If you could choose a time to the Walt Disney World Resort when it is the most magical, I would highly recommend choosing to go during the Christmas season.
Now I know that most of us have been trained to think “No, no, it’s too expensive to go then” but it’s simply not true. Why? Because you can enjoy all of the magic and wonder of the holidays without actually having to be in Disney ON the actual holiday (that’s when it gets expensive and super crowded).
The Christmas decorations go up pretty much right after Thanksgiving and if you thought walking around the parks was exciting before, you should try it when there are giant Christmas trees at every park entrance, in every hotel lobby, plus assorted holiday inspired decorations throughout the park. We tend to always visit Disney during the first two weeks of December. It originally started because my birthday is December 2nd, but after seeing how amazing the parks look, we just kept choosing to go back during that time frame.
I’ve done the comparison, I’ve gone at other times during the year and so I can honestly say that while a regular trip is awesome, seeing the way that Disney transforms the parks is just amazing. The attention to detail is mind boggling; the magic is everywhere. From music playing throughout the parks to tiny wreaths and other little touches, down to the most minute of details in every store and every place you turn.
Then there is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While this is a completely separate event than your vacation itself (you need to purchase tickets separately) the event is a holiday treat. It snows on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, you are treated to a special Christmas themed parade (which airs as part of a TV special) and you get complimentary cookies and cocoa throughout the night. There are snowflake lights projected on to Splash Mountain as well as other ornaments projected on to the sides of attractions.
At Epcot, you have the Candlelight Processional is a special holiday event held nightly at the America Gardens Theater as part of Holidays Around The World. The event retells the stirring story of Christmas with a special celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir. Even if you don’t get in to the theater (it is an outdoor one) you can stand out in World Showcase and see and hear everything.
Over at Hollywood Studios there is the Osborne Spectacle of Lights. I have to admit, I enjoyed this more when it was part of the original backlot tour (when you used to see all of the houses that were props in TV shows and movies) but it is still a sight to see with over a million twinkly lights ablaze and synchronized to holiday music on the Streets of America.
And if you are still looking for more? Tour the resorts. Over at the Grand Floridian you will find a life-size ginger bread house along with a spectacular tree in the middle of the lobby that is over two stories tall. Hop the monorail over to the Polynesian Resort and you just might find displays of specially made ginger bread houses (of the normal size) but are created by some of Disney’s most creative bakers.
So you see, a vacation to the Walt Disney World resort is always going to be magical, but being there during the holiday season, just makes it so much more!