Holidays with kids By Erin Gifford
Minnie and Mickey celebrating Christmas at Disney World. (Courtesy Disney)
Walt Disney World is one of the most magical places on earth, but over the holidays it becomes even more magical. During Christmas at Disney World, every park and attraction glitters, twinkles and sparkles to the delight of holiday guests. The holidays are a very special time for a family-friendly Disney vacation.
The festivities at Disney begin as early as the first part of November with different shows and events rolling out throughout the season. Some events, like the new “Starbright Holidays” show at Disney Springs, even run past New Year’s Day. Here are the very best things to do at Disney World during the holidays.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Christmas at Disney World (Courtesy Disney)
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held at Magic Kingdom on select nights between early November and the week of Christmas. Little ones will love all the live shows. These include the new “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” on the steps of Cinderella’s castle. Twice-nightly, line Main Street, U.S.A. for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade featuring Mickey, Minnie, Anna and Elsa. Even Santa makes an appearance and you may even see snow fall (yes, even in Orlando).
In between family-friendly rides and shows, visit one of five new holiday treat stations for free holiday cookies, apple cider and hot cocoa. Meet up with DJ Kringle at Club Tinsel for a holly jolly children’s dance party. The Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular lights up the sky each night at 10 pm.
Christmas Tree Trail
At Disney Springs, walk along the Christmas Tree Trail to see 15 Christmas trees decorated in the spirit of classic Disney characters and movies. There’s a “Mickey and Minnie” tree, a “Beauty and the Beast” tree, even a “Frozen” tree. And don’t miss the festive tree lighting ceremony each night at 6 p.m. It’s one of the most festive things to do at Disney World. It’s a must when experiencing a family-friendly Christmas at Disney World.
While at Disney Springs, see the brand new show, “Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration.” Through early-January, 300 drones light up the sky in twice-nightly performances. Set to classic holiday tunes, the synchronized drones dance and sparkle to the delight of visitors.
Candlelight Processional at Disney World (Courtesy Disney)
A favorite at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional returns from late-November through late-December. Each night, a celebrity narrator reads the Christmas story accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and choir. Among this year’s celebrity readers are Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris and Meredith Vieira. No special tickets are required. However, seats fill up quickly for this family-friendly special event during Christmas at Disney World.
Holidays Around the World
Holidays Around the World at Epcot (Courtesy Disney)
While at Epcot, enjoy holiday decorations, foods and festivities at each of the 11 nations in the World Showcase. Watch a traditional Feliz Navidad celebration in Mexico during Christmas at Disney World. Or celebrate Three Kings Day near World Showcase Plaza with shredded beef tamales, avocado crema and coconut milk. Every country is dolled up for the holidays. You’ll even find Santa and Mrs. Claus at The American Adventure.
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! (Courtesy Disney)
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new holiday nighttime spectacular complete with special effects, festive music and fireworks enchants audiences nightly. Add this to your list of things to do at Disney World. The new “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” takes guests on a journey to return Santa to the North Pole by Christmas Eve. Scenes from Bambi, Cinderella and The Nightmare Before Christmas come alive on the buildings inside the park during Christmas at Disney World.
Erin Gifford of Kidventurous contributed this to MiniTime.