Christmas at the Disney Parks
During the winter season, holiday spirit can be found everywhere in Disney World. Each place celebrates in its own unique way.
In the Magic Kingdom, bows and fake pine are tied and draped over every available surface. Christmas music floats from unseen speakers.
At night, those who pay extra for tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can stay at the park for an extra 5 hours to ride rides and view Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Dozens of bright floats loaded with Disney characters dressed for the holidays, and even Santa himself, roll by while paper “snow” drifts to the ground. Free cookies and hot chocolate are distributed throughout the park during the night.
Before the parade, the castle is lit up in icy blue and white lights draped like icicles. After the parade, the Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks display explodes in the sky.
In Epcot, each country celebrates according to their culture. In Germany, the tradition of hiding a pickle ornament in the tree and giving a special gift to the one who finds it is displayed in a shop. In Japan, “street vendors” tell stories behind Japanese New Year traditions, like the Daruma. In Norway, storytellers tell tales of mischievous gnomes. Even in Future World, Christmas tunes replace the usual Epcot theme.
The main event takes place back in World Showcase, though, at the American Adventure Pavilion. The Candlelight Processional is a spectacular show taking place three times a night that features a retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity guest and religious carols played by a 50 piece orchestra and sung by a skilled choir bearing candles.
Every night at Hollywood Studios, the Streets of America come to life. In the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, millions of lights blanket every surface. Some are shaped into reindeer, trees, angels, and stars. Every 10 minutes, Christmas carols play and the lights dance to the music, spinning and blinking rapidly.
Animal Kingdom doesn’t do as much for the holidays as some parks, but at Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade animal puppets, stiltwalkers, Disney characters, and safari trucks decorated for Christmas make their way through the park to holiday music with a new beat.
Wherever in the parks you choose to go, you’ll find a great way to celebrate the holidays this season.
Kathryn Blanco is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.
All photos courtesy and copyright Kathryn Blanco