Disney World Unveils Exciting 2021 Holiday Plans!

Very Merriest After Hours
Credit: Disney

Big news coming out of Walt Disney World! While we’re celebrating “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” in honor of 50 years of magic-making at Disney World, Disney is now unveiling exciting experiences coming for the 2021 holiday season with “enchanting holiday entertainment and yuletide-themed décor.” Ready to start planning your memorable Walt Disney World vacation? Check out all the Disney Park holiday details below!

More Disney Very Merries After Hours Additions

First up, let’s talk about even more magic coming to Disney Very Merriest After Hours in Magic Kingdom Park. Disney Parks Blog shares, “Disney Very Merriest After Hours just got even merrier, with “Mickey & Minnie’s Very Merry Memories” joining the lineup of event-exclusive entertainment. Guests attending Disney Very Merriest After Hours, a separately ticketed event at Magic Kingdom Park taking place on 24 select nights Nov. 8 – Dec. 21, 2021, are invited to join Mickey and his pals for a celebration filled with music, dancing , and nostalgic yuletide fun. Presented on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage, the show features a nod to classic Magic Kingdom holiday stage shows, including “Mickey’s Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Celebrate the Season” and “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.”

RELATED: No Dates Sold Out Yet With Less Than One Month Before Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Credit: Disney

Disney Very Merriest After Hours attendees can also expect lower wait times for favorite attractions! Plus, there are special attraction holiday overlays to enjoy. Holiday hilarity ensues at Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor exclusively during the event, while the popular Jingle Cruise sails throughout the holiday season for all Guests to enjoy.” Additional entertainment returning during Disney Very Merriest After Hours this season includes:

  • It’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride down Main Street, U.S.A. in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” Santa Claus, elves, reindeer and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey Mouse and his pals for the happiest holiday parade.    
  • The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life with the return of “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks,” where Minnie Mouse invites everyone to come together in a celebration of the magic of Christmas. The show features fireworks, projections and beloved holiday songs. 
  • Club Tinsel, located at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland, becomes the coolest place to get down when denizens of the North Pole drop by for the holiday cheeriest dance party in the whole Magic Kingdom!  
  • The Reindeer Wranglers bring their holiday hoedown to the streets of Frontierland, performing seasonal songs with a distinctive country flair.  

RELATED: Dates Revealed, Plus Fireworks & Parade Return for Disney Very Merriest After Hours!

Cinderella Castle Holiday Projection

Credit: Disney

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Not attending Disney Very Merriest After Hours? Disney has shared that “Guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park during regular operating hours can still join in on the holiday fun! On evenings when Disney Very Merriest After Hours is not being held, Cinderella Castle takes on a festive appearance with special projection effects, providing a colorful backdrop for our Guests’ photos. Throughout the evening, bursts of holiday magic will transform Cinderella Castle with a rotating series of designs, followed by a stunning transition in which the iconic Magic Kingdom Park landmark will shine as a Beacon of Magic, illuminating the night with an EARidescent glow.” 

Santa Claus is Coming!


What’s a holiday season without Santa?! Disney has announced, “Guests will encounter Jolly Old St. Nick during special appearances across Walt Disney World Resort through Dec. 24 of this year. Catch sight of Santa cruising down Hollywood Blvd. in his candy-apple red convertible at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade or venture over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, to spot Santa voyaging across the Discovery River, spreading the joyous spirit of the season from a festive flotilla. Santa Claus will also pay visits to Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT and Disney Springs, where Guests will have individualized time to wave hello and share their Christmas wishes.”

Disney Springs Holiday Fun

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll (Credit: Disney)

Holiday magic is arriving at Disney Springs! Get ready to experience the Disney-themed trees we all know and love, along with much more at Disney Springs. Disney shares, “The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth brings elaborately decorated Disney Christmas trees to the neighborhoods throughout Disney Springs. Each of the twinkling trees will be themed to personify beloved Disney characters, stories, and celebrations. Special festive décor and live holiday performances will add an extra touch of wonder to holiday shopping. And in the evening, Guests visiting Town Center will experience a magical snowfall, bringing the spirit of the North Pole to Central Florida. For the perfect wrap-up to a holiday visit to Disney Springs, visit Jock Lindsay’s Holiday Bar; back by popular demand, this seasonal favorite has returned with yuletide touches alongside festive food and craft cocktails – there’s something on the menu for everyone!”

Merry Menagerie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is of course getting in on the action! This holiday season, Guests will encounter the Merry Menagerie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Disney goes on the share, “As a part of this year’s yuletide entertainment, Discovery Island will spring to life with a Merry Menagerie of winter animals, realized in the form of life-size, artisan-sculpted puppets. Reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins, and more interaction with Guests, accompanied by serenading musicians as they create a whimsical display and playful atmosphere for Guests of all ages to enjoy. As Guests explore the Park, they may spot Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale and other Disney character friends bringing their own style of festive flair to the Discovery River, as they jingle through the jungle to the rhythm of the holidays. And on nights when the Park is open after dark, the Tree of Life awakens as a series of wintry tales emerge from within, complemented by a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life joins the Beacons of Magic in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, as magical fireflies gather to produce a warm and glorious light, calling forth the EARidescent magic of nature.”

Holiday Excitment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Get ready to take in all the beauty of Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Disney has announced “Sunset Seasons Greetings returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where each evening holiday magic transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into a Muppets gingerbread masterpiece, a “Toy Story” toy hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle, and a Dickensian village from “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.” As a part of the 50th-anniversary celebration at Walt Disney World Resort, the festive fun continues when Hollywood Tower Hotel becomes a Beacon of Magic at night, awash in an EARidescence evoking all the glimmer and shimmer of the golden age of imagination and adventure. Just in time for the holidays, “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” adds a festive finale, featuring everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, and celebratory songs of the season.”

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Traditions from Around the World at EPCOT

Candlelight Processional (Credit: Disney)

RELATED: EPCOT’s ‘Candlelight Processional’ Will Return!

While we previously shared the exciting news that EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional will return, along with EPCOT’s Holiday Storytellers making a comeback, there’s more Holiday fun to come for EPCOT! Who’s ready to unlock traditions from Around the World at EPCOT? Disney has shared, “Guests are invited to share in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s greatest holiday festivities during the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth, where time-honored traditions come alive through music, dance, and the storytelling heritage of the countries of World Showcase. Beginning on Nov. 26 through Dec. 30, you can celebrate with a spirited array of seasonal entertainment.”

You can now visit Disney’s dedicated holidays’ page to learn more about Disney’s upcoming holiday festivities at Walt Disney World Resort. Happy planning your Disney World holiday plans, Disney fans!

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.