PHOTOS: 2021 Christmas at Hollywood Studios

by | Nov 26, 2021 | Hollywood Studios, WDW Blog

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Planning to celebrate a 2021 Christmas at Hollywood Studios? Here’s what to expect.

Magic Kingdom is the obvious go-to for Christmas at Disney World, thanks to annual Magic Kingdom Christmas party (this year, it’s an After Hours hard-ticket event called Very Merriest). EPCOT is often a close second because of Festival of the Holidays. (Who wouldn’t want the chance at a meet-cute with Neil Patrick Harris?)

But true Disney fans know that one of the best ways to spend the holidays at Disney World is over at Hollywood Studios. But what makes Christmas at Hollywood Studios so special? Get our full guide below …

Christmas Decorations at Hollywood Studios

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Gertie dressed up for the holidays. Photo by Brett Svenson

You can’t spend the holidays at Hollywood Studios and not talk about the decorations. Some staples of Hollywood Studios Christmas decorations include Gertie in her Santa hat and, of course, the iconic Christmas tree on Echo Lake.

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The Christmas tree on Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios. Photo by Laurie Sapp

But a kitschy dinosaur in a Santa hat is just the tip of the iceberg; DHS is full of holiday merriment, from the festive floating balls (if you know, you know) to the opulent silver garland and in-your-face window displays. Fitting with the theme of the Golden Age of Hollywood, this park is simply dripping with peculiar yet nostalgic decorations.

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Strange decorations in Hollywood Studios, but somehow charming? Photo by Mike Billick

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A favorite Christmas window display at Hollywood Studios. Photo by Laurie Sapp

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Toy Story Land gets in on the holiday fun. Photo by Brett Svenson

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Echo Lake at night. Photo by Mike Billick

But it’s not just about what you can see (seeing isn’t believing anyway, remember?); it’s about what you can hear. If your November and December Spotify history is filled with searches for “cozy Christmas jazz,” you’re gonna love the tunes you’ll hear while strolling through Hollywood Studios.

Are you just in love with the Christmas decorations at Hollywood Studios? Editorial director Rain Blanken explores the history and meaning of the odd but lovable décor at DHS. Become a monthly subscriber to unlock the secrets of what Rain has deemed the “Golden Age of Balls.”

Sunset Seasons Greetings

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Sunset Seasons Greetings on Hollywood Tower Hotel. Photo by Laurie Sapp

A staple of Christmas at Hollywood Studios is the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show on Hollywood Tower Hotel. When the sun sets, head (where else?) to Sunset Boulevard to be treated to sparkling lights, Disney’s famous snoap (snow made from soap), and an amazing show projected onto Tower of Terror. Plus, LASERS down Sunset Boulevard.

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The view down Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Laurie Sapp

The 15-minute show includes four small 2(ish)-minute vignettes featuring Disney, Pixar, and Muppet favorites like Mickey, Minnie, Buzz, Woody, Swedish Chef, and Olaf, projected onto Hollywood Tower Hotel. In between each mini-show, the tower comes to life with Christmas projections.

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Muppet magic. Photo by Mike Billick

In between Sunset Seasons Greetings showtimes this year, you’ll be able to catch the Hollywood Tower Hotel in its special Beacon of Magic lighting for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. The show typically plays for about 45 minutes after park close.

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So. Many. Lasers. Photo by Judd Helms

Want keepsake photography of all four Beacons of Magic? Subscribe ahead of our special 100th issue this January for four pages of stunning photography dedicated to these special Disney World icons.

Christmas Snacks at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is, hands down, the best place to get your sweets fix at Christmastime. EPCOT may have savory snacks and boozy beverages to keep your yuletide bright during its Festival of the Holidays, but nothing tops all the sweet treats at Hollywood Studios.

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Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

Here’s the complete menu of Hollywood Studios Christmas snacks for 2021:

Sugar Cookie Snowman

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: ABC Commissary
  • Christmas Menu Description: A tasty snowman made of white chocolate sugar cookie mousse, whipped lemon curd, and a holiday sugar cookie

Santa’s Belt Cookie

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: ABC Commissary, Catalina Eddie’s
  • Christmas Menu Description: White chocolate-covered chocolate shortbread cookie

Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

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Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, PizzeRizzo, Rosie’s All-American Café
  • Christmas Menu Description: Salted caramel beverage syrup and frozen hot chocolate mix topped with marshmallows and chocolate syrup

Feeling a little boozy this Christmas? Hey, ain’t we all. Get it with Black Cherry Bourbon at all the same locations.

Christmas on the Beach

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Christmas on the Beach. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: Animation Arch Bar, Oasis Canteen, Sunshine Day Bar
  • Christmas Menu Description: Coconut rum, blue curaçao, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice served with a souvenir glow cube

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

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Red Velvet Whoopie Pie. Photo by Tina Chiu

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: Animation Arch Bar, Trolley Car Café
  • Christmas Menu Description: Moist red velvet cake filled with classic cream cheese filling and festive sprinkles

Holiday Bliss

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, Tune-In Lounge
  • Christmas Menu Description: Vanilla vodka, sour apple liqueur, caramel beverage syrup, and vanilla ice-cream mix

Holiday Brownie

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Holiday Brownie. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: Outdoor Carts
  • Christmas Menu Description: Chocolate Mickey brownie with holiday sprinkles

Butterscotch Caramel Cannoli

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Butterscotch Caramel Cannoli. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: Outdoor Carts
  • Christmas Menu Description: Chocolate Mickey brownie with holiday sprinkles

Reindeer Mousse

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Reindeer Mousse. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At:Rosie’s All-American Café
  • Christmas Menu Description: Spiced caramel cheesecake over peanut butter mousse atop a salty pretzel shortbread cookie

Holiday Lunch Box Tart

  • Available: Nov. 8-Jan. 3
  • Get It At: Woody’s Lunch Box
  • Christmas Menu Description: Apple pie filled tart frosted with cinnamon icing, sugar snowflake, and holiday sprinkles

Tap for a COMPLETE list of 2021 Disney World Christmas snacks.

Minnie’s Holiday Dine

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Santa Goofy at Minnie’s Holiday Dine. Photo by Trisha Daab

One of the best holiday experiences at Walt Disney World has returned for 2021, but this is one that books up almost immediately, so your ADR game will need to be on point. That’s right: It’s Minnie’s Holiday Dine.

Minnie’s Holiday Dine is a special character meal at Hollywood & Vine. The prix fixe meal costs $55 per adult and $36 per child.

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The food is good as any ho-ho-homecooked holiday meal. Photo by Julie de la Fe

At Minnie’s Holiday Dine, you can expect:

  • Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, and Santa Goofy in their holiday best
  • Christmas tunes while you dine
  • Photo opportunities and autograph cards
  • Six meal options and five dessert options for adults

Tap for our full guide to Minnie’s Holiday Dine 2021.

Need help with ADRs? That’s why Merlin blessed us with Disney Travel Agents. Tap here to get your FREE quote and find out how a Disney Travel Agent can make all your dining plans so you don’t have to!

Santa at Hollywood Studios

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Santa gets his own motorcade at DHS. Photo by Danny Shuster

Seeing Santa Claus is a staple of any Disney World Christmas trip, right? While we’re not quite back to sitting on Santa’s lap because of continued COVID restrictions, you can spot Santa at Hollywood Studios during the Santa Claus Merry Motorcade.

But Santa isn’t in any old sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer. No, only the best for Santa at Hollywood Studios. Look out for jolly old St. Nicholas in a candy-apple red convertible during his special motorcade.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

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The Frozen Sing-Along gets a special ending during the holidays. Photo by Laurie Sapp

At Magic Kingdom, Jungle Cruise gets a special holiday overlay each year, making it Jingle Cruise. For the After Hours party, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor also gets a seasonal upgrade.

But Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park to get Christmas ride transformations. If you’re visiting Hollywood Studios, queue up for For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. During the holiday season, the finale gets a special alteration featuring Olaf himself.

Christmas Merch at Hollywood Studios

It’s time again for Christmas shopping. And while we highly recommend a gift subscription to WDW Magazine for the Disney lover in your life, it wouldn’t hurt to also hit up Hollywood Studios for the new Star Wars Christmas merch that they’ve put out this year.

Check it out:

Move over, Magic Kingdom, and watch out, EPCOT: 2021 Christmas at Hollywood Studios seems perfectly merry and bright.

Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

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Your Complete Guide to 2021 Christmas at Disney World

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Written by Timothy Moore

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Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
Timothy Moore

Written by Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
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