This year was the first time I was ever in Disney for the Christmas holidays, I had heard a lot of hype about what Disney does and it lived up to the hype!
The main holiday events are: Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at the Hollywood Studios. I will go into each of these in great depth later on (probably in the middle to later part of the year as people start planning their own holiday trips.) But aside from these events the parks and resorts are dressed up for the holidays too. I felt fully immersed in the holidays while I was there.
Very Merry Christmas Party - I thought this event was over priced, but it was still fun. They have some special characters for photographs (all 7 dwarves in one place for photos), cookies and hot chocolate, a special show in front of the castle, a special parade and special Wishes fireworks. With the reduced number of people in the park I found you didn't have to fight so hard for a spot for the parade, which was good since I waited an hour to see the 7 dwarfs. The park is magical at night, and even more so when you're not fighting with so many people and are listening to Christmas music, it really does make a difference. This is an event that would be fun to do every couple years, but not necessarily every year, unless you need a little push to get into the holiday spirit.
The Osborne Family Dancing Lights - I had heard about these, I had previously seen the Streets of America. But gosh darn it, these were just cool! I love Christmas lights, I love Christmas music - lights dancing to Christmas music = heaven in my book. But it was very crowded. I actually saw these twice, the first time I was taking photos with my tripod, between that and the crowds it was just cool. But when I went for a private viewing and didn't even have my camera - I was dancing in the streets and singing songs - I LOVED it!. I also finally had a chance to help Terye find the hidden Mickeys. But I guess if you don't like Christmas lights or Christmas music then this would be a waste, of course if that's the case you should probably go to Disney another time of year.
Candlelight Processional - This is another event I had heard great things about, and it was my favorite. It was void of gimmicks and was just about Christmas. A famous person does the narration (Edward James Olmos) of the Christmas story and then a choir (accompanied by an orchestra) sang the appropriate Christmas song. If you enjoy going to church and listening to the choir sing on Christmas you will LOVE this!
Holiday Story Tellers - These are at Epcot at World Showcase. Each country has a story teller that talks about holidays in their country. While I really enjoyed the Christmas ones, I also really enjoyed the ones that talked about other holidays - The Monkey King really stood out. The Christmas ones reminds us of where our traditions come from and the non-Christmas ones remind us that the world is different and people celebrate different holidays while we're opening the presents that Santa placed under our trees.
I did visit a few of the different resorts - Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, Saratoga Springs, Yacht and Beach Club and of course my home resort of Port Orleans French Quarter. The Grand Floridian was my favorite in terms of decorations - a gingerbread house that is big enough to be a store selling gingerbread - impressive. Every resort had trees, multiple trees - I think the ones at Yacht and Beach had the best theming.
The last few years I've had trouble getting myself into the holiday spirit. But by the end of the week in Disney, I couldn't get it out of my spirit. I loved spending the holidays in Disney. I was running around the park singing about baby jesus, what more could you want? Since I bought an annual pass I think I might try to sneak in a trip right after Thanksgiving next year before my pass expires!
- I'm a 30 something who loves to travel. I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels. I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt. I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney. My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.