Reasons To Spend the Holidays at Walt Disney World
by: Christy Todd, Travel Consultant for Playtime Vacations
The holidays at Walt Disney World are one of the most magical times of year! Everywhere you turn there are lights, decorations, joyful people and if you look close enough…..a sprinkling of pixie dust!
Disney World offers lots of different ways to experience and celebrate the holidays with them. There are special sights, sounds, smells, activities and performances all over the Disney resort area.
One popular, and glitzy, holiday celebrations has been The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing lights. This has been at home in the Disney’s Hollywood Studios since 1995. This light display has been wowing and entertaining adults and children for 20 years! It was started in a town in Arkansas by a gentleman who grew up without lights on his house. At the request of his daughter he started putting lights on their house at Christmas time and each year it grew bigger and bigger. Eventually he purchased the houses on either side of him to accommodate the growing display. The Disney Company heard of his display and asked him to share it at their theme park. That partnership brought joy to many who have visited the Disney Hollywood Studios at the holiday time.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights includes 5 million lights. It includes light displays, lights strung on buildings and over head and yard displays (it also includes 43 hidden Mickey’s!). As you walk through the display the lights are set to “dance” to holiday music. Occasionally it will snow on you to as you meander along the streets. Sixty six snow machines are placed throughout and Hot Chocolate is sold to sip on as you enjoy the sights and sound of the holidays. It truly is a Spectacle to see! Although this year marks the last year of the light display you can still catch it before it is over! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights runs through January 03, 2016!
At EPCOT there is the Disney’s Candlelight Processional performed each evening through the end of December. The Candlelight Processional is a breathtaking retelling of the Christmas Story. An amazing choir and a 50 piece orchestra magnificently bring the story to life. It is narrated by celebrity guests such as Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg and Gary Sinise. This performance will leave you speechless.
EPCOT also offers Holiday’s around the World. In the World Showcase area of Epcot each country shares their legends and lore of the Holiday’s with Storyteller presentations. Several times a day the country’s storyteller will bring their traditions alive and engross you in their stories of old. Epcot’s imagineers showcase their holiday spirit through topiaries and loads decorations in a way that only Disney can do!
Magic Kingdom has no shortage of Holiday spirit! Some consider it holiday central! Magic Kingdom is decorated from top to bottom with holiday magic! Even one of the rides takes on the holiday spirit whole heartedly. The Jungle Cruise ride turns into the The Jingle Cruise! Each boat gets a festive name for the holidays and holiday decorations are scattered about. The Jungle skippers are homesick for the holidays. So, their jokes are “punny” as always but are filled with holiday essence. Join Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf at the Castle for the “A Frozen Holiday Wish” show each evening as Elsa freezes the castle in a blanket of icicles! You will also be able to meet Santa in the Candy Cane Garden. Let the Big guy know what is on your list for Christmas!
Magic Kingdom also offers a special ticketed even called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The Very Merry Christmas party includes a Holiday parade, stage shows, a special holiday edition of fireworks and even a dance party. Not only that but you can ride select attractions under the stars all throughout the Christmas party! Characters are also out and about mingling and dancing the night away with everyone!
Animal Kingdom theme park is decked out for the holidays too! There is a huge amazing Christmas tree at the entrance with beautiful animal themed decorations. You can have a Meet and Greet and pictures with Mickey and Minnie in their Holiday sweaters and even see Santa Goofy!
Don’t forget the Disney resorts. Each resort has its own distinctive holiday decorations. Visiting the resorts and taking in the unique holiday atmosphere for each of them is an incredible way to get in the spirit and explore the other resorts.
The Grand Floridian resort features a 5 story Christmas tree in the lobby to welcome you. There is also a full size Gingerbread house, made from real gingerbread and frosting! It is hand baked and assembled each year specially for the holidays. It is a working building with a gift shop inside selling treats and even has smoke coming out of the chimney! The Beach Club resort has a life size working carousel made from gingerbread, chocolate and candies! At the Fort Wilderness campground you can take a horse drawn sleigh ride in the woods. Each resort has its own holiday pixie dust and magic that abounds each day during the holidays. Be sure you don’t miss out on all those special moments at these resorts during the Holiday season!!
Christy Todd is a Travel Consultant with Playtime Vacations and would love to help you plan your next vacation! She can be reached by email: Christy@playtimevacations.net
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*all photos are Disney property