We all know that Disney World is the most magical place on earth. At Christmastime it is even more so. Disney begins decorating the first part of November. The special Christmas festivities begin soon thereafter and continue until after Christmas. Here are my Top 7 Christmas Attractions at Walt Disney World.
1) The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights-
I had to start with this not only because I think it is the top attraction at Walt Disney World at Christmas, but I found out recently that this will be the last year for the Festival of Lights. I am deeply saddened by this. There are a lot of good memories for our family associated with the festival. If you have never been and have an opportunity, I would urge you to see it this year while you can. It is really awe-inspiring. There are over 5 million lights used in the festival! There is a beautiful mix of lights and music; they even synchronize at times the songs with the flashing of the lights. You also get to experience snow even when it is 70 degrees! Sure it’s a snow machine but the atmosphere is truly magical.
2) Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-
I am only going to give a brief overview, but if you can make it to the party I would suggest you go. This is a separately ticketed event that begins on November 8th and runs until December 18th. The party is from 7-12 midnight. You can enter as early as 4 p.m. if you wish with your ticket.
During the party there are many special things to do. One of the most special is Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, which is spectacular. This is a can’t-miss type event with so many Disney character favorites and even Santa Claus himself! During the parade, snow is showered upon you as you watch on Main Street U.S.A. The parade is held two times in the evening; at 8:15 and 10:30.
There is also a special Holiday Wishes Fireworks Celebration. Cinderella’s Castle is lit up beautifully for the holidays and this provides a backdrop for the amazing fireworks show. The fireworks and the music are Christmas-themed. Holiday Wishes is at 9:30.
There are many character meet and greets ranging from the Seven Dwarfs, Daisy, Donald, Santa Goofy, Jack Skellington and of course Mickey and Minnie! There is a separate area for meet and greets with the princesses in Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland.
Back in Tomorrowland, there is a stage show featuring Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and Stitch. It is held on the Rockettower Plaza Stage and show times are 7:45, 8:45, 9:55, 10:50, and 11:45. It is primarily aimed at younger audiences and is a musical show.
Celebrate The Season Show takes places on the Castle Stage at 7:30, 10:05, and 11:20. It features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy and is a Disney take on The Nutcracker.
Complimentary cookies and cocoa are available in various locations throughout the park in unlimited amounts. There are many nights when it is chilly enough that the warm cocoa and cookies really hit the spot.
3) Fireworks show at Magic Kingdom-
This is part of the Mickey Party described above, and Jiminy Crickett narrates the show like he does the rest of the year. At Christmas, the music is Christmas music and Cinderella’s Castle is lit up with so many beautiful lights that words fall short. From mid-December until the end of the year the holiday wishes replaces the regular Wishes as the evening fireworks show for all guests.
4) Candlelight Processional at Epcot-
This is a yearly event at Epcot back in the World Showcase in front of the American Pavilion. There is a mass choir and a 50-piece orchestra narrated by a celebrity. It is a very moving performance in which they tell the story of Christmas with both words and music. The show begins this year on November 27 and runs nightly through December 30. Shows are 40 minutes long and every evening there are three show times: 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15.
The show is free but there is almost always a long line waiting to be seated. Dinner packages are available which includes dinner in many of Epcot’s best restaurant’s and also includes reserved seating for the show.
5) Epcot Storytellers-
Almost all of the countries in the World Showcase have a storyteller which gives the story of that countries Christmas traditions.
6) Decorations at the Parks-
This is one of my favorite things at the parks. Each park to differing degrees goes all out with the lights and Christmas decorations. Each park has their own Christmas tree and their own characteristic decorating style in keeping with the character of the park. Cinderella’s Castle is lit up with over 200,000 lights and is lit up every night (not just the nights of the Mickey Christmas Party). The castle changes color many times per night and is stunningly beautiful!
7) Decorations at the Resorts-
This is worth going to the resorts to see. Many of the deluxe resorts such as The Grand Floridian and The Beach Club Resort have their own special displays such as gingerbread carousels, gingerbread houses, Christmas villages, etc. They have beautiful decorations and trees that match the theme of the resort. Beach Club Resort has beach-themed decorations on their tree and more blue and green decorations while Animal Kingdom Lodge has darker decorations that match their resort and their lobby. If you want to tour the resorts, the easiest way to tour is to go to the three Epcot resorts (Beach Club, Yacht Club, and the Boardwalk Resorts). Then another day go to the three resorts on the monorail that leaves from the Magic Kingdom called the Resort Monorail. You can quickly stop off at The Contemporary Resort, The Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian. The other resorts can only be reached by the Disney buses.
Christmas is my favorite time of year at Disney World. There are a lot of extra things to do that aren’t available the other times of the year. I have highlighted my favorites. You should consider Disney World at Christmas and discover your own favorites.
About Elaine from Family Travel Escapades:
Elaine is a homeschooling mom and wife who is always planning the next Disney trip. She is a contributor to the Blogorail and the WDWfanzone. You can follow Elaine and family’s many Disney, U.S. and international travel adventures on her blog, Family Travel Escapades as well as on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
What are your favorite things to do during Christmas at Disney World? What are your favorite hotels near Disney World?