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Walt Disney World During the Holidays

Updated on January 11, 2016

The Resorts

All of the Disney resorts do something for the holiday season. All of them. Some of the resorts have a plethora of Christmas trees and garland. These decorations are not your traditional Christmas ornaments and lights. Just like how the resorts all have their own themes so do their Christmas decorations.

At the Yacht club the tree and all of the garland in the lobby have different boats and ships has the ornaments. At Animal Kingdom Lodge the trees are adorned with African animals and different tribal objects. At the Grand Floridian different elegant birds decorate the tree. Many of the resorts even have Christmas lights and garland on the grounds around the resort and at the entry sign. The Old Key West resort has two pelicans with Christmas ornaments int their mouths greeting guests as they enter the resort, while Animal Kingdom Lodge has two giraffes. What I loved about the giraffes is at night they are light up with orange and yellow lights so that they really look like giraffes.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
One of the many Christmas trees around the resort at Kidani Village, the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge.The tree in the lobby at Wilderness Lodge has different animals and Native American themed objects.At Boardwalk there are many trees on the outside of the resort.At Boardwalk there are many holiday floral arrangements around the resort.There are several trees in the lobby at Boardwalk.The tree at Yacht Club is covered in different ships, which goes very well with the theme of the resort.The decorations at the Grand Floridian live up to the resort's name.The tree at the Grand Floridian is the larges of all the resort trees.
One of the many Christmas trees around the resort at Kidani Village, the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge.
One of the many Christmas trees around the resort at Kidani Village, the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge.
The tree in the lobby at Wilderness Lodge has different animals and Native American themed objects.
The tree in the lobby at Wilderness Lodge has different animals and Native American themed objects.
At Boardwalk there are many trees on the outside of the resort.
At Boardwalk there are many trees on the outside of the resort.
At Boardwalk there are many holiday floral arrangements around the resort.
At Boardwalk there are many holiday floral arrangements around the resort.
There are several trees in the lobby at Boardwalk.
There are several trees in the lobby at Boardwalk.
The tree at Yacht Club is covered in different ships, which goes very well with the theme of the resort.
The tree at Yacht Club is covered in different ships, which goes very well with the theme of the resort.
The decorations at the Grand Floridian live up to the resort's name.
The decorations at the Grand Floridian live up to the resort's name.
The tree at the Grand Floridian is the larges of all the resort trees.
The tree at the Grand Floridian is the larges of all the resort trees.

Gingerbread Art at the Resorts

Not only do some resorts have Christmas trees they have gingerbread art. What do I mean by that? At the deluxe resorts there is at least one piece of art that is composed entirely of gingerbread. At the Gand Floridian there is a gingerbread house that is big enough for people to stand in. As if that wasn't enough you can buy gingerbread singles and small gingerbread houses from the shop inside the giant gingerbread house. Want more? Take the monorail to the Contemporary. This year the art was a little more modern and themed from Frozen. I just loved that they had a place where you could buy different Frozen themed desserts. The Boardwalk also has a gingerbread complex that sells different gingerbread treats. Yacht and Beach Clubs have gingerbread complexes. This year the Polynesian did not have any gingerbread art due to the construction on the lobby.

The Gingerbread Carousel at Beach Club

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At the Boardwalk the gingerbread art is themed after ice-cream cones.Each side of the gingerbread complex as a different Disney character on the sign.You can get gingerbread cones. They taste amazing!The Beach Club had a carousel.The horses were just amazing!Next to each piece of gingerbread art there is a sign like this that says how much went into making the art.Does this little house look familiar? It should. Its the Oaken's Wandering Trading Post and Sauna from Frozen. The gingerbread art at the Contemporary. Its Olaf!Do you want to build a snowman? I just thought this was amazing!
At the Boardwalk the gingerbread art is themed after ice-cream cones.
At the Boardwalk the gingerbread art is themed after ice-cream cones.
Each side of the gingerbread complex as a different Disney character on the sign.
Each side of the gingerbread complex as a different Disney character on the sign.
You can get gingerbread cones. They taste amazing!
You can get gingerbread cones. They taste amazing!
The Beach Club had a carousel.
The Beach Club had a carousel.
The horses were just amazing!
The horses were just amazing!
Next to each piece of gingerbread art there is a sign like this that says how much went into making the art.
Next to each piece of gingerbread art there is a sign like this that says how much went into making the art.
Does this little house look familiar? It should. Its the Oaken's Wandering Trading Post and Sauna from Frozen.
Does this little house look familiar? It should. Its the Oaken's Wandering Trading Post and Sauna from Frozen.
The gingerbread art at the Contemporary.
The gingerbread art at the Contemporary.
Its Olaf!
Its Olaf!
Do you want to build a snowman?
Do you want to build a snowman?
I just thought this was amazing!
I just thought this was amazing!

