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Christmas at Disney World: A Top Tin(sel) List to Make Your Trip Merry & Bright

by Ashley Metz on December 10, 2013

There is soooo much to do and see at the Walt Disney World Resort, especially during the holidays. I know from personal experience, it would be almost impossible to see and do all of the activities, so I've put together this list of my Top 10 favorite things to do during Christmas at Disney World.

1.  Listen to the Dapper Dans carol

Dapper Dans at Christmas

Chances are, if you’ve ever made your way down the middle of Main Street USA, you’ve most probably been entertained by the vocal talents of Main Street USA’s own barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans. I love to hear them harmonize my favorite Disney tunes and old time love songs, but there is nothing that compares to the magic they create around Christmastime. Of course, you’ll find them decked out in their holiday finest and filling the parks with fa-la-la-la-las that make the season merry and bright!  Look for them throughout Main Street USA during the day at the Magic Kingdom Park and look for them to really liven up the party during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

2. Take a resort tour to see the decorations

Grand Floridian Gingerbread HouseOne of the best parts of going to Disney World is the spirit of magic that permeates the gates of the theme parks and oozes into every nook and cranny of the property. This couldn’t be truer than it is at Christmas time! One of my favorite things to do is to resort hop (that is go check out each resort) to see what kinds of festive decorations they have on display. I especially love checking out the larger-than-life gingerbread creations at Disney's Grand Floridian, Disney's Beach Club, and Disney's Contemporary Resorts.  If you’ve missed out on resort hopping in the past (especially holiday resort hopping), I highly encourage you to do this if you are in the parks this holiday season. Maybe you’ll be intentional about this by planning your ADR (Advanced Dining Reservations) at one of the many fabulous resort restaurants. If your ADRs don’t include a swing through a resort, I encourage you to start with the monorail resorts, the ease and convenience of the monorail will make your first resort-hopping experience awesome!

3. Get festive with it!

Mickey Santa window displayGet festive during the holiday season by wearing some fun Christmas-inspired apparel. You can find all sorts of Christmassy Disney shirts and sweaters outside of the parks as well as throughout the parks, resorts and Downtown Disney. Who knows, maybe you’ll choose to get crazy and buy a holiday-themed pair of ears!  If I were in the parks this holiday season, I would TOTALLY be on those awesome “glow with the show” ears for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

4. Decorate your resort room

There’s no need to stop the magic in the resort lobby! Why not keep the magic going in your resort room?  You can go as simple and cheap as window cling decals to as detailed as a mini tree and some greenery!  I love seeing the tinsel and decorations in the windows of neighboring rooms as I make my way in and out of the resort. They say the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to decorate for everyone to see (I sorta edited that one).

5. Take a family Christmas picture

Use the parks as a shameless opportunity to get a picture of your entire family -- can we say next year’s Christmas card? With backdrops like the sparkling lights of an iced-out Cinderella Castle, picturesque window displays along Main Street USA, or traditional décor from around the world in the World Showcase, you’ll be sure to find the perfect shot. Take advantage of Disney’s Photopass photographers to get a shot of the entire family!

6. Party with Mickey

Mickey at Christmas

There are many things in life that are worth splurging for! I would definitely say that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is worth the splurge. This is a separately ticketed event (meaning you’ll have to buy a special ticket to enter). I would TOTALLY recommend that you buy tickets! What sets this night apart from an ordinary night in the Magic Kingdom? Good question!  You’ll enjoy the Magic Kingdom at it’s Christmas best! There’s a special parade, fireworks, all the hot cocoa and cookies you could ever want, dancing, character spots, and my favorite part, a less crowed park! MVMCP is a sure way to get you holiday spirit going!

7. Enjoy the lights and sights

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

I’ve always loved to Christmas displays! Of course I LOVE Disney Christmas Displays! I love the various displays throughout each of the four theme parks, I love the look and feel of the resorts, and I love the Downtown Disney area! Disney is the only place in Central Florida where you can experience snow in the street (during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party)!  Be sure to take out your camera for the beautiful lights and displays of Disney!  I always come back and let it inspire my decorating!

8. Eat something seasonal

There is always something yummy to be eaten at Disney World! The vast assortment of holiday inspired foods is reason enough for me to take a trip! There are cupcakes to be enjoyed, special holiday feasts (side note, I HIGHLY recommend your holiday feasting be done at the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern…YUM-O!) to be devoured, and holiday confections just daring you to (try) and take back home for gifts! With all those choices and so little time, I say you ought to get on it and enjoy something delicious!

9. Experience Christmas around the world

Just when you thought Disney World pulled out all the stops by making it snow in Central Florida, I’m here to blow your mind again. You can do Christmas around the World in one park! That’s right, you can say everything from Feliz Navidad to God Jul and eat some School Bread and listen to Canada Pavilion’s very own, Off Kilter too! That’s right, I’m talking about EPCOT’s World Showcase! You can enjoy storytellers from each pavilion that will share the holiday customs and traditions. My favorite is the Norway storyteller, find yours in World Showcase! Enjoy the Christmas story of each of EPCOT’s World Showcase Pavilions.

10. Check out the trees

Christmas Tree Does this tree look Plain Jane to you? These are no ordinary trees I’m speaking of …  I’m talking about the four beautifully themed trees that are the crowning glory of the theme parks.  Each one has a huge tree that is uniquely decorated to match the feel of the theme park!  I make it a point to get a picture in front of each when I’m in the parks during the holiday season!

So, what do you think?  Are you braving the parks this holiday season?  If so, I hope you’ll use this little list to make your holiday merry and bright! What are your favorite things to do during Christmas at Disney World Get on this list of my top 10 (TINsel) and add a few of your own top choices!

Until next time, keep it magical!

Related: Where to Find Santa at Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld & More

Related: Our Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Related: Disney Craft: Mickey Countdown ‘Til Disney Ornament

Ashley is the author of Disney: Done Right Blog and a writer for Chip and Co. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter!

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Catherine M. Williams Dec 10, 2013 at 5:45 p.m.

What about the Candlelight Processional at Epcot? I have always found this program to be especially moving and I would rank it second to only the Osborne Lights at DHS on my holiday ranking.

The other one I would add is decidedly more low-key. When you are touring the World Showcase at Epcot, be sure to stop by the Germany pavilion where you can watch a master glass blower blow custom glass ornaments right before your eyes. It is a fascinating process to watch and you don't have to buy anything to watch, although the ornaments do make a fantastic souvenir.

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