Disney Springs can sometimes be last on your list of places to visit when you go on a Walt Disney World vacation, but I can promise you it is now a don’t miss place to go!
With every kind of restaurant you could possibly want and all the shopping it definitely lives up to it’s slogan of “Happily Whatever Your After”.
The Disney Springs Art Walk is really the only new thing to be added this year, but the Christmas offerings are abundant and well worth the visit!
Below is everything you need to know about enjoying the holidays at Disney Springs.
Top 10 Things to do for Christmas at Disney Springs
1. Do The Christmas Tree Stroll
The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll started in 2015 and used to be the Christmas Tree Trail. It was located behind Earl of Sandwich and was one trail with all the trees together. This quickly became a fan favorite but was, of course drastically changed by Covid.
When the Christmas Tree Stroll returned it looked a little different to adhere to Covid restrictions and guidance. In my opinion this change was for the better and I’m glad they have kept it this way, it makes it much more of an experience.
Now you have to explore all of Disney Springs to find the different trees and it’s more of a hunt than just walking a trail. There are 20 different Christmas Trees on the stroll. From Moana and The Lion King to Mickey and Minnie and The Haunted Mansion these trees are incredible!
New this year is the Disney Wish topiary and the Annual Passholder tree.
You can grab your map and completer pin at the following locations:
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
- Planet Hollywood
- The BOATHOUSE
Grab your map and start the hunt! The map will guide you all over Disney Springs to find these beautifully decorated trees. When you find one, you place the corresponding sticker on the spot. Once you’re finished you can return to the distribution sites to get your pin.
This is such a fun way to explore Disney Springs and see so many beautiful trees. The best part, Its FREE! Plus there are discounts on the map you can use in the stores and restaurants around Disney Springs.
2.Play in the Snow!
Yes, I said snow! In Florida?! Well yes and no, it’s the famous Disney “snope” but it’s just as fun as the real thing but without the cold.
The snow falls at Town Center at Disney Springs every night with varying times. It looks so wonderful around the big, main Christmas tree and all the lit-up palm trees.
3. Meet Santa Claus
All good Christmas outings include meeting the big man himself and Disney Springs delivers on this in the best way. You can take your own photos as well as have a Photo Pass photographer take your pictures with Santa
You can also fill out a Christmas wish list to give to Santa. When we went, Santa was amazing and took such care of each child that came to see him.
Dates and Times to See Santa Claus
Santa will be seeing good little boys and girls from November 11th through December 24th before he has to get ready for the big night!
You can meet Santa at Once Upon a Toy in his workshop by joining the Virtual Queue on the My Disney Experience app once you are in Disney Springs. There are also signs up throughout Springs with a QR code you can scan to join the queue as well.
The queue opens at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm for you to get a spot in line.
4. Hit the Dance Floor with the DJ’s
Over on the Waterside Stage, across from World of Disney you can get your Christmas groove on with the DJ’s all throughout the day. They will be spinning holiday jams almost all day, with times marked on the signs by the stage.
5. Holiday Performers
In addition to the DJ’s there are also performers roaming Disney Springs for the holidays. You can find a Christmas band playing in town center, a drumline marching by, toy soldier stilt walkers and even roller blading snowflakes!
All of this happens after the sun goes down and Christmas lights are lit. You really can’t miss these awesome performers as most of them are roaming around Disney Springs throughout the night.
6. Go Christmas Shopping!
With so many different shops, you can for sure find something for everyone on your list. There are all kinds of sales going on between now and Christmas including Black Friday deals.
Some of my favorite places to shop for gifts are Basin for the prettiest Disney soap out there, UNIQLO for cute Disney tees that are a little cheaper than the park shirts, and of course Disney’s Days of Christmas for all the ornaments and personalization!
Some other great places to shop this holiday season in Disney Springs include:
- Sugar Boo & Company
- The Art of Shaving
- Marketplace Coop
- World of Disney
- The LEGO Store
- M&M Store
7. Donate to the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive
From now until December 24th you can donate toys on ShopDisney.com, but in Disney Springs you can donate a new unwrapped toy in person through December 12th. This is such a great way to give back through Toys for Tots and Disney
Disney has supported with Toys for Tots for 75 years. Walt Disney and his studio animators even designed the original Toys for Tots train logo that is still used today!
How Can You Get Involved?
In person donations can be made at the following locations:
- World of Disney
- Marketplace Coop
- Star Wars Galactic Outpost
- Disney Springs Welcome Center
Bring your new, unwrapped toys here and drop them in the Toys for Tots bins at these locations.
8. Take All The Pictures
There are so many great photo ops in Disney Springs for Christmas! The Seasons Greetings snowflake located outside Superdry has a great backdrop of giant, lit up ornaments and makes for a great photo.
In addition to that one are numerous photo set ups inside places like Planet Hollywood where you pick up your tree stroll map, across from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique there is a big backdrop of the Santa Clauses that’s great for photos and of course taking your picture in front of all those beautiful trees!
Photo Pass Holiday Studio
Who doesn’t want a festive family photo in Disney right?! The Disney Photo Pass Studio is located between Marketplace Coop and Ghirardelli and can be entered from Marketplace Coop or it’s own entrance outside.
You can take pictures in front of the green screen where your photographer will add holiday backdrops, suggest fun poses for your family to match the backdrops and even add in Magic Shots like the one above with Olaf and Sven!
Next to the green screen is a holiday set up that is so cute and festive. You can get your whole family in and when we went they even had the kids do a few shots together.
