If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of Disney, specifically Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My family and I have had a special connection to this place and absolutely love visiting whenever we can. I love seeing the excitement through my child during our time there. They get so wide-eyed and jaws drop whenever they see their favorite characters out on Main Street or running away from Kyle Ren on Rise Of The Resistance. There is so much about the place that makes it so magical (at least, the pre-Chapek days).
As someone who also loves the Christmas holiday, I had on my bucket list to visit Disney World during the holiday season. I’ve heard nothing but outstanding and exciting things about seeing there with how it gets transformed and all of the special additions that make the most magical place on earth even more magical. Well, I was able to check that off my list as we went a few weeks ago, and I absolutely loved our experience there.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Disney World during the holidays, here are five reasons why you should go.
1. The Amazing Decorations
If you didn’t know this, Disney World transforms their parks’ decorations overnight, when the park closes for the day on October 31st, and then magically set up by the time the park opens the next morning. There are so many decorations around each of the four parks as well as the resorts and Disney Springs. Each park has its own Christmas tree that stands at least 50 ft or taller, its own special decorations that are unique to its location, and holiday lights wherever you go. My absolute favorite park decorations are at Hollywood Studios, where their decorations have a classic 50s-60s vintage feel to them.
2. Holiday-Themed Disney Merchandise
Now you might be thinking that you don’t have to go to Disney World to get this kind of merchandise when you can just order this online straight from the Disney store website. And that’s true. But I think there is something different about seeing some of this merchandise in person that makes it more enticing and exciting than looking at it on a screen. They have an abundance of merchandise at all of the parks and resorts that are great for the holidays, from having a cookie plate and cup of milk for Santa, to ornaments from the various Disney properties like Marvel and Star Wars, tree decorations, shirts, magnets – you name it, they probably have it! Magic Kingdom has a Christmas store right inside Liberty Square, and Disney Springs has an entire store of holiday-themed Disney merchandise, as well as a section inside the World Of Disney store.
3. The Delightful Treats
Disney World has always been known for its creative takes on food, snacks, and drinks, and the holiday is no exception. No matter where you go, you can find a holiday-themed food or beverage item, such as Melted Snowman Sugar Cookie, S’mores Hot Cocoa, Christmas donuts, and more! Each member of our family had specific tastes but we were able to find something that everyone could enjoy with each of their treats. But the taste is only half of it – the decorated presentation of each of their treats is also so majestic that part of you doesn’t even want to eat it!
4. The Famous Gingerbread House
Located at the Grand Floridian Resort, Disney World has created a 14-foot-tall Gingerbread House since 1998. Each year, they make a different house so no two houses are alike. Every single piece (with the exception of a few mechanical pieces like the door knob) is made out of gingerbread, and there are usually over 20 hidden Mickeys located in the house! Every day, cast members stand inside the house, selling a variety of treats that they make. Their most popular item is the gingerbread shingle, which is a six-inch long, shingle-shaped soft gingerbread with a layer of chocolate on top. We tried it out this year and as someone who is not a fan of gingerbread, I really enjoyed this!
5. Santa Comes To Disney World!
A magical Christmas at Disney World wouldn’t be complete without Santa. There are a number of ways that you can see Santa at the parks – and all for free! (If you want a photo with Santa, they do take a professional photo for you that you can pay to have, but they also allow you to take your own photo on your phone as well). We got to see Santa this year in the Hollywood Studios Christmas parade that they hold every day, led by a dancing Pluto and Santa’s reindeers. We also took our child to sit next to Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas at EPCOT, and our kid was nothing but smiles the whole time.