ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Happy Walt Disney World Resort Holidays - Christmas Happenings at 4 Parks

Updated on July 14, 2011

The Walt Disney World Resort is world (pun intended) renowned for its all year fun, through rain, shine, and cold weather. What kid does not love an affectionate hug from Mickey Mouse and all the Disney Characters you can name? What adult does not dream of being married at this versatile family vacation destination that is perfect for honeymoons? What Disney fan does not love planning a trip there?

Of course, one of the most magical times of the year to visit the Vacation Kingdom is Christmas. Cast Members annually cloak the four parks into festive hues of red, silver, green, and gold. Disney Characters dress in seasonal scarves and Yuletide frocks. Festive instrumental and vocal music from speakers fill the enchanted air. Where else besides Walt Disney World can you spend your magical, happy holidays?

Cookies, Cocoa, Snow, and an Ice Castle

The Magic Kingdom is the heart of the Christmas revels at Walt Disney World, especially with the ever-iconic Cinderella Castle as the centerpiece. Speaking of the castle, it becomes one draped with luminous icicles, known as the Castle Dream Lights, at night.

On select evenings from November through December, this wonderful theme park hosts its annual Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Guests can see some snow falling on Main Street USA, watch the stage shows, see the fireworks display Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, eat complementary cookies and drink free cocoa, and meet some of their favorite Disney peeps. For those who love to ride at night, the park opens select attractions for them to enjoy.

Also, they can watch a fabulous procession with a surprise appearance by Santa Claus, Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade. Save your cash for this event, though - it's a separate-admission one. If you can't afford to see the Christmas Parade, go to this park on days not designated for the festivities.

Global Holidays and True Meanings

Is Epcot free from all the Christmas hoopla just because it's largely an adult-oriented park? Definitely not - besides the decor of the annual time, it hosts a large event called Holidays Around the World. Each World Showcase pavilion shows you its version of Christmas (or other winter holiday) in its respective nation culture and folklore via storytelling. As part of the annual festival, the Candlelight Processional features an orchestra and a massed choir, respectively playing and singing seasonal music.

To add to the magic, a celebrity narrator tells the story of Jesus Christ's birth. Who says that Walt Disney World leaves out the important element of Christmas that Christians come to know? If you worry about Christmas becoming too politically correct or if you as a Christian just need a break from the secular aspects of Christmas, just head on down to American Gardens Theater on select nights and marvel at the story of the holiday's true meaning. Best of all, it comes with your admission or pass.

Tip: be sure to arrive at least an hour before watching this spectacle. Alternatively, save your money to pay for any Candlelight Dinner Package - it will save you time and dinner costs!

Lights, Camera, and More Festive Lights!

This particular event known as the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Disney's Hollywood Studios has a quite interesting history. In the 80's, Breezy Osborne (the sixth child, with the previous five deceased by miscarriages) asked her parents to decorate her house in Little Rock, Arkansas, for Christmas.

The display increased in size until 1993, when visitors worldwide flocked to see it. That raised a huge stink among the Osbornes' neighbors (citing heavy traffic), and they sued them in court a year later. The court ruled the display as a public nuisance and it all but canceled permanently, causing the news media to report on the loss of those magical lights. Another year later, Walt Disney World offered the family in helping them move their once-distraction to fellow neighbors to the park of showbiz and Disney magic and the rest was history.

History aside, this display features millions of lights synced to music on the Streets of America, with angels, carousels, and of course, Mickey himself. This wonder also comes with standard admission, so you don't have to pay an extra arm or leg to be dazzled.


Christmas in Africa?

Although Disney's Animal Kingdom has no Christmas events in particular, you can still enjoy the decorations as well as ride the attractions. Of course, a version of Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade, Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade, draws the holiday-celebrating crowds to the curbs. This procession set to holiday tunes with an African air includes your favorite Disney Characters, large animal puppets, festive jeeps, and much more. If you are visiting this park during the holidays, make sure you watch this parade for a unique spin. A safari caravan of animals and characters and the holidays mix together!

Remember: Crowds are HORRORIFIC on Christmas Day!

What About Crowds?

I know, I know - Christmas is going to get too darn crowded, especially on the day proper.

Of course, some people who go to the parks dead on that day are not aware that they will face a whole lot of disappointment when they enter. That means that they will face long lines on everything: rides, shows, food, and even bathrooms. The atmospheres on either park on Christmas Day or the days surrounding it (New Year's included) are like mob scenes rather than venues of holiday magic.

Well, I was one of those who learned the hard way not to do Disney dead on Christmas. As a girl who flew from my native New Jersey to meet cousins in Florida, I decided to go to the parks. That happened after the day the hospital discharged me after recovering from food poisoning. But I did not expect what made me ride the fewest rides that day in the Magic Kingdom.

I saw swells of crowds packing the park to the brim, and the fact that it was Christmas Day was just part of the problem. Walt Disney World celebrated its 25th anniversary at the time (in 1996), and the revels (including Cinderella-Castle-as-cake) just added to the crowd-related aggravation. There were long lines for everything! For instance, my cousin, parents, and I tried to have our first ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but the line was so long. Thus, we only went to "it's a small world" and Snow White's Scary Adventures.

Despite passing the time with entertaiment and parades, I learned from that day forward that Walt Disney World's parks are not good places to spend Christmas Day.

Tips for an Enjoyable Disney Christmas

Experiences aside, here are ways to manage crowds during the holiday season:

  • If you really don't mind the Christmas creep, go in November a week before Thanksgiving. It's generally less crowded and you get to experience the wonders of Christmas without grief. Also, go between the Monday after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas Day too.
  • Grab FASTPASSES early. Turismos start going to the parks in December as South Americans start their summer vacations, primarily the Brazilian tour groups. Also, the Pop Warner Little Scholar championships participants (most notoriously the dancers and cheerleaders) enjoy them too.
  • Arrive to the parks at least a half-hour early and go to the left side.
  • Take breaks from the parks at midday by returning to your accommodations and return in the late afternoon. (Count yourself lucky if you stay at a Disney resort - they offer excellent Christmas decorations too!)

If you are going to Walt Disney World for the holidays, I wish you a safe and fun merry Christmas!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • EverythingMouse profile image


      10 years ago

      Christmas is one of my favorite times to visit!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)