Are you ready to celebrate Christmas at Disney Springs?
We know that 2020 was not been the most kind to us and our constant desire for theme park adventure. With so many big events cancelled or adjusted, is there anything we can look forward to for this year’s Christmas season?
Well ThemeParkHipsters, today we’re happy to tell you that the answer to that question is an enthusiastic Y-E-S! Starting on November 5th Christmas at Disney Springs, and all over Disney property, will officially begin!
But what exactly does that mean for this year? What kind of offerings can you expect? How different will it be as compared to years past? Is it still worth experiencing?
Well ThemeParkHipsters, we can’t wait to cover all of this, and more, with you below!
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What’s New at Disney Springs
While “Downtown Disney,” the original name for the Disney Springs area, debuted in 1975, it’s certainly seen LOTS of changes since then.
From the addition of higher class restaurants to the closure of older clubs and bars, Disney Springs was reimagined in 2013 with one idea in mind: to further Disney’s image of family-friendly fun.
And believe it or not, even though Disney Springs is pretty much unrecognizable as compared to the old Downtown Disney, imagineers are still making changes each and every day!
Including most recently, the City Works Eatery and Pour House, which boasts a 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Happy Hour Mondays through Thursdays. There’s also the brand new M&M Store; and the new Cirque du Soleil “Drawn to Life” show which premieres November 18, 2021!
But of course…that just covers the regular offerings available year round. So, what can you expect if you’re specifically looking for some holiday cheer at Disney Springs?
Great question! Below we’ve got the breakdown of all the old and new offerings available during Christmas at Disney Springs in 2021!
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7 Things to Do for Christmas at Disney Springs
1. Do the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll Scavenger Hunt
Debuting in 2015, the Christmas Tree Trail was an instant hit among guests of all ages. A guide was provided at the entrance of this trail, behind Earl of Sandwich, to lead you through a winding path of Christmas trees decorated in the themes of various fan favorite films like The Princess and the Frog and Mary Poppins.
But with over 20 evergreen trees packed in a tight little path, will there be a Christmas Tree Trail to look forward to this Christmas at Disney Springs? Well, I’m happy to tell you that the answer is yes!
Although the trees will not be placed consecutively on a path as in years prior, 20+ gorgeous, creative evergreens will still be on display.
The only difference is this year you can find them spread out all across Disney Springs– which is sure to give the experience a more “scavenger hunt vibe” as you’ll have to scope out all of Disney Springs to find all the themed trees!
My favorite holiday experience by far is doing the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll. All you have to do is pick up your Christmas Tree Stroll map from select locations, then you find the spot that has a tree marked on the map (UPDATED BY EDITOR).
Once you get to that area, you’ll see what the Christmas tree theme is and add the matching sticker to it.
This year you’ll be able to find the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Stroll map at the following locations:
- City Works Eatery & Pour House
- Planet Hollywood
- The BOATHOUSE
- Under Armour Brand House
- Amorette’s Pastisserie
Once you have found all of the Disney Springs Christmas trees, you’ll return to one of the map pickup locations and redeem your free holiday pin.
A fun little added feature this year are the discounts that you can find on the back of your Christmas Tree Stroll map.
2. Enjoy the Snow!
A fun Yuletide addition offered this year is the magical snowfall that will be happening! And yes, you heard that right…snowfall, in Orlando, FL!
Nothing says Christmas in Florida like the flurries of our “snope.” Although it’s not the real thing, we truly appreciate the effort of bringing a white Christmas to Orlando. You can enjoy the snow in the Town Center of Disney Springs each evening (UPDATED BY EDITOR).
Just like on Main Street in Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade in years past, you can catch snow gently fall in three locations every evening during Christmas at Disney Springs: Town Center.
3. Meet Santa Claus…but only if you’re on the good list.
One entertainment offering you can expect during Christmas at Disney Springs that’s been a crowd favorite from years past is Santa Claus!
You can stop by and give Santa your full Christmas list at the Once Upon a Toy shop in Disney Springs.
Dates & Times to See Santa Claus at Disney Springs
Visit Santa November 12 through December 24, 2021—before he sets off to deliver presents around the world.
- November 12 to December 14, 2021 – 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- December 15 to December 24, 2021 – 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget to do the Santa ExperienceCapture. It’s a holiday photo that you can take with Santa in front of a festive background at Once Upon a Toy.
4. Party with the DJs
Since you’ll be in Disney Springs, why not enjoy some of the holiday tunes of the live DJ who will be spinning the tunes at the Waterside Stage throughout the day.
5. Don’t Miss the Holiday Performers
On your evening visit to Disney Springs, be sure to check out at the holiday entertainers who will be in their full toy soldier costumes towering as stilt walkers!
This is something you want to make sure that you don’t miss on your trip out to Disney Springs this Christmas season.
6. Go Christmas Shopping at Disney Springs
Don’t forget to grab your own holiday deals, especially on Black Friday, at one of the many Disney Springs stores. You can find incredible gift ideas from places such as:
- The Art of Shaving
- Columbia Sportswear
- Disney’s Days of Christmas
- Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories
- Kate Spade New York
- The LEGO® Store
- MAC Cosmetics
- World of Disney
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget your personalized Christmas ornaments in Disney Springs in places such as Disney’s Days of Christmas!
7. Participate in the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive
From now through December 14, 2021, you can give a gift to a child through the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive. The goal of this year’s drive is to give a donation of $500,000 to Toys for Tots to help provide toys to children this holiday season.
How can you help?
All you have to do is donate a new, unwrapped toy at the designated drop-off locations inside Disney Springs such as:
3 Easy Tips for Visiting Disney Springs During the Holidays
1. Download the My Disney Experience App and Get Familiar with Disney Genie
As always, if you’re the type of ThemeParkHipster who likes to plan ahead, I truly recommend downloading the My Disney Experience App prior to your Disney property visit.
Not only will you have a real time map showing you where in Disney Springs you currently are, (because trust us, if you haven’t been there before, the 1.8 mile layout can be a little overwhelming), but you will also have restaurant menus, seasonal entertainment time offerings, and restroom locations all in the palm of your hand!
2. Enjoy the Themed Seasonal Dining Experiences
While of course many eateries will be dressed up to some extent for the holidays, no eatery in Disney Springs can compete with Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar!
Believe it or not, this eatery is COMPLETELY reimagined during the holiday season, including glittery garlands, colorful lights, and a limited time holiday menu.
OH, and did we mention they even rename the eatery for the holiday season: Jock Lindsey’s HOLIDAY Bar.
So clearly, if you want the entirety of your Disney Springs experience to be holiday themed, from appetizer to dessert, look no further than the water facing Hangar Bar for your Christmas at Disney Springs dining reservation.
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
3. Take Advantage of Limited Seasonal Food, Drink, and Apparel Offerings (Christmas Food at Disney Springs)
As you may or may not already know, with every season at Disney comes limited time food, drink, and apparel offerings.
So my general recommendation is, if you see something and it looks seasonal… ask! Because the next time you head over to Disney Springs, it might be gone for good!
And because there are so many limited time food, drink, and apparel items to keep track of during Christmas at Disney Springs, I’ve listed some of my favorites here for you!
Best Holiday Food and Drinks at Disney Springs:
- White Chocolate Peppermint Éclair with White Chocolate and Peppermint Mousse (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Santa Mickey Dome Cake (available Nov. 5-Dec. 30)
- Holiday Mickey Mousse Mini Dome Cake (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Holiday Parfait – Bourbon white chocolate mousse, cranberry cherry panna cotta, maple chocolate ganache, and chocolate chiffon cake (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- NYE Petite Cake (available Dec. 31)
- Cherry Jubilee Bubble Waffle – Bubble waffle filled with scoops of vanilla ice cream, cherries jubilee fillings, and whipped cream (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Santa Hot Crêpe – Sweet crêpe filled with eggnog custard topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream (available Nov. 26- Dec. 30)
- Holiday Turkey Burger – Turkey patty, butternut squash risotto cake, bacon-cranberry jam, lettuce, and tomato (available Nov. 5-Dec. 1)
- “Oh Deer” Cookie Shake – Hazelnut liqueur, vanilla gelato, cinnamon beverage syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon, and sugar dusting with ginger deer garnish (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Snowman on the Beach Margarita – Silver tequila, key lime juice, crème de coconut, sweet and sour, graham cracker rim, chocolate pearls, and carrot sugar piece (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
The Daily Poutine
- Gobbler Poutine – Turkey, brown gravy, cranberry chutney, and cheese curds (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Olaf Hot Cocoa Surprise (available Nov.12- Dec. 30)
- Santa Mickey Piñata (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Gingerbread Ganache Square (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Peppermint Bark (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Chocolate Christmas Cottage (available Dec. 22- Dec. 30)
