With Irma in the rearview mirror, Walt Disney World has announced their holiday offerings for 2017. The focus seems to be on Disney’s Hollywood Studios where in addition to the previously announced Sunset Seasons Greetings, the park will debut new decor (including Gertie getting a Santa hat) and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure additions to the Frozen Sing-Along.
Notably absent from the listing is the Jingle Cruise and the Starlight Holiday drone show at Disney Springs. The Jungle Cruise has been closed for refurbishment since Hurricane Irma, so this may have impacted their plans, however Disneyland did not include Jingle Cruise in their holiday listing either.
Here are the highlights.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- NEW Sunset Seasons Greetings – This new holiday experience features projections of Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house and a frozen winter wonderland. This experience runs continuously throughout the night.
- NEW Enhanced holiday décor around Echo Lake – Extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water will make Echo Lake the merriest of places this holiday season. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat.
- “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Returns – The hit holiday show returns November 9 sending Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that is capped by a special message from Santa himself.
- “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Dessert Party – Guests can wrap up their jolly holiday evenings with reserved viewing of the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular. The nightly party includes holiday-inspired snacks, delicious desserts, wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A surprise Disney character will also join the fun, posing for pictures and signing autographs. This add-on offering is available Nov. 9-Dec. 30, 2017. Book online at com/dining or call (407) WDW-DINE.
- A new friend joins the cast of ‘For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’ – Holiday fun continues at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff welcome Olaf to this popular sing-along celebration. Just for the holidays, the show will include, all-new songs from Disney’s new animated short “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”
- Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine – Meet Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy for lunch and dinner celebrations centered on seasonal deliciousness. From Nov. 6-Jan. 7, the Minnie will deck the halls for a banquet filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season. To make a reservation, check availability and book online at com/dining or call (407) WDW-DINE.
- Santa Claus returns to the Once Upon a Time shop Nov. 9-Dec. 24 – Santa will be at the shop daily to greet guests and listen to holiday wishes. Santa Goofy will step in Dec. 25-Dec. 31 after Old Saint Nick returns to the North Pole.
- NEW Holiday Kitchens – The number of holiday kitchens doubles in size this year to a total of 15, each bringing the flavors of the season to life. New this year, guests can indulge in cookies and desserts at the holiday kitchen located inside the Odyssey complex. Sweet treats include snowflake sugar cookies and a warm apple fritter with cinnamon ice cream and caramel sauce. Over at the Canada pavilion, dazzling delicacies like the Maple Buche de Noel (maple mousse rolled in gingerbread chiffon cake with cranberry sauce and pecan crumble) celebrate holiday traditions from the Great White North.
- NEW Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree – Chip and Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree. Guests can purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise locations and travel around World Showcase looking for the famous chipmunks with their ornaments. Guests can return their completed maps for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip and Dale. Maps are available for $5.99 plus tax.
- NEW Candlelight Processional Narrators – One of the most popular Epcot traditions returns with new celebrity narrators in 2017. Pat Sajak, Matt Bomer and CCH Pounder will join the lineup of returning favorites like Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg and Jaci Velasquez. The Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the Christmas story as told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. The show takes place at the America Gardens Theatre each evening at 5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Nov. 24-Dec. 30. Candlelight dinner packages can be reserved by visiting com/holiday.
- NEW Holiday Entertainment – Enjoy the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase, as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid joyful music and time-honored traditions. Guests will discover an entertaining celebration of Hanukkah in a new location along World Showcase promenade, where a fun and interactive band interweaves the music of Hanukkah with jazz, Latin, rock and even hip-hop influences. Other returning holiday favorites include JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season and Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.
- Fireworks Finale – The nightly fireworks display, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, will feature a special holiday ending.
- A Frozen Holiday Wish – Behold an enchanting performance to melt a frozen heart. Royal sisters Anna and Elsa lead a celebration on the Castle Forecourt Stage nightly Nov. 9-Dec. 31. Featuring special appearances by rugged mountain man Kristoff and lovable snowman Olaf, this merry-and-bright seasonal show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom – transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering, shimmering ice palace for the holidays.
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – It’s a Christmas party like no other, with joyous music, a shimmering Cinderella Castle, characters in their festive finery and the Magic Kingdom decked out and made even more magical for merry-making guests of all ages. Each specially ticketed, limited-attendance event features an exclusive performance of Holiday Wishes fireworks and the earliest performances of other spectaculars like Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, the Frozen Holiday Wish castle-lighting ceremony and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. The special party – complete with cookies, cocoa and snow flurries – begins at 7 p.m., after regular park hours. Parties will be held on November 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 and 28, and December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22.
- NEW An Even Bigger Christmas Tree Trail – To capture the spirit of the season, Marketplace guests can stroll among custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme. This year, the Christmas Tree Trail will expand to include ten new trees inspired by Disney classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.
- Santa’s Chalet – Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet newly located by the Christmas Tree Trail. From Dec. 25-Dec. 31, Santa Goofy will take over after Old Saint Nick heads back to the North Pole.
- Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt – The mischievous experiment 626 returns to Disney Springs with an expanded scavenger hunt now featuring four new stops, including a special stop at the expanded Christmas Tree Trail.