There’s nowhere more magical during the holidays than Walt Disney World. Well, ok, arguably a Christmas market in Europe. But still. Walt Disney World is up there.
But a trip to the most magical place on Earth isn’t in the cards for all of us this holiday season. So what is a Disney fan to do? Here are a few ways you can bring a bit of Disney home for the holidays, without even setting foot in Orlando.
Disney Holiday Food
What’s Christmas without delicious, seasonal treats? And why not add to the holiday fun by recreating your favorite WDW eats, right in the comfort of your own home?
You can purchase cookbooks that walk you through recreating some of Disney’s most popular dishes. Or go online to find recipes for free! We’ve recreated Mickey Bars and the Grey Stuff at home, and they were surprisingly easy to make and tasted almost exactly as we remember.
Mickey waffle makers allow you to create your own fabulous Mickey waffles, and Mickey-shaped cookie cutters enable you to turn almost anything into a Disney hit. Even if you don’t have any Mickey-shaped cookware, try shaping pretzel, bread, or cookie dough into Disney shapes by hand.
Dig out old refillable Resort mugs or Theme Park souvenir cups from previous Disney vacations to accompany your yummy treats, and enjoy!
Disney Holiday Movies
With Disney+, it’s easier than ever to bring a little WDW into your home this holiday! All of your favorite Disney movies are just a click away, and there are so many options, you just might need to keep playing them after Christmas to enjoy them all!
We’re currently restarting The Santa Clause trilogy, but there are dozens of feel-good Disney classics where those came from. So curl up with a blanket, some hot cocoa, and a Disney fan or two, and enjoy some holiday magic, WDW-style.
Disney Holiday Tunes
When you just need a little (Disney) Christmas, there’s nothing like cranking the holiday tunes! Luckily, there’s no shortage of Disney soundtracks that will have you singing along to your favorite Christmas carols in no time.
Whether it’s a CD (ours plays on repeat in the car), a Spotify playlist, or a Disney Christmas sing-along on YouTube, there are plenty of places to get your holiday music fix. You can even find recordings of Walt Disney’s Candlelight Processional. Play your tunes as you work, or eat, or as the kids do their homework – you’ll be amazed at how quickly it can turn a frown upside down.
Decorating for the holidays is a sure-fire way to get into the Christmas spirit! And when you decorate in Disney style, there’s even more magic to go around – and there’s something for every budget.
We might not all be able to afford to emulate the stunning holiday décor in WDW’s Theme Parks, with larger-than-life gingerbread houses and 60-foot-tall Christmas trees (but if you can, more power to you!). But you can definitely deck the Disney halls on a smaller scale!
Try starting a collection of Disney tree ornaments (bonus points if you bought them in the Parks!), make a simple Mickey-shaped wreath or Mickey ears garland, print out some Disney gift tags, or find a Disney-themed advent calendar. The internet has a ton of creative DIY Disney decorations you can have fun making with your family.
Recreate your Favorite Ride
One of the most memorable birthdays in our house was a Disney-at-home birthday during the pandemic, where one of the hits was “riding” attractions in the Parks. We dimmed the lights, donned our old MagicBands, downloaded that magical chime sound made by MagicBand readers so we could “tap” our MagicBands, and watched first-person POV YouTube videos of our favorite WDW rides.
We’ve even heard of fans who have built their own WDW rides out of household materials, and dressed like Cast Members to complete the experience! With a bit of creativity and work, you can recreate your favorite attractions in your home, too.
Look to the Past – and the Future
When you’re in Walt Disney World withdrawal around the holidays, try a family show-and-tell night that revolves around reminiscing about past WDW vacations. Every family member can show their favorite pictures, favorite souvenirs, and favorite memories from previous trips, and you can play videos captured in the Parks or your Resort Hotel, which is the next best thing to being there.
You can also start planning your next vacation, even if you aren’t sure exactly when that will be. What new restaurants have opened up since you last visited, that you absolutely have to try? What rides do you want to ride? What Disney Resort Hotel might you try for the first time (or at least resort-hop to)? Planning for future WDW magic somehow makes the present seem much more magical, too.
If you won’t be traveling to Walt Disney World this holiday season, don’t despair! All it takes is a little imagination to bring the magic of WDW home for the holidays. Let the words of Walt himself be your guide: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”