How to Christmas at Disney

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m scared to full on Christmas at Disney. We’ve done a few days around the holiday, but haven’t made the plunge to spend Christmas week at the parks.

But I’ll also confess that it’s a dream of mine to pull off and one that someday soon is going to happen! And in case they are reading my blog, no, kids, not this year soon, but soon-ish? It’s one of those bucket list items for Disney fans that I feel I need to accomplish some day.

What I do know about it: it takes a lot of planning and patience to make it magical.

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

Photo: Murtagh Photography http://www.murtaghphotography.com/

I crowd-sourced some of my favorite Disney loving bloggers for tips and experiences that shouldn’t be missed. If you’ve never visited their sites before, you are in for a treat! As a group, we are in agreement: Christmas at Disney is simply the most magical time to visit.

But a visit during the Christmas holidays is not that simple to pull off.

Don’t be fooled by the splendor. Sure, the resorts are decked out, and snow falls on Main Street, which is really cool. But prices and crowd levels are the highest all year. Stress is not something you want to find in your stocking!

The good news: You can still have an enjoyable time if you follow these tips we wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow to plan your visit.

 

Christmas at Disney

The parks sparkle and shine with their glittery holiday colors and decorations. Halloween items come down practically overnight on November 1, and Christmas wastes no time moving in!

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

Photo: Murtagh Photography http://www.murtaghphotography.com/

By November 7th, the Christmas Holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort, and you can count on Disneyland to be dressed and ready to go soon after (traditionally November 11th).

We come bearing gifts: Here are some of our best tips for celebrating Christmas at Disney, shared by some bloggers who are Disney experts!

 

Disneyland at Christmas

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

You want to know before you go, right? Then be sure to read these tips offered by our Disneyland loving bloggers.

I’ve got a few essential tips you’ll need if you brave the crowds deep in the heart of the holidays. My best tip: get a locker at the Main Street location to stash your extras. Weather can fluctuate, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold!

Tips for Disneyland at Christmas

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Saving up for Disney

Julie gives you a few more suggestions. 11, to be exact!

For those who are used to Disneyland travel, you may want to pay attention to number 4. It’s a change from your usual visits, most likely! Check out Julie’s advice here:

11 Tips for Navigating the Crowds at Disneyland

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Trips with Tykes

Disneyland does things right, in my opinion, when it comes to special rides. I’m particularly fond of the Halloween/Christmas mashup that happens to the Haunted Mansion every year. But just as good are the treatments that both it’s a small world and the Jungle Cruise undergo.

Leslie has the rundown on all the Christmas specific overlays you won’t want to miss!

3 Rides With Christmas Cheer

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: This Fairy Tale Life

And Mindy at This Fairy Tale Life talks about take a trip on the World Famous Jingle Cruise

The first year it was a little weak, but I am happy to report that last year they beefed up the jokes and the tinsle. I loved the fruitcakes floating in the water, personally.

Say goodbye to the folks on the dock; you won’t ever see them again!

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

Photo: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Characters? Who needs to meet Mickey and Minnie in holiday garb?

(Raising hand and waving wildly)

Check it out: Jessica has a list of where you can find your favorites at Disneyland.

Holidays at Disneyland: Christmas Thanksgiving, and New Year

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Patrick Magsaysay

And don’t forget the fun over at Disney California Adventure. The special treats during the holidays include a favorite show of mine: ¡Viva Navidad!

Dawn tells us all about it over on I Am a Mommy Nerd.

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

 

Walt Disney World at Christmas

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Mom’s Magical Miles

Walt Disney World holds a special party just to celebrate the season. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is currently scheduled to take place on the following dates in 2016: November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27 and 29 and December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 22

Amy went- and (gasp)- left the kids behind. Here are her thoughts on the party as an adult only adventure!

Christmas Time is Here! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

The Candlelight Processional in Epcot is a must-see holiday experience. Photo Courtesy of WDW News.

Karyn covered a lot of ground at Walt Disney World during the holiday season. She’s picked her favorite experiences at Walt Disney World that you don’t want to miss.

The Candlelight Processional is on my personal Disney Bucket list: preferably with Neil Patrick Harris as the narrator. Swoon!

How to Christmas at Walt Disney World

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Lola Lambchops

What are the best parts of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Dancing queen Tania lays it all out for you.

There are cookies, cocoa, and dance parties galore! You won’t want to miss her showing off her sweet moves.

Top Four Reasons to Love Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Disney Gals

Last year, Gayle was at the opening party.

She’s got some great info, including a list of characters you don’t want to miss during Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Guide to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: As the Bunny Hops

One of my favorite holiday experiences at Walt Disney World was the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Sadly, this attraction left Walt Disney World last year. The hope is that it will always come back, so we’re including it in the “don’t miss” list- just in case!

Amy took some amazing pictures that really put you in the moment!

Farewell to Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo credit: Disney in Your Day

And we know even with crowds and craziness, everyone seems to have Disney at Christmas on their bucket list. Becky had it on hers and she crossed it off a few years ago!

Bucket List: Disney at Christmas

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Disney Parks Blog

Christmas extends beyond the parks, too! Gingerbread creations in the resorts? Oh yes, please!The resorts are decked out and so is Disney Springs. Check out some suggestions you shouldn’t miss from Lisa.

The resorts are decked out and so is Disney Springs. Check out some suggestions you shouldn’t miss from Lisa.

Beyond the Parks- Holiday Edition

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Rolling with the Magic

Looking for someplace to stay? Melissa visited the Boardwalk Inn one year during the holiday season.

You’ve got to see some of these decorations!

Christmastime at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

 

Christmas on the Disney Cruise Line

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

photo: Delightful Life

What about taking a Disney Cruise at Christmas? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a bad option at all. Maybe it would even solve some of those crowd and crazy concerns if you take the parks out of the picture.

Check it out here: Jennifer reviews the Merrytime Christmas Cruise

Christmas is a fantastic time to enjoy the parks and all that Disney has to offer.

With special events, characters, and parties, this trip will be one present your family will not want to return!

You should head to Walt Disney World or Disneyland in for the Christmas holidays. Or maybe to the Disney Cruise Line. Why? This guide to Christmas at Disney reveals all! It's our Very Merry gift to you! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party | Jingle Cruise | Osborne Family Lights |

 

About Patty

Patty Holliday is a wife and mother of four. She's a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)

Comments

  1. Great round up! It really is so magical around the holidays.

  2. I’m a little embarrassed to say this being the HUGE Disney fan than I am, but I’ve never been to either park during the “Christmas” season. I’ve also never been for Halloween. I know, I know! This is great information though and good tips! Eventually I’ll get my act together 🙂

  3. Christmas at Disney is my favorite time of year!!!

  4. Julie Bigboy says:

    I just love the decorations in Cars Land, they are so clever!

  5. Okay – this just revved up the excitement for our trip this year!!!

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