Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Things at Disney Theme Parks

Happy Tuesday Friends!  This afternoon, we are continuing with another installment of my Christmas in July week.  Today, we're going to take a peek at my favorite things about celebrating the holidays at Disney theme parks.  I actually had a really long list of reasons, but I decided to narrow it down into more broad generalizations for today's post.  Plus, I can always make more specific Top 10 lists down the road!

There are so many wonderful things about celebrating the holidays at Disney theme parks.  Christmas is my absolute favorite time to visit the parks since everything is extra magical.  In this post, I'm focusing on Walt Disney World- though most of these things are also found at the Disneyland Resort.  I've only been to Disneyland once for the holidays.  (Clearly I need to go again so I can experience more holiday magic!)  

Let's take a look at what makes the theme parks extra special during the holidays!

Melissa's Top 10 Favorite Christmas Things at Disney Theme Parks

10.) Topiaries- This probably sounds silly, but I love, love, love the holiday themed topiaries.  I absolutely adore the Flower and Garden Festival, but if I can't go during it, I can still see some of my favorite characters year round since Disney uses them to decorate!  In recent years, Disney's amazing gardening team has even created new character topiaries specifically for the holiday season like an adorable snowman!

9.) Sweets and Treats- You all know how much I love my Disney sweets and treats... everything Mickey shaped tastes better, but there's something extra magical when it's also holiday themed!  Forget sugar plums dancing around in my head... this girl is all about the holiday Mickey and Minnie candy apples!!!

8.) Wreaths- Wreaths are one of the first things I think of when I think of decorations, and Disney has a ton of them on property.  From small ones on doors, to the ones that line Main Street to the giant ones on display at some of the resorts.  There are a ton of wreaths!  It's probably no surprise that my favorites are the Mickey shaped ones!

7.) Shows- Disney is known for their shows and entertainment and the holiday season just proves their dedication to it.  They have castle shows, projection shows, laser light projection shows... and so much more.  I love Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios.  I'm also a fan of the castle shows with all of our favorite characters shown during the Christmas parties.  And nothing beats Disney fireworks!

6.) Resort Decorations- I think one of the best parts of staying on property is how the theming and attention to detail isn't just for the theme parks... it follows you home.  The holiday decorations at the resorts always astound me.  Each resort has decorations that fit it's theme perfectly.  I can't imagine the time and care it takes to put all of that together every year... but it's perfection!  Plus, how many other resorts have giant gingerbread house displays with real gingerbread!?!?!  Absolute perfection!!!

5.) Christmas Trees at the Parks- The Disney theme parks are always decorated to perfection too.  One of my favorite decorations at each of them is the giant Christmas tree perfectly themed to that park.  The Magic Kingdom has a tree at the beginning of Main Street opposite Cinderella Castle.  Epcot has a tree at the beginning of the World Showcase that features ornaments with all of the countries' flags.  Animal Kingdom has a tree at the main entrance to the park so it doesn't compete with the Tree of Life.  And Hollywood Studios has it's Christmas tree on the banks of Echo Lake. 

4.) Character Costumes- I love meeting my favorite Disney characters and there is something extra special about seeing them in their holiday attire!  Some only get small tweaks to their look like a Santa hat or a scarf.  Others characters get a complete wardrobe makeover and have full costumes for each of the holidays.  Regardless of how much their looks change, I love taking photos with them in their holiday best!

3.) Cinderella Castle Ice Lights- The sparkling "ice lights" on Cinderella Castle have got to be one of the greatest things that Disney has ever done.  I love them and their simplistic, elegant beauty.  It makes the castle look extra magical and right out of a fairytale.  It's been too long since I saw these beauties... and I can only hope that they bring them back once we're done celebrating Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary.

2.) Snow on Main Street- Alright, I know it's "snoap" and that shouldn't impress the girl from Maine.  But as a girl from Maine, snow is part of the whole Christmas and winter experience.  For me, Christmas morning was always more magical if there was a blanket of fresh white snow outside... and trust me- there's not anything magical about a brown Christmas.  There isn't naturally occurring snow in Florida, but having it fall on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom reminds me of the soft snowfall back home and it makes me feel all the holiday feels.  #sorrynotsorry #letitsnoap 

1.) Christmas Parade- Ah, the Christmas Parade.  It's been my favorite Christmas morning tradition since I can't even remember when.  To be honest, I don't remember celebrating a Christmas without it.  (And when we had to miss it one year due to not having electricity, it low-key ruined my morning.)  There's something nostalgic about the Disney Christmas Parade.  I love the floats that I've seen year after year since I was a child.  It's a childhood memory that's brought me into adulthood... and a memory that I'd love to experience with my own children one day.  Seeing the toy soldiers all marching down Main Street has got to be one of my absolute favorite holiday things.

And there you have it!  Those are my favorite parts of visiting Disney during the holiday season.  I want to note that this list really isn't in any specific order.  I spent way too much time trying to figure out where to slot things, so it's all basically the best of the best!  Although, the Christmas Parade does hold a very special place in my heart... so if I absolutely had to pick only one thing, that's probably what it would be!

This list makes me want to go down to Walt Disney World for Christmas!  Eliot and I haven't been since 2019 and we're not planning to go down over the holiday season this year.  This list and these photos are really making me what to change that... 

What's your favorite part of visiting the parks at Christmas time?  °o°

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