As a child, Christmas was always the time of year for wonder and magic. From gazing at the twinkling lights on the tree and admiring beautifully wrapped packages with bows, to hot chocolate and Christmas stories. There is something special about Christmas that makes you feel all warm and cozy inside. As adults, some of that “magic” tends to fade. But there is nothing like spending Christmas at Walt Disney World to bring back all those childhood feelings, making you feel just as special and excited as you did when you were waiting for Santa as a kid.

Spending Christmas at Disney World - and sporting my Minnie-ear Santa hat (which Josh is not so much a fan of).

Spending Christmas at Disney World – and sporting my Minnie-ear Santa hat (which Josh is not so much a fan of).

 

Feel the Magic as an Adult – Spending Christmas at Disney World!

Some people might think it’s strange to want to visit a theme park on a holiday. But Christmas at Disney World (and the Magic Kingdom park in particular) is not like your typical theme park. Disney is all about the magic. And they have the unique ability to even make adults feel like kids and believe in the magic. That’s pretty special to me.  All adults want to feel the way they did when they were kids at Christmas, right?!?!

Wearing our Christmas gear, including Santa hats with Mickey ears, we enter the Magic Kingdom park and are greeted with snow falling on main street. Yes, snow. It is snowing, while it is actually 80 degrees outside. That’s the magic of Disney.

decorated lamp post

 

Christmas Ambiance Doesn’t Get Any Better Than at Disney!

Sparkling decorations span main street, and ornaments are draped on anything that is stationary. A large Christmas tree dots the end of the street, and holiday music fills the air. The decorations are beautiful during the day, but at night the lights make them spectacular. The castle, in particular, is completely covered in sparkling lights that twinkle like a giant star!

Cinderella's Castle is covered with thousands of lights that change color - to look like sparkling ice!

Cinderella’s Castle is covered with thousands of lights that change color – to look like sparkling ice!

Special Shows and Parades for Christmas at Disney

Just walking around in the park will fill you with the Christmas spirit and put a smile on your face. Drinking hot chocolate, and having goodies like holiday cookies, ice cream, candied apples, etc. brings out the kid in all of us (and gives us quite a sugar high!).

We really enjoy taking a break from the rides to watch the special holiday shows, such as “Twas the Night Before Christmas” or “Rudolph” which have all the Disney characters playing the parts in humorous ways.  We also love the special holiday parade that includes a troop of life-size toy soldiers doing a choreographed dance. You will never see a holiday parade this awesome anywhere else!

** If you cannot visit on Christmas Day (which tends to be crowded anyway), visit earlier in December and attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!  You will get to see all the special shows and parades before the actual holiday.  So you can spend Christmas at Disney, as well as at home.

Life-size toy soldiers march in unison at Disney's Christmas parade!

Life-size toy soldiers march in unison at Disney’s Christmas parade!

Later at night, we stand at the end of main street, sipping our hot chocolate, and watching the most spectacular holiday fireworks show that you will see!  Special surprises during the show include fireworks that surround the park (literally) and are perfectly synchronized with the holiday music. It is tough to describe how awesome it feels to be completely surrounded with fireworks, everywhere you turn. No one puts on a fireworks show like Disney. And being there with your friends and family is enough to bring a tear of happiness to your eyes.

Christmas fireworks at Disney are some of the best fireworks you will ever see!

Christmas fireworks at Disney are some of the best fireworks you will ever see!

Christmas at Disney’s Other Theme Parks

The good thing about visiting Disney World in Florida is that there are many other theme parks to visit besides the Magic Kingdom!  We love experiencing the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as Epcot for their “Holidays Around the World” and the incredible “Candlelight Processional” show.

But if you can’t visit Disney World in Florida for Christmas, then there are special holiday events happening at Disneyland in California and other parks around the world.  Click here to read more about Christmas festivities at all Disney theme parks!

Staying at a Disney Resort for Christmas is a Real Treat

While visiting the Disney Parks over Christmas is a blast, spending Christmas at a Disney Resort is a must!  Just like the parks, the resorts are decked out with beautiful holiday decorations and lights.  You will also find special attractions and activities at some of the resorts, such as the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian or the festivities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Staying at these resorts will help you maximize your Disney experience, and give you a break from the crowded parks.  The last thing you want is to spend your day full of holiday cheer at Disney, and then go back to a boring resort across town! 

Read our post about why staying at a Disney Resort during Christmas is the BEST!

The homemade gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian Resort - Christmas at Disney!

The homemade gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian Resort – Christmas at Disney!

Christmas at Disney Beyond the Theme Parks

Another thing to keep in mind when planning to spend Christmas at Disney World is just how many other things there are to do outside the theme parks.  Whether you decide to do some resort hopping, go visit a water park, play mini-golf, or do some Christmas shopping at Downtown Disney.  You will definitely want to include some time away from the parks for rest and relaxation.  If you do nothing but theme parks during your whole trip, you will get worn out quick.

Check out our post about things to do for Christmas at Disney beyond the theme parks!

Downtown Disney at Night

Downtown Disney at Night during Christmas

Disney at Christmas is a Family Memory of a Lifetime

Spending Christmas at Disney is a very special family memory that everyone will share for years to come. And many families, such as ours, have such a wonderful time that they make it a family tradition to go to Disney every year for Christmas. And it doesn’t have to be over the actual Christmas holiday, but even the weeks leading up to Christmas can be just as special (and less crowded).

In fact, we have visited Disney many times during the holidays and we never tire of it. Even though we’ve seen it before, we can’t help but get excited to return. Just the thought of the ambiance and decorations is enough to get us excited about another trip. And each year as our family changes and gets bigger, it is another chance to create more memories with the ones that we love.

Have You Visited Disney over the Christmas Holidays?

Please share what you love about it in the comments below!

 

 

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