Looking for the best places to see Christmas lights at Disney? You have come to the right place! There’s arguably no two things more magical than the Christmas season and Disney World, so what do you get when you combine the two? One of the most joyful times of year!
While Disney has loads of festive experiences around the last couple of months of the year, from parades and treats and characters in their holiday best, things like Mickey’s Very Merry Halloween Party are separately ticketed events that not all guests want to pay for on top of their visit.
However, Christmas lights at Disney World are everywhere! Because of this, Christmas spirit isn’t hard to come by, and whether you’re visiting a park, a resort, or even Disney Springs, these light displays are merry and bright for everyone.
Seeing Christmas lights decked out in the Walt Disney World Resort really adds to the festive experience of the holidays, and we’ve broken down all of the best spots to see Christmas lights at Disney World!
When Do Christmas Lights At Disney Go Up?
Normally, the Christmas decorations come out on the first or second of November, right after the Halloween season. So, if you’re looking to begin celebrating the holidays as early as possible, Disney World has your back.
The first couple days however can be quite crowded, as can the days right after Thanksgiving, and right before Christmas itself, so plan accordingly when coming to see the Christmas lights at Disney!
Despite the fact that the Christmas decor consists of easily thousands of lights, wreaths, trees and garlands, the decorations tend to literally go up overnight with a team working hard after hours, so prepare for a seamless transition between fall and winter from one day to another.
Best Places To See Christmas Lights At Disney
Best Christmas Lights At Magic Kingdom
Starting off strong with what’s probably the best spot to see Christmas lights at Disney: The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights! During the holiday season, once the sun goes down, thousands of twinkling lights cover Cinderella Castle so that it appears to be covered in sparkling snow. It’s truly a magical experience that you can’t miss on your hunt to see Christmas lights at Disney.
When I visited The Magic Kingdom with my family in 2019, we left the park before nightfall for a break before heading back for the firework show, and were absolutely delighted to see the snowy castle upon our re-entrance. It’s a magical sight that truly has to be experienced in person, and the entirety of Main Street USA was in awe.
Main Street USA
While Main Street USA is decked out in golden string lights year-round, when used as a forefront to Cinderella Castle, you get a truly enhanced Christmas lights experience.
Considering that the gold Main Street lights are up year-round, those alone aren’t necessarily festive, however, the colorful wreaths adorning the lampposts really add to the glow, and provide a perfect backdrop to the fireworks. Along with this, you can find nutcrackers, candy canes, and more around the train station square, all bordering the glittering street. It is turly one of the best places to see Christmas lights at Disney!
Main Street USA is the staple of The Magic Kingdom, serving as the entryway to the park and the forefront of the castle. Therefore, if you’re looking for immediate shopping options for holiday gifts or some festive treats, this spot has you covered. You can explore our options for the best shopping at Disney for more detail, but the initial smells of popcorn and the bustle from The Emporium really add to the Christmas cheer off the bat.
The Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree
While the massive Christmas tree at the end of Main Street is beautiful during the day, it’s even more so at night, when the twinkling decor lights up the 30-foot tree. There are around 30 trees around Disney property during the holidays, but this is one of the tallest, and most famous.
Magic Kingdom’s Christmas lights are truly a 3-part experience, with the tree, Main Street, and the castle, so being able to experience all 3 simultaneously is a treat.
Best Christmas Lights At Epcot
Living With The Land
The beloved Living With The Land ride at Epcot sends you through Disney’s greenhouse to explore how the parks grow and gather ingredients for their dining locations, and the experience is even more enhanced with the addition of Disney Christmas lights!
One of Epcot’s best Christmas experiences, Living With The Land is fully decorated for the holidays each year, and the Christmas lights aligning the tunnels really add to your entrance into the greenhouse.
The Epcot Christmas Tree
The Epcot tree is unique in the sense that it is decorated to celebrate the various countries in the world showcase, and stands at the midpoint between Mexico and Canada.
But, if you’re still looking for more, most of the pavilions around the world showcase will display garlands and such to match the country’s theme, so you won’t have to travel far for festive cheer.
