PHOTOS: 2021 Christmas at Animal Kingdom

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

2021 Christmas at Animal Kingdom is here! Here’s what to expect from the wild festivities.

Disney Parks confirmed the return of the Merry Menagerie at Animal Kingdom! That’s the big headline for us, but here’s all the Christmas at Animal Kingdom details.

2021 Animal Kingdom Christmas Decor

Dinoland USA Christmas at Animal Kingdom

Donald has decked the halls in Dinoland USA. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Of course, there’s the Tree of Life, but keep looking: Animal Kingdom has lots of cute holiday photo opportunities amid natural decor. Christmas decorations can be found at the park entrance, on Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, Dinoland U.S.A., and Diwali lanterns in front of the Up! A Great Bird Adventure Show in Asia.

2021 PhotoPass and Magic Shot locations:

No admission is required to see the giant Animal Kingdom Christmas tree!

If you’re stopping by for reservations at Rainforest Cafe outside the park, you can get a full view of the Animal Kingdom Christmas tree outside the park turnstiles. There are usually PhotoPass Photographers posted near the tree to get that perfect Christmas card photo of the family.

Christmas Snacks at Animal Kingdom

2021 Animal Kingdom Christmas Snacks

Animal Kingdom: 2021 Disney World Thanksgiving and Christmas food and drink offerings. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Animal Kingdom is serving up both 50th Anniversary snacks and Christmas snacks! have a lot of sweet treats to share. To see what’s delicious at the other parks, check out our 2021 Guide to Christmas Snacks at Disney World.

Satu’li Canteen Christmas Food and Drinks

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse
    • Pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate “dirt,” and cranberry boba pearls
    • Available Nov. 25-28
  • Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse
    • Peppermint cream cheese mousse, peppermint sauce, peppermint candy pieces, and chocolate “dirt”
    • Available Dec. 1-30

Tiffin’s Christmas Food and Drinks

  • Horchata Mousse Snow Globe
    • Golden coffee crémeux, gingerbread sable cookie, coriander chantilly, elderflower meringue, bourbon caramel, and candied pecans
    • Available Dec. 25 only
  • Pork T-Bone
    • Apple-brined pork, sweet potato variations, boniato mash, and ginger-pear butter
    • Available Dec. 25 only

2021 Christmas Flotillas


If they’re ducks, why do they need a boat? Photo by Evelyn Long

Keep an eye on the waterways around Animal Kingdom. If you hear music start to play near you, it’s likely there’s a boat in the water floating by full of your favorite characters!

There are will be multiple Christmas flotillas at Animal Kingdom for the holidays. 

2021 Holiday Characters

2020 christmas at animal kingom daisy duck reynolds

Daisy Duck waves from her lighted area. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Characters may be spontaneously waving for the holidays at Animal Kingdom, but they will be socially distanced. We will add more information as we spot our friends!

The Merry Menagerie is BACK

Christmas at disney world merry menagerie

No need to tightly schedule a visit with these cuties. Photo by Allyson Koerner

Merry Menagerie at Animal Kingdom

The Merry Menagerie puppets are so sweet! GIF by Rain Blanken

In 2020, the Merry Menagerie took a break from the crowds to help facilitate social distancing. We’re so happy to report that Disney confirmed the return of these adorable winter friends!

How to See Them: Hang around on Discovery Island and you’ll see the menagerie come through! Greeting these happy woodland creatures right in front of the Tree of Life is a picture-perfect way to start your day at Animal Kingdom.

Other Entertainment

Winter Christmas Tree of Life Awakenings Reynolds

Winter Tree of Life Awakenings. Photo by Courtney Reynolds

The Tree of Life Awakenings during the winter are the best of the whole year! These cozy mini-stories are worth stopping for. With Daylight Savings in effect, there are usually a few hours to explore the park in the dark. In between the Awakenings, expect the special 50th Anniversary Beacons of Light shows on the Tree of Life as well.

We’ve spotted a sitar player in Asia, the Festival of the Lion King is back on this year, and Kite Tails is currently zipping around in front of Expedition Everest.

Paused Experiences:

  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure

2021 Christmas Merch at Animal Kingdom

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Disney World Christmas merch. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

In addition to some of the same Christmas merch you’ll see all over Walt Disney World, Animal Kingdom is the place to get handmade, hand-woven, and hand-beaded products from the Africa, Asia, and Discovery Island area of the park.

Have an Avatar fan on your list? A visit to Animal Kingdom is your chance to get exclusive items that aren’t available anywhere else in the world (not even on shopDisney).

More Christmas fun to come! Here’s more 2021 coverage:

Your Complete Guide to 2021 Christmas at Disney World

15 Most Magical Disney Gift Ideas for Christmas 2021

Written by Rain Blanken

Written by Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author who has been working in digital media for 15 years. She is a DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, former Disney Vacation Planner, and would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night. Did you like this article? Tip Rain in tartar sauce...

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