Celebrating the Holidays at the Happiest Place on Earth

Walt Disney Resort

I want to thank Disney for hosting my family and me at the Walt Disney World Resort, where we spent a magical time filled with pixie dust.

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The holiday season is one of my favorite times to visit Walt Disney World® Resort. The Walt Disney World® theme parks and Walt Disney World® Resort hotels are decked out with fantastic holiday decorations, there are lots of special events across property and you can find delicious holiday treats in many different places. Spending time at Walt Disney World® Resort with the family during the holidays is a truly unforgettable and magical experience that gets you into the Christmas spirit.   

Holidays At Magic Kingdom® Park 

Nowhere are the holidays more magical than at Magic Kingdom® Park. Starting in November and through the end of December, the Cinderella Castle glimmers brightly with what appears to be glistening icicles for an enchanting winter wonderland effect that takes your breath away. Elsa is responsible for the frozen magic of the Castle Dream Lights, which serves as the backdrop for a special holiday show featuring characters from the hit movie "Frozen." 

One of the highlights of the holiday season at Walt Disney World® Resort is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom® Park. During this extraordinary party, you can enjoy Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration show in front of the castle, special Holiday Wishes fireworks nightly and special character appearances as well as favorite characters dressed up in their best holiday attires. A special holiday event at Magic Kingdom® Park would not be complete without a holiday parade. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade fills the streets with spectacular holiday-themed floats, dancing gingerbread men, Santa and his reindeer along with favorite Disney characters dressed up in holiday costumes. You can even enjoy “snowfall” on Main Street before the parades and at the end of the evening.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place on select dates from November 9 to December 22. You will need to purchase a separate ticket to attend, and ticket prices vary depending on the day you plan on attending. This special event starts at 7 p.m. and goes on until midnight. You can enter the park at 4 p. m. and enjoy your favorite rides before the party starts.

Celebrating the Holidays at Epcot®

Visiting Epcot® during the holiday season is a real treat! You will have the opportunity to experience holiday traditions from different cultures at 11 World Showcase nations during the Holidays Around the World at Epcot® taking place from November 24 to December 30. I find learning about holiday traditions from different parts of the world so interesting and exciting, and as you walk from one nation’s pavilion to the next, you will find yourself surrounded by the music and flavors from cultures near and far, and you will get the opportunity to witness performers as they bring their country’s holiday traditions to life. I love that my kids were able to learn as they heard the stories about Pere Noel in France, Julenissen in Norway, La Befana in Italy and even our own tradition of Los Tres Reyes in Mexico.  For our family, holiday traditions and food are closely intertwined, and we were so excited about finding favorite traditional dishes like tamales, Three Kings Bread and coquitos at the Three Kings Feast Marketplace (open through January 5). We also loved sampling traditional holiday dishes from around the world, like duck confit and dumplings at the Alpine Haus Marketplace, Williams Punch from Germany, chocolate honey baklava in Morocco, panettone in Italy and buche de Noel au chocolat in France!

One of the most inspiring holiday events is the Candlelight Processional. This is not to be missed if you like choir music and enjoy the traditional Christmas story. During the Candlelight Processional, celebrity narrators retell the Christmas as a mass choir performs seasonal melodies along a 50-piece live orchestra. The best way to see this special show is to a special dinner package.

During the winter holiday season, Epcot® IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime show gets a special holiday makeover, which includes holiday greetings in native languages from the countries of World Showcase sharing a universal message of “peace on Earth and goodwill to men.”

Holidays At The Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels 

The Walt Disney World® Resort hotels celebrate the holiday season with merry décor, fun activities and music, including carolers, choirs and musicians in many of the resort lobbies. All the Disney resorts have spectacular holiday displays, and each hotel has a tree decorated in theme with the resort. Among the fantastic decorations are the edible holiday displays, created by the amazing Walt Disney World Resort pastry chefs. In the lobby of the Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you will find a detailed, life-sized gingerbread carousel, while the Disney’s Contemporary Resort boasts a huge gingerbread Christmas tree! Our favorite is the life-sized gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. It’s beautiful and it makes you feel like you just walked straight into a fairytale. 

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit At Disney Springs® 

From mid-November through the first week of January, the Disney Springs® area is filled with holiday cheer. Disney-themed Christmas trees lighten up the Christmas Trail, and you can enjoy holiday carolers and holiday toy soldier stilt walkers and meet Santa and Santa Goofy. There’s even a holiday dance party!

Holiday Treats

Many of the restaurants at Walt Disney World® Resort will feature special holiday items in their menus. The holidays are even sweeter when you enjoy the amazing and creative holiday Disney treats! Some of our favorite treats include peppermint holiday cupcakes, Mickey gingerbread men, peppermint bark and yule log as well as the frozen s’mores drink. We also love to see the amazing edible displays in some of the Walt Disney World® Resort hotels, like the giant gingerbread creations usually found at the Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the life-size chocolate holiday Santa scene showcased in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel. Constructed entirely of chocolate, this life-sized sculpture weighs in at approximately 2,000 pounds!

Surprise your family this upcoming winter with Disney for a magical experience. Create memories for a lifetime along with Mickey and friends. This is an experience they will be excited about for years to come.