When you think of Disney World at Christmas, does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy or severely anxious and stressed? If you love Christmas, Disney is one of the most magical places at that time of the year; however it’s the holiday season and can therefore be crowded which can lead to increased stress for some families.
I grew up vacationing to Disney every few years and have carried on that tradition with my family. A couple of years ago I decided to put my love and knowledge for Disney to work and became a certified travel planner with Smart Moms Travel Agency, LLC. Here are some of my “fun facts and fairy dust” about Disney at Christmas.
Disney starts decorating for Christmas on November 1st. So on October 31st the Magic Kingdom is still spookily decorated for Halloween with Mickey pumpkins and more; then by the time you wake up on November 1st it has completely transformed into a magical Christmas winter wonderland!! It even “snows” at night along Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom and a magnificent Christmas tree greets you as you enter the park.
Lindsay with her husband, Tommy, and sons, Blake and Alex, at the Magic Kingdom for Christmas in 2016 and then again in 2018
Two of the most important things to determine when planning a vacation to Disney are the dates you want to go as well as your budget (specifically what you want to spend on park tickets and hotel accommodations). Early November and early December are usually the least crowded times during the Christmas season. Disney offers three levels of resorts: value, moderate, and deluxe. They range in price based on level of amenities and luxuries.
Once your trip to the happiest place on earth is booked, the fun of planning what do while you are there with your family is next. One of the top things to do is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is an after hours special ticketed event at the Magic Kingdom that sells a limited number of tickets so you can enjoy the park with less crowds. It takes place on select nights in November and December and is filled with enchanted activities such as: an amazing Christmas parade, dance parties with the characters, sweet treats for snacking, a holiday themed show in front of the castle; Christmas fireworks, character meet and greet, holiday overlays on the rides, and more!
Mickey and Minnie greeting guests during the Very Merry Christmas Parade
The Candlelight Processional at the America Pavilion in Epcot is another fan favorite during the holiday season. This show features a celebrity special guest who reads the Christmas story while a magnificent choir sings and an orchestra plays Christmas carols and more. It is truly a spectacular and captivating performance. Also in Epcot is The Festival of the Holidays in the World Showcase which features booths with unique foods and beverages that specific country. You can literally eat and drink your way around the world!
Blake (left) and Alex (right) meeting Santa at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Here are some other festive activities to seek out around Disney World during the holiday season:
• Taking the Christmas tree stroll through Disney Springs
• Meeting Santa at Hollywood Studios
• Visiting the iconic gingerbread house at The Grand Floridian
• Enjoying a seasonal character dining meal with Minnie and friends at Hollywood and Vine
• Indulging in ALL of the holiday treats and cocktails
• Hopping around the resorts to admire the beautiful holiday decorations including the Christmas trees at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge
• Wearing fun (and maybe matching or coordinating) holiday outfits with your family while taking in the magic of the memories being made
Lindsay and her family in front of the magnificent Christmas tree and life-size gingerbread house (located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)
My biggest piece of advice for Disney vacations is that you know your family and what works well for you on a daily basis, so I encourage you to approach Disney with that mindset. For example, if your kids like to sleep in then let them sleep in and maybe stay a little later at the parks since you might get a later start to the day….or if your kids need to nap then take a break in the middle of the day to do so. To make sure your trip flows and you aren’t wasting your time (and therefore your money), you do need a basic plan of what you want to do each day. However, know that there will be snags along the way requiring you to pivot those plans and just “let it go” if needed.
The Dobbs family (Lindsay, Alex, Blake, and Tommy) on their most recent vacation to the Magic Kingdom in October 2022
While Disney World is truly magical for kids of all ages and at any time of year…it can definitely be overwhelming for some families to even think about planning a trip there, especially around the holidays. What a lot of people don’t realize is that Disney has a travel planner’s fee built into their prices whether you use one or not. So my services are FREE to you when you book and plan your trip with ME!!!
You can also find me on Instagram at https://instagram.com/dancing.
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