Visiting any of the Disney Parks during the holidays only magnifies the joy of the season. With Christmas carols, rides and attractions transformed for Christmas and everyone in a festive mood, it truly does make for a memorable holiday season.
2. Osborne Festival of Lights.
This holiday lighting spectacular must simply be seen to be truly appreciated. With over a million lights decorating the Hollywood Studios Park, the dancing patterns and colors that envelop the sky and your surroundings will leave you absolutely mesmerized. Interesting fact: the display itself has more than 5 million lights and 10 miles of lighting cords. The display’s construction begins in September and takes more than 20000 man hours to complete.
Osborne Festival of Lights photos courtesy of Abigail Stone 3. Candlelight Processional.
This beautiful display of traditional carols sung by a select group of young people from around the country will move you. Stepping aside to make room as they pass though the crowd at World Showcase in their robes, with their candles, gives you pause. Not only will you find yourself enthralled with their angelic voices and the stunning visual picture before you, but it has a humble way of reminding you of the simple beauty of the holiday itself. Interesting Fact: The choir members dressed in gold are high school students representing 30 states around the country. In 1971, the first processional was held at the Magic Kingdom with Rock Hudson as the celebrity narrator. The event was moved to Epcot in 1994.
4. Christmas Story Readings.
The above mentioned processional culminates in the choir making their way to the stage in the American Garden Theater where they are joined by an orchestra and a celebrity who’s been invited to read the story of Christmas. The production is incredibly moving when the story is highlighted by the sights and sounds of the musicians and singers. An absolutely breathtaking display.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Roberts 5. Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.
This parade is exclusive to the Animal Kingdom Park, and although you’ll spend the day in the jungles of Asia or the arid landscape of The Serengeti, this afternoon party will get your right into the holiday spirit. As usual, this lively display makes it’s way through the park while characters sing and dance to energized holiday tunes. Decked out in their best holiday attire, all your favorites are sure to make an appearance and you’ll find yourself singing and dancing right along with them.
6. Extra special displays.
Be sure to make time to explore the resorts as many of them have spent months in preparation for the holidays. You’ll find larger than life ginger bread houses, real moving candy made miniature villages, and one of a kind bake shops that only appear at this time of year. Interesting Fact: Many of these displays are so elaborate, that they’re planning and construction begins in July.
Photo courtesy of Kristin Thompson Scroggin Photo courtesy of Abigail Stone
7. The Castle.
While no trip is complete without a visit to the castle, at Christmas, you must be sure to see it at night. Completely covered from top to bottom in Christmas lights it is a sight to behold. The glow that emulates from this magnificent piece of architecture will leave you speechless and the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom is made all the more enchanting. Interesting fact: The castle is covered with over 200,000 lights and the goal was to have castle appear as if it had been dipped in sugar.
Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Phelan
8. Extra Special Holiday Pictures.
Character meet and greets are all the more special at this time of year as the characters are all dressed for the holidays. The photo ops with a holiday themed backdrop make for some wonderful family pictures that will remind you of that magical Christmas for years to come.
Photo by Florida Diva
9. Main Street Transformed.
Main street is always a favorite at any time of year, but at Christmas it transforms into a nostalgic street from Christmases long ago. The lampposts become more noticeable as they’re adorned with beautiful wreaths and ribbons. The town square at the end of the street near the entrance becomes home to one of the largest and most beautiful trees you’ll ever see, and the shops are filled with holiday themed treats and souvenirs that are only available at Christmastime. Interesting fact: While the planning of the holidays takes months, the actual redecorating between Halloween and Christmas happens literally over night. Click here to watch a time lapse video of the transformation.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtA6TMACX0k
Photo courtesy of Christopher Roberts
10. New Year’s Eve at Disney.
If you’re able to visit the parks around The New Year you get 2 treats in one. The Parks will still be decorated for the holidays and you’ll be in one of the best places in the world for celebrating New Year’s as a family. The party starts at sundown and includes dance parties, free party favors and some of the most amazing fireworks you’ll ever see, all set to music. When you combine this with all the best attractions and holiday goodies it makes it a fabulous way to ring in the New Year.
Photo courtesy of Kristin Thompson Scroggin Is there any downside to visiting at Christmas? Well honestly, yes there is. First, it’s probably the busiest time of year and the parks can quickly reach capacity, so you need to go early and stay for the day to ensure you don’t miss out. Second, it’s also more expensive for flights and accommodation at that time of year.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Roberts
But, there are ways around these things. For instance, you could visit in early December when crowds aren’t as bad and prices are more reasonable while still enjoying all the magic they’ve created for the holidays. We’ve also written a ton of articles on how to save money on Disney trips and how to manage a visit to the parks during peak seasons. And, as always, Patricia, our official travel agent would be more than happy to help you plan your holiday getaway. So start planning to make some of the most magical Christmas memories you’ll ever have.