The weather has started to hit the sweet spot here in Orlando – beautiful mid 70s during the day – a warm breeze yet still perfect to hop in for a mid day pool visit. With the change in weather comes the changes in seasons and Disney has stepped up to embrace this Christmas season. I visited Magic Kingdom to get a glimpse of what is in store for you when you visit during this very merry time!
Upon entering Magic Kingdom, you find yourself slow down to take in all that is before you. Garland and wreaths adorn all of Main Street and the feeling is palpable. It’s breathtaking. The combination of Disney magic and holiday nostalgia comes in a double dose. Like a warm soup on a cold day, the feeling of the first snow of the season, and the magic of Christmas morning all wrapped into one – you walk around in gentle wonder. Christmas music wafts at you and tells you that this year is finally reaching its conclusion which gives you a sense of “thank goodness – we have made it here.”
I always advise that the start of the day is a great time to take family pictures. Everyone is looking fresh and spirits are high. There are many Disney PhotoPass photographers around Main Street and Cinderella’s Castle. Don’t forget to ask if they have any Magic Shots to make your pictures even more full of cheer! Starting around 10:30, you’ll hear the music announcing character cavalcades. These are smaller parades that being near Splash Mountain and end near the trolley station at the front entrance area of Main Street.
For the Christmas season, there are cavalcades featuring Mickey, Minnie, and Friends in Christmas gear, Goofy’s Candy Cavalcade, Santa’s Cavalcade featuring his reindeer, and the beautiful Toy Soldiers marching with the Main Street Philharmonic Marching Band. Throughout the day, the barber quartet Dapper Dans traverse the park on their Holiday Trolly spreading Christmas merriment. My favorite spot for these cavalcades is at the base of the Christmas tree near the front entrance facing directly down Main Street. It is a prime spot so you may want to get there a bit early. Contrary to previous parade planning, finding a spot to watch is much easier. During regular capacity crowds you would easily be several families deep trying to find a last minute spectator spot. This time, you can easily move throughout the crowd as the cavalcades pass on to get some lovely holiday photo memories.
Christmas themed snacks are in high demand and Disney has been especially creative! You can sample a Christmas tree cupcake with a red velvet Hidden Mickey inside, an Orange Bird Christmas treat consisting of white chocolate mousse filled with orange curd, or my personal favorite a “Let It Snow” taco which is a sugar cookie taco shell filled with salted caramel and spiced chocolate mousse. The flavor is amazing and it’s an eye catcher – quite a few people asked where they could get one (Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Frontierland).
This year Disney transforms Cinderella’s Castle each evening with holiday projections. Overlays of red, green, and gold rotate with looks such as Christmas sweater decor and a jeweled frozen castle. The designs rotate approximately every 15 minutes so it’s the perfect time to grab that festive holiday snack and relax. You’ll want to keep in mind that this is not an official show but rather a rotation of festive backdrops meant to allow guests to come and go while enjoying the ambiance. And grab those magical evening PhotoPass snaps with the beautiful background! Easiest Christmas card shot ever!
Each time I visit Disney parks, I make sure to pay close attention to safety. Disney has set the bar very high from their reopening this past summer and they have remained consistent throughout. When there are times groups seem to be congregated together, Cast Members gently make sure to remind everyone to stay a safe distance. Guests are reminded to keep masks on unless eating and drinking (while stationary). I went out of my way to thank the Cast Members last visit for this. Of course it’s an economical decision to have the parks open. Yet I truly believe that at the core of Disney philosophy they care greatly about their guests and their well being. If you need further proof of this, read Bob Iger’s “Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.” A fantastic, open, and heartfelt look into what it’s like to be the leader behind all things Disney.
One more note – don’t forget to visit the “Jingle Cruise” – the Christmas themed Jungle Cruise sure to delight travelers from near and far!
If you are considering a holiday Disney getaway and would like a free, no obligation quote – proceed here to get started! Disney is currently offering discounts for those who want resort/ticket packages, Florida residents, Annual Passholders, Disney Visa Cardholders, and many more!