Christmas time is one of our favorite times of the year and this is our 2019 Guide to Flurry of Fun 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, fireworks 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 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.
When is Flurry of Fun?
Flurry of Fun will run from November 8th, 2019 all the way to January 5th, 2020. That’s longer than almost all of the other holiday offerings around Disney World. In fact, if you’re traveling to the resort after New Year’s Day, this is the one part that you can still squeeze some Christmas out of at the start of the new year. Unlike Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, this event does 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 is Flurry of Fun?
Flurry of Fun is really packed full of nighttime spectaculars because Flurry of Fun features two holiday shows, on top of the regular favorites from Hollywood Studios. There is both a projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel and the fireworks show Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM on top of Fantasmic and daytime offerings as well. On New Year’s Eve Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will ring in 2020, so on that night you’ll actually get two firework shows at Hollywood Studios, which is on top of Sunset Season’s Greetings and of course Fantasmic.
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, this 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 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. Keep in mind that FastPass Plus is not offered here or at any other character meat inside Hollywood studios. 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 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 meet Santa, then the big guy meets families every day from the start of the event on November 8th to Christmas Eve. He is located at the Once Upon A Time Toy Store, that’s right next to the Beauty and the Beast stage show. This remains to be my favorite spot to meet Santa, because of the vintage department store set up and all the little elves helping Santa out. Santa usually meets intermittently from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and there’s usually a sign outside with the next meeting time. I can recommend doing this earlier in the day as opposed to later, mainly because of all the nighttime shows that take place.
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 for the attractions but it is a great spot for pictures with the family. Because you’ll find several PhotoPass photographers positioned around the lake.
Toy Story land also gets in on some of the holiday fun with their 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.
Flurry of Fun 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 the friend or you want to dig into a giant gingerbread cupcake; Hollywood Studios will have something that you’ll enjoy. There’s always some dining events that come with a view of fireworks as well. Flurry of Fun always features a great collection of different hot chocolates to enjoy and holiday sweet treats at quick-service locations.
The first dining event that I must mention is Minnie’s Holiday Dine over at Hollywood and Vine. This character meal changes with the season and the Fab Five will meet guests in their holiday best from November 4th to January 5th. This is for lunch and dinner only and that’s because breakfast still features Disney Junior characters.
The menu is more of a traditional fare of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings. I just like to highlight this because it’s the only character meal at Disney World with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their holiday costumes. For those paying out of pocket, the character meal is priced at $52 for adults and $31 for kids. Additionally, you can book a Fantasmic dining package at Minnie’s seasonal dine, which still counts as one table service meal credit on the Dining Plan.
There’s also the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM dessert party, which is the second major dining event at Hollywood studios this year. The desert party is making a move for 2019 and instead of being located in the courtyard in front of the Chinese Theater it will be held at Echo Lake this year. Guests can enjoy all the decorations and Christmas tree along with unlimited sweets and
beverages before the fireworks.
Guests can watch both Wonderful World of Animation and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM from their reserved viewing location in front of the theater. The dessert party takes place every night from November 8th to January 5th and takes place 90 minutes before the fireworks. The specific showtime and the price changes depending on the date you attend. This will cost $89 for adults and $53 for kids from November 8th to December 21st and again from January 2nd to the 5th. The price then goes up to $99 and $59 respectively between December 22nd and January 1st. Now I know that the price has gone up for all the dessert parties but unlike the one at the Magic Kingdom, this one includes alcoholic beverages for the adults so it definitely provides a good value.
Entertainment at Flurry of Fun
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 Flurry of Fun 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.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
The Flurry of Fun fireworks show, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! debuted in 2016 and is hosted by Wayne and Landy from the ABC TV special prep and landing. The two elves discovered that Santa has gone missing just before Christmas day and they take us on a fun ride through a collection of holiday Disney films and TV programs.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM takes place once a night throughout the event; but the exact show time will vary depending on the day you go. Usually, it’s at 9:00 p.m., but it does bump back to 10:00 p.m. the week of Christmas. Like I said during the dessert part in section half an hour before jingle bell jingle BAM you’ll get to watch the new wonderful world of animation projection show. If you want a really good view of the fireworks that are not too close but still allows you to see everything then I say pick a spot right in front or just behind the center lane that is taped off at the center of the courtyard. I like to be just in front of the lane that way I don’t feel too crowded with other people.
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.
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 once a night at 9:00 p.m. through November. So that means if you’re trying to watch both Fantasmic and jingle bell jingle BAM on the same night it is physically impossible. They have the same exact Showtime more often than not.
Fantasmic then moves up to 8:00 p.m. starting on December 1st. Disney usually does this during periods where they think the park will get very crowded and a second performance of Fantasmic may need to be added.
But on December 15th it moves back again to 9:00 p.m. for the rest of the month. For those of you who are just not into Christmas fireworks, there is one chance to watch Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular during the holiday season and that is on new year’s eve.
December 31st has a very different schedule when it comes to the nighttime shows. I personally used to love celebrating New Year’s over at Epcot but if the crowds overwhelm you then Hollywood Studios is a good park to visit. New Year’s Eve, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., Fantasmic is scheduled for a 9 PM show, and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will serve as the midnight fireworks show. So technically you can enjoy all three; just make sure you get to all of those locations early.
Hopefully, this answers all of your questions about Flurry of Fun 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 been to Flurry of Fun? 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.