My absolute favorite time at Disney is around the holidays. I am a Christmas-fiend and can’t get enough of the holiday fun. No one does the holidays like Disney. You already get all of the magic and amazing sights to see, and they take it to a whole new level when they incorporate all of the holiday decorations and traditions into the magic! Here are 7 things that Walt Disney World insiders love about holidays at Disney:
7. Holiday Treats & Merchandise
Disney treats are amazing all the time, but this is especially true during the holidays. There are always special treats at each park that are themed for the holidays and the expected flavors, spices and treats you would expect for the holidays. There are also special cups, mugs, popcorn buckets etc. that you can purchase these treats in while getting a souvenir from your trip. The holidays also bring other exclusive merchandise like shirts, home décor, magic bands, pins, etc. that you can only get your hands on in the parks during the holiday season. It helps to make your visit a little more special and exclusive.
6. The Jingle Cruise
During the holiday season, The Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom gets a holiday overlay and becomes The Jingle Cruise. This totally changes the rides, including the jokes and dialogue that your skipper goes through on the attraction. It is such a fun holiday addition to the Magic Kingdom, and is the only ride at Walt Disney World Resort to get a special overlay during the holidays.
5. Resort Decorations
The resorts go all out to get decorated and festive for the holidays. The decorations are all perfectly selected and placed to match the theming of each individual resort. The music tracks that are played at the resort also change and are a holiday tracks that fit with the theming, too. At the Polynesian, the music has more of an island feel, while at Wilderness Lodge the holiday music has more of a rustic, country type feel. The décor reflects this, too, and it really immerses you into the holidays in a perfect way. There are even lists out there that rank all of the resorts based on their Christmas Décor and amenities. It’s such a fun time to stay on property!
4. Gingerbread Buildings and Creations
So if you weren’t already sold by the amazing decorations, music and atmosphere of the resorts around the holidays, there are also the other added extras that the resorts offer. The Grand Floridian boasts a 2-story gingerbread house made of real gingerbread. The Yacht and Beach club has a gingerbread carousel, while the Contemporary has a gingerbread Christmas tree. The resorts also host Santa Claus and other characters in their holiday best. It sets the background to a truly magical holiday.
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3. Candlelight Processional
Epcot hosts an amazing telling of the story of the first Christmas at the American Adventure. The show consists of an amazing choir singing Christmas favorites to the narration of the first Christmas by a celebrity host. The hosts are usually announced a couple of months in advance. There are also lunch and dinner packages that help secure you a good seat for the show, since the show is extremely popular and gets to standing room only very quick within the very small amphitheater. This has become a holiday tradition for many families around the world, so you definitely don’t want to miss this during a holiday trip.
2. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
During the party the Magic Kingdom transforms to a Christmas Wonderland. The cast are in special costumes, it’s snowing on Main Street, and there is cookies and cocoa everywhere for guests to enjoy, plus special shows, fireworks and a parade. It is a really fun time and even the characters show up in their festive outfits and full of holiday spirit. The party is a special ticket and is NOT included in Magic Kingdom park admission for the day. You purchase the ticket separately and only guests with tickets will be allowed into the event. It is a treat to enjoy the Magic Kingdom at night with less crowds and the special entertainment. There are also treats and merchandise exclusive to this event only, so don’t miss out on that!
1. Holiday Storytellers around the World at Epcot
The World Showcase at Epcot gets decked out in the holiday spirit, too. You can meet Santa in most of the countries in the outfit and story of how we is portrayed in each country. There are also storytellers who come out and tell you holiday stories about traditions for each country or may give musical performances. These are all amazing and a fun, different way to experience World Showcase like you can’t any other time of year. You don’t want to miss these events and a chance to learn even more about the countries that live in the World Showcase.