Hi Disney friends, thank you for stopping by! For this post we are going to be discussing our top items that should not be missed when it comes to Holidays at Disney. There is so much to do and see at Walt Disney World all year long and when the holidays come around that is increased at least ten-fold. So, how do you decide? There is not enough time to experience it all in one trip and we want to help you to make the best decisions and make the most out of your time.
Our first must do for the holidays is something that we talk about quite a bit. Candlelight Processional. I know, I know, I talk about it all the time, but there is a reason for that. It’s an incredible experience. What is Candlelight Processional you ask? Be sure to check out our post that is all things Candlelight Processional, but I will give you the Reader’s Digest version in this post. It is a narration of the first Christmas, as told from the bible, by a famous narrator and an amazing choir. The choir’s are either local choir groups or hand selected choir groups from all over the country that come in just for this event. It is a beautiful and moving event and a unique experience.
As mentioned in previous posts, we highly recommend that you purchase the Candlelight Processional Dining Package in order to guarantee you a spot at the event. There are two nightly performances, and each will be packed to the brim. People will line up all day long in the stand by line in order to get a seat at the event. To avoid this hassle, purchase the Candlelight Dining Package, you have to eat anyway right? So, go ahead and get yourself a nice meal and a guaranteed spot for one of the most coveted holiday experiences in Walt Disney World.
Next on the list is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is another additional purchase you will have to make in order to attend. If you purchase a Magic Kingdom ticket, this will not get you into the party. You will need to purchase an additional Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket in order to attend. This is very important and we cannot reiterate this enough because inevitably for every party we attend, be it Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas, where an additional ticket must be purchased and Disney posts signs everywhere and advertises this immensely, people will be upset when they purchase only a regular pass to get into Magic Kingdom and are escorted out at 6 pm (also important to note, as it changed from 7 pm last year), because they did not purchase the party ticket.
This is a great party, better than the Halloween party in my opinion, but that could be because we are more Christmas people than Halloween people. We love this party, it is so festive, we love the character meet and greet opportunities and the snacks and the special treats and the shows and the decorations. We love Christmas and we love Disney so naturally we love Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
If you are going to attend this party, please stay tuned for our breakdown of the party and how to best navigate through it, depending on your interests. We always get our Christmas card picture taken at the party. Last year we had out picture with the Seven Dwarfs, this year we are going to be scoping out Mickey Mouse and also the Pooh Characters. The most popular character’s are the Seven Dwarfs and Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. The reason for this popularity is because at Mickey’s Not So Scary and the Christmas Party, these are your only opportunities to meet these characters and get photo opps with them. We will break down more of the character options in our post devoted to Mickey’s Very Merry.
Next on our list of not to miss holiday fun is the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. You don’t need a park ticket for this, which is a huge plus! We know that many people visiting Disney don’t get park tickets for every single day of their trip. This is a great holiday choice for a day you don’t have a park ticket. The Christmas Tree Trail has 15 differently decorated Christmas trees. The trees all have some sort of Disney theme which is fantastic and helps to keep you in that Disney holiday spirit. From Mickey and Minnie to the Muppets and from The Little Mermaid to Beauty and The Beast and The Jungle Book, each tree has a different theme. If you plan a Disney Springs day for your holiday trip be sure to check out Amorette’s for a sweet treat, the crepe shop, Aristocrepes, for a hot cocoa or Gingerbread Pumpkin Crepe.
Epcot International Festival of the Holiday’s is next. This is not an event you have to purchase a special ticket for, but you will need a ticket for Epcot in order to experience this festival. Epcot, with the extension of Food and Wine, the addition and expansion of this festival and also Festival of the Arts and Flower and Garden, you can pretty much eat and drink your way through a festival for the majority of the year. The only time there is not a festival going on at Epcot now is the middle of summer.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is a wonderful mix of festive treats and libations combined with country specific traditions for the holidays. A great way to get into the Christmas spirit, surrounded by palm trees. There are festive cocktails like Orange Sparkling Wine with cranberry. An Eggnog White Porter and Peppermint Milk Stout, cider flights, a Pomegranate Margarita and many more. Food options include traditional holiday eats from various countries on the savory side, such as a traditional turkey dinner, from the American Holiday Table booth, a Shredded Beef Tamale from the Festival of the Three Kings booth and the Mongolian Beef Bao Bun from Shanghai Holiday Kitchen. Desserts include traditional Fruit Cake, several variations of the Yule Log and Cinnamon Mochi Cake. This year there are a total of fifteen booths at the Festival of the Holidays, up from seven last year.
Our final must do for the holidays is the visit at least one resort to check out the incredible gingerbread dispays. This is free and does not require any park ticket and you don’t have to be staying at the resorts to enjoy these magnificent works of art. Gingerbread displays can be seen at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa where each year a massive gingerbread house that is actually a store is constructed. You can sample gingerbread, search for hidden Mickey’s and it truly is a magnificent sight to see. The Beach Club Resort constructs a beautiful carousel, also made of gingerbread during the holiday season. Characters represented often change from year to year for this display. The Contemporary Resort also gets in on the gingerbread fun and the last few years have done a Frozen display. This year, they have gone from Frozen to the timeless tradition of Cinderella. Each of the resorts have their own unique décor set up for the holidays. From Animal Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, the Polynesian to Beach Club, there are different holiday displays in place to highlight the uniqueness of each resort’s theming.
So, there you have it. Our not to be missed list for a holiday trip to Walt Disney World. We would love to hear what your not to be missed list includes so be sure to leave us a comment. Please also check out our YouTube Channel For Love of The Mouse and subscribe to get updates on that as well. We hope you enjoyed this festive post and be sure to check out our other holiday specific posts! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.