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After having just gotten back from the Walt Disney World Resort, my family can happily report that we absolutely loved the new after-hours Disney World Christmas event. That event, of course, is Jollywood Nights, which takes place on select nights at Hollywood Studios. We go into full detail of the event in our Jollywood Nights guide here.
So having attended ourselves, we wanted to share with you some tips before you go. We hope it can make your event even more magical and fun!
1. Buy Your Ticket ASAP
Tickets for Jollywood Nights are selling out very quickly, so buy your ticket now before tickets are sold out!
2. Start Eating (and Drinking) Early
While Jollywood Nights doesn’t officially start until 8:30 PM, you should be able to purchase event-exclusive food and drink items earlier than that.
While I was told by a Cast Member (aka Disney employee) that Fairfax Fare wouldn’t open up until 8:30 PM, it actually started selling food and drinks at 8:00 PM. And if you really want to get a jump start, you can get in line before 8:00 PM to be one of the first guests served.
If you want a full list of what you can eat and drink during the event and where check out our Jollywood Nights Food & Drink Guide.
3. Later Shows are Less Crowded
We arrived about 10 minutes before the 11:45 PM performance of Disney Holidays in Hollywood and had no trouble getting seats. But the Theater of the Stars certainly filled up faster when we attended the first show at 8:45 PM. If you don’t want to spend too much time waiting for shows but want to make sure you get a seat, then opt for the later performances instead of the earlier ones.
4. Eat While You Wait
Before the shows (Disney Holidays in Hollywood or the Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-a-long), purchase a Christmas treat or drink to enjoy as you wait for the show to start. That’s what we did before the last showing of Disney Holidays in Hollywood – we enjoyed some Sandy Claws Hot Cocoa that we brought over from Dockside Diner. And as an added bonus, the delicious hot cocoa helped warm us up as the night started to get a little colder!
Now, you will need to factor in waiting in line for the food or drink. But in our experience, the lines moved fairly quickly (sometimes surprisingly so). And Fairfax Fare, for example, is located right across from Disney Holidays in Hollywood. (I highly recommend their PB&J Doughnut!).
5. Relax at PizzeRizzo
If you need a (somewhat) quiet moment to yourself during the event, the tables outside PizzeRizzo restaurant are a good place to relax and regroup. While neither silent nor empty, the Grand Avenue area of the park (where the MuppetVision 3D show runs during the day) is less crowded than some of the other sections. And you can grab something to eat or drink at PizzeRizzo, too.
6. Enjoy Excitement at ABC Commissary
If you’re looking for a more upbeat place to grab a drink or food, consider sitting in one of the tables outside ABC Commissary. You can enjoy music from a live band as part of Holiday Fiesta en la Calle during your meal or snack.
7. Wear Touchscreen Gloves
Weather can be all over the place during the winter in Orlando. I’ve been there before and have worn everything from a tank top and shorts to a thick winter coat and gloves.
But to be on the safe side, you need to plan as if it could be cold. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an event with a lot of outdoor fun in the winter, but your hands can get cold. At the same, though, you’ll still want your phone handy. I mean, what happens if characters like Phineas and Ferb walk by? You’ll want to quickly access your phone to take a picture.
But as you may be aware, gloves don’t always work well with a touchscreen phone. The exception is if you buy touchscreen gloves. Then you can wear gloves that are specifically made so that you can still use your phone. You could purchase these gloves for women or these gloves for men.
If you’re unsure you want gloves that work with touchscreen phones you could also consider fingerless gloves, so that way at least the rest of your hand would be warm while you use your phone, such as these Nightmare Before Christmas gloves.
8. Bring a Poncho
Speaking of weather, it rained most of my trip to Disney World a couple of weeks ago. Luckily, it was not raining during Jollywood Nights, but I know it rained all through the very first Jollywood Nights.
Moral of the story? Come prepared. A great way to do that is to bring a poncho. You can buy one at the parks, but it’s a lot cheaper if you purchase one ahead of time like this affordable family pack of ponchos.
9. Consider Dressing Up
Speaking of what to wear, consider dressing up for the party. Consider wearing an Old Hollywood dress, a 1940s or 1930s-era suit, a 1920s costume, or a Christmas sequin dress. When I went, there was a bit of everything. And if you don’t want to dress up, you could consider going in comfort but fitting the theme of a Disney Christmas event with one of these Disney Christmas spirit jerseys.
10. Bring a Portable Charger
Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to take pictures and videos of this event. There are a lot of great things going you’ll want to remember forever, or at least for a day on an Instagram Story.
So the last thing you want is your phone to die. So make sure you bring a portable charger like this one so that doesn’t happen.