All the details on the upcoming Disney Parks Holiday TV Specials

Nov 03, 2016 in "Holidays at the Magic Kingdom"

Posted: Thursday November 3, 2016 10:05am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a big shakeup from previous years, Disney will this year be celebrating Christmas and the holidays with three TV specials, airing on ABC and Disney Channel, originating from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

Julianne Hough (“Grease: Live”) and Derek Hough (“Hairspray Live”) are set to host two specials on ABC – “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, Nov. 24 (8:00–10:00 p.m. EST), and “The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” on Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25 (9:00–11:00 a.m. EST; airtimes vary, check local listings). Julianne, who will also act as executive producer on the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, and Derek are longtime “Dancing With the Stars” fan favorites with multiple Emmy Awards and mirror ball trophies between them.

Stars of “Descendants 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the global smash hit “Descendants,” will host and perform holiday songs in “Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration” on Disney Channel on Friday, Nov. 25 (8:00–9:00 p.m. EST). Hollywood Records recording artists Forever In Your Mind and Sofia Carson will also perform holiday songs.

Filming will take place from November 9 - 13 2016 at all four Walt Disney World theme parks.

Thanksgiving - Thursday November 24 2016

“The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” premieres on the ABC Television Network (8:00–10:00 p.m. EST) and on the ABC app. Join Emmy Award-winners Julianne and Derek Hough as they host the magical two-hour special from the Walt Disney World Resort. They join “Descendants 2” star Sofia Carson to kick off the holiday season in a way only Disney can, showcasing extraordinary music performances, special appearances and some unforgettable Disney magic moments.

Musical performances include:

  • Solo and duet performances by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
  • Kelly Clarkson performing “Underneath the Tree”.
  • Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

November 25 2016

“Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration” premieres on Disney Channel (8:00–9:00 p.m. EST) and on the Disney Channel app and Disney Channel VOD, beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST. The special will be available on-demand and will be featured in encore presentations on Disney Channel through Tuesday, December 20.

Musical performances include:

  • “Jolly to the Core,” performed by Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson and Booboo Stewart.
  • “Descendants 2” star China Anne McClain performing “This Christmas.”
  • “Silent Night,” performed by Hollywood Records and Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson.
  • Forever In Your Mind performing “Celebrate.”
  • Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks perform a holiday duet from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
  • Kelly Clarkson will also be performing a song.ABC stars and Disney Channel stars Jenna Ortega and Isaak Presley, of “Stuck in the Middle,” and “Bizaardvark” stars Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu will join Carson and Boyce in surprising families from around the country, who are dedicated to various philanthropic efforts, with once-in-a-lifetime experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

Christmas Day - December 25 2016

“The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” will air on the ABC Television Network (9:00–11:00 a.m. EST; airtimes vary, check listings) and on the ABC and Disney Channel apps. This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates the joy of the holiday season, as hosts Julianne and Derek Hough take viewers on a magical ride down Main Street and beyond. The Christmas Day celebration will be bigger and brighter than ever before, bringing together the beloved Christmas day parade, magical musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heart-warming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Musical performances include:

  • Solo and duet performances by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks from their newly released album, “Christmas Together.”
  • Kelly Clarkson performing “Underneath the Tree.”
  • Sofia Carson performs “Silent Night,” featuring an alternate musical arrangement from her performance on Disney Channel, and also hosts from backstage.
  • “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire)” performed by Jordan Fisher, who will also make his Broadway debut “Hamilton” on November 22.
  • Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.
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VJNov 25, 2016

Same exact music track for all of them. Kinda sad. And the Shanghai clip was from the grand opening gala back in June.

RteetzNov 25, 2016

Bob Iger made an appearance

RandomPrincessNov 25, 2016

We would notice all the castle lighting shows are pretty similar as well.

Sonic SunglassesNov 25, 2016

Because it's network TV and their primary objective is to dish up adverts as often as possible.

mickeyfan5534Nov 25, 2016

I can't help but be upset here. They go to all the resorts to show off a 'castle lighting' and then show clips of the nighttime spectaculars and why couldn't they have just made those the special with those musical performances in between without commercials every 5 minutes.

RteetzNov 25, 2016

I'd buy one

clemmoNov 25, 2016

Just saw Joe Rhode on tv and thought of a great new merchandise item for when avatar land opens. The mickey ears but with Joe Rhodes ears instead. Now that is immersion! Trust me they'd make billions off those things.

BoltNov 25, 2016

Incorrect. Park was open. Guests were able to use sidewalks, stores and the bypass by Oscars.

JohnDNov 25, 2016

Everyone knew about the tapings in MK because they happened while the park was open. I think the other parks were closed for other acts that performed. For example, Hollywood Blvd is blocked off at the front of the HS for the act currently airing. I'm assuming the fans are extras.

JohnDNov 25, 2016

Bumping as it is airing right now. Obviously not a parade. It's a "Holiday Celebration" with lightings of all the castles and songs/entertainment in various parks. There was also a "To be continued on Christmas Day" of a particularly family's story.

disney4life2008Nov 13, 2016

Fof at 5pm was perfect. I really wish they would offer a 3pm and a night show. It was just dark enough yesterday where the lights on the parade were great.

disney4life2008Nov 13, 2016

Pre tape on Saturday with Juliana hough and her brother.

disneymagic1Nov 08, 2016

Will they be filming any parade portion, I thought it was all performances so what will they be filming on main street?

BoltNov 08, 2016

They're in multiple parks on the same day, too.