Disney is pure magic. Santa is pure magic. Put them together and it just makes sense! Keep reading to find out where you can meet the big guy and why I think you should fit a Santa visit into your trip.
We have had a wonderful time meeting Santa and a horrible time meeting Santa at Walt Disney World. I am hoping you can learn from my trial and error and have an enjoyable experience.
First and most importantly, Santa is worth the wait, but you will have to wait. There are a few places to see Santa so make sure you check those schedules to have the best time and arrive early. Santa will not be available to meet with you while he is participating in the parades… because he obviously can’t be in more than one place at the same time.
Santa can be found at the following locations from November 8th to December 24th:
The Candy Cane Garden at Magic Kingdom at the front of the park from 10am to …? (Uncertain — so may be best to check with a cast member on the day of your planned visit)k
Once Upon a time at Hollywood Studios from around 10am to 9pm
At Disney Springs in his Chalet near the Christmas Tree Trail from 11am to 11pm
The American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot – Santa and Mrs. Claus — times vary
Check the time guide at each park. My suggestion is to get in line about 20-30 min prior to the arrival of Santa. This worked well for us in the past at Magic Kingdom. Like I mentioned, the wait can get long, but that’s because Santa takes his time with EVERYONE! This could be lovely or extremely frustrating depending on how you look at it. If you just want a quick picture, you may be up for more of a wait than you want. At Disney, anyone can visit Santa …unlike at the mall. You will find grown ups on their own or couples sans children waiting to speak with the big guy. (No judgement here… but the people behind us in line sure gave us an earful).
I think we spent nearly 10 minutes with Jolly St Nick. My children loved it, which was great because it was our third try at locating Santa on this particular trip.
Once, we bailed because we thought the line was too long. Good things come to those who wait.
Our second attempt was at Disney Springs. You are able to check in at the Chalet and receive a text when it is your turn to return to line. Perfect! We took our time with dinner and headed over to check in. Rookie mistake. Head to the Chalet FIRST. When we arrived around 7pm we were told the wait was 4 hours long. Well, actually, they said 240 minuets … trying to confuse me and make me do math. I was told Santa would visit with all the people in the queue. Trust me, though, Santa would immediately put the boys on the naughty list if they were still awake at 11pm. If you want to take advantage of meeting Santa at Disney Springs, and use their text service, I suggest you head to check in at the Chalet prior to doing anything else at Disney Springs.
A visit with Santa in a highly themed area makes for a great experience and great photos. Take advantage of your Photopass photographers and the Memory Maker and enjoy the experience with your kids (or without… no judgement).
Let them take some pictures while you sit back and enjoy the holiday magic!
Thanks to the amazing Photopass photographers for all the pictures in the post… except for the one without Santa… that one is mine!