Not Just Christmas

Of course its not just Christmas that is represented in the holiday decorations. The Jewish faith is presented in the form of menorahs and dreidels. There is also blue and white, typically associated with the Jewish faith, in many locations. One of the most prominent displays is at Disney's Hollywood Studios. There is an entire sections of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights that is for Hanukkah.

Walt Disney World

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Pro's and Con's of Visiting During the Holidays

Pro's

  • The decorations are amazing!
  • The shows are different
  • At EPCOT you can experience Christmas traditions from different cultures
  • There is holiday cheer everywhere
  • You can have hot chocolate and cookies while walking down Main St with snow falling!

Con's

  • The parks are crowded.
  • It can be a little overwhelming.
  • There is almost too much to do
  • The room rates at the resorts go up.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The giant Christmas tree outside of Disney Studios.The giant tree outside of Animal Kingdom.A close up look at the decorations of the Animal Kingdom tree.Some of the garland on one of the shops at Animal Kingdom.One of the many trees at the Magic Kingdom.Cinderella's Castle light up with millions of lights.The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
The giant Christmas tree outside of Disney Studios.
The giant Christmas tree outside of Disney Studios.
The giant tree outside of Animal Kingdom.
The giant tree outside of Animal Kingdom.
A close up look at the decorations of the Animal Kingdom tree.
A close up look at the decorations of the Animal Kingdom tree.
Some of the garland on one of the shops at Animal Kingdom.
Some of the garland on one of the shops at Animal Kingdom.
One of the many trees at the Magic Kingdom.
One of the many trees at the Magic Kingdom.
Cinderella's Castle light up with millions of lights.
Cinderella's Castle light up with millions of lights.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

Theme Park Decorations

Each theme park has its own set of Christmas decorations. The Magic Kingdom has classic traditional Christmas decorations with a little Disney twist. Animal Kingdom has the least amount of Christmas decorations. Why is that? Think about it. It doesn't exactly go with the theme of the park. Sure you will see garland adorned with different animals at the front of the park and near some of the shops, but you will not see any in Africa or Asia. At EPCOT you can experience Christmas around the world. Each of the countries celebrates Christmas in their own way and they decorate to show it. They also have demonstrations to show how their culture celebrates the day. Disney's Hollywood Studios has decorations to go with the different themes of the park, but all have a classic Hollywood feel.


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Theme Park Holiday Night Shows

Some of the theme parks even have night shows to go with the Holidays. At the Magic Kingdom you can see Elsa, Anna, and other favorites from Frozen light the lights on Cinderella Castle. The show is a little cheesy to be completely honest, but then again a lot of Disney shows are. The cheesiness makes it fun, in my opinion. The castle is light in millions of LED lights and looks like it has been covered in ice.

One of my favorite Holiday displays is at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is a display of millions of lights that are set to Christmas music. The display grows and changes every year. There is even snow that falls as you walk down the city streets. Word of warning: its not real snow so don't try to eat it. Trust me you will regret tasting it. The lights themselves are well worth staying at the park until close. And that is saying something. (If you have read any of my other articles you will know that this is my least favorite of the parks.)

The Candlelight Processional is on of the highlights of the holiday season at EPCOT. The Voices of Liberty, a group of Disney cast members, a large group of high school students, and a full orchestra perform classic Christmas songs live. To make it even better Disney brings in a celebrity moderator to read various Bible passages in between Christmas songs. I've been a performer and a member of the audience and I can tell you from experience that you want to see this show. I strongly recommend using the dining program to receive seating since this show is so popular and seating fills up quickly. For more information give 1-800-WDW-Dine and call.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

January 2016 Update

Sadly, 2015 was the last year for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Disney has not yet announced what will replace this much loved attraction, but I can only hope that it will I've up to its predecessor. I will keep you informed as soon as I find out more.

Downtown Disney

Even Downtown Disney gets in on the Holiday action. There are decorations everywhere and Christmas music playing. This is also the time of year when the Christmas store that is open year round is the most busy. This year the entrance of the Marketplace of Downtown Disney is Frozen theme (surprise, surprise). At the West Side of Downtown Disney and at Pleasure Island the Disney themed influence in the Christmas decorations is a little more subtle most have a very classic feel to them.

Honestly one of the reasons I love it all so much is because you can get that Christmas feel and enjoy the warm Florida weather. All in all it just makes Christmas feel a little more magical. Disney magical that is.

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