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The Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade is an American television special that airs on Christmas Day on ABC, taped primarily inside the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, approximately one month prior to Christmas Day. A Spanish simulcast of the parade has aired on Univision under the titles Desfile de Navidad Disney, (Feliz) Navidad Disney, and Navidad Mágica Disney, and typically airs Spanish singers who sing Christmas carols as well as their latest hits. Past shows have included segments featuring other Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida; Anaheim, California; and around the world (plus in recent editions, the Disney Cruise Line). The program has aired annually since 1983, with the exception of the year 2000 when Disney aired a Christmas Eve "Tracking Santa" special instead. In 1999, a nighttime version of the parade was shown on Christmas Day.

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade
The official logo for the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade used from 2009 to 2013.
Also known asDisney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration
Presented byVarious
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English/Spanish
Production location(s)Walt Disney World Resort
Original networkABC, Disney Channel
Original release1983 –


The parade goes down Main Street, U.S.A.. It features appearances of Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto, Scrooge McDuck, and Chip 'n Dale, as well as floats featuring celebrities, musical performances, marching bands from various schools and community groups across the USA, and highlights of events and properties at Disney theme parks and other Disney productions, in addition to, beginning 2011, Star Wars. The parade concludes with the arrival of Santa Claus. Currently, most of the program is taped in November (in the 2000s, even until early December) for broadcast on Christmas Day. However, until the early 1990s, the parade was broadcast live on Christmas Day on CBS, with whom Disney had partnered for Thanksgiving and New Year celebrations as well. In 1996, the program moved to ABC after Disney bought out the station. Today the filming schedule of the parade broadcast is usually in November in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, with additional production done in other Disney resorts, and is open to ticket holders.

Starting in 2016, the Disney/ABC family of networks have aired companion specials in the weeks leading up to the parade. That year, The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration and Disney Parks Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration aired November 24 on ABC and November 25 on Disney Channel respectively, featuring many of the same personalities as the Christmas parade, with the latter heavily tying into the Descendants franchise. Some segments and performances in that year's Christmas parade were even recycled from the two earlier specials. The following year, Freeform announced that they would not only air the second Magical Holiday Celebration after its original airing on ABC, but premiere a new hourlong special entitled Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic, which goes behind the scenes of the Disney parks' holiday festivities. This move coincides with the channel's popular 25 Days of Christmas event expanding to many of the other Disney-owned networks. The Disney Channel special from the parks, now titled Disney Parks Presents a Disney Channel Holiday Celebration, also returned for the 2017 holiday season.[1] To reflect the huge part played in the production of the event, beginning 2017, the prerecorded holiday greetings that air during the broadcast have been made not just by talents from both Walt Disney Pictures and the Disney Channel, but also from:

  • ABC Network, representing:
    • Reality programming
    • Entertainment programming and scripted series
    • ABC News
  • Freeform
  • ESPN (with additional promotion of the National Basketball Association Christmas Day games that follow the parade broadcast)
  • Optionally, representatives of Marvel and Lucasfilm on behalf of the Star Wars franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which are both part of the Walt Disney group

The parade has been simsubbed in Canada for many years by CBC Television, for personnel of the United States Armed Forces on overseas deployment the program has been aired in a delayed basis on American Forces Network Television.

The 2005 edition of the parade won Harborlight Entertainment and ABC the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Special.


The parade was first telecast, as Walt Disney World's Very Merry Christmas Parade in 1983; Joan Lunden and Mike Douglas were the hosts.[2] Alan Thicke later replaced Douglas, and Regis Philbin was later added as an on-street interviewer. Eventually Philbin took over as co-host, and Kelly Ripa (his cohost on Live with Regis and Kelly) later joined him.

