Holiday Happenings at the Walt Disney World Resort

Beach Club Resort Carousel
The Gingerbread Carousel at the Beach Club Resort

We visited Walt Disney World last week over Thanksgiving, and it was great to see that the entire resort is already decorated for the holidays.  Here are a few of the main holiday events happening over the next few weeks:

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

This special event takes place on select evenings in the Magic Kingdom.  You have to pay for entrance separately, and the parks are closed to the general public.  During the party, you get to see a special Christmas parade and fireworks, snow falling on Main Street USA, and popular characters dressed up for the holidays.  Because the parks are closed to the general public, the attractions (most are open during the party) generally have smaller lines too.  I really enjoy the party, and am planning to attend next week with my family.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

This beautiful light display started in Arkansas as a family’s light display, and moved to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1995.  The lights themselves are gorgeous, but then the lights fade, the music starts, and the lights start dancing to the music.  The lights display is included with park admission to Hollywood Studios, and although it’s generally crowded, the crowds are well managed.

Candlelight Processional

Epcot hosts the Candlelight Processional on select nights during the holiday season featuring celebrity narrators.  The show is enormously popular, so in order to be guaranteed seats, it’s best to reserve a special dinner package that will give you VIP access.  It’s not great for young kids, but it’s a truly unbelievable show for adults.

Holiday Decorations at the Resorts

All of the Disney resorts feature special Christmas decorations, including the Gingerbread Carousel pictured above at the Beach Club Resort.  There’s also an unbelievable gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian, and smaller creations at the Contemporary, the Boardwalk Inn, and other resorts. 

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If you go:

Don’t miss the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – the other events are more optional.  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is great for families traveling with elementary aged children – young enough to appreciate the parade and characters but old enough to stay up late.

This is a guest post by Jodi Grundig of Family Travel Magazine. Photos are courtesy of Jodi Grundig.