As many of you know whether having read about, seen, or only imagined, Disney goes all out for the winter holiday season. From throwing parties, decorating the entire property, and even firework displays, the parks, resorts, characters, and cast members get into the holiday spirit and really know how to have a good time. As many of my fellow Affordable Mouse writers have written about and shown you pictures of, Disney decorates everything. From garland and lights, to gingerbread creations. The characters get into their holiday attire and winter gear. Think Mickey in a top hat and Minnie in her best dress. Even the princesses don their cloaks and shawls. Nothing is left untouched to give every guest the feeling of the winter season even if it is still in the 80-degree weather.
All of the resorts are decorated with trees, lights, menorahs, and Stars of David. But there are a few resorts that have a little something extra, and these are not always little in the size sense. The Boardwalk, Grand Floridian, and Beach Club all have gingerbread displays. They are different at each resort and loaded with hidden Mickey’s. From carousels to a snowy village with a train running around it, to even a life size gingerbread house the Disney chef’s do an amazing job, you wouldn’t believe it was all edible. Personally I think that the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian is the most jaw dropping. It is a functioning store! A cast member is actually inside the gingerbread house selling guests gingerbread cookies, and smaller gingerbread houses through out the day!
Magic Kingdom hosts a Very Merry Christmas Party throughout the holiday season starting around Thanksgiving. There’s a Very Merry Christmas Parade, a special Wishes firework display, and hot chocolate and cookies on Main Street! As the sun goes down and the night goes on there’s even a chance of snow on Main Street! Christmas Day Magic Kingdom has a special firework display as well.
In Epcot you can meet Santa Claus, Saint Nicolas, Father Christmas, among other countries holiday gift givers. There are also opportunities to learn about Hanukah and kwanza as well. They also have the Candlelight Processional, which is held, at the America Garden Theatre. It features a choir and orchestra and tells the story of Christmas.
At Hollywood Studios there are lights set up everywhere you look. They host the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. They are primarily set up in the back lot and the lights twinkle and dance to holiday classics. They even decorate the Streets of America and Goofy has been known to be spotted walking the streets dressed as a certain someone in red and white. At Animal Kingdom they have a Jingle Jammin’ Parade where the characters are decked out in holiday gear and dancing and singing to holiday tunes.
Now Disney doesn’t just take care of getting the guests in the holiday spirit, Disney also looks out for their Cast Members. The different parks, resorts, and departments all hold different celebrations for their cast members but most of the time they celebrate the holidays a few weeks early because they are busy right around the holidays. Cast Member’s are treated to a giant feast with all kinds of food as a thank you from Disney. The Cast Member’s in their holiday spirit often get to wear holiday theme costumes during the parties that the different parks host.
Although you may not be down in Walt Disney World this holiday season you can be certain that they are not short on the holiday spirit. Between celebrations and parades, decorations and characters, even Cast Member only events. Disney also doesn’t condense their celebrations to a day or even a week, it goes on for a little over a month. No matter what holiday or holidays you celebrate Disney is more than accommodating. It is hard to be Uncle Scrooge once you are in the middle of the park, resort, or Disney property. Everywhere you look is a winter wonderland that makes you want to grab a hot chocolate and sing some carols. So while some of you are getting settled in to celebrate your holidays at home others are cozy celebrating with our favorite mouse. No matter what holiday you are celebrating I hope that all of you have a happy and healthy holiday season! Until next time my Affordable Mouse friends, keep your faith and trust, and allow Disney to provide the pixie dust!
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!