It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Disney World style

by Carl Trent on November 9, 2010

Grand Floridian Orlando

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa all decked out for Christmas

Every year at this time you start hearing Andy Williams sing that great holiday classic,“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And perhaps no where is this more true than at Walt Disney World, where at some point during the first weeks of November, magic happens. Overnight every Disney World park changes and Christmas at Disney World comes to life.

Each of the parks have special events and shows.

The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom comes alive at the most wonderful time of the year. Every inch of the park seems to have a decoration on it. Events abound starting at Cinderella Castle, where over 200,000 lights create an icy effect that dances throughout the night. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a not-to-be-missed event that happens on selected nights during November and December. All around the park, you’ll see special holiday shows, parades and even a special holiday firework show to complete the day.

Epcot

In Epcot, some of the best holiday events at Disney World are featured. Every day after Thanksgiving, the Candlelight Processional is performed on the American Gardens Theater stage. Also, in every country the story of the how the season is celebrated is told.

Disney Hollywood Studios

The biggest holiday show anywhere is held in the Studios. Several years ago Disney bought a Little Rock Arkansas light display that had over 1 million lights. They’ve expanded it through the years and added music and now the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights is one of the top holiday attractions in all of Orlando.

Animal Kingdom

Even in the park that closes at dark, there are holiday decorations and happenings. The afternoon parade Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade gets a Christmas makeover and becomes Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade full of floats with Disney characters in holiday garb and even one where Minnie is taking a bath in hot chocolate. (You can smell the hot chocolate all over the park.)

But while it’s the best time of the year to visit Disney, let’s not forget about the hotels:

Not only do the parks get all gussied up, the hotels do to. All of the Disney hotels have impressive Christmas trees, even the value resorts like Disney’s Pop Century, Orlando. Most of the hotels also have a gingerbread house display. Some of the gingerbread displays are mind blowing like …

  • The Gingerbread House in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Orlando. This is the biggest gingerbread house you’ll ever see. It’s about 1,000 square feet! And yes, it’s actually edible. If you visit, make sure to see this house and maybe even buy some gingerbread to take home.
  • The Beach Club Resort is home to a working ginger bread carousel. Yes, a full working carousel. (Though it’s only for show and you can’t actually ride it.)

–- Carl Trent of Dad’s Guide to Walt Disney World and Dad’s Guide to WDW the blog

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