Why Hollywood Studios is the Best Disney Park for Christmas
Creepy styrofoam and fabric elf ornaments, strange glass representations of snowmen and children alike, and Grandma’s ceramic tabletop Christmas tree (you’re not allowed to touch that).
If that sounds like a good old-fashioned Christmas to you, then you might just agree with me that Hollywood Studios is the ultimate Disney park for holiday festivities.
Sure, Magic Kingdom has Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Epcot has the Festival of the Holidays, but if you want to dust off your memories of vintage Coca-Cola Santas and bright big-headed reindeer, the Flurry of Fun celebration in Hollywood has to be your holiday destination.
They’ve Decked the Halls
Swanky jazz and lounge carols fill the air throughout Hollywood Boulevard, setting the tone for elaborate candy cane and ornament window displays that rival anything you’ve seen on 5th Avenue. Grab a gingerbread latte at Starbucks and spend a little bit of time taking in the outrageous sights:
What’s More Winter Than Frozen?
Tis the season to belt out ‘Let it Go’ among a couple hundred of your closest friends. At Hyperion Theater, you’ll hear the tale of Frozen, as told by the hilarious historians of Arendelle.
Don’t worry if someone in your family isn’t too into Elsa… this show keeps in mind that not everyone is an aspiring princess, and plays up to the crowd. The finale includes a deluge of “snoap” (that’s snow soap to the layman). You don’t need much to talk you into seeing this one, so I’ll just leave the finale right here:
Andy’s Backyard Holiday
Toy Story Land was the big debut for Walt Disney World this year, so it’s only fitting that this area should be celebrating big for Christmas.
Andy always uses Christmas lights to brighten up his backyard playset, but he’s also added a few surprises along the path to make things festive for Woody and the gang. I mean, they do get nervous about new toys this time of year….
Woody, Buzz and Jessie are in the spirit of the season, with special holiday outfits for your photos. Don’t forget to wear your ugliest of Christmas sweaters so that you’ll look the part!
Christmas Shopping Galore
If you’re looking for an ornament to commemorate the great advice I gave you about hitting up Hollywood Studios for Christmas, the It’s a Wonderful Christmas Shop is your destination. Here you’ll find Chip & Dale nutcrackers, special edition holiday pins and plenty of decorations to keep your home merry & bright (Disney bright… the best kind).
Look for this shop just past the Muppets Theater… right by a conspicuous guy climbing one of the fire escapes. So that’s how he gets into apartments…
If you’re going to meet Santa at Disney World, you might as well do it in style. The setup they’ve got for Santa on Sunset Boulevard is nothing short of glamorous. If I was Santa, I’d live in there all year long. Note: Santa will be swapped out with Santa Goofy after Dec. 24th.
Cast members had the Christmas spirit brewing and let me in to take a shot of Santa’s swanky joint. Beats the pants off of a mall Santa, am I right? (Disclaimer: Picturing Santa without pants is a sure-fire way to land yourself on the naughty list.)
A Feast of Holiday Eats
The Chocolate Mousse Present ($4.79) at ABC Commissary was the perfect amount of holiday sweet, including the little ‘Flurry of Fun’ celebration chocolate at the top. Absolutely loved this one because it came on top of a cookie base, so the smoothness of the mousse was balanced out by a bit of crunch.
Over in Andy’s backyard, the Cinnamon Cran-Apple Lunch Box Tart ($3.29). It’s kind of like a big Pop-Tart, but more like if a Pop-Tart went off to college.
You can also pick up Egg Nog Panna Cotta ($4.99) at Catalina Eddie’s, Strawberry Mint Cream at Fairfax Fare ($4.99), and Santa Macarons at Oasis Canteen ($7.99) among the other treats. There are also special holiday drinks available at the pop-up bars throughout the park.
Be sure to score your Alien Popcorn bucket. It’s $25, but is a cool decoration for Christmas back home… and the refills are only $1.50!
We also happened to see what these aliens get up to when the cast members aren’t looking:
I recommend the trio of Bailey’s, bourbon and vodka in the 3-drink flight of adult hot cocoa ($12.00) available at Fairfax Fare on Sunset Boulevard. This set is perfect for grabbing before you settle in to view the Tower of Terror get a bit more cheery.
If you’re looking to splurge a bit on Christmas dinner and get a few character greetings out of the way, Minnie has got you covered. Her Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine ($59.99 for adults. I warned you) is a veritable fashion show of holiday-inspired outfits on your favorite Fab Five characters.
I even peeked in the window that night and saw Donald and Daisy canoodling under the mistletoe!
Night Time Spectaculars
Magic Kingdom has Mickey’s party happening, but I have to say that for the money, Hollywood has him beat. The Sunset Season’s Greetings projections on Tower of Terror have a surprising cast of characters, including some you don’t see very often around the parks.
Here’s my admittedly-not-great video from Sunset Boulevard (I shot this vertical for an Insta story, sorry). But you can still see the entire Toy Story sequence… and then your usual traditional Christmas lasers and snoap!
Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! is the last show of the day, with fireworks and projections on the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Can the Prep & Landing crew find Santa in time for Christmas? I thought it was interesting that since the theater is transitioning between the Great Movie Ride (RIP) and Mickey’s new adventure, the Disney Parks site actually doesn’t name the building as part of this show. We see you, Disney.
So, those are my (maybe too many) reasons why Hollywood Studios is my absolute favorite Disney World park during the holiday season. Prove me wrong.
All photos and video taken by Rain Blanken. Please do not use without permission. Need Disney World video and photo content for your publication or brand? Let’s work together.
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