The parade has been aired every year since 1983 except for in the year 2000.[2]

Over the years, the program has gone through a number of name changes. During the 1980s and 1990s, the program was known as The Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade. The program's name was then changed to Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. From 2009 through 2013, the program was referred to as the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. For a few years after that, the program's name would change on a yearly basis, being known as Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration in 2014, Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration in 2015, Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration in 2016 and 2017, and finally Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade in 2018.[3]

Hosts and entertainersEdit


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Present Announcer
The new voice of Walt Disney World, Joe Hursh
Hosts Joan Lunden & Mike Douglas
Hosts Joan Lunden; Bruce Jenner & Regis Philbin;
Hosts Joan Lunden and Ben Vereen; on-street interviewer Regis Philbin. Regis Philbin previews The Living Seas at EPCOT Center and Ben Vereen previews Captain EO. Ben Vereen sings Go Tell It on the Mountain. Special holiday messages from US President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, as well as from World Showcase Cast Members from France, China, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco and Japan.[4]
Hosts Alan Thicke; Joan Lunden; & Regis Philbin;
Host Alan Thicke; Joan Lunden; & Regis Philbin;
Hosts Alan Thicke; Joan Lunden; & Regis Philbin at Walt Disney World, and Sarah Purcell & Scott Valentine at Disneyland.
Hosts Alan Thicke; Joan Lunden; Regis Philbin; & Kermit the Frog at Walt Disney World, Joanna Kerns; & Marc Price at Disneyland
Hosts Alan Thicke, Joan Lunden and Regis Philbin at Walt Disney World and Sarah Purcell at Disneyland. Entertainers: Christa Larson; Amy Grant; Lee Greenwood; & Jaleel White;
Hosts Regis Philbin and Joan Lunden; featuring Mayim Bialik, Entertainers: Lee Greenwood; & Sandi Patti;
Hosts Regis Philbin and Joan Lunden; Co,Host Ed McMahon, & John Davidson, featuring Jodi Benson, Cheech Marin, Betty White, Earl Hindman, Leanza Cornett Richard Karn,
Hosts Regis Philbin and Joan Lunden; on-street interviewer Robby Benson. The parade was broadcast live. Appearances by Kathie Lee Gifford John Davidson & Bill Nye The Science Guy. Reading of The Night Before Christmas by President Bill Clinton. Announcer: Dick Tufeld.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Joan Lunden; featuring Margaret Cho, Nancy Kerrigan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Joan Lunden; featuring Richard White, Jodi Benson, Brad Kane, Brianne Leary, J.D. Roth and Ben Savage & Rider Strong; portions of the parade were aired live.
Hosts Jerry Van Dyke and Suzanne Somers; entertainment by Gary Beach, Brianne Leary, Sandi Patti, J.D. Roth, Ernie Sabella, and Samuel E. Wright. Brianne Leary goes backstage on the production of 101 Dalmatians.[5]
Hosts Melissa Joan Hart and Ben Savage. Entertainment by Jodi Benson, Harlem Globetrotters, Downtown Julie Brown, Ernie Sabella, Paige O'Hara, and the Backstreet Boys. A Magical Walt Disney World Christmas.
Hosts Caroline Rhea and Richard Kind. Entertainment by Justin Cooper, Wayne Brady, *NSYNC, Martina Mcbride, and Donny Osmond.
Hosts Mitchell Ryan and Susan Sullivan Co Host Wayne Brady; performances by *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, Harry Connick, Jr., SHeDAISY, & James Ingram.
Hosts Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles performances by *NSYNC, Monica, Billy Gilman, 98 Degrees, SHeDAISY, Jessica Simpson, and Frankie Muniz. Walt Disney World 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The parade was not telecast that year (a "Tracking Santa" special aired in its place).
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa; co-host Wayne Brady; performances by Aaron Carter, Charlotte Church, Mandy Moore, Baha Men, Aaron Tippin, City High,