Best Christmas Lights At Hollywood Studios
The Hollywood Studios Christmas Tree
Hollywood Studios’ tree is hard to miss, at 65 feet tall and located in front of Hollywood and Vine. This tree’s decor takes on a classic, old-fashioned look, and always fulfills the Disney Christmas lights fix, with over 5000 lights! It’s situated right by Gertie’s lake, which has decor of its own.
Not only does the beloved dinosaur Gertie’s lake get its very own Christmas tree around the holidays, but giant ornaments as well! The lights add a classic Christmas movie feel to the area, and are a unique touch that the other parks don’t have.
Fitting in with the old-Hollywood feel, this park’s Christmas decor will make you feel like you’ve stepped right out of an old Christmas movie.
While the forefront to Tower of Terror isn’t necessarily decked with an abundance of traditional lights. tasteful decor adorns the lampposts and provides a beautiful border to the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
This spot is the home of the Fantasmic entrance, the Beauty and The Beast show, and The Sunset Market along with a handful of shopping locations, not to mention they’re known to do a festive projection show onto The Tower of Terror around the holidays.
Best Christmas Lights At Animal Kingdom
While Animal Kingdom’s festive decorations are sparse, especially compared to the other parks, little details such as Pandora’s lights are great to come by! Due to the immersive nature of the Avatar-themed land, it is said that the local expats wanted to bring a bit of Christmas spirit from Earth, so they decorated the front of Pongu-Pongu with some string lights! This decor is a cute touch to the very nature-centric land and a lovely addition to the extensive lore.
Dinoland USA is a beloved vintage carnival-themed area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and while its main attraction Primeval Whirl is closed indefinitely, there are still some thrilling attractions such as Dinosaur, and some fun carnival games to play where you can win land-exclusive prizes!
While the decorations in Dinoland USA aren’t always consistent, you can normally find string lights around Donald’s Dino-Bash, and some tinsel trees as well!
Best Christmas Lights At Disney Springs
Christmas Tree Trail
Disney Springs is always a great spot considering its free parking and free access, and is popular with locals year round. Mostly the home of third party food and shopping spots, Springs also has World of Disney, property’s largest retail location, and other Disney shops and areas if you’re looking to get you Walt Disney World fix.
A must-do Disney Christmas activity, due to its easy fun nature, and the fact that its completely free! Around the holidays, Walt Disney World’s outdoor shopping center Disney Springs hosts the Christmas Tree Trail, where guests can observe themed trees around the area. Each tree has elaborate, dedicated decor to various characters and films, but of course, are lit up beautifully at night! In past years it has been hosted as a scavenger hunt, but traditionally, it’s a singular trail.
Best Christmas Lights At Disney Resorts
This Epcot resort is walking distance to the park, and the neighboring resort to The Yacht Club, with a handful of shared amenities. Beaches and Cream is a Walt Disney World staple, and the pool area titled Stormalong Bay, is approximately 3 acres with waterslides and a giant shipwreck.
If you’re looking for a sandy winter wonderland, the New England-style Beach Club resort has you covered. The garlands and wreaths transform the clean, white interior of the lobby, casting a golden glow.
We voted The Contemporary Resort as the best monorail resort at Walt Disney World, due to the fact that it’s walking distance to The Magic Kingdom! This 1971 resort, often lovingly called Walt’s resort, was the only one that Walt Disney knew what it was going to look like prior to its construction, and prior to his passing, so it makes the spot quite special year round.
The Contemporary Resort is a historic spot for Christmas celebrations and decor dating back to the first few years of the Walt Disney World Resort, and those traditions continue to this day, most famously, with the gingerbread Cinderella Castle. The Contemporary also tends to have a massive Christmas tree outside, in front of the resort, which lights up the promenade in the evenings.
If you’re looking for true Christmas elegance, look no further than the Grand Floridian Resort down the way from Magic Kingdom for some festive resort hopping.
Possibly the most deluxe of the deluxe resorts, the Victorian location hosts dining options such as Victoria and Albert’s, The Enchanted Rose and 1900 Park Fare, with a lovely Alice and Wonderland-themed pool area.
Glittering Christmas trees and elaborate garlands deck the halls, with a consistent theming of swans all around. Much like The Contemporary, The Grand Floridian has its own giant gingerbread house, complete with a working chimney.