5 Reasons Why You Should Spend Christmas at Disney World This Year
Walt Disney World is a great place to spend your holidays. Enjoy the excellent Orlando weather and all the magic Disney has to offer during your Christmas stay.
Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, no matter what time of year you visit. Although you might be more used to planning your Disney vacation in the heat of the summer months, Christmas can be an excellent time to head to Orlando. By visiting this popular vacation during the winter, you can easily escape the potentially harsh weather of colder climates with fun in the Florida sun throughout the entire holiday season, and you can even take part in some of the year’s most magical Disney events while you’re there. Why not make the most of your holiday vacation and spend Christmas with Mickey Mouse this year? Just don't forget your sunscreen!
From the moment you check into your hotel (provided you will be staying on Disney property), you will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the holiday season. All of the resort hotels are decked out in holiday splendor, from the lobbies to the on-site restaurants and beyond. As an added bonus, each hotel sports its own themed Christmas tree, all of which are massive, beautiful, and full of that special Disney magic. Many families who visit Walt Disney World during the holiday season like to take an entire day away from the parks themselves, and simply enjoy visiting each of the resort hotels to check out the trees and decorations. If you're staying in one of the budget hotels, don't worry! Your resort is just as important as the more expensive options, and it will be decorated just as beautifully.
The luxury hotels at Walt Disney World do have a few added holiday features that can make your stay that much more special, but you don't have to stay at these hotels to stop by for a visit. At the Contemporary resort, check out a massive castle made of ice that comes straight out of Disney’s popular movie, “Frozen.” You might even catch a photo op with some of the movie’s characters there as well! At the Yacht and Beach Club resorts, find a holiday village and a carousel, both of which are designed to look like they are made of candy. The holiday village even has a miniature train that moves around and through it all day long. Head over to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and you’ll find a real bakery full of cookies and other delectable holiday treats that will please any palate! And of course, the popular life-sized gingerbread house returns every year in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Hotel, along with real roasted chestnuts and a huge, incredible Christmas tree.
Visit the gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort at 4401 Floridian Way in Lake Buena Vista.
The holidays are an excellent time to enjoy a dinner together with your sweetheart or with your whole family. Walt Disney World takes great pride in its dining packages and opportunities, all of which are designed to make the most of your Christmastime visit to the parks. Enjoy up close and personal meals that pair delicious food with excellent seats for some of the parks’ best events. All of Disney’s usual year-round dining plans and experiences are also available during this time, so don’t let the holidays stop you from booking that luau or royal table party you’ve always wanted!
Book your table with the Candlelight Dining Package and enjoy EPCOT’s incredible Candlelight Processional as well as a special holiday meal at one of the select restaurants in EPCOT’s World Showcase. This package includes a lunch or dinner at the Biergarten Restaurant, Chefs de France, the Garden Grill, the Coral Reef Restaurant, or one of many other popular dining venues in the park. After your meal, head to the America Gardens theater, where you will have reserved, preferred seating for the Candlelight Processional itself. Also in EPCOT, you can enjoy the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party, which gives guests a VIP seat for the park’s nightly fireworks show. Before the show begins, you will be treated to desserts from around the world, prepared by the World Showcase restaurants that EPCOT is famous for. You’ll also have the opportunity to order alcoholic beverages at an additional cost before you sit back and enjoy your perfect view of the IllumiNations show.
