The holidays are a fantastic time to visit Disney World. Starting just after Thanksgiving, all of the Disney resorts and parks get into the holiday spirit with special events, parades and activities to get you into the mood of the season. No need to go over Christmas week either, early December will get you access to all the events. There are a ton of things to do at Disney World anyways, but here are the top 10 to do for Christmas:
#10: Hollywood Holly-Day Parade – Located in Disney Studios, the Hollywood Holly-Day Parades gives you all of your favorite Disney characters in the holiday best. This is a fairly quick parade, but it is fun for the entire family to see their favorite characters up close.
#9: Disney’s Days of Christmas – Located in Downtown Disney, Disney’s Days of Christmas is a small shop, open year round, selling Christmas ornaments and other items. While open year round, this place really shines for Christmas, a great place to stop before heading home to grab some last minute gifts or decorations.
#8: Gingerbread House – Located at the Grand Floridian, the Gingerbread House is a must see. Once you enter the lobby, you can smell the gingerbread. Hand made each year, this near life size house feature a gingerbread store inside. As a related activity, the decorations at all the deluxe resorts are fantastic, in particular, the Grand Floridian and Wilderness Lodge.
#7: Tree Lighting Ceremony – Located in Epcot at the entrance to the World Showcase, each night at 6:00 PM, Mickey and friends light up the huge Epcot Christmas Tree. A quick, though enjoyable ceremony should be seen at least once during your Christmas trip.
#6: Harlem Gospel Choir – A special for 2007, and hopefully for years to come, the Harlem Gospel choir performs inspirational Christmas songs nightly at the Theater of the Stars in Disney Studios.
#5: Voices of Liberty – Located in the American Pavillion in Epcot, Voices of Liberty is an eight-part a cappella group that sings holidays songs in and around the rotunda of the American Pavillion. While they sing year round, it is their Christmas show that makes the group special.
#4: Santas from around the world – Located in Epcot, meet the Santas from around the world, from Santa in the American Pavilion to Père Noël in France and La Befana in Italy. Kwanzaa and Hanukkah is also featured in several countries. A great way to introduce the kids to the different Christmas traditions around the world.
#3: Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights – Located in Disney Studios, the Osborne Family started decoration their home in Little Rock, but things got a bit out of hand. The Arkansas supreme court barred them from displaying lights, so Disney stepped in, and move them to Disney World. Featuring over 5 million Christmas lights, it isn’t like anything you have ever seen before. This is also one of your only chances to see snow in Florida.
#2: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Located in the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate entrance in addition to your park passes, but you get to see a special Disney Christmas parades, a special edition of the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks, Goofy Santa, Hot Chocolate and snow on main street. Plus, many of the Magic Kingdom rides are open for your enjoyment.
#1: Candlelight Processional – Located in the American Pavilion in Epcot, the Candlelight Processional is a moving reading of the Christmas story by a celebrity, accompanied by a huge choir and orchestra. Just a first rate Christmas event, this is a not miss. Seating is first come, first serve, and the line is often very long, as there are only three shows per night. Celebrities that have participated in the past are Edward James Olmos, Gary Sinise, Rita Moreno and Marlee Matlin.