From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Michelle Perkins
Good Evening Main Streeters,
I hope you are having a great week. It’s almost Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner. I don’t know about you guys but I am so excited for the holiday season! The decorations and traditions are my favorite part. Since we live here just minutes from the happiest place on Earth, many of our traditions involve Disney in some way. So I thought I would share a bit of my favorite Disney traditions for the holiday season and maybe it will give you some ideas of things to do at this time of year.
- Christmas Tree Trail and Santa
This is our day after Thanksgiving tradition for our family. We go to the springs pretty early in the morning and get a place in line for Santa Clause and walk the Christmas Tree Trail. This is the only Santa my daughter has actually met and two out of the three times she has met him, she fell asleep and Santa is wonderful. The tree trail is magic in my opinion. You can take your time to look at the trees and they have special ornaments that you can purchase that are highlighted on the tree. They put the ornaments in these almost lantern looking things and they have one per tree. It’s a fun thing to do, it’s even better at night. The trees are all illuminated and it’s snowing it’s just magic. If you have never been to the tree trail it is near the Earl of Sandwich and the world of Disney Store. If you park in the grapefruit garage, you can end up right at the start of the trail for easier access with little ones.
- Watch the Castle Lighting
Every night at the Magic Kingdom is magic, but at Christmas, that magic is amplified with the castle covered in lights. A few times a night they do a little show at the castle with the stars from the Disney movie Frozen. Elsa lights the castle with Ana, Kristoph, and Olaf in attendance. The show is just a few minutes long and culminates with snow and a few fireworks. It’s breathtaking and a must-see at least once ( or as many times as you would like). Each year it seems they put on more and more lights. It is simply beautiful.
- Gingerbread House viewing
Every year some of the hotels to gingerbread display that are amazing! This is not your typical gingerbread house it’s a much larger scale. You can go to the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, and the Boardwalk just to name a few. Now when we want to view the gingerbread houses we tend to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center and take a bus or monorail depending on where you want to start. Parking at the resorts does cost a fee and at this time of year, you would need to have a reservation at a restaurant or be an actual guest. Everyone wants to see the gingerbread houses. If you are a local you can always Uber to the parks and then use Disney transportation as an option too. The bottom line is you will not want to miss seeing these culinary masterpieces. The smell makes you feel jolly, and you can even get a sample of the gingerbread. At the Grand Floridian, they have the people selling the gingerbread working inside the house! How neat is that? At the Beach Club, they have a carousel that actually moves with horses made of chocolate. It’s a yummy adventure you need to partake in.
- Seeing the Decorations in all of the parks
The parks outdo themselves for the holiday season. They have giant trees, and holiday trimmings on the light polls, festive shows in some cases you just need to see what each park has to offer. Epcot is always the last to get their decorations finished because Food and Wine kind of overlap with the start of decorating, but the Magic Kingdom is always first. This year we had just finished Halloween and Elsa was all ready to light the castle. Each park as a large Christmas tree with decorations that go with the theme of that park. Animal Kingdom this year is really festive, I have not been to see that park yet this season and I plan on going soon to check it out, but based on the coverage from TMSM I can not wait!! We as a family, go during Christmas week a lot to see the decorations. I suggest taking a day to just take in the decorations at each park if you can.
- Christmas Parade and Fireworks
It wouldn’t be Disney if we didn’t discuss parades and fireworks. Every year Disney hosts Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. At the party, which is similar to the Halloween party, you can meet special characters, and instead of candy, they have special holiday treats at different locations around the park. There is also a parade and fireworks. The fireworks are new this year with Minnie as the host! Now I am going to let you in on a little secret, you can actually see the parade without attending the party. There is a catch though. You will have to be here during Christmas week. That is what we do as a family. We go one or two days after Christmas and watch the parade. Now the fireworks you need to attend the party to see. I love the Christmas party but it is a bit more expensive than Halloween, so we go with that option for some years. However, if you are here for vacation, I say go for the party and get there early so you can get some rides in while you wait for the official start.
Well there you have it, these are my Christmas traditions with a Disney twist. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! See you next week.