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
- Venison Slider – Sliders with venison sausage patties, arugula, tomato, and cranberry aïoli on house made buns (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Fried Brussel Sprouts – Fried Brussel sprouts with bacon vinaigrette (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Holiday Lights Deviled Eggs – Colored deviled eggs with tobiko, and shrimp (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Ham and Brie Flatbread – Shaved ham and brie cheese, pomegranate seeds, granny smith apples, apple vinaigrette, and watercress (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Cookies and Milk – Assorted Christmas cookies and coquito (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Lump of Coal Dessert – Cookies and cream ganache “coal” (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Elf Elixir –Tequila, crème de menthe, and half & half with cookie crumb and holly leaf sugar garnishes (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Claus Mo – Traditional cosmopolitan with a shimmery twist garnished with red and white sugar and a candy cane (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Yule Mule – Gin, ginger beer, cranberry juice, and rosemary simple syrup with a holly leaf sugar garnish (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
Outdoor Carts and Kiosks
- Mistletoe – Coconut rum, melon liqueur, blue curaçao, orange juice, pineapple juice, and Sprite (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Fireside Cider – Cinnamon whiskey, vanilla vodka, white cranberry juice, grenadine, and Ginger Ale (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
- Merry Margarita – Tequila, ginger liqueur, cinnamon beverage syrup, white cranberry juice, sweet and sour, and grenadine (available Nov. 5- Dec. 30)
Best Christmas Merchandise and Apparel at Disney Springs:
- Matching family Christmas pajamas at World of Disney
- Ugly sweater Mickey Mouse Ears at World of Disney
- Flashing Christmas Tree Light Bulb Necklaces at World of Disney
Below are the following locations where you can also enjoy a delicious meal with a holiday touch this year.
Themed Holiday Dining Experiences in Disney Springs:
- Breakfast with Santa at T-rex on December 11th
- Breakfast with Santa at Rainforest Café® at Disney Springs Marketplace on December 18
- Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar: The holiday takeover is returning this year—with a magical twist! on December 11
What to Know Before Your Visit to Disney Springs
Now that you know how to enjoy the festivities at Disney Springs, let’s go through some of the most commonly asked questions.
Do I have to pay to park at/for admission to Disney Springs?
Whether you want to visit for Christmas at Disney Springs, or any other day throughout the year, parking is always complimentary in Disney Springs’ multi-level covered garage.
What other Christmas offerings will be happening on Disney Property in 2021?
While Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom might have been cancelled, that doesn’t mean the parks won’t have any holiday cheer!
As usual, the classic Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree will still be erected at the start of Main Street USA, the debut of Disney Very Merriest After Hours, Voices of Liberty will still do their heartwarming holiday sets, and the International Festival of the Holidays will be in full swing at EPCOT starting November 26.
So as you can see, even though 2021 might look a little different on Disney Property than in years past, there are still plenty of magical ways you can celebrate the holidays!
When does Christmas at Disney Springs start?
While in typical years past, “Christmas season” on Disney Property was considered to be from mid-November to early January, this year Disney has taken a bit of a different approach.
All of the decorations, offerings, and events that we’ve notated above will be available from November 5, 2021 through Dec 30, 2021.
Are the Stores at Disney Springs Open on Christmas Days?
Believe it or not, many of the stores inside Disney Springs are open on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day! On Christmas Day Disney Springs will be open from 10 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.
So, if you want to start a new holiday tradition, you should consider spending a day at Disney Springs after having a wonderful Christmas morning with family.
Like everything else last year and this year, Christmas at Disney Springs will look a little bit different, but I’m still confident it will be heartwarming, fun, and magical for all! So, definitely give it a try, and be sure to come back here and tell us all about it!
By the way, do you have a favorite Christmas offering on Disney property? Got any Disney Springs tips or tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below; because ThemeParkHipsters explore better, together!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
Gina is a former Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line Cast Member who enjoys reliving the magic by writing helpful tips and tricks for future guests!
Check out more about her Disney adventures and writing endeavors at www.ginaarfi.net.
If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:
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- PRO GUIDE to Epcot Candlelight Processional
(Original Article Date: October 30, 2020/Updated by Editor November 10, 2021)