If you have Memory Maker already you will just scan your Magic Band or park ticket and these photos will pop right up in your My Disney Experience app. If you do not have Memory Maker you can purchase individual pictures and even print them out at a kiosk in the studio.
9. Eat & Drink All The Holiday Treats
With so many restaurants and bars in Disney Springs there are tons of festive options for eats and drinks! Here are just a couple of my favorite offerings this holiday season, but there are lots more for you to enjoy.
- Amorette’s Patisserie has 4 different holiday treats that are not only Instagram worthy but also tasty.
- Holiday Wreath Pastry with ginger spice mousse, salted caramel sauce, gingerbread cookies and pralines
- Ornament Mousse Cake with gingerbread cake, hot cocoa mousse and toasted marshmallow mousse
- Holiday Mickey Mouse Dome Cake with chocolate chiffon cake, white and dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate crisp pearls
- Santa Claus Petite Cake with chocolate chiffon cake, chocolate chip cookie cake, chocolate and vanilla mousse
- Jock Lindsay’s HOLIDAY Bar (In my opinion, this is the best holiday overlay in Disney as the Hangar Bar turns into an amazingly decorated HOLIDAY bar)
- Grandma’s Revenge Venison Sliders with venison sausage, bacon cranberry jam, watercress and tomato on Parker House rolls
- Naughty or Nice Deviled Eggs with crispy ham and your choice of sweet honey glaze (nice) or spicy honey glaze (naughty)
- Hot Chocolate Grail Flight trio of warm spiked beverages including spiced butterscotch, white chocolate Oreo and peppermint
- Claus Mo (possibly the cutest Christmas cocktail ever!) traditional cosmopolitan cocktail with a sugar rim and garnish with a strawberry and marshmallow Santa hat
These are just my two favorite offerings for Christmas but just about every restaurant and bar has holiday menu items that are super fun and festive. Here are some other treats offered in Disney Springs this holiday season:
- Santa Mickey Bubble Waffle Sundae at Marketplace Snacks
- Kris Kringle Cookie at Gideons Bakehouse
- Peppermint Chocolate Bark Soft-serve Nachos at Swirls on the Water
- Christmas Old Fashioned at The BOATHOUSE
- Rowdy Reindeer at the Ganachery
- Candy Cane Margarita at Dockside Margaritas
- Peppermint Cookie and Cream Shake at D-Luxe Burger
- Gobbler Poutine at The Daily Poutine
Breakfast with Santa at Maria and Enzos
Reservations for this super cute holiday breakfast can be made on the Maria and Enzos website and are available select mornings from November 26th through December 24th. Reservations are available at 9:30 am and 9:45 am most mornings.
Pricing begins at $30 for children and $50 for adults plus tax and gratuity and varies based on date, time and seating category (seating category determines order in which you meet Santa).
Your reservation includes:
- Italian style breakfast feast
- Meet and greet with Santa and his elves
- Family photo with Santa Claus
- Takeaway treats for the kids
- Kid friendly holiday activities
- Prosecco Mimosa for adults 21+
10. Buy All The Christmas Apparel and Merchandise
From ugly Christmas sweaters to matching family pajamas, Disney Springs has got you covered.
At World of Disney you can find the two items mentioned above as well as Christmas Minnie Ears, Snow Bubble Wands (like the ones that blow bubbles but they blow “snope”) and Flashing Light Bulb Necklaces.
Disney’s Days of Christmas has all the Disney ornaments your heart desires and offers free personalization for the ornaments you purchase in the store.
What To Know Before You Go To Disney Springs
Visiting Disney Springs is a little more low key than visiting a park. Here are a few tips and FAQ to make your visit the best it can be this holiday season!
- Do I have to have a park ticket or park reservation to visit Disney Springs? NO!
- Do I have to pay to park at Disney Springs? NO!
- Should I have the My Disney Experience app? YES! You can find all the menus, lists of stores and even enter the Virtual Queue to meet Santa in the app.
- When does Christmas start in Disney Springs? Christmas starts November 11th
- Are the stores open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day? A lot of the stores and restaurants are open on Thanksgiving and Christmas and Disney Springs is officially open on Christmas Day from 10:00 am to 11:30 pm.
- Do I need dining reservations to eat at Disney Springs? Yes and No! If you just HAVE to eat at that one special place then I highly recommend you get a reservation as soon as your window opens. BUT if you can’t get a reservation you will still be able to find somewhere to eat on a walk up list. My best advice is to go just as the meal time is starting, like 11:00 am for lunch or 4:00 pm for dinner, it’s typically easier to get a table at these times versus the thick of that meal time.
Closing Thoughts About Christmas At Disney Springs
I always tell people not to sleep on Disney Springs when they come to Walt Disney World on vacation, this is even more true at Christmas time! There are just so many fun things to see, do, eat, buy and drink plus the entire place looks so festive and beautiful.
The entertainment is so diverse from stilt walkers to DJ’s so you are never going to be bored. Finally, my favorite thing about Disney Springs at the holidays is that you can go and have fun and enjoy lots of Christmas fun for free and in Disney that is in short supply. Other than eating and drinking if you choose to, you could spend hours in Disney Springs without spending a dime.
Besides all the beautifully decorated trees there are also lots of really cute decorations scattered around the Springs. Reindeer outside the movie theatre, Owls by the stairs going up to STK, Body Snowmen outside of The BOATHOUSE and so much more to see.
So take a day and enjoy all that Disney Springs has to offer and lets us know down below if you have been to Disney Springs over the holidays and what your favorite thing to do or see there was.