With more than 1,300 decorated trees and 8.5 million lights strung throughout Walt Disney World, it is not difficult to get into the spirit of the season at the Kingdom of the Mouse. There is so much to see! Christmas experiences await at every park and resort. In a series of posts, Liliane Opsomer, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids, highlights activities throughout Walt Disney World. Today’s post focuses on the most wonderful time of the year at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
The park is decorated to the max, and there is nothing more magical than Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade. You do not have to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to see Disney characters—decked out in holiday garb—alongside gingerbread men, reindeer, and toy soldiers marching down Main Street U.S.A. Starting about a week before Christmas, the parade is shown once or twice daily.
Mr. & Mrs. Claus have their own beautiful float, a sight that will make every child’s heart beat faster.
My favorites are the Dancing Deer and the Toy Soldiers group. The parade starts at Frontierland and ends at Town Square.
If you cannot wait, by all means, make reservations for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It is a fabulous Christmas experience. Except for the parade, which takes place twice at night, there are several must-dos during the party. Make sure to see the Holiday Fireworks.
At the end of the show, watch as the castle magically transforms into an ice palace aglow with more than 200,000 lights. The show will blow your mind.
Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, a show held several times during the night on the Castle forecourt stage, is another big hit. And, just like during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, guests can meet their favorite Disney characters dressed in their holiday best, as well as some rarely seen characters such as Santa Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws, the Seven Dwarfs, and Scrooge McDuck.
Kids will love A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show, and the entire family will enjoy VoicePlay, a five-part a capella group singing favorite Christmas tunes several times nightly. Both shows take place on the Tomorrowland stage.
There are several dance parties, free cookie-and-hot-chocolate stations, and snow falling gently on Main Street U.S.A. (when it’s time to go home).
If you want to top it off with a reserved fireworks viewing area and a dessert and nonalcoholic drink buffet, you can sign up for the Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party, which is held at Tomorrowland Terrace. When it is time to view the fireworks, a cast member will escort guests to the reserved Plaza Garden viewing area. This Christmas experience costs $59 plus tax for ages 10 and older, $35 plus tax for ages 3 to 9.
Good to know: Should you decide to visit on Christmas Day, keep in mind that the Magic Kingdom will be filled to capacity as early as 10 a.m. and Disney will close the park. So, if your heart