From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Lisa Mendillo
This week Disney Parks Moms Panelist Rayna shares why there is no place more magical for her family during the holidays than the Walt Disney World Resort. Besides Christmas being her favorite time of the year, Rayna lives for the amazing smiles that light up her children’s faces as they enjoy the magic of season, watch the snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A., sip hot cocoa while meeting their favorite Disney characters, and get to visit with jolly ol’ St. Nick himself at the most Magical Place on Earth!
If you are preparing to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, here are some of Rayna’s top tips and suggestions:
“When you visit with the littles, it is most important to remember just two things. One … have fun! Two … relax! To make our holiday trip relaxing, we always stay on property. Everything is more convenient, and it lets us immerse ourselves in the spirit of the holidays at the Resorts. Our favorite Resort hotel is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Every year, we take a picture in front of the magnificent Christmas tree at Jambo House. If we’re lucky, we visit with a certain jolly old elf who makes surprise appearances during the holidays! The tree is a real reminder of our family’s most special moments. Another favorite option is staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which is a five-minute walk to Magic Kingdom Park, all decked out for the holidays. This totally amps up momma’s yuletide cheer!
With babies, partners, work and just LIFE, sometimes all we need is the holidays handled for us. Well, guess what? Walt Disney World takes all of the work out of the holidays! The decorations are Insta-worthy (the life-sized Gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is uh-mazing), the Christmas meal is cooked (to perfection, I might add), and the best gifts of all are within arm’s reach.
While the most important gift is time spent together, there is still a bit of room for magic under the tree. My husband and I enlist the help of Mickey Mouse & Friends to make sure our Resort Villa is as festive as the rest of the Resort.
Disney Floral & Gifts will decorate your room with holiday pixie dust, and they have the most darling mini Christmas trees, complete with decorations. Once the tree is up, our babes rest easy with the knowledge that Santa knows where to stop!
Speaking of Santa, you can find him at American Adventure in Epcot along with Mrs. Claus during Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This festival is a foodie’s dream come true! We love sampling delicious global cuisine while experiencing different cultures’ holiday celebrations. One of our top stops last year was at the Feast of the Three Kings. We indulged in Three Kings Bread while we listened to Holiday Storytellers explain the tradition of prepping for a visit from the Kings. My kindergartener lit up when she heard that children would place a shoebox at the end of their beds, awaiting a special gift from the Kings. She proudly announced that it was just like us putting our stockings at the ends of our beds! Her realizing that little kids around the world celebrate Christmas just like her, was my favorite Christmas gift.
While presents and stockings and cookies abound, the most magical part of a Disney holiday is the joyous feeling that is present. As I watch my children delight in the Toy Soldiers during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, or run into Holiday Goofy’s arms, I can’t help but feel that Walt Disney World truly is the Most Magical Place on Earth during the most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
To learn more about planning your Disney holiday vacation, or for general Disney vacation planning questions, visit DisneyParksMomsPanel.com for an answer from one of our panelists.
Panelists receive compensation for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel.