In the weeks since it first began, Disney Jollywood Nights has made changes and modifications to the experience. We’re outlining the changes you need to know, and whether you can do everything in one night.
Disney Jollywood Nights is the brand-new Holiday after-hours event taking place on select nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Despite all the excitement for a new after-hours event at Walt Disney World, the first-ever Jollywood Nights opened to some more than mixed reviews.
Disney Jollywood Nights Changes
After hearing from their guests, Disney listened to the feedback and implemented some changes to the event after that first night. We visited the third-ever Jollywood Nights to check out what changes have been made to the event, and to see if we were able to accomplish everything in the four-hour event window.
Jazzy Holidays at the Brown Derby
One of the most popular offerings at Jollywood Nights is the Holiday music overlay and the exclusive food menu at Jazzy Holidays at the Brown Derby. The opening night offered a virtual queue system but changed that for subsequent dates. Now, the Brown Derby seats guests in first-come, first-serve style. Cast Members bearing iPads were available starting at around 7 PM outside of the Brown Derby, where they took the names and party numbers of Jollywood Nights guests hoping to access the space.
I put my name in at around 7:50 PM and was quoted a 30-minute wait via text message. Jollywood Nights officially kicks off at 8:30 PM, so when I was called back to my table at 8:25 before the party even started, I was elated that my wait time was accurately quoted and that I was able to check off this experience early in the night! It’s worth noting that the Holiday pianist inside the Brown Derby seemed to add a lot of new hliday tunes to their set lists from opening night, as all I heard in the 45 minutes I spent inside were classic Christmas tunes!
Newly Added Rare Characters
The biggest and most significant change to Jollywood Nights is the addition of the new rare characters. Jollywood Nights originally offered rare character meet and greets with Phineas and Ferb and Chip n’ Dale in their Rescue Rangers attire. But now, in addition to Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and their originally announced friends, we spotted several new faces meeting and greeting.
We encountered Snow White and Dopey meeting guests over by Star Tours across from Baseline Tap House. Later in the evening, Mary Poppins was snapping photos with guests in the same spot! Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket were both meeting guests to the left of the Chinese Theater and alternated spots every 30 minutes. Santa Stitch was causing all kinds of adorable havoc in his red suit and was encouraging guests to strike silly poses with him to the right of the Chinese Theater.
The biggest and most surprising addition to the Jollywood Nights character offerings was the rarest character of them all…Duffy the Disney bear! Duffy is hardly ever available to meet at Walt Disney World, and being able to meet, hug, and grab a photo with Duffy in his Christmas attire is an even rarer occurrence!
Although Duffy was definitely the most highly-coveted new character addition to the party, the wait to meet him was only 35 minutes when I stopped by.
Planning Your Jollywood Nights Evening With the New Changes
So, can you see, do, and eat everything at Jollywood Nights? I did just that on my visit, and if you go in with a solid plan, you can too! I definitely recommend entering Hollywood Studios at 7 PM with your Jollywood Nights ticket. If Jazzy Holidays is a must-do for you, head straight to the Brown Derby and put your name in for your best chance at an early call-back time.
Don’t Forget to See the Shows
Next, I recommend hitting both of the phenomenal shows available exclusively at Jollywood Nights. They are the highlights of the night! Holidays in Hollywood take place on the ‘45’s’ of the hour (8:45, 9:45, 10:45, and 11:45 PM) while What’s This? A Nightmare Before Christmas Singalong takes place in the 30’s (8:30, 9z;30, 10:30, and 11:30 PM). I recommend going to Holidays in Hollywood, then heading straight for the next showing of What’s This?
I was able to see the 9:45 Holidays in Hollywood, and had plenty of time to make it to the 10:30 showing of ‘What’s This?’, and got a seat in the center of the house for both shows! I learned that there is no need to queue up for these shows long in advance, as both theaters seat ample amounts of guests.
Characters and Bites
After the shows, I used my time to meet characters, grab some of the delicious specialty food offerings, and experience the live, Latin-inspired entertainment across from ABC Commissary. I ordered some food from ABC Commissary, and desserts from Dockside Diner and The Marketplace. I’m pleased to report I waited no longer than 2 minutes to place an order at any of these locations, and each and everything I got was piping hot, fresh, and packed with flavor.
Twilight Soiree at the Tip Top Club and Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
At around 11:50 PM, I started to make my way down Sunset Boulevard to experience the Twilight Soiree at the Tip Top Club to catch the band’s final set of the evening. The four-piece jazz band plays four sets over the course of the night. Since they truly set the mood at the Tip Top Club, I made sure to plan my stop there around their set times so I didn’t miss them! While I sipped my glittery drink and enjoyed the band’s serenade in the shadow of The Tower of Terror, I had about 10 minutes to spare before the evening’s finale: Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Overall, I had a fantastic experience at Jollywood Nights. I found seats for both shows without having to queue up, I got to taste some amazing food offerings with little to no wait at every spot, met some very rare characters and took advantage of the included PhotoPass, and experienced both the Tip Top Club and Jazzy Holidays with speedy service. If you plan your night properly, you can truly see and do everything Jollywood Nights has to offer!