The prices for the Candlelight Dining Package change depending on meal and venue, so be sure to check out Disney’s web site to price your experience.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Perhaps the star attraction of Walt Disney World’s holiday season is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This fun event takes place in the Magic Kingdom and includes a parade, special holiday fireworks, and much more! During the party, guests can enjoy the Once Upon a Christmastime parade, where toy soldiers, elves, gingerbread men and more are brought to life in vivid Disney color and sound. Of course, your favorite Disney characters are in the parade as well, and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa himself at the end! The party also includes a live performance based on Disney’s “Frozen,” featuring all of the movie’s beloved characters and finishing with a magic ice spell cast on Cinderella’s castle. The night ends with the Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular, which is a Christmas-themed spin on the park’s usual nightly show. While you’re enjoying the party, don’t miss the Celebrate the Season show, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, and be sure to check out the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show to watch Stitch and Buzz Lightyear join forces for holiday fun! Last but not least, don’t leave without checking out the Jungle Cruise ride, which has had a bit of a holiday makeover. This Jingle Cruise is sure to be a fun-filled, pun-filled holiday blast for the whole family!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate ticket, and it is not included in the cost of park admission. However, you do not have to purchase a park ticket to be able to purchase a ticket to the party. For example, if you plan to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on December 18, you can purchase a ticket to the party for that date. You do not have to visit the Magic Kingdom (or any other Disney park) on that date if you don’t want to. Since the Christmas party tickets are a little cheaper than park admission, this can be a great way to enjoy the Magic Kingdom on a budget!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place on select nights in November and December. Check out the web site to find the right date for you and your family.
Holidays Around the World
EPCOT is the perfect place to learn about what Christmas means in other parts of the world. Visit each of the countries represented throughout the World Showcase to experience Christmas their way! Learn about Father Christmas in the United Kingdom, or about Julenissen the Christmas Gnome in Norway. Celebrate the New Year and the Lunar New Year with Japan and China, then enjoy the story of the first Christmas tree in Germany. And of course, don’t miss the American Adventure, where Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa receive the royal holiday treatment. The Holidays Around the World experiences take place throughout the winter season, so even if you visit the week after Christmas, you can still enjoy these festivities.
As part of the EPCOT Holidays Around the World festivities, guests can join a celebrity host to experience the Biblical story of Christmas like never before. The celebrity narrators may vary depending on the night, but they are always accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra as well as a choir that performs all of your favorite religious Christmas songs in breathtaking beauty. In between songs, the celebrity host tells the Christmas story and reads passages from the Bible. For those who prefer a religious Christmas event, this is an elegant, tasteful opportunity that can’t be missed. Note that on certain nights, if the celebrity narrator is very popular, you might need to stand in line for a few hours to guarantee a seat for the Candlelight Processional.
The Candlelight Processional schedule is available on Disney’s web site.
Dreaming of a Disney Holiday
Finally, when it comes time to return to your hotel room after a long day at the parks, soaking up holiday cheer, treat yourself and the kids in your family to a big surprise from the big mouse himself! Dreaming of a Disney Holiday provides Disney hotel guests the opportunity to purchase add-ons that can make their hotel stay even more magical and memorable. Choose from select holiday-themed Disney plushes, hats, and candy-filled stockings, or even purchase a Christmas tree to await your family in your hotel room. Imagine the surprise on everyone’s faces when they realize they’ve been visited by Santa Mickey while they were out enjoying the parks!
For around $450, you can enjoy the full Dreaming of a Disney Holiday package. This add-on includes a welcome banner, glowing electric candles, and three buckets full of presents and holiday goodies. The package even comes with in-room game ideas as well as park-based adventures that can keep you and your whole family happy throughout the duration of your stay. Note that this experience does not include the price of a Christmas tree (but you are more than welcome to bring one from home, if you like!).
Shop around for your hotel room add-ons at Disney’s Floral and Gifts site.
Ready to head to Florida? Remember that many of Disney’s Christmas events do book up fast, so the sooner you get reservations and purchase your tickets, the better off you will be. Hotel rooms may not book as quickly as in-park events, but you will still want to do some planning ahead of time to avoid any last-minute scrambling for accommodations. As a final word of advice, if you plan to visit any of the parks in Walt Disney World on Christmas Day itself, consider arriving at least a half hour before the park opens. They do reach capacity on this busy day, so ensure that you and your family won’t have any holiday mishaps by arriving ahead of the crowds!
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