Celebrate the 2023 Holidays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom

Holidays at Disney's Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom

So far in 2023, we’ve already brought you Unofficial Guides to this year’s holiday happenings at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney Springs, as well as the Universal Orlando Resort. But we aren’t finished celebrating quite yet—you’ve still got just enough time before New Year’s Day to enjoy the seasonal festivities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, Disney World’s two remaining theme parks.

2023 Holidays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The glitz and glitter of Hollywood glows especially bright this time of year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, starting right outside the Art Deco entrance.

Decoration for 2023 Holidays at Disney's Hollywood Studios Entrance, with garland beneath an art deco sign of the park's name at night.

This year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios began hosting Jollywood Nights after-hours events on select evenings between November 11th and December 20th. These hard-ticket parties are like adult-oriented versions of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. The new event has received mixed reviews, and tickets are still available (unlike its sold-out sibling). Watch for crowds of arriving party guests corralled outside the park gates a couple of hours prior to park closing.

Even without a Jollywood Nights party ticket, there’s still plenty of holiday spirit to enjoy throughout Disney’s tribute to Tinseltown’s golden age.

We’ve long been big fans of the decor around the Brown Derby and Echo Lake, which bring to mind vintage mid-century blow molds and Coca-Cola advertisements.

Gertie the Dinosaur gets into the holiday mood with her Santa hat and ornament once again.

This year, there’s a mint-frosted sugar cookie available that’s inspired by the park’s prehistoric icon.

The For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-Along Celebration is currently performing an extended holiday edition, which includes extra songs featuring Olaf.

Like all the Disney parks, Hollywood Studios provides plenty of holiday shopping opportunities.

Finally, be sure to stick around after dusk for the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection shows, which illuminate the outside of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror about every 5 minutes with short animations featuring The Muppets’ Swedish Chef, Olaf from Frozen, and other characters.

Enjoy a couple of the 2023 Sunset Seasons Greetings shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with this 4K video:

2023 Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The holiday celebrations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are perhaps the least flashy of the four parks, but that won’t stop them from warming your heart, even on a “Florida frigid“ day, when temperatures dip into the fifties.

Outside the park gates you’ll find the traditional towering tree, which is adorned with multicultural, hand-crafted ornaments that set the tone for the rest of Animal Kingdom’s seasonal decor.

Holiday decorations continue around Discovery Island, with rustic garland incorporating natural elements wrapped around the central shops.

Need to do a little belated Hanukkah shopping? This year, the parks are carrying an expanded array of gelt and tchotchkes for the Festival of Lights.

While you’re in Discovery Island, don’t miss seeing an appearance by the Merry Menagerie, a troupe of life-size animal puppets in the Bunraku style.

The folk art-inspired creatures include polar bears, penguins, and a curious arctic fox. They are brought to life by their expert puppeteers, charming guests with their lifelike interactions.

Get up close and personal with Animal Kingdom’s Merry Menagerie with this 4K video:

Over in Animal Kingdom’s Africa section, the fan-favorite Dawa Bar has decked its halls with unique style, and it’s serving up special seasonal margaritas.

Down in Dinoland U.S.A. (which is destined for a major makeover in the not-too-distant future) you’d better get your ducks in a row if you want to meet Daisy and Donald in their special holiday duds at the popular Dino-Bash meet-and-greets.

Last but not least, linger during the park’s final hour as the Tree of Life Holiday Nighttime Awakenings show illuminates the park’s arboreal beacon, animating its roots and branches with brief vignettes that rotate about every 10 minutes.

Experience a taste of Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life Holiday Nighttime Awakenings with this 4K video:

For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids

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