Welcome to those of you joining me from COLORADO MOUNTAINMOM and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.
Mary Ann and I have visited Walt Disney World in every season, but there is no better time than during the Christmas celebration in the parks and the resorts at the happiest place on earth. And the best time to celebrate Christmas at Disney is after Thanksgiving and before mid-December. Here are 12 reasons in no particular order (and I've never seen a partridge in a pear tree in Animal Kingdom).
- Christmas at Disney runs from near the start of November through the actual Christmas holidays. You have nearly two months to find a convenient time to attend. The expanse of activity, decoration, entertainment and fun throughout Walt Disney World is therefore available almost one-sixth of the calendar year to put you in the holiday spirit.
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (a hard-ticket event) is repeated many times over that period. It hosts a special Christmas Parade and fireworks show, hot chocolate and cookies, pictures with Santa, snow on Main Street and much more. Check out the Disney web site this year for an interactive selection of videos.
- The Epcot Storytellers. It’s just wonderful enjoying the costumed players telling us about the holidays in their home nations. I love live entertainment at Walt Disney World which is out in force for the holidays.
- The Candlelight Processional (see photo above) in the American Gardens Theatre at the far end of Epcot’s World Showcase is a must see for everyone. This year from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30, there are 13 different narrators, over a 100 vocalists and a 50-piece orchestra presenting the Christmas Story. It’s free (with Park admission), and there are three performances nightly (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 pm), but the lines will be long so you must get there very early (at least an hour before) to attend any show. You could participate in a Dinner Package to insure a seat (but still need to arrive early), and it just might be the best thing do.
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios (see photo below) is simply an amazing spread of five million lights, great music, and wonderful holiday displays. This too is free with admission to the Park.
- The crowds are in your favor late November and Early December. For example, Touring Plans Crowd Calendar projects overall levels between 2 and 4 (out of 10) during the last four days of November. During the first 16 days of December, crowd levels include 11 days at 1, 2 or 3 and never over 6. You’ll still wait a while for the most popular attractions (i.e. Toy Story Mania, Sourin’, Peter Pan), but walk right on many, many others.
- The price is also in your favor late November and Early December. Since this is also one of the lowest attendance times of the year, it’s a time that Disney offers specials, such as Free Dining this year. I’m expecting to also see a room-only discount but that hasn’t yet been announced. Going during the “Fall Season” and staying at a “Value Resort” is a good plan. And there are no holiday surcharges at restaurants on property.
- Decorations are extensive and at times, enormous including some of the tallest and well-decorated Christmas trees you’ll every encounter; my favorites include Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge (and all 1,300 on property). The Magic Kingdom, especially Main Street, will take your breath away during the Christmas season. All the resort hotels get in the spirit, but especially the Deluxe Resorts. (Bring extra memory cards for your camera).
- Cinderella's Holiday Wish and Castle Dream Lights production is a special nightly show in the Magic Kingdom from early November to year-end, and which features the ice-like blanketing of the Castle.
- The life-size creations cooked-up by Disney Chefs including a 16-foot-tall gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa baked with 1,050 pounds of honey and involving more than 160 hours of decorating; and a life-size gingerbread carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort featuring ponies made of chocolate and fondant, giant candy cane poles, handcrafted poinsettias and hand-painted portraits of famous Disney characters
- The weather… it's not hot and humid, but very reasonable to walk around and enjoy the day and evening. A light coat or sweater for the evening normally suffices, and rarely is their rain in the afternoon. Disney resort pools are heated so even swimming back at your hotel is something to look forward to.
- Many guests at Fort Wilderness are there for an extended period, and will extensively decorate their campsites in the holiday spirit. And not just a simple string of lights, but entire yards full and massive village-type displays. Blogger RandyOjeda brings us some pictures and a video which should encourage you to visit (boat from the Magic Kingdom is best).
I’m sure I missed some of your favorites from the Christmas season so let us know. And Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is GROWING UP DISNEY.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard: