You gotta tell what special stuff to do around Xmas!

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Happyflower, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Happyflower

    Happyflower Mouseketeer

    Aug 2, 2007
    This will be my first disney trip around X-mas, we always went in May before. Soooo tell me what not to miss anywhere, resorts, parks, etc! Now if you have pictures, I might not be able to handle it, getting too excited now, but it would be okay.:goodvibes I have 2 kids 11 and 12.
  2. MinnieFan

    MinnieFan DIS Veteran

    Jan 20, 2005
    It looks like you would be going on dates when you could attend the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party at MK, so that's one special thing to do. However, if you don't want to spend extra for the party there are many magical things to do at Christmas time. Some recommendations: Candlelight Processional at Epcot - an awesome show, we're looking forward to seeing it again this year. You can purchase a dinner package through Disney Dining which has a preferred seating (similar to Fantasmic dinner packages), but you can also attend the show without the dinner package - just be sure to be on line early for the show you want to attend (3 nightly - 5 pm, 6:45 pm, 8 pm). Other not to be missed items: Osborne lights at MGM, Santas around the world at Epcot, tree lighting in any of the parks. We also take one day to visit all the resorts and admire the decorations - especially Wilderness Lodge and the Grand Floridian.

    The important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the atmosphere - it's very crowded in December (although not as bad on your dates as later in the month), so you may experience longer than usual wait times, but the fantastic atmosphere and beautiful decorations in December are well worth it! Have a magical holiday trip!
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  4. northie

    northie .

    Aug 9, 2006
    Here are some things to see when you are at the World in December. Some of these may not be annual, so may or may not be running this December, but you can get an idea of how Disney goes all out for Christmas. Some have said there were less decorations last year than previous year's but I have nothing to compare it with. I do know the village at the Poly and chocolate African Village at Boma were not there because we went there to see them, but they did have fabulous trees and other decorations, Most of these things listed were there last year and may be this year. Hard to tell but you can bet that there will be something to see!

    The Yuletide Fantasy Tour

    See how the Disney Magic comes alive and the parks and resorts are transformed into a holiday wonderland. See what happens behind the scenes to decorate the parks and resorts, travel by bus to several parks and resorts to see their special holiday decorations and tour the World Showcase, and much more.

    Tour length: 3.5 hours, 9 am Mon-Sat; meet at 8:45 am at Guest Relations outside of Epcot. Tour participants must be at least 16 years old. Park admission is not required, and the cost of the tour is $69. Discounts are available for AP holders, AAA members, DVC members, and Disney Visa Card holders. No cell phones or cameras are allowed backstage, and you need a picture ID to be included in the tour.


    Holidays Around the World

    Epcot's World Showcase has Holidays Around the World, with holiday decorations from around the world in the country pavillions, along with native storytellers full of holiday tales from their respective countries. Consult the Times Guide for times. You will meet Santa Claus in the USA Pavillion, The Three Kings in Mexico, a Gnome names Julenissen in Norway, The Monkey King in China, Father Christmas in the UK Pavillion, Père Noël will entertain you in France, and you can meet La Befana in Italy, and many more. Hannukah and Kwanzaa are also represented, and I have heard that Ramadan will be represented in Morocco.

    Tree Lighting Ceremony

    Catch Mickey's Tree Lighting Treat tree lighting ceremony at 6:00 every evening.

    Candlelight Processional

    The Candlelight Processional at Epcot in the America Gardens Theater features the Christmas story read by a guest celebrity narrator, and music by a huge choir accompanied by an orchestra. There are three perfomances a night, but even so, line up early as the show is very popular, or purchase a Candlelight Processional Dining package for guaranteed seating. Note that seating is not reserved; the package guarantees you seating for a particular performance in a reserved section of the amphitheater. Call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) for more information or to book the Candlelight Processional Dining package.

    Lights of Winter

    See thousands of lights dancing to a holiday score at the Lights of Winter, a series of lighted arches along the walkway between Future World and the World Showcase. The Fountain of Nations also dances along to the holiday tunes.

    Illuninations: Reflections of Earth

    Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, Epcot's premiere fireworks show, has a special holiday finale with the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and a special holiday message with the voice of Walter Cronkite. Illuminations is performed nightly at park closing in the World Showcase Lagoon.

    Liberty Inn

    Santa's Gingerbread Bake Shop is a life-size house made of gingerbread, cookies, and icing at the Liberty Inn at the American Adventure pavilion in the World Showcase. Christmas cookies, souvenir gingerbread recipe cards as well as hot and cold drinks will be for sale inside the gingerbread house.

    Magic Kingdom

    Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade

    Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade at the Magic Kingdom has all your favorite characters celebrating the season. The parade can be seen before Christmas week during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and then during Christmas week during regular park hours.

    Tree Lighting Ceremony

    There will be a tree lighting ceremony each evening on Main Street.

    Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

    The Magic Kingdom also has Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party where even Florida's heat can't stop the snow from falling at midnight on Main Street! There are Live Character stage shows, character greetings, and free cookies and hot cocoa.

    The party is held starting in mid-November and runs until just before Christmas, and is a hard-ticket event, which means the party ticket is sold separate from park admission. If you don't spend the day in the park and come only to the party, you don't need park admission; the party ticket will get you admitted to the park after 4pm. To stay in the park after closing for the party, you will have to get a wristband from a CM, just like you do for Extra magic Hours.

    Tickets can be purchased for the parties starting in the late spring, and it is a good idea to buy very early because you get a discount for advance purchases, and you don't run the risk of the night you plan to attend being sold out! If you order far enough in advance, Disney will mail you the tickets; otherwise you can pick them up at Will Call at the park the night of the party.

    Special event merchandise is for sale during the party. Check the park map you get at the gate for locations!

    During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Liberty Tree Tavern and Tony's Town Square will offer holiday meals. For more information or to make reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE. For those visiting Disney World prior to Christmas week, keep in mind that the party is only 5 hours long, and there is a lot to do and see that is not running during regular park hours; you may prefer not to take time eating at a table service restaurant during the party. During Christmas week much of the same entertainment will be running outside of party hours, so you may be more inclined to spend party time at a sit-down meal.

    Holiday Wishes

    A special holiday version of the Wishes fireworks show is also shown in December, at first just during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and then replacing the regular Wishes show during Christmas week.

    Naughty or Nice? See Santa at Town Hall

    Santa will be in residence at the Tour Guide Gardens by Town Hall on Main Street daily except during the parades.

    Special Holiday Shows

    "Mickey's Twas the Night Before Christmas" will play at the Galaxy Palace Theater for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and during Christmas week. Check the Times Guide for showtimes.

    "Country Bear Christmas Special" at Grizzly Hall in Frontierland was not shown last year. Whether it will be back this year who knows?

    Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade Taping

    The Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade will be taping in the Magic Kingdom the first Friday and Saturday of December, and Sunday if necessary, for broadcast on Christmas Day. If you want to be a part of the taping, come prepared to stand and watch the parade a lot, as they shoot the same floats repeatedly from different angles. If you want to visit the park on those days without watching the taping, slip through the shops on Main Street to get to the Castle hub and head for one of the other lands. If you don't want to get caught up in the parade crowds at all, visiting another park on taping days is the best option; however, if enough of the park visitors are on Main Street waving at the camera, the lines for the attractions in the other areas of the park will be shorter.


    Hollywood Holly-Day Parade

    MGM has a special holiday parade, the Hollywood Holly-Day Parade, shown daily from mid-November through New Years. This year, Disney's site lists this as starting Dec. 1 but I hope that was an oversight so we get to see it!

    The Osborne Family's Spectacle of Dancing Lights

    Little Rock, AK businessman Jennings Osborne gave his daughter a unique Christmas gift: over 1000 red Christmas lights on their home. The lights grew each year until they grea too bright for the residential area where Osborne lived, and found a new home at Disney-MGM Studios in 1995. The lights have grown to around 5 million, and new for 2006, they have a new twist: they dance to the music! The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights dazzles visitors with millions of lights and snow in the Street of America area of the park. The lights go on at 6 pm and remain on until park closing. See hours in the MGM section of Event Dates on this page. As always, dates and times are subject to change, so get a Times Guide at the park entrance. USUALLY you can slip back and see them after Fantasmic, which is after park closing time, but sometimes this area is reserved for private parties after park close so if you plan to go see them after Fantasmic, check at Guest Services to make sure they will be available for viewing by all guests.

    Animal Kingdom

    A huge Christmas tree with an animal theme stands at the park entrance. Watch for snow-caps on light poles and other holiday touches around the park.

    Santa Goofy's Wild Wonderland

    Head for Camp Minnie Mickey to see trees decorated with a character theme, and to meet Goofy at Santa Goofy’s Wild Wonderland, a unique opportunity to have your photo taken with a unique Santa!

    Mickey's Jingle Jungle Expedition Parade

    See Mickey's Jingle Jungle Expedition, a jungle-themed (a snow-capped jungle!) holiday parade performed daily during the month of December. Maybe your family will be chosen to ride in the parade! Also was listed as starting Dec 1 so we will miss it this year and that makes me sad, it is a wonderful parade!

    Strolling Christmas Carolers

    Enjoy the Christmas carols from carolers strolling through the Oasis and Camp Minnie Mickey.

    Holiday Character Breakfast at Donald's Breakfastosaurus

    Since Donald's Breakfastosaurus is changing and the character breakfast is being moved to Tusker House in Africa, maybe this will move too...I am not sure when Tusker House opens as a buffet so maybe this is not going to be an option this year?


    While all of the resorts have Christmas trees and other decorations, many of the resorts have special displays too, and lots of them edible, constructed from thousands of pieces of gingerbread, and hundreds of pounds of sugar and chocolate. To see the decorations at resorts other than the one you are staying in, just hop a resort bus from any of the parks. You could easily spend a whole day resort-hopping to see all of the displays.

    If you purchase a gingerbread house from one of the resorts, plan on carrying it home. As far as I know, none of the resorts will ship the houses because of their fragility. If you are flying, make sure to save room in your carryon!

    Head for the Contemporary Resort to see a holiday toy shop featuring Pinocchio made of sugar and chocolate. It's on the fourth floor near Chef Mickey's.

    10,000 pieces of gingerbread are in the life-size Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian Resort, which is also a shop where you can purchase gingerbread houses and gingerbread shingles like the ones that roof the life-size house, which stands in the lobby of the hotel. They start making the gingerbread months before they start building to have enough. Every shingle and siding slab is a separate cookie, glued on with decorator icing. The house takes Disney chefs 400 hours to bake and 160 hours to decorate. It takes over 1000 lbs of honey, 600 lbs of confectioner's sugar, 35 lbs of spices, 800 kbs of flour, 140 pints of egg whites, and 180 lbs of apricot glaze to decorate the house.

    The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House:

    is 16 feet high
    is 17 feet wide
    has 1,000 board feet of trim
    uses 60 sheets of plywood
    has 40 window panes
    contains 80 square feet of retail space
    contains 100 square feet of display
    contains 10,000 pieces of gingerbread

    There is an African Village made of modeling chocolate at Boma (a wonderful restaurant serving food buffet-style with an African flavor) at Animal Kingdom Lodge. (This was not there last year. Hope it is back this year!)

    Check out Disney's Beach Club Resort lobby for a life-sized completely edible carousel, with sugar horses, giant candy cane poles, and a lighted gingerbread roof! Every year there are hidden Mickey's on the carousel, one for each year the Beach Club has had a carousel.

    Small gingerbread houses and Christmas stollen will be for sale, and Disney pastry chefs will be giving demonstrations on select days for guests who want to create their own gingerbread masterpieces at home.

    Disney's Boardwalk Resort has a chocolate, sugar, and gingerbread Boardwalk, complete with rides, including a five foot tall Ferris wheel, a carousel, and a water slide. There is even a beach area. Look for Santa's Worskshop. Santa's Workshop was there last year but no Boardwalk model.

    Wilderness Lodge lobby has a huge tree, and also offers a sleigh ride. Like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, the sleigh ride is a ticketed event and to assure a seat, should be booked well in advance.

    At Disney's Polynesian Resort, look for an exotic gingerbread village, complete with volcanoes and palm trees. It's on the second floor of the Ceremonial House. You can buy Christmas cookies at the Kona Island coffee bar. The Village was not there last year. A CM told us it was because the Chef left the Poly to work at another resort, where he did a display, and maybe they will do one this year? I hope so!

    Disney's Yacht Club Resort lobby has a model train winding its way around a sugar mountain and completely edible miniature village. Small gingerbread houses, Christmas stollen and Italian pannettone will be sold in the merchandise stores. Forgot to go here last year. Not sure if that was there or not!

    Downtown Disney

    Festival of the Seasons

    Enjoy old-fashioned downtown Christmas shopping reminiscent of when Christmas shopping was done on Main Street rather than in a covered mall at Downtown Disney. Holiday window displays, lights, and decorations will put you in the holiday mood. There is live entertainment and you can have your photo taken with Santa. Check out Disney's Days of Christmas store for lots of holiday decorations and gifts!
  5. Happyflower

    Happyflower Mouseketeer

    Aug 2, 2007
    :banana: :banana: I am sooo glad I asked! I am really impressed! I guess I need extra film for this trip! Thank you so much! Does anyone have pictures or is it best to be surprised? :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo:
  6. cvallee

    cvallee Mouseketeer

    Jan 19, 2003
    Not sure if it is possible, but the travel channel did a special about Disney at christmastime. See if you can get a copy of it. IT will set the mood for the trip. We were actually there when they filmed it (inside Beach Club lobby and got to see Samantha Brown)
  7. northie

    northie .

    Aug 9, 2006
    Try bradk's photos here: Those are from his Dec. 2006 trip (I still haven't got mine up, I am really slow!)

    Check out the whole gallery, he takes beautiful photos!
  8. Cinderellafifi

    Cinderellafifi <font color=CC66CC>Remembers people walking around

    Dec 8, 2001
    We love Downtown Disney during the holidays! Beautiful decorations, festive music piped in, ahhhhh! There are free performances on the stage in front of World of Disney, different Christmas/holidays displays to enjoy, and, of course, the Big Man Himself - Santa! He is a great Santa, so you'll have great photos. Oh, and make sure to visit the Christmas shop in Downtown Disney where it is Christmas every day of the year! Enjoy!:santa:
  9. dee slack

    dee slack DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2006
    northie - thanks for listing all those great things to do and see - I'm even more excited about going at Christmas now I've read all that:thumbsup2
  10. Happyflower

    Happyflower Mouseketeer

    Aug 2, 2007
    Okay, if I am reading right , the special Merry X-mas party that they have after regular hours at MK, is manily stuff they have all through out the week? What about the snow? We are from the midwest , so snow doesn't impress us, but it still be neat to see. I would do the party if the special stuff was exclusive to just the party, especially at those prices. sooooo. I need another idea...

    I wanted to plan something our last night before we go that would be special. The kids wanted to eat at Chef Mickeys for dinner. What do they serve for dessert, I can't seem to find it on the menus? We have only been there for breakfast.
    We will be spending the last 2 days relaxing mostly at AKL, but we could go one of the parks the last night or maybe just downtown disney? Any ideas?

    Okay here is another question, our last night is the 21st, which is the night of the xmas party at MK, sooo will they show the fireworks at 8pm or wait until after the party is over?
  11. DisDarling

    DisDarling Mouseketeer<br><font color=9966ff>I have yet to co

    Nov 30, 2004
    Get pics with all of the neat Resort Christmas decorations, each one has something unique.
  12. tinknme

    tinknme <font color=green>I happened to be posting on the

    Jun 24, 2005
    Thank you for sharing this awesome list! We are going for the 1st time during Christmas & this is a big help :thumbsup2

  13. 5wdwfans

    5wdwfans Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2006
    Thanks northie for taking the time to post things to see in the world at Christmas time. :santa: It will be our 1st Dec. trip during this wonderful time of the year. Your list is fabulous! :thumbsup2
  14. northie

    northie .

    Aug 9, 2006
    The Christmas Party has the shows and parade that will be shown Christmas week. If you go to WDW before that week, you won't see these things other than at the party..for us, the party is good because we are going the end of November. The party doesn't run the week of Christmas to NY because you can already see all of that :) The snow ...well I don't know how they do that during Christmas week because we have only been there the first week of Dec, and saw the snow during Osborne Lights at MGM and the Christmas party at MK and it was pretty cool to see it "snow" in Florida (and as a 33 year resident of Minnesota, I know snow! lol) I know there will be someone on here that has been the days you are going that will know the timeframe for sure!

    If they are showing the parade and stuff anyway I'd skip the party and go to is relaxing and the decorations are lovely!

    On party nights they don't always have fireworks, but they do that night at is the schedule for Dec. 21 from Disney's site (as always, subject to change!)

    Daily Schedule for December 21, 2007

    Magic Kingdom® Park
    Park Hours: 9:00am - 7:00pm
    Special Events:

    Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
    7:00pm - 12:00am
    Join us on select nights for our merriest party ever, as the joys of Christmas meet the fantasy of Magic Kingdom® Park in this spectacular celebration complete with stage shows, fireworks, a special parade and more.

    Parades and Fireworks
    Disney Dreams Come True Parade
    Wishes™ Nighttime Spectacular
  15. Surgie

    Surgie Mouseketeer

    Jun 28, 2007
    Does anyone know how long the holiday decorations remain up? When I called for ADRs for Jan. 1-5, the CM told me she was "pretty sure" the deocrations in the parks would all be up. The only info I found for sure on the WDW site is that the Osborne lights will be displayed through Jan. 6. Anyone know about the resort and park holiday decorations?
  16. D L and K's Mom

    D L and K's Mom <font color=blue>D, L and now baby Kennedy's mom!<

    Mar 17, 2001
    Make sure you get to see the decorations in the different hotels. We didnt go ot the parks on Christmas Day we took the monorail to the different hotels (Poly, Cont, and GF) and walked around and saw the decorations, ate lunch and had a nice relaxing time. We called the Poly before and asked about parking. Since we had breakfast at Ohana they said we could leave the van. We ate, walked around then walked the beach and swung in the hammocks and then walked over to the GF. We again looked around and had a gingerbread shingle (Yuck, dont buy one!!) then we hopped on the monorail to the Cont. It was a very nice relaxing day.
  17. LisaBi

    LisaBi DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2004
    The Candlelight Processional was one of my all-time favorite Christmas things ever, anywhere. I did a solo trip in Dec. 2006 and did that my first night. It set a great tone for the rest of the trip. Just a real feel-good performance, especially if you love Christmas music.

  18. disneykidz4

    disneykidz4 Mouseketeer

    Jun 12, 2007

    Thank you for the Christmas info. We will be there for our first trip in December, also. This really helps! :goodvibes

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