Where & How to Celebrate Christmas at Disney Resorts

Cinderella Castle Closeup | Image Source: Aloha75 on Flickr, used and modified under Creative Commons 2.0


If you have never visited a Disney Resort during the month of December, you are missing out on a really grand experience! Disney completely transforms their parks into holiday wonderlands, with new decorations and experiences around every corner. And if you think you’ve seen all the holiday offerings Disney has to offer, there are some new additions this year that will make the Frozen fans especially happy. Here’s a review of what you can expect to see and do if you want to celebrate Christmas at Disney theme parks for the holidays this year!

Once again, the popular Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns to Walt Disney World in Florida this year. This separate ticketed event takes place on select evenings at Magic Kingdom park, and features a special holiday parade, dance party, and character visits, and your little ones can even tell Santa your holiday wish list (“more Elsa dolls, please”)! Aside from the party, every evening guests of the Magic Kingdom can watch A Frozen Holiday Wish, a new holiday show featuring Elsa, Anna, and all your favorites from Frozen. At the end of the show, Elsa transforms Cinderella’s Castle into a sparkling ice palace.

Visitors to EPCOT can witness the magical Candlelight Processional, where the story of Christmas is told by a celebrity narrator along with an orchestra and choir of singers. This year’s scheduled narrators include Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid). And over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can view the dazzling Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, comprised of millions of twinkling lights set to holiday music. Finally, visit the hotels of Walt Disney World to view unique Christmas trees and HUGE gingerbread houses! Last year the gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort was over sixteen feet tall!

At Disneyland in California, one of the most popular holiday attractions is the amazing transformation of It’s a Small World into It’s a Small World Holiday. It’s fun to see the holiday traditions of the different countries and hear “Jingle Bells” in all those languages! And if you missed Haunted Mansion Holiday during Halloweentime, you can still catch this spirited and slightly spooky version of Haunted Mansion through December. Other popular holiday attractions are Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, covered in thousands of twinkling lights to mimic snow, and Believe…in Holiday Magic fireworks show. The popular A Christmas Fantasy Parade returns with a new addition—a Frozen float featuring Anna and Elsa will be sure to delight the crowd. Finally, be sure to stop by Big Thunder Ranch for the Jingle Jangle Jamboree to watch a fun show and meet some famous characters donning their winter wear!

Across the way at Disney California Adventure, you can view some new Frozen themed sections of World of Color – Winter Dreams and show off your best moves on the ice at Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink in Downtown Disney.

If you’re visiting either Walt Disney World or Disneyland, don’t forget the limited-time snacks! At Disneyland I’ve already spotted candy cane ice cream at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and holiday cupcakes at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe! After all, what is the Christmas season without a few extra calories?


Toy Soldiers | Image Source: aloha75 on Flickr, used and modified under Creative Commons 2.0

Have you visited a Disney Resort during the holidays? What is your favorite thing to do or see (or eat)?

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