November 1 is here so I give full permission to start talking Christmas! On that topic, Christmas at Disney is on my Disney bucket list. Here’s everything you need to know before you take the plunge during the most magical (but most busy!) time of the year 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 someday.
What I do know about it: it takes a lot of planning and patience to make it magical.
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!
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 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!
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:
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!
**There’s a rumor that Jingle Cruise will not be returning in 2017. Just a heads up!**
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 tinsel.
I loved the fruitcakes floating in the water, personally.
Say goodbye to the folks on the dock; you won’t ever see them again!
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.
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.
Walt Disney World at Christmas
Walt Disney World holds a special party just to celebrate the season.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates
- November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30
- December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21
Amy went- and (gasp)- left the kids behind. Here are her thoughts on the party as an adult only adventure!
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.
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.
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.
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 at the moment!
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!
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.
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!
Christmas on the Disney Cruise Line
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!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed 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.)