Meet Santa Claus in Walt Disney World

Meet Santa Claus in Walt Disney World

Meeting Santa Claus  is a fun holiday memory to make on your Walt Disney World vacation!  Meeting Santa is becoming one of our traditions and it’s something I look forward to on our end of year trips!

For 2016 you can meet Santa in more places than ever!  Below are more details about each meet, but you can meet him in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs.  Photopass is available at these locations.

Magic Kingdom
Santa Claus meets in the Magic Kingdom full time after Thanksgiving until December 24.  He meets in Candy Cane Garden, which is a standard meet and greet location decked out for Christmas.  Candy Cane Garden is between Town Hall and the Chamber of Commerce in Town Square.

Candy Cane Garden

Candy Cane Garden, home of Santa in the Magic Kingdom

If you’re attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Santa meets from 7 pm to midnight for all party dates, including those before Thanksgiving.  Santa temporarily leaves his meet when needed for other duties, like his grand finale to the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

Candy Cane Garden

Candy Cane Garden open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before Thanksgiving

If you are in Walt Disney World before Thanksgiving, you can only meet Santa in the Magic Kingdom during a party.

Epcot’s meet is unique because both Mr. and Mrs. Claus meet together.  Like all of Epcot’s holiday celebrations, this meet does not start until the day after Thanksgiving.  This meet ends December 24, when Santa has other pressing needs to attend to around the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Mr. and Mrs. Claus in America pavilion, 2012

This meet takes place in America.  Check the Times Guide for intermittent meet hours, which at the time of this publication are 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30.  This photo is from 2012.  2016 location and styling may differ.

Hollywood Studios
The Santa meet in Hollywood Studios is the thing Christmas dreams are made of!  Don’t tell my husband, but I might plan a future trip around this practically perfect in every way meet.

Once Upon a Time shop

Once Upon a Time shop in Sunset Boulevard

This meet takes place in the Once Upon a Time toy shop on Sunset Boulevard.  That is Carthay Circle just before Beauty and the Beast stage show.  This meet runs from 10 am to park close.  2016 dates are November 14-December 24.  Santa Goofy will meet from December 25-31.

Santa check-in

Check-in podium for Once Upon a Time Santa meet

This meet is unique for the park meets because it uses a pager system.  You check-in at a podium outside the store and are given a restaurant style pager and an approximate wait time.  You can leave the immediate area during this wait, but your pager may be out of range.  If you’re not sure if your pager has gone off, you can return to the podium to check.  If you were paged while you were out of range you will be admitted to the line at that time.

Hollywood Studios Santa

Stunning setting for Santa in Once Upon a Time

We checked in for this around 2.25 hours before park close and were told it was a 90-120 minute wait.  We went to the other side of the park to pass the time.  As we headed back to the meet just under 2 hours later the pager started buzzing as we passed Hollywood & Vine.  When we returned to the podium just 20 minutes before park closing, few people were returning so I think Hollywood & Vine was the outer edge of the pager’s range.  This line can be cut off, so I do not recommend waiting until the last minute to do this.

Santa in Hollywood Studios

Santa meet straight out of my Christmas dreams

Disney Springs
Disney Springs hosts Santa in his outdoor, protected Chalet from noon to 10 pm.  For 2016 this meet runs from November 11-December 24.  Santa Goofy takes over Santa’s duties December 25-30.

Similar to Hollywood Studios this meet uses a pager system so you can enjoy the shops and dining of Disney Springs.  I took a photo of the Chalet, but it seems to have vanished into cyber space.  It’s a cute area and is a good option if you don’t have park tickets or want to fit your meet around lunch or dinner in Disney Springs!

We hope this consolidated guide to the Santa Claus meet and greets at Walt Disney World helps you to make your own holiday wish come true!

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