherished carol by heart. As subtle as the lyrics change is, it’s also jarring in the sense that Disney, an apparent advocate for its LGBTQIA+ cast members, removed the word “gay.”
Jollywood Nights Isn’t the First to Remove the Word
Inside the Magic went on to explain that the removal of the word “gay” from the popular carol, “Deck the Halls,” has happened before. Quoted as follows:
“While ‘Deck the Halls’ uses the ‘happy’ or ‘cheerful’ definition of the word ‘gay,’ some LGBTQIA+ activists oppose changing the lyrics to quell the backlash. In 2013, Hallmark apologized after writing ‘Don we now our FUN apparel’ on a Christmas ornament.”
Despite the word’s past in usage, it’s still very interesting that Disney World would forgo it’s inclusion into the popular carol, given its meaning in the song. Disney, who has been at the forefront of a nasty fight over the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has taken a pro-LGBTQIA+ position. It seems that removing the word from the song at Jollywood Nights could be a back peddle.
You Should Still Visit Jollywood Nights
Although the event struggled greatly during its first week, it seems that Walt Disney World has ironed out a lot of its initial issues, making Jollywood Nights a fun, interactive, and new way to explore the holidays at Hollywood Studios.
There’s a lot to see and do. We’ve already mentioned a few shows available around the park, but guests can expect a lot more, including a Latin Street Fair down Commissary Lane, a DJ spinning hyped up holiday classics around Echo Lake, and beautifully crafted cocktails at Jazzy Holidays at The Hollywood Brown Derby.
Guests can meet Phineas and Ferb, Powerline Max, and more strolling through the parks, as well as enjoy sweet and delicious holiday treats exclusive for those who have a ticket. The Twilight Soirée at the Tip Top Club is a swinging good time, complete with snow!
Tickets to Jollywood Nights are still available for select nights, but as the Christmas season rolls on, you can expect them to become more expensive and harder to come by. As the event ends December 20, there isn’t much time, so if you’re planning on going, you may want to purchase your ticket sooner rather than later.
Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks guest experience. No two guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Disney Dining’s personal views on Disney Park operations.