1. Festive Decor Throughout The Park
Worried that leaving home during the holiday season will cause you to miss the decorative beauty of New York and your own neighborhood? Fear not – Walt Disney World is one of the most festive places on earth. From early November through the New Year, every corner of the park is decked with Christmas lights, sparkling decor and unique displays to inspire all with the holiday spirit. Whether you are taking a stroll down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom with its glorious holiday adornments, or at one of the 36 Disney World resorts, visitors’ senses will be overwhelmed by the park’s transformation into a winter wonderland.
One of my favorites is The Grand Floridian and the five-story tree that dominates the lobby. The Victorian-inspired Yuletide decor includes its infamous life-size gingerbread house, which is 16 feet high and requires 1,050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour and more than 400 hours just to bake this gingerbread for this masterpiece!! You will not want to miss a presentation (everyday except Sunday) by a pastry chef who gives tips about creating and decorating a gingerbread house.
2. More than 1300 Christmas Trees to Behold
The world’s most popular family destination is about the size of San Francisco or 43 square miles! That’s a huge space to decorate for the holidays!! In fact, to be more precise, it requires unloading 150 semi-trailer truckloads of decorations, stringing 15 miles of garland and 8.5 million lights, hanging 1,314 wreaths, and trimming some 1,300 trees with 300,000 yards of ribbon and bows across Disney World’s four theme parks, two water parks, and over two dozen Disney World resort hotels. Whew!
Thank goodness as a guest, you can simply enjoy the beauty of the intricately adorned trees. Themed in varying color ways and unique ornaments that complement the venues and outdoor spaces within which they are set, it is impossible not to keep snapping away with each tree encountered! The Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening as you stroll through “the trail” and view 23 custom-decorated holiday trees. Each tree is dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring characters like Mary Poppins, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.
3. Special Spectacular at Cinderella’s Castle
Cinderella’s Castle is the main focal point of the Magic Kingdom park and with each season, there is something new, exciting and absolutely breathtaking to behold each evening. In celebration of Frozen 2, which premiered this past November (2019), the Christmas 2019 season featured A Frozen Holiday Wish & Castle Dream Lights delighting guests at dusk each night as Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff take to the Castle forecourt stage. During this 9 minute show Queen Elsa uses her magical powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a shimmering ice palace with the glistening of over 170,000 lights. Each Christmas features a new mesmerizing spectacular.
4. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
As if there isn’t enough to do throughout Disney World, during the months of November and December, on select nights, the annual Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom features an exclusive showing of Minnie’s Christmastime Fireworks and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. This specially ticketed, limited-attendance celebration includes a live stage show as well as complimentary yummy cookies and cocoa! Of course the event delights guests with numerous live shows, dance parties and special character meets.
We attended this event when the girls were younger and it is quite memorable!
5. Candlelight Processional
To me, this is one of the most beautiful events in all of Disney. This long time traditional event runs during Christmas in EPCOT and features the story of Christmas in words and music told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a mass choir and a 50 strong orchestra. The 2019 Candlelight Processional narrators include Neil Patrick Harris, Isabella Rossellini, Gary Sinise and Edward James Olmos among other celebrities. My gang had the pleasure of attending this event several years ago with narration by Edward James Olmos. It is touching and very reverent reminding all of the true meaning of Christmas.
6. Disney Movie at AMC DINE-IN Disney Springs 24
I know that it sounds a bit crazy to travel all the way to Disney World and go to the movies. But, consider the idea for a moment. Right in the heart of Disney Springs, the outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in Walt Disney World is a world of entertainment options that include movies, bowling, live music and even a huge AMC movie theatre.
What makes it so special is that you can keep your Disney mo-jo going by popping in for a few hours to view the latest Disney movie. A great way to recharge, and watch your favorite characters on the big screen! As I mentioned earlier, we always do something a bit different each time we visit Disney World. This time, our trip coincided with the premiere of Frozen 2 and we thought “why not see Frozen 2 at Disney World!!” And that’s precisely what we did. Not only was the theatre decked out with a “red carpet” adorned with Frozen 2 signage – perfect for photo ops, but, we were in the perfect setting for keeping our Frozen-inspired mood going after leaving the theatre, with Anna and Elsa displays throughout the Springs!
7. Holiday Shopping Galore at Disney Springs
Who says you can’t go on vacation during the holiday season and still get something for everyone on your gift list too! While rides and attractions are amazing and worth every bit of time spent doing so, everyone in your party could do well with some down time from the theme parks to enjoy the lovely outdoor shopping and dining district. Whether its all things Disney themed products you are looking for or a stroll through high end shops like Anthropologie, Coach & Kate Spade, Disney Springs has it all.
From apparel to artwork, skincare and cosmetics to housewares and unique jewelry and even gifts for your fur baby, you will be sure to find it all. The atmosphere is a joy with holiday music, decor and a plethora of dining and drinking options to make your holiday shopping fun, productive and unexpectedly relaxing.
8. Special Holiday Backstage Tours!
The magic of Disney World never ends. If you are looking for something really off the beaten track, why not consider a special backstage tour. This is a special experience we have yet to do, but is on our list for our next trip!
Offered to teen and adult guests for an additional price of $140 per person is Disney’s Joy Through The World Tour offering guests an opportunity to see how Walt Disney World Resort is transformed for the holidays. The three-hour event offers insight into how the Disney Holiday Services Designers use themes to fashion the distinctive decorations that “deck the halls” throughout the Resort, a visit to the Floral Department for an up-close look at the special displays created just for the season and the chance to join a Disney Springs culinary artist to whip up a mouthwatering seasonal treat. There is even a holiday keepsake for each guest!!
Sounds fun and festive to me!!