What better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than being immersed in a wonderland filled with holiday cheer — that wonderland being Disney Springs, of course! Today is the official kick-off to celebrating the holidays and there’s nothing quite like shopping and dining with friends and family when you’re surrounded by sparkling décor. This year feels a little extra special to me as we celebrate The World’s Most Magical Celebration with a touch of EARidescent magic everywhere you go (have you seen the amazing line-up of celebratory sweets?!) and the 50th Anniversary Merchandise Collections that are sure to be someone’s ultimate gift. No matter what you’re looking for, we invite you to be merry, indulge, and find ‘happily whatever you’re after’ this holiday season. Ready to plan your visit? I’ve got all the details for your ultimate Disney Springs day:
Holiday Shopping & Virtual Gift Guide
Our virtual gift guide is back and on the @DisneySprings Instagram handle just in time to help you with a little gift-giving inspiration. Discover gifts galore for everyone on your list (including yourself!) throughout the holiday season using our Instagram Story highlight buttons. And there’s more where this came from — this guide is only a small taste of what you’ll find at Disney Springs. With over 100 retail destinations including World of Disney, The LEGO Store, Disney’s Days of Christmas, Coach and more, you’re bound to find the perfect gift.
While you’re shopping for those on your list, you can also make someone else’s holiday even more special by making a donation during the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive. For more than 70 years, The Walt Disney Company has supported the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. This year, Disney has launched the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive with a donation of $500,000 to Toys for Tots to help provide toys to children and inspire hope where it’s needed most this holiday season. You can donate a new, unwrapped toy at our designated drop-off locations at World of Disney, Marketplace Co-Op, Star Wars Galactic Outpost, and the Disney Springs Welcome Center now through Dec. 14. (Learn more at Disney.com/toydrive.)
Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth
Your favorite holiday tradition is back and better than ever! The Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth is now available through Dec. 30 with 20 themed trees spread throughout Disney Springs (most featuring beloved Disney characters and stories.) You’ll spot some returning favorite trees this year and seven new ones themed to “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Black Panther,” “Raya and The Last Dragon” and more. As a special nod to Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary, our Disney Parks tree will have some EARidescent sparkling touches of magic as well.
Ready to see them all? Pick up a Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll map and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays as you meander through a winter wonderland. This complimentary activity can be picked up at participating locations throughout Disney Springs including: City Works Eatery & Pour House, Planet Hollywood, UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE, Amorette’s Patisserie, The BOATHOUSE, and Basin.
As you explore, don’t forget to take advantage of special discounts and offers available on the back of your map from select retail and dining locations. Once you complete your activity, bring it to a redemption location for a special surprise.
Holiday Eats & Treats
It’s time to break out those ugly Christmas sweaters and join the festive fun at Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar now brimming with merry décor and a limited-time menu through Dec. 30. Those of us who stop by every year will find favorite Venison Sliders and Holiday Deviled Eggs but don’t overlook some new additions, including Fried Brussel Sprouts and a Ham and Brie Flatbread (both delicious options to add to your holiday spread)! Feeling naughty or nice this year? Treat yourself either way with the classic Cookies and Milk (Coquito) or the new Lump of Coal Dessert featuring cookies and cream ganache “coal” pieces. Both are shareable, so I recommend bringing friends and family to try a little bit of everything.
Other can’t-miss treats you’ll want to hit up this year include:
- Marketplace Snacks – Peppermint Bark Nachos (Nov. 5-Dec. 30)
- The Polite Pig – Pumpkin Mudslide Cocktail and The Polite Pig Pie (Nov.5-Dec. 31)
- Sprinkles – Pumpkin Cupcakes (Now-Nov.28), Nutella French Toast Cupcakes (Nov. 8-14), and Cannoli Cupcakes (Nov. 15-21)
- YeSake – Pumpkin Spice Boba Tea (Now-Nov. 15)
- Vivoli il Gelato – Red Velvet Cannoli and Red Velvet Peppermint Cheesecake Cookie Sandwich (Nov. 8-Dec. 31)
For a complete list of other delicious treats, check out Foodie Guide to Holidays at Disney Springs and Parks at Walt Disney World Resort by fellow blog author Karen McClintok. As a friendly reminder, I recommend making a dining reservation if you’re planning to dine at any of our world-class restaurants as seating becomes limited during the holidays. Make your reservation here.
Santa Claus & Holiday Entertainment
I’m thrilled to share that Santa Claus is returning to Disney Springs this year for a physically distanced photo opportunity inside Once Upon a Toy. As in years past, you’ll be able to easily get in line using our virtual queue and shop while you wait. Disney PhotoPass photographers will also be on hand to capture digital portraits, available for purchase. Santa will start greeting guests Nov. 12-Dec. 14 from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., and Dec. 15-Dec. 24 from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. (Please be advised masks will be required.)
After your visit with Santa, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the holidays all throughout Disney Springs. DJs will be cranking your favorite tunes at the AdventHealth Waterside Stage from day to night and you’ll spot lively performers in the evenings like our toy soldier stilt-walkers and snowflake skaters. Of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a little snow, and we hear it’s in the forecast! Behold a magical snowfall each evening through Dec. 30 around Town Center at Disney Springs.
There’s no better way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year than enjoying everything Disney Springs has to offer this season! Visit DisneySprings.com for more information on holly jolly happenings and be sure to continue following us on social media via @DisneySprings as we share more news on merchandise arrivals, limited-time food and beverage, and any special Thanksgiving week deals and promotions. As always, I encourage you to tag your photos with #DisneySprings for a chance to be featured on our Instagram channel. Happy Holidays!
I noticed masks are required for the Santa visit. Is that while waiting, or the photo will be taken with masks on? I would LOVE a picture with Santa and not my mask. Is that an option?
We must space the trees out because of Covid , as the Parks pack you in for fireworks :/ Used to love the Disney tree trail , now it’s a hassle
If you have Memory Maker are the Santa pictures included in that?