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa; on-street interviewer and entertainer Wayne Brady; entertainment by The Wiggles, Bear From Bear in the Big Blue House, Jump 5, John Rzeznik, Heather Headley, Lee Ann Womack, Hilary Duff, Alexis Kalehoff, Andrea McArdle; appearances by John Ritter, George Lopez, Meredith Vieira, Eric Roberts & Sara Rue, Robin Roberts and Star Jones. Rename: Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa at Walt Disney World; George Lopez at Disneyland. On-street interviewer Robin Roberts. Entertainment by Disney Channel's Christy Carlson Romano, Raven-Symone, Anneliese van der Pol, and Orlando Brown; American Idol's Clay Aiken; Playhouse Disney's Bear in the Big Blue House; Jump 5, Lance Bass, Florence Henderson, Enrique iglesias, Star Jones, Carlos Ponce, Rascal Flatts, Jessica Simpson, Wayne Brady, Ericka Dunlap, Michelle Kwan, and Gregory Michael.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa at Walt Disney World; Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and on-street interviewer Gonzo the Great at Disneyland. Music performances by: Mariah Carey, Wynonna Judd, Ashanti, Kelly Clarkson, Juanes, Jump 5 and Diana DeGarmo. Plus: Zach Braff, Jesse McCartney, Erik von Detten, Meredith Vieira and ABC's stars. Disney Channel Stars: Raven-Symone, Christy Carlson Romano and Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House. Also: SHeDAISY, Waneze and America's Funniest Home Videos's Tom Bergeron. Special guest appearance: Julie Andrews.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa at Walt Disney World; Ryan Seacrest at Disneyland. Entertainment by Diana Krall, Mercy Me, Brian Setzer Orchestra; Lonestar; Paulina Rubio; Vanessa Williams; Star Jones; Tiger Woods; Julie Andrews; John O'Hurley; Fantasia; Aly & AJ; The Cheetah Girls; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe's stars Anna Popplewell, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, and William Moseley.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa at Walt Disney World; Ryan Seacrest at Disneyland. Entertainment by American Idol stars Ace Young, Kevin Covais, Paris Bennett, and Mandisa; Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana; RBD; Playhouse Disney's The Doodlebops; Daniel Powter; Disney Channel's Brenda Song; High School Musical stars Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and Lucas Grabeel; Beyoncé; Andrea Bocelli; Bianca Ryan; Aly & AJ; Michael Bolton; Dancing With the Stars winner Emmitt Smith; and Tiffany's Dance Academy. Appearances by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Ty Pennington, Eduardo Xol, and Paige Hemmis; Johnny Depp and Travel Channel's Samantha Brown.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa at Walt Disney World; Ryan Seacrest at Disneyland. Entertainment: Patti LaBelle, the cast of "Dancing With the Stars" (Sabrina Bryan, Hélio Castroneves, Drew Lachey, Joey Fatone, Cheryl Burke, Julianne Hough, Derek Hough), Jon Secada, Jessica Simpson, Katharine McPhee, Jonas Brothers, the cast of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Festival of the Lion King, Miley Cyrus, and the cast of High School Musical. Giselle from Enchanted was featured with the Disney Princesses in the parade for the first time.
Hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, with Ryan Seacrest. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Sarah Brightman, José Feliciano, David Cook, the Imagination Movers, Corbin Bleu (who debuted a new song)[6] and Dance the Magic dancers from dance studios from all over the country. Since this was the 25th anniversary of the parade, clips of previous years were shown (usually directly after commercial breaks) featuring Beyoncé (2006), Kermit the Frog (1989), Amy Grant, (1990) Nancy Kerrigan (1994) and Jodi Benson (1997), and a repeat of Vanessa Williams' entire performance from 2005 closed the telecast.
Hosts Kelly Ripa and Nick Cannon at Walt Disney World, with Ryan Seacrest at Disneyland. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Demi Lovato, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Imagination Movers, Jonas Brothers, Yanni, Kris Allen, Steve Rushton, Selena Gomez, Anika Noni Rose, and Dance the Magic dancers which include dance schools from all over the country. Regis Philbin did not host this year due to hip surgery a week before taping the parade. 2009 marked the show's change in title to Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade as part of a branding consolidation announced in February.[7]
Hosts Ryan Seacrest and Maria Menounos at Walt Disney World, with Nick Cannon at Disneyland. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Mariah Carey, Selena Gomez, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with Dancing with the Stars dancers, Debby Ryan, Amber Riley, Jackie Evancho, Sean Kingston, Darius Rucker, and American Idol season 9 winner Lee DeWyze. Kelly Ripa did not host this year due to a stress fracture.
Hosts Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos at Walt Disney World, with Nick Cannon and Marlee Matlin at Disneyland. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Scotty McCreery, Cee Lo Green, The Muppets, Christina Aguilera, OneRepublic, Phineas and Ferb, China Anne McClain and her sisters, Bella Thorne and Zendaya, Katie Leclerc and Sean Berdy, and singer-songwriter Nathan Pacheco with Welsh mezzo-soprano vocalist Katherine Jenkins.
Hosts Mario Lopez at Disneyland, Maria Menounos and Nick Cannon at Walt Disney World. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Backstreet Boys, tobyMac, Ross Lynch,[8] Colbie Caillat, Lady Antebellum, Phillip Phillips, The Cast of Modern Family, Gabby Douglas, Sophia Grace & Rosie, Brad Paisley, and Yolanda Adams.
Hosts Nick Cannon at Disneyland with Neil Patrick Harris and Lara Spencer at Walt Disney World. Airs on ABC. Entertainment: Demi Lovato, Jason Derulo, Jordin Sparks, the cast of "Teen Beach Movie" (Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps and Garrett Clayton), Mary J. Blige, Il Volo, The Wanted, Ne-Yo, Candice Glover, Dove Cameron, and Samantha Brown. Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers also tried to take over the parade.
Hosts Rob Marciano at Disneyland and Robin Roberts with Tim Tebow at Walt Disney World with Sarah Hyland at Aulani. Airs on ABC. Renamed Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration. Entertainment: Alex & Sierra, Gavin DeGraw, Lucy Hale, Train, Laura Marano, Trey Songz, Sabrina Carpenter, Prince Royce, Lexi Walker, Trisha Yearwood, and Ariana Grande.
Hosts Robin Roberts, Jesse Palmer and Janel Parrish. Airs on ABC. Renamed Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration. For the first time since the 1980s, all of the major broadcasting elements are at Walt Disney World (despite the title insisting that both major parks would be involved as they have for over 25 years). Entertainment: Jason Derulo, Ariana Grande, Seal, Jhene Aiko, Charles Perry, Tori Kelly, Reba McEntire, Andy Grammer, Charlie Puth, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, and Cameron Boyce. A number of the performances for this year are based around the album We Love Disney, which was released the previous October.
Hosts Derek Hough and Julianne Hough at Walt Disney World and Jesse Palmer at Disneyland. Airs on ABC. Renamed Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration. Starting this year, the parade returns to being filmed from both major Disney parks, with the musical performances being filmed at Walt Disney World (across all four of the main parks) and the parade segments being filmed at Disneyland.[9] Entertainment: Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson, Sofia Carson, Jordan Fisher, Mariah Carey, Gavin DeGraw, OneRepublic, Alessia Cara, Flo Rida.
Hosts Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey at Walt Disney World and Jesse Palmer at Disneyland. Airs on ABC and Disney Channel. For the first time since 2013, the broadcast retains the name and format it had the previous year. Entertainment: Ciara, Darius Rucker, Fifth Harmony, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jason Derulo, Lea Michele, 98 Degrees, Telly Leung and Arielle Jacobs, Sofia Carson, Idina Menzel.
Hosts Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland at Walt Disney World and Jesse Palmer at Disneyland. Airs on ABC. Renamed Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade. Entertainment: Gwen Stefani, Brett Eldredge, Andrea Bocelli, Mateo Bocelli, Jordan Fisher, Aloe Blacc, Olivia Holt, Maddie Poppe, DCappella, Why Don't We.
Hosts TBA

Before Philbin and Ripa, the long-time hosts were Joan Lunden and Alan Thicke, with Philbin on the street interviewing guests. Philbin had been involved with the program continuously from 1991 to 2009.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 25 Days of Christmas Now on Multiple Networks of Disney|ABC; Winsanity Returns to GSN
  2. ^ a b "D23 Presents Ask Dave: July 19, 2012 « Disney D23". 22 July 2012. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ a b Tallarico, Tony. "This Day in Disney History Dec 25". Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  4. ^ "Walt Disney World Christmas Parade Broadcast 1985". Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  5. ^ "Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade 1996". Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  6. ^ a b "Disney Insider: Main Attraction". 22 December 2008. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "Central Florida's largest employer is reorganizing and cutting some jobs". 21 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "Inside and In Depth: 2012 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade at Disneyland - DAY 1". November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  9. ^ "Christmas at Disney World and Holiday Highlights".

External linksEdit