Christmas in Walt Disney World
One of my favorite times of the year is Christmas! I think it’s because of the magic and happiness that the season brings. And what better place to celebrate than spending Christmas in Walt Disney World? Starting in November, guests can enjoy the decorations, special events, holiday characters and the beauty of Christmas throughout the parks and resorts. Overnight (literally!) Walt Disney World is transformed into a Christmas wonderland for everyone to enjoy. There is so much to do and see during the holidays! If you are visiting WDW in November or December, here are 6 things that really should be on your “must-do” list:
1. Gingerbread Displays & Resort Decorations:
This may be one of my absolute favorite things to do in Walt Disney World during the Christmas season! I love resort hopping to see all the beautiful and magical decorations, along with the amazing gingerbread displays. Just a few of the not-to-be missed stops are the Grand Floridian, where you’ll see a 16-foot gingerbread house; Beach Club, which is home to perhaps my favorite gingerbread display- a beautiful carousel; Wilderness Lodge is not only gorgeously decorated, but also has a 60-foot Christmas tree in the lobby; a gingerbread holiday village can be found in the Contemporary Resort; and the Atlantic City scene, made of gingerbread, is incredible at the BoardWalk Inn! I can easily spend a whole day just hopping from resort to resort and enjoying the creativity, beauty and magic that Disney always seems to master!
2. Holidays Around the World:
It’s always fun to go through Epcot’s World Showcase to get a taste of the cultures around the world, but this is especially true during the Christmas season! Not only is each country beautifully decorated for the holidays, but they each offer special performances, foods and beverages and a glimpse into their holiday traditions. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to the storytellers and watch the entertainers from around the world tell stories about their cultures.
3. Candlelight Processional:
This is truly a guest favorite during many people’s Christmas in Walt Disney World stay! If you haven’t had the chance to see the Candlelight Processional in Epcot, I highly recommend adding this to your itinerary. Celebrity narrators, a 50-piece orchestra and a choir take the audience on a beautiful journey of the biblical tale of Christmas. You do not need a separate ticket for this event, but seating is limited, so guests begin to line up early! One way to guarantee a seat for the show, though, is to reserve a dining package at one of the participating Epcot restaurants. Some of this year’s narrators include Neil Patrick Harris, Pat Sajak, Trace Adkins, CCH Pounder, and Jaci Velasquez. The Candlelight Processional is so well done that guests cannot help but to reflect on the hope and joy of the season.
4. Holiday Fun at Disney Springs:
In addition to getting some awesome Disney gifts for all those on your nice list, you can also have a little holiday fun while visiting Disney Springs! You can start by strolling through the Christmas Tree Trail. Last year, there were 15 Disney themed trees, including Moana, Mickey and Minnie, Frozen, Mary Poppins and Disney Villains. You may even get some inspiration for your tree at home! Then be sure to check out the elaborate window displays, listen to (and maybe sing with) carolers, watch a holiday performance celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanza and take a photo with Santa or Santa Goofy! At the end of the night, you can watch the tree lighting and then dance the night away at the holiday DJ dance party!
5. Holiday Tours:
If you are interested in getting a behind the scenes look at how Disney decorates the parks and resorts for the holiday season, you may want to leave time in your schedule for one of these tours. Guests ages 16 and older can participate in Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy tour. During this 3-hour tour, you will meet up with the Cast Members, who are also known as the “elves,” who have worked tirelessly to create the decorations you see throughout WDW; get an up-close look at the traditional Main Street decorations; hear tales of various cultures throughout Epcot’s World Showcase; and visit a resort hotel to learn all about the holiday atmosphere that was created there. If you are looking for a slightly longer and even more festive tour, you may want to consider Disney’s Holiday D-Lights tour. This is a 5-hour tour for guests ages 12 and older. During this time, you will enjoy a family-style dinner at Whispering Canyon; interact with the talented Cast Members who have put together many of the holiday decorations and events; meet the individuals who are responsible for transforming the castle into the glittering and shimmering holiday castle…and then see this amazing display during the lighting ceremony; head to Epcot to be in the audience for the Candlelight Processional; and end the night watching Illuminations with a special holiday finale! Both tours require separate advanced ticket reservations and are offered on select dates throughout November and December.
6. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:
This is the most popular holiday event takes place at Magic Kingdom. During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you will see snow falling on Main Street, characters dressed in their holiday best, warm-hearted holiday performances, a shimmering castle, a spectacular fireworks show, a festive parade and many surprises waiting for you! If you keep an eye out, you can see some rare character appearances…perhaps Santa Jack Skellington and Scrooge McDuck? You can also enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa throughout the park, what perfect treats for a Christmas party! MVMCP takes place on select nights in November and December and is a special ticketed event. Advanced ticket purchases are recommended. Guests with party tickets can enter Magic Kingdom beginning at 4pm, with the party running from 7pm until midnight. The park closes at 6pm to guests who do not have MVMCP tickets. One warning…once you attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you will definitely want to make it a holiday tradition for your family!
No matter how you decide to celebrate the holiday season in Walt Disney World, it’s sure to be an absolutely magical experience that you will never forget!
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