Many argue that beginning in November, both Florida’s theme parks and “The Happiest Place on Earth” in California feel even more special covered in garlands, ornaments, and wreaths galore. This year will be no exception as the holiday season touches down.
Graphic Created by Chelsea Matthews
The most famous holiday celebration at Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park. The twenty-one-night event features free cookies and hot cocoa to get guests in a festive mood, despite the decidedly warmer temperatures. There’s also a special parade featuring Mickey Mouse, classic Disney characters and, of course, Santa Claus himself. As families wander around the park to enjoy the special decorations, they can some meet characters that only come out to play seasonally. This year, for the first time, attendees will be able to meet Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from the incredibly popular film Zootopia. Finally, as the night comes to a close there will be a new stage show entitled Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration before the grand finale: Holiday Wishes Fireworks Spectacular.
Not to be outdone, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut its new nighttime entertainment called “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” . This spectacular will showcase projections on the park’s replica of the Chinese Theater, fireworks, and even a little snowfall. While many guests were disappointed to learn that last year was the final lighting of the much beloved Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights so the park can make way for new improvements, this new show will hopefully be a promising successor.
Just a boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios is EPCOT , where visitors to Walt Disney World can continue their holiday festivities. The Candlelight Processional is a classic favorite which highlights students from around the country singing classic Christmas carols. Each show is narrated by a celebrity, who tells the biblical Christmas story. This year’s lineup includes twelve celebrities, including long time host Neil Patrick Harris and Jodi Benson, the voice of Princess Ariel Disney’s The Little Mermaid. After enjoying the music, guests can sample various holidays treats as they wander through the twelve countries of EPCOT’s World Showcase. Similar to the offerings of the annual International Food and Wine Festival, EPCOT’s Holidays Around the World features booths of drinks and small plates that represent cultures across the globe. As with Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot ends the night with fireworks in a holiday version of its nightly show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
Of course, the holidays at Disney don’t end in the theme parks. Resorts around Disney join in the yuletide celebration, and make for a fun (and free) exploration when guests might be looking for a more relaxed vacation day. And Disney Springs is not to be forgotten, as this year marks the first for its trail of fifteen Disney themed trees, in addition it’s meet and greet with Santa Claus and a nightly tree lighting ceremony.
Needless to say, anyone hoping to experience a little bit of pixie dust over the holiday season will find no shortage of things to do at the Walt Disney World resort.