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What to Do During Blockout Dates for Annual Passes?

It’s that time of year again.  It’s the holiday season, which is one of the best times to visit Walt Disney World, but it also means that Sorcerer Pass blockout dates are coming up soon.  Sorcerer Passes are blocked out on November 22 through November 25, 2023 (around Thanksgiving) and again from December 20, 2023 through January 3, 2024 (around Christmas and New Year’s).

Since many of us DVC Fans have Sorcerer Passes, here are a few things you can do for some holiday fun during annual pass blockout dates.  

Visit the Resorts for Holiday Decorations, Treats, and More

Gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

The annual pass blockout dates are a good time to go resort hopping to check out the holiday decorations and try out some treats.  As announced in October, six resorts in Disney World will have giant gingerbread displays.  These include the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Beach Club, BoardWalk, Yacht Club, and Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Many of the resorts also offer gingerbread cookies, holiday cupcakes, cookies, fudge, peppermint bark, and more!  The past couple of years, the Beach Club also had a hot chocolate bar in the lobby that served classic or spiked hot chocolate.

As you get closer to your resort stay, keep an eye out for special scavenger hunts and any additional resort activities.  Although the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT have incredible New Year’s countdowns, some of the resorts also held their own parties and countdowns in years past.   

Catch Fireworks from the Resorts

If you want a glimpse of Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime fireworks show from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you can still watch them from the monorail resorts.  If you are trying to catch the Magic Kingdom’s New Year’s fireworks countdown, you’ll need to be staying at one of the monorail resorts to have access to their viewing areas.   

The Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park to have holiday fireworks either.  EPCOT typically has a special tag at the end of its regular fireworks show for Christmas and New Year’s.  These fireworks can be seen from the Beach Club, BoardWalk, and Riviera.  

Enjoy a Holiday Meal at a Resort Restaurant

Whispering Canyon Cafe (Photo Credit: WDW News Today)

Most restaurants on property offer holiday dishes or menus.  For example, if you’re staying at or visiting Wilderness Lodge, Whispering Canyon Cafe will offer a special holiday prix fixe meal for lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.  The menu on Thanksgiving includes cornbread, a house salad, a Thanksgiving skillet featuring oak-smoked turkey and barbecue, and a seasonal dessert sampler.  The Christmas skillet is similar but with brown-sugar-and-maple-glazed ham in lieu of the turkey.  Both holiday meals are $47 per adult or $28 per child (ages 3-9) plus tax and gratuity and offer plant-based options upon request.     

Do the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs

Take a leisurely stroll around Disney Springs and find all the specially-themed Christmas trees!  They are decorated to represent different characters, movies, and even theme park favorites.  You can pick up a map and stickers at select stores to mark off where you have found each tree.  Once you complete your map, you can redeem it for a small prize. 

Go on a Sleigh Ride

Head on over to Tri-Circle-D Ranch Barn at Fort Wilderness for a holiday sleigh ride!  From December 1 to December 30 (except December 24), you can take a ride on a scenic trail.  A sleigh fits up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children and costs $80 plus tax for a 25-minute ride.  Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance through My Disney Experience, and a limited number of walk-ins are available. 

Attend a Holiday Party

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Most of the year, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to purchase a park ticket when you already have an annual pass.  However, if you really need a little park time during the annual pass blockout period, go for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Jollywood Nights.  Aim for all the special entertainment like parades, fireworks and shows, rare characters, or Membership Magic events (if eligible) that you can’t get during regular park hours.  

Volunteer at Give Kids the World

It’s the season of giving and a great time to visit the Give Kids the World Village and volunteer!  The Give Kids the World Village is about 30 minutes away from Disney World.  There are lots of different volunteer roles from guest services to food service to entertainment.  

Even during annual pass blockout dates, you can still have a lot of fun during the holiday season!