Holidays around Orlando: Walt Disney World

| November 30, 2009

It’s that special time of year at Walt Disney World.  Slowly over the last several weeks the parks and resorts have come alive with the Christmas Spirit.

The first park to be decorated for Christmas was the Magic Kingdom. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party debuted November 10, 2009.  It didn’t feel much like Christmas since it rained most of the evening. Disney decided that they would offer people the chance to exchange their tickets or use them as a one day Magic Kingdom ticket because so many of the events were rained out. I didn’t want to miss the party so I exchanged my ticket for another Christmas party several days later. We took out our trusty park map to decide what to see first.

The night starts with the Holiday Wish stage show and the Castle Dreamlights! Even if you aren’t attending the Christmas party you can watch the show and the castle lighting.

We moved on to Tomorrowland and the Rockettower Stage. We watched the new A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show. This show replaced ‘Twas the Night before Christmas in Tomorrowland.  We thought the new show was a keeper.  It wasn’t a show filled with traditional music but thought it fit in well here.

It was then time for the Christmas Parade.  The streets were already lined with guests waiting for the parade to start. They do run the parade twice so you may want to wait for the second parade as the crowds will be lower.

The Christmas Tree at the Magic Kingdom will be up on December 7, 2009.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios decorations start before you enter the park.  You can’t help but stop and take some pictures of the beautiful Christmas tree out front.

Once you are inside you will find it is very festive with all the Christmas decorations. This is my way to celebrate.  I find I don’t need snow and cold weather to feel the holiday spirit.

Don’t forget to come back at night for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. This is a must do event for our family.  Just be prepared for crowds.  If you get there when it opens for the evening it can be crowded but it does thin out later in the evening.  Every several songs the lights dance to the music. In between you can enjoy the “snow” falling. Be sure to walk around and look for the Hidden Mickey’s in the displays. I have more pictures of the Osborne Lights in a past blog.

Epcot was always my favorite at Christmas time.  This year I am sad that they decided to remove the Lights of Winter, the lighted archway between Future World and World Showcase.  I loved to sit and watch the lights and listen to the music.  They have added something new this year with a choir named D’Vine Voices. You might want to take some time out of your park touring to enjoy this Gospel group. It takes place at the Fountain Stage in Future World.

A perennial favorite at Epcot is the Candlelight Processional.  This is the story of the first Christmas in words and music. This year we did the dinner package that includes dining, preferred seating at the American Gardens Theatre, and a preferred viewing location for Illuminations. If you are considering the Candlelight Processional you might want to purchase the package.  That way you will know if you arrive on time that you will have a seat at the show. The show we went to featured Isabella Rosselini as the guest host.

Animal Kingdom also decorates their park for Christmas.  They have a special version of their afternoon parade.  For the holidays you are treated to the Jingle Jungle Parade.  You will see all the Disney characters as they go on safari for the holidays. There are plenty of good places around the park to view this parade.

If you have time I would recommend checking out the Disney resorts and their holiday decorations.  The carousel at the Beach Club is a must see!  This carousel is edible.

A stop at the Grand Floridian is mandatory to see the Gingerbread House.  The smell in the lobby reminds you of Grandma baking.

There is plenty to see and do at Christmas time at Walt Disney World.  Every resort is decorated with the theming used at that resort.  I still have more to see and do this holiday season.  Wish me luck I make it to all the resorts.  Happy Holidays!

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