Christmas Time At Walt Disney World
by, 12-24-2011 at 11:08 PM
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you wonderful MiceChat readers out there! I hope today has brought you together with all your loved ones, and that your holiday weekend is merry and bright!
For Christmas today, I thought I'd share some fun memories with you from my recent trip to Walt Disney World. You see, despite going there many, many times over the years, I had yet to visit during the Holiday season. I know, I find that hard to believe as well...with over 40+ trips under my belt, you would think I would have managed to catch it at least once!
This year, I was lucky enough to change that. We decided to surprise my girlfriend's son for his 9th birthday with a trip to Walt Disney World. Our trip fell smack dab in the middle of the Holiday season, so we were able to experience every extra magic touch that Disney does for Christmas!
Over the years, I have seen many photos and videos of their Holiday celebrations, but nothing compares to seeing it for yourself in person! I was very impressed with what Disney had to offer, and I will most definitely be visiting again for the Holidays.
DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM
I'm a huge advocate for the Animal Kingdom. People complain that it's a half day Park, but I most definitely disagree (but that's a topic for another day!). While the Park does celebrate the Holiday season, it does so in a more serene and low key way. There is garland and decorative ornaments that can be found around the Park to help get you in the spirit, but it's not done in a gaudy or over done way.
Their parade transforms into Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade, with some Christmas overlays to get the gang in the mood for Christmas.
Much like the other three Parks, Animal Kingdom has a wonderful tree all decked out for the Holidays. It's decorated with various animals and masks to help represent everything you'll find inside the Park.
Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade!
Goofy is here to check if you've been naughty or nice
Safari Mickey in the Holiday Spirit
We even got a little surprise gift while taking a picture with it!
Of course, it looks much better at night.
And it looks even better when having a bit of fun in front of it!
DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
While it's not all that noticeable during the day, Hollywood Studios gets into the swing of the season as well. Nighttime brings the incredibly popular Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
I've heard many, many times over the years how incredible the entire display is, and it was great to finally see it in person. The videos I've watched just don't do it justice. At all.
I was impressed at the sheer number of lights blanketing everything in sight.
From the light posts, to the doorways, and even the delivery bicycle outside its shop, hardly anything was left untouched.
To top it off, every 10 minutes, the displays are synchronized to some of the Holiday's best songs. The effect is spectacular, and definitely worth hanging around to see a few times.
They even managed to make it snow as well! Sure, that may be a common sight back home in NJ, but at Walt Disney World, it's a rare commodity!
I especially enjoyed some of these neat touches, like the toy solider cook out...
...and the snowman outside the phone booth.
I also liked the "A Christmas Story" tribute, nestled away in the window of one of the home's. Very cool!
In the middle of the street is a huge tree, made entirely of lights, that comes in a few different layers.
And if you watch carefully, you may even catch the Hidden Mickey, hidden inside!
We definitely had a blast checking it all out!
Miles Bresin of MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper has some great videos of the Osborne lights:
The Hollywood Studios' Tree out front is wonderful as well, decked out with movie memorabilia to add touch of Hollywood to it.
At Epcot, you get to experience the Holiday season not only in the future, but also around the world!
FutureWorld has a few Holiday themed displays set up as you enter the park, but not anything off to the sides.
However, the topiaries are very neat, and make for a great photo opportunity!
Around the World Showcase, each country has a brief show (they usually run for about 10 minutes every hour and a half) to teach you how the holidays are celebrated there.
They're all lots of fun and very informative. It's always interesting to learn how other cultures around the world celebrate the season.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth also has a special Holiday tag added to the end of the show to make it a little more seasonal.
Epcot's tree has a few elements representing Christmas from each country on it, making it the most cultural diverse tree I have ever seen!
I know it's not Holiday themed, but what's a visit to Epcot without a race around Test Track?
At the Magic Kingdom, Christmas truly comes alive like I've never seen it done before. It's easy to spot it while walking down Main Street, USA.
But while it's hard to see on the castle during the day...
...at night, the Park really comes alive with the Christmas spirit.
We attended Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and over all, I was pretty impressed with what the Park did for the Guests' attending.
Aside from as much cookies and hot chocolate we could gouge ourselves on, we were also treated to a special Holiday Wishes show.
We also saw Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas Time Parade as well.
Mickey, Minnie, and Duffy were waving to the crowd in their best Christmas duds!
Goofy even showed up on his wonderful candy machine!
This lady was a real hoot. She keep driving over, and talking to Guests. I'm pretty sure she was yelling at me for not taking her picture, so of course, I had to oblige.
The Toy Soldiers marching by were very cool to finally see up close.
And what's a Christmas parade without Santa Claus?
I don't think I've ever seen the castle as beautiful as it is at Christmas time. I was really blown away by it.
Using my super zoom lens, I was amazed to see just how many lights were covering the castle!
On the last day of our trip, they were taping the musical performances Disney's Christmas Day Parade for ABC.
Did you watch the 'Disney Parks' Christmas Day Parade?
I come from a TV background, so it was pretty cool to see all the cameras and lights set up.
Their production was huge!
I also noticed this displayed being set up. This is where the Muppets were going to be taped the next day! I'm so upset we didn't get a chance to see that!
And just because Christmas at Disney will never get old, here are a few more shots!
This last one was included on my Photopass CD, and was just too gorgeous not to use!
That concludes my whirlwind, week long tour of Walt Disney World during the Holiday season. I hope you had as much fun reading over it as I had re-living it! I can't wait to go back again!
From me, and everyone else here at MiceChat, we'd like to wish you a very Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas!
Do you have any favorite Holiday memories from the Disney parks? We'd love for you to share them with us in the comments below!