This tree was in the lobby of the Grand Floridian


I don’t know about you but I love Christmas! In fact the only thing that makes me happier than Christmas is a Disney Christmas! But beware; you need to carefully consider your plans when planning a yuletide visit to Walt Disney World or what begins as magic will turn into a nightmare!


Disney begins getting ready for the holiday beginning in early November. Personally I find that a little too early to enjoy Christmas decorations. However, I have found that hitting up the “World” the week after Thanksgiving is a perfect time. The weather is comfortable and the crowds are much smaller than Christmas week (my biggest advice is that if you actually head to Walt Disney World the week of Christmas/New Year’s Eve expect VERY crowded parks with long lines and waits). In fact, going the week after Thanksgiving, the longest wait I had for a ride was at Splash Mountain and I waited 15 minutes!

One of my favorite activities during this time is to visit the Disney hotels. Each hotel’s decorations are themed to the hotel. Don’t miss the gingerbread house selling gingerbread houses in the Grand Floridian lobby (the entire lobby smells like gingerbread!); there are also unique displays at the Boardwalk and the Yacht and Beach Club. Don’t forget to look for the hidden Mickey’s (what, you don’t know about hidden Mickey’s? I promise to fill you in real soon!)

This is the gingerbread house in the lobby of the Grand Floridian. There are people and a counter there where you can actually purchase gingerbread houses!


This gazebo was in the Board Walk Hotel’s lobby in 2011.

Downtown Disney gets in on the act. In previous visits I have seen a skating rink (yes, people were ice skating in shorts) and a Disney trip is never complete without a visit to the “12 Days of Christmas”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a Christmas shop that’s certainly Disney inspired!

This snow family was found at Downtown Disney

Last year, my daughter and I visited the Magic Kingdom the second Friday after Thanksgiving (so not “black” Friday but the Friday immediately after that) and were pleasantly surprised to find that they were recording the musical performances for the Christmas parade that aired Christmas morning on ABC. We saw Scotty McCreery and Jennifer Hudson record their songs.

Jennifer Hudson looked like she was ready to attend a “princess” ball in her dress for the Christmas parade special that aired on ABC Christmas morning.

Of course each park gets in on the Christmas magic and each park has its own special touches. The Magic Kingdom has Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot offers the Candlelight Processional and Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! I haven’t experienced any of them yet but all of these are on my to-do list. You can find plenty of information on the Walt Disney World site if you would like further details.

Merry Christmas! I hope I have given you something to think about or to look forward to if you are planning a Disney World trip for the Christmas holidays!

Focused on the Magic



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6 Responses to “The Merriest Place on Earth – Disney at Christmastime”

  1. We went to Disney World for a week post-Christmas last year and had a fabulous time! It was very crowded but not significantly more that when we usually go during spring break – yes, we are suckers for punishment! The best thing to do is get up as early as possible to get to the parks because even though everyone knows that’s what they should do the majority of people just don’t get up and get moving on vacation – we were able to hit most of the rides early in the day before the lines got too long.

    Love all your pics! I still can’t believe that I didn’t think to go and check out the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. We have stayed there a number of times in the past but decided on this last trip to rent an apartment for space instead and it never occurred to me to check out the hotel decorations. I regret it so much that I think I’ll need to plan a return trip at Christmas for that reason alone! :)