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 ThemeParkHipster, today we’re happy to tell you that the answer to that question is an enthusiastic Y-E-S!
Starting on November 11th 0f 2022, 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 ThemeParkHipster, I 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!
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 I’ve got the breakdown of all the old and new offerings available during Christmas at Disney Springs in 2022!
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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.
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
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers
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.
You can enjoy discounts of up to 20% to places such as the Basin, Blaze Pizza, Vera Bradley, UGG, City Works, The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Street Food, Chicken Guy and so much more (final details pending)!
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!
You can enjoy the snow in the Town Center of Disney Springs each evening.
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 at Once Upon a Toy store from November 11 through December 24 —before he sets off to deliver presents around the world.
- November 11 to December 24 – 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, and 6 PM
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t forget that there will be a virtual queue for this experience that you can sign up for right here.
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.
Be sure to stop by one of my favorite stores (and a hidden gem) in Disney Springs called Sugarboo & Co.
It’s a family-run business that specializes in charming novelty items that are meant to bring a smile to your face and to add some positivity to the world.
While you’re doing your holiday shopping in Disney Springs, be sure to check out all of the Sugarboo & Co. Christmas merchandise for this season!
You can also 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 24th, you can give a gift to a child through the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive.
The goal of the past 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 by December 12th such as:
3 Easy Tips for Visiting Disney Springs During the Holidays
Now that you know what to expect at Disney Springs for Christmas, let’s go through a few of my best tips just for you!
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 me, 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:
- Santa Mickey Bubble Waffle Sundae: Featuring vanilla soft-serve, chocolate sauce, chocolate cookie crumbles and a chocolate Santa hat at Marketplace Snacks
- Hot Chocolate Grail Flight: Featuring spiked, spiced caramel hot chocolate, cookies & cream white chocolate hot chocolate and peppermint hot chocolate AND “Naughty or Nice” Deviled Eggs: Deviled eggs with sweet or spicy honey-baked ham at Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar
- Kris Kringle Cookie: White chocolate coffee bean cookie with coconut, caramel, and vanilla bean notes topped with coarse sugar crystals and magic glitter at Gideons Bakehouse (available November 25th through December 31st)
- Peppermint Chocolate Bark Soft-serve Nachos: Peppermint soft-serve, chocolate soft-serve, and waffle chips topped with whipped cream, M&M’S chocolate candies, and chocolate sauce at Swirls on the Water
- Christmas Old Fashioned: Featured holiday drink with Heaven’s Door Whiskey, rosemary, and cranberry simple syrup at The BOATHOUSE
- Rowdy Reindeer: A creamy coquito with milk chocolate reindeer—served at The Ganachery from December 18 – 30.
- Candy Cane Margarita: 1800 Silver Tequila, peppermint beverage syrup, lime juice, and a float of cranberry juice at Dockside Margaritas
- Holiday Wreath Pastry: Featuring ginger-spice mousse, salted caramel sauce, gingerbread cookie and pralines at Amorette’s Patisserie
- Peppermint Cookie and Cream Shake: Featuring vanilla gelato, peppermint Monin and cookie crumbles at D-Luxe Burger
- Gobbler Poutine – Turkey, brown gravy, cranberry chutney, and cheese curds at The Daily Poutine (final details pending on if it will return this year)
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:
You can dine with Santa in a few locations at Disney Springs at places such as:
- Breakfast with Santa in Disney Springs at Maria and Enzo’s (November 26 and 27; December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 ,22 ,23 and 24)
- Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar: The holiday takeover is returning this year—with a magical twist starting November 11th!
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 2022?
As usual, the classic Magic Kingdom Christmas Tree will still be erected at the start of Main Street U.S.A.
There’s also Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom, 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 25th.
So as you can see, even though 2022 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 on November 11, 2022 to December 30, 2022.
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.
My Final Thoughts on Christmas at Disney Springs
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 14, 2022)