This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World and Disney Parks. I was provided complimentary tickets. All thoughts are my own.
This past weekend, Disney invited me to experience their brand-new, separate-ticketed holiday event at Hollywood Studios called Jollywood Nights, and it was pretty jolly indeed. One thing to note about this event is that it is suggested you dress up in your vintage Hollywood best, and we really committed to theme! My husband and I later decided that one thing about this event that made it so fun was seeing so many people dressed up.
Before I get too into this, I want to clarify a few things I have seen online, mainly involving creators who were invited to Jollywood Nights. I will say that Disney gave us seating for the two shows, but other than that, I had to wait for everything else, just like everyone else. Was everything absolutely perfect? No! This was the very first night of a big event, and that is to be expected. Did we absolutely love Jollywood Nights? I’ll answer that in a bit, so just read on.
Jollywood Nights kicks off at 8:30 pm, but if you have tickets for the party, you can enter the park as early as 7:00 pm. Before our visit, I had made a list of my “must-dos” for this party, starting with Jazzy Holidays at The Hollywood Brown Derby– “During Disney Jollywood Nights, this iconic restaurant transforms into a smooth jazz joint—where you can enjoy holiday music, craft cocktails, and an exclusive menu of light bites* in a sophisticated setting. Capacity is limited.” So, as soon as we got into the park, we went straight to The Hollywood Brown Derby to find out how to get a table. We were presented with a QR code and told we could use the link to check in for a spot at 8:15 pm, so that’s what we did. Once 8:15 rolled around, I checked in and was told I would have a table in “10 minutes” – it took a little longer than 10 minutes, more like 2 hours, but we eventually did get a table!
While waiting for our table, we went and watched What’s This? Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along – “Join Jack Skellington at Hyperion Theater for a dreamlike adventure inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This show takes place inside the Hyperion Theater, home of the Frozen Sing-a-long, and it is INCREDBLE. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a The Nightmare Before Christmas fan, but I was blown away, and this is definitely a must-do!
Our table at The Hollywood Brown Derby still wasn’t ready, so we stopped by Commissary Lane to check out Holiday Fiesta en la Calle – “Latin holiday music fills the air as musicians play along the walkways. Warm lighting and colorful décor give the street a vibrant feel as you sip drinks and nibble on treats inspired by Latin holiday traditions.” and grab a snack from ABC Commissary. The wait for food at ABC Commissary did take a while, but the Birria Tacos were 100% worth the wait! These beef tacos were some of the best foods I have ever had at Disney.
After we finished our food, my husband and I decided to take a lap around Hollywood Studios and really “soak it all in.” You should know that we are the ultimate Disney 90’s kids, and we grew up going to MGM Studios and love the nostalgic feeling of MGM Studios. THIS EVENT HAD THAT FEELING. I don’t know how to explain it, but Jollywood Nights really made me feel like I was at MGM Studios. We walked down Hollywood Blvd while it snowed on us, danced to the DJ spinning music, and eventually ventured down to Tower of Terror to check out Twilight Soirée at the Tip Top Club—”a swingin’ celebration in the courtyard of The Hollywood Tower Hotel. Here, you can sip cocktails* and unwind in style while a live band swoons and croons holiday tunes”
Unfortunately, the line to get drinks at the Tip Top Club was pretty long. We were getting ready to wait when we got the text message that our table at The Hollywood Brown Derby was ready, so we rushed over there instead.
We checked in at Jazzy Holidays at The Hollywood Brown Derby and were taken to a table with the perfect view of the live jazz piano player who played Christmas and Disney classics! My husband ordered an Old Fashioned, and I ordered an Espresso Martini (both delicious), and we munched on the Charcuterie Board and Shrimp cocktail. We absolutely loved it and would’ve been delighted to stay here all night. I am sure my husband would still be sitting there if it were socially acceptable. After enjoying our drinks, it was time to see the new show Disney Holidays in Hollywood.
Inspired by the golden age of Hollywood TV specials, Disney Holidays in Hollywood combines the allure of vintage glitz and glamour with Christmas magic! This show features Kermit, Miss Piggy, Tiana, Belle, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse! Once again, we were blown away by this show and all of the warm fuzzies we felt watching it. I can’t wait to go back and see it again.
Around this time, it unfortunately started raining…which picked up until it was pouring! We found a place to stay dry and sat down and soaked up all of the holiday magic, and that’s when we decided, WE LOVE THIS PARTY. Were the lines a little longer than expected? Sure, but then again, everything was brand new, and everyone wanted to try all the new things! The open rides had no wait because everyone was trying to experience the food, drinks, and shows. As this party happens in the future, guests will start to disperse more evenly in the park, and lines will be better.
We finished our night with a rainy, yet magical, performance of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! I don’t think I’ve ever stayed late enough at Disney to watch this fireworks show, and we loved it! So many fun holiday moments were brought to life in front of our eyes using projections, lasers, and our favorite Christmas music. After the fireworks, we headed home and spent the rest of the weekend talking about how much we enjoyed Jollywood Nights.
We didn’t get to do every single thing that we wanted to, but that means we will be heading back to Jollywood Nights ASAP! Jollywood Nights runs from 8:30 pm -12:20 am on select nights November 11 to December 20, 2023.
Sending love and magic!