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As soon as the last guest exits the parks on October 31, crews come in to remove the fall and Halloween decor and begin to deck the halls with miles and miles of garland; over a thousand Christmas trees and holiday decor. It is important to note that although much of the holiday decor goes up overnight in the parks, the resorts and the finishing touches for the holidays is not complete until mid-November.
We released a number of blog posts last year for the holiday season and will be doing so again this year. If you simply can’t wait for all of the holly jolly fun, head over to some of the posts from last year and get yourself into that holiday spirit early! You can view our guide to Must Do Holiday Events, and our tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Disney is already releasing information on holidays at Walt Disney World (WDW) and we are going to provide an overview of the magical holiday experiences coming to WDW this year.
One of the best things about holidays at WDW is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) which is once again coming to Magic Kingdom. This popular extra ticketed event will happen on select nights at Magic Kingdom. A separate ticket is required for entry to this party and it is important to remember that a park hopper or regular park ticket will not get you access, the party does not happen each night and if you are wanting to attend the party, it is a good idea to purchase your tickets ahead of time as some of the parties will sell out.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will begin on November 8th and run on various nights through December 21. After December 21, the holiday parade and fireworks will continue nightly through December 29 but other party events do not extend to those dates.
A couple of can’t miss items for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) include the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade where you will see toy soldiers, your favorite characters and princesses, and of course the big guy in the red suit! Holiday Wishes, the specialty fireworks display lights up the night sky with holiday favorites filling the air and amazing fireworks too! Don’t miss some of your favorite characters decked out in their adorable winter gear and even Goofy in his Santa outfit for some unforgettable character meet and greets.
Holiday merchandise has already made its debut around Walt Disney World. You can find everything from holiday jewelry, ears, clothing for guys, girls and kids, ornaments, accessories, toys and other fun available at most merchandise shops now through New Years. If you are heading to MVMCP be sure to be on the lookout for exclusive party merchandise as well.
Another great part of the holidays is The International Festival of the Holidays which will be returning to Epcot in 2018. The Festival comes on the heels of the International Food and Wine Festival; big shoes to fill. This festival is so full of magic and fills World Showcase with the spirit of the holidays. Besides various holiday kitchen’s which highlight holiday vittles from around the world, you can also find presentations of holiday spirit and traditions from carious countries as well.
Pere Noel is in France for example, telling the story of a little French girl and her families traditions. Another great highlight is Belle from Beauty and the Beast in her gorgeous red velvet gown does a meet in greet in the gazebo that is in the corner of the France pavilion.
This year in terms of food there will be a cookie stroll, you can find the various locations where you can buy cookies and get a passport stamp. Once you have completed five cookies along the stroll you can show your passport to a castmember at Holiday Sweets and Treats and receive an additional cookie!
Traditional holiday feast will be available in the American Pavilion, several yule log options will be on hand again this year at several kitchens including a maple version at the Yukon Holiday Kitchen in Canada. In addition to food selections you can imbibe in some holiday inspired beverages including an eggnog white porter that is available at several different kitchens, and an eggnog shake available at the Refreshment Port as well as a spice rum punch slush available in France.
Additionally at Epcot is one of the highlights of our entire year. The Candlelight Processional. We have done a full blog post on just this event and you can find that HERE! We absolutely love this event and for us, it is an absolute must do. There are amazing narrators and a large choir and the entire program is the narrator telling the story of Christmas as told by the bible. It is gorgeous and moving and fantastic.
Dining packages are available for this event and that guarantees you a spot at your desired time and date for the Candlelight Processional. This is not always necessary but on certain days, with certain narrators, lines will be out of control to get into this event with standby. So, if you want to guarantee yourself a spot and not have to wait in line for it, go ahead and sign up for the dining package; that is what we always do because we don’t like lines.
Over at Hollywood Studios you can experience Jingle Bell Jingle Bam a nighttime spectacular that will be coming back again this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This event runs nightly from November 6 thru January 6 and includes some amazing state of the art projections.
Resort hopping is one of our favorite things to do at Walt Disney World, especially during the holiday season. Each Disney resort decorates according to the theme of the resort and at several resorts, you can find breathtaking gingerbread displays.
Each year at the Grand Floridian, a giant tree goes into the lobby area and also a lifesize gingerbread house is erected. The entire main building smells of fresh baked gingerbread and the house is actually a store. The staff members work inside the house and you can purchase gingerbread treats from it. It is amazing. Other displays can be found at Beach Club and Contemporary to name just a couple. We did a full review of Holiday Resort Hopping in 2017 so be sure to check that out for a guide on how to plan your resort hopping for 2018.
Other noteworthy events around Disney include the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. This is a fun trail with different themed Christmas trees. Each tree is themed towards a different Disney movie or item and it is pretty fun. The Christmas Tree Trail runs from November 8 thru January 6 and it is not the easiest thing to find. It is kind of tucked into a corner of Disney Springs but once you find it, it is fun to walk through it.
This year Andy’s backyard will get some Christmas details as well. We are not exactly sure quite yet what that will entail but because Toy Story Land is amazing and you should definitely experience it regardless, we suggest heading over to check out what holiday cheer Disney has in store.
That is it for this post! We adore holidays in Walt Disney World and our Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a trip home because, after all, there is no place like home for the holidays! What is your favorite part about holidays at Walt Disney World? We would love to hear from you. Be sure to stay tuned for more details on holiday events at WDW.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.