Christmas is my favorite time of year! (Although if you ask our son, he will let you know that Disney Halloween is first and Christmas is a close second.) The holiday decorations at Walt Disney World go up overnight, and they change an already magical landscape into a winter wonderland. This article features the best photographs of Christmas in Walt Disney World.
Christmas in Walt Disney World
Autism and the holiday season in Walt Disney World have their unique perks and drawbacks. The first thing to keep in mind is the crowd level. Ensure you visit Guest Relations as soon as you step foot in any theme park to get the Disability Access Service.
With the Disability Access Service, you can wait elsewhere for the big-ticket attractions. Our post about the DAS describes how to best use it with family members who have autism.
See our post about how the Disability Access Service benefits those with autism.
The Magic Kingdom for the Holidays
Our favorite decorations are in the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World truly goes all out- even the popcorn courts are decked with holiday decor. They don’t just add poinsettias to the planters. Instead, they fill them with hundreds of poinsettias.
Walking down the middle of Main Street is a magical experience. If you spend time on Main Street USA during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you will experience snowfall (soap suds). Every inch of every building has some festive greenery, bows, or lights.
If you’ve never seen a Walt Disney World Christmas tree, it is truly a sight to behold! Each theme park and resorts features unique trees that are giant, reaching heights of 70 feet. The ornaments, garlands, lights, and stars differ depending on the tree’s theme that varies by location. The lamp posts along Main Street have a jolly Mickey Wreath. My children insisted on taking photos with these non-hidden Mickeys!
The Jingle Cruise Overlay for Christmas in Walt Disney World
Our all-time favorite holiday Disney decoration comes from the holiday overlay of the Jungle Cruise, now know as the “Jingle Cruise.” As always, the best part is the skippers. And the Jingle Cruise jokes do not disappoint- they are hilarious per usual!
The boats’ holiday update includes the Fruitcake Zelda, formerly known as Zambezi Zelda, or the Nile Nellie’s transformation to Noel Nellie.
The khaki decor has a holiday theme, down to the “Here We Go A-Wassailing” sign prominently displayed.
I still can’t figure out what the khaki sign says (some version of Jugeal the way??) If you know- please leave it in the comments. We’ve been googling and scratching our heads for days!
Even the hut on the river has a holiday twist with its decorations and Christmas tree. This waterfront home has never looked better!
The Queue at the Jingle Cruise
Netting filled with holiday ornaments dangles from the rafters as you make your way through the attraction queue at the Jingle Cruise.
The glass window that appears to allow “ticket purchases” for the Jungle Cruise features pine boughs and colorful Christmas lights. There is even a white mini Christmas tree (although who supports white Christmas trees??). There is also a lovely tree made from wooden dowels. It’s my favorite tree every year, and I eagerly look for the decor in the queue as we wait!
Below is another Christmas tree on display in the line for the Jingle Cruise.
As you traverse the rainforests of the world, giraffes pull Santa’s Sleigh.
Even the hat rack gets red bows and candy canes! My favorite part of Walt Disney World has always been the attention to detail. For our son with autism, our struggle with Jungle Cruise is that even the Fastpass line can endure quite the wait. We play games where we count Christmas trees (or bows, or whatever your family likes!) It helps to keep his focus off the crowds and the wait.
Hollywood Studios Holiday Decor
As you stroll down Sunset Boulevard, look up! All of the buildings have gorgeous decorations hanging from the buildings. I love how every theme park has different decorations to match the overall ambiance. While the Magic Kingdom is warm and nostalgic, Hollywood Studios is glitzy and showy.
During the holiday season, many of the characters have bright costumes. Dale is rocking a cute Christmas scarf and Santa hat in the picture.
The Resort Decorations for Christmas in Walt Disney World
Even the resorts have amazing holiday decorations! Our favorite Christmas displays in Walt Disney World are in the deluxe resorts. The Grand Floridian has a beautiful gingerbread house. Disney’s Beach Club features a gorgeous Gingerbread Carousel.
Our favorite holiday snaps of all time are from the retired Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights that ended following the 2015 holiday season. While we always love making new memories, our nostalgia is strong for those twinkling musical lights!
What is your favorite Christmas in Walt Disney World experience? Drop them in the comments!
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