Christmas time is one of our favorite times of the year and this year’s Guide to Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’ll give you a look at the vintage holiday decorations, the food and beverage offerings, and this year’s lineup of festive projection shows, food, and more.
We’re going to look at all the holiday offerings before you head out to the park. Disney’s flurry of fun technically began back in 2017, although some offerings like Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM began before that. This year, Disney has dropped the name Flurry of Fun and, sadly has left Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM to the history books as well.
This park was once home to the Osborne family spectacle of dancing lights, so while Hollywood studios has been celebrating the holidays for many years now, this rebranded event began only two years ago and is now just Christmas at Hollywood Studios.
When does Christmas start in Hollywood Studios?
The Christmas festivities will start on November 11th, 2022. In years past, Christmas here has lasted until after the New Year, unlike some of the other holiday offerings in Disney World. No end date has been announced for this year, but we expect it will continue into the New Year.
Unlike Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, these offerings do not require an extra ticket, and all normal entrance tickets to the park will include all of the holiday offerings I’ll mention in this guide.
What does Christmas in Hollywood Studios include?
Christmas in Hollywood Studios is packed with holiday fun! Decorations are everywhere in the park, special holiday finale for Frozen Sing-Along, Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show, “snow” on Sunset Boulevard, seasonal treats, characters in their holiday best and even some surprise visits from Santa himself!
Holiday Character Meet & Greets
Hollywood Studios offers a great lineup of characters for the holiday season, almost as good as the Magic Kingdom! So let’s take a look at all the locations where you can meet your favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday gear.
Let’s start things off on Hollywood Boulevard. This area recently got a character shuffle, because Chip & Dale replaced Donald and Daisy’s location just after the turnstiles in front of Sids One-Of-A-Kind store. Usually, these pair are sporting their Santa hats and meet guests in the afternoon from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
In the Echo Lake area, you can meet the lovable snowman Olaf at the celebrity spotlight. This is exactly the same as it is throughout the rest of the year, but this is the only spot to meet Olaf at Disney World and you might want to get a photo with your favorite snowman.
But, in this case, it’s really unnecessary if you see that the wait for Olaf is longer than 20 minutes just come back later because it fluctuates a lot. Olaf meets guests pretty much all day from Park open to park closing time.
Right around the corner on Commissary Lane and across the sci-fi restaurant we have Red Carpet Dreams. This is where you’ll find Mickey and Minnie at Hollywood studios throughout the entire day. This is the only place in Disney World to meet Mickey and his Sorcerer’s Apprentice costume. Their wait time can stretch anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes so keep your eyes on the My Disney Experience app for the best times to go.
Toy Story Land
Meanwhile, in Toy Story Land there are three character spots for the holidays. You can expect to see Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jesse, and possibly Bo Peep, all in their holiday outfits.
This is the only place to meet Toy Story characters in Santa hats and winter scarves. Buzz Lightyear tends to meet near the entrance to the land while Woody and Bo Peep meet fans just outside the entrance Toy Story Mania. Jesse has slightly moved to the exit of aliens swirling saucers. All three character spots run all day as well and don’t forget that the green army men will roam the land playing their drums and playing games with kids also dressed in some holiday gear.
At the Animation Courtyard, you can meet Mike and Sulley. According to Disney’s website, the monster pairs still have scheduled meeting times all the way to November 30th. They can be found at the end of the Walt Disney Presents exhibit, just before the movie theater. Just note that this meet and greet and attraction usually closes by 6:00 p.m.
On Sunset Boulevard, just outside Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, you can continue to meet Cruz Ramirez and DJ. These are very easy meet and greets as they usually have no lines and are usually stationed with PhotoPass photographers. The pair usually poses for pictures all day, from about 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and of course, just inside the show, you’ll see Lightning McQueen himself.
If you are looking to see Santa, you’re in luck! You can catch Santa cruising down Hollywood Boulevard in his red Christmas corvette in his very own cavalcade complete with dancing reindeer! He may even be accompanied by everybody’s favorite pup, Pluto in his Christmas best. There is no physical meet and greet with Santa at Hollywood Studios this year.
At Minnies Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine you can meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Santa Goofy all dressed up for Christmas! There is an adorable vintage Christmas backdrop as you enter where you can take pictures with Santa Goofy, it is a great place for a family photo.
Christmas Decorations and Decor
Hollywood Studios doesn’t necessarily have huge holiday overlays to the attractions as we see at the Christmas party over at the Magic Kingdom. Some parts of Hollywood Studios are even better at this time of year; like Toy Story Land for example because of all the great decorations around the park.
Echo Lake is a great place to see the wonderful collection of vintage holiday decor. Aside from the poodles and reindeer, you’ll see Santa Gerty (the dinosaur) overlooking the area. Echo Lake is also home to the park’s huge Christmas tree.
I know that this doesn’t necessarily add anything different to the attractions but it is a great spot for pictures with the family. Because you’ll find several PhotoPass photographers positioned around the lake with fun props and Magic Shots available.
Toy Story land also gets in on some of the holiday fun with its oversized popcorn and cranberry garland, alien ornaments, and giant sugar cookies. Sleighbells can be heard as Slinky Dog makes his way down the track, and every so often you may hear a classic holiday tune on Alien Swirling Saucers. The overlays are pretty simple but they are good fun.
Holiday Food and Dining Events
No event at a Disney park would be complete without food right?! Well, Hollywood Studios offers a delicious lineup of sweet treats and a nice array of holiday cocktails and beverages. So whether you’re looking for a drink to share with a friend or you want to dig into a giant gingerbread cupcake; Hollywood Studios will have something that you’ll enjoy.
The first dining event that I must mention is Minnie’s Holiday Dine over at Hollywood and Vine that I mentioned earlier. This character meal changes with the season and Minnie and friends will meet guests in their holiday best from November 8th to January 5th. This is for lunch and dinner only and that’s because breakfast still features Disney Junior characters.
The menu is a buffet-style dining experience featuring a variety of salads and chilled starters. Entrees include roasted mushroom risotto, mac and cheese with shrimp and bacon, and a selection of proteins including oven-roasted chicken, herb crusted tenderloin steak, salmon and crispy pork belly. Desserts include a seasonal bread pudding, Mississippi mud pie and a variety of mini desserts.
For those paying out of pocket, the character meal is priced at $59.99 for adults and $35 for kids. Additionally, you can book a Fantasmic dining package at Minnie’s seasonal dine once again starting November 30th!
There are lots of other holiday treats all over the park! New this year is the Holiday Minnie Mouse Bundt Cake and Reindeer Mousse at the ABC Commissary, the Holiday Tree Marshmallow at Dockside Diner and the Winter Signature Dessert at The Hollywood Brown Derby, just to name a few.
Of course there are new holiday drinks offered as well. In Holiday Fashion featuring Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, rosemary syrup, cranberry, lime and cinnamon is one of the mixtures you can find at various locations throughout the park.
Holiday Entertainment at Hollywood Studios
Let’s take a look at all the special entertainment offerings for the holiday season at this park. Hollywood Studios is the best park for those of you who like a good show and for Christmas this year you can enjoy little additions to daytime offerings like the frozen sing-along or grab a great spot for nighttime spectaculars and projection shows.
This new acappella group will be performing multiple times throughout each day on the stage in front of Mikey and Minnies Runaway Railway. They will be singing holiday favorites with a modern twist this Christmas season. I had the pleasure of enjoying one of their shows today and they are fantastic. Very energetic and engaging, plus they were very easy to sing along and dance with!
While Hollywood Studios sports festive nighttime entertainment, one particular daytime show gets a little holiday add-on. At the Hyperion theater, Frozen fans can join in on the fun at the Frozen sing-along. The show is hosted by the citizens of Arendelle who retell the story of the film. Along the way, the audience can sing along to their favorite tunes as snow falls from the sky inside the theater.
What’s different during the holidays is that Olaf makes a brief appearance at the end of the show and the cast sing songs from the animated short, Olaf’s frozen adventure. So it’s a minor holiday upgrade, but one that the frozen fans will definitely enjoy. The sing-along takes place up to 10 times a day from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. That means there are plenty of opportunities to see this show. Fast Pass plus is offered in the Hollywood studios tier 2 category and I somewhat recommend it really depends on how much you love frozen.
Sunset Season’s Greetings
Sunsets Season’s Greetings is a pretty simple projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. It’s really easy to see and it runs continuously all night long from about 6 p.m. to park closing time. The show features sequences from specific films and franchises that are celebrated at Hollywood studios.
First, you have the classic Mickey Christmas Carol section, followed by all the characters in Toy Story. Kermit and the gang from the Muppets make a visit; which is actually my favorite since we get to see the Swedish Chef. But of course, you’ve got Olaf and his friends from Frozen.
Since there’s tons of space on the street this is a really easy show to catch in-between experiences. For example, after an evening ride on the Tower of Terror, you can just walk outside and park yourself on the street to enjoy, lanes are taped off on the street so that guests can walk up and down the boulevard while others just watch the show.
There’s no bad viewing spot to watch this, but if you want to be really covered in snow then watch from a location that’s really close to the shops at the start of Sunset Boulevard. Yes, I said snow! During this show, Sunset Boulevard will have a snowfall for all to enjoy.
Fantasmic and Other Shows
If you’re traveling to Hollywood Studios this holiday season and wondering what about Fantasmic and other nighttime shows? Don’t worry because they still run on top of all of these other offerings. Fantasmic runs as normal throughout the entire season; right now the show is scheduled to perform twice a night at 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. through November.
New Years Eve in Hollywood Studios will feature a high-energy DJ dance party on the stage in front of Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway and will include an exciting countdown moment. No announcement has been made on if there will be any special fireworks in this park for New Years Eve yet.
Hopefully, this answers all of your questions about Christmas at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I know that a lot of people love the Christmas party at the Magic Kingdom and that Epcot features a great lineup of holiday food. Hollywood studios will always be a favorite for our family, especially this time of year.
Have you experienced Christmas at Hollywood Studios? Do you have any tips or tricks you can share along with this guide? Please share with family and friends so that they will know what to expect when visiting Hollywood Studios this time of year.