Disney World Announces New Holiday Festivities With Extended Hours, Fireworks, and More

The Magic Kingdom will stay open until 1 a.m. from Nov. 8 through Dec. 21.

As travelers continue to plan out trips for the rest of the year after so many months of staying home, Walt Disney World has announced its latest holiday celebrations.

Instead of the typical Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, this year the park will host a limited-capacity nighttime event aptly named "Disney Very Merriest After Hours." The holiday festivities will take place when the gates have closed for the day and give guests special access to the Magic Kingdom at night.

Because the event takes place after hours, wait times for popular attractions will be significantly shorter allowing visitors to take advantage of an emptier park while waiting for photos with characters, enjoying the holiday displays, and themed food and beverages. The magical night is complete with a fireworks display hosted by Minnie Mouse.

Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park
David Roark, Courtesy of Disney Parks

"Very Merriest After Hours" will run on select nights from Nov. 8 through Dec. 21 and requires a separate ticket. The extended hours will take place from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. although some event tickets will grant admission to the park as early as 7 p.m. Tickets for the holiday extravaganza will go on sale in August, however, visitors who book a holiday stay at select Disney resorts will be able to book sooner.

The rest of the Florida park will also feature its own holiday celebrations. Disney World's EPCOT will host its International Festival of the Holidays from Nov. 26 through Dec. 30, featuring seasonal holiday dishes from around the world. Hollywood Studios will feature a Santa Claus motorcade down Hollywood Boulevard and holiday meals at staple eatery Hollywood & Vine, hosted by Minnie Mouse and Goofy dressed as Santa Claus.

At Disney Springs, the Christmas Tree Stroll will return, with all new trees decorated for the theme park's 50th anniversary.

Disney cruises will also get in the holiday spirit with select "Very Merrytime Cruises," complete with characters in winter costume and Santa Claus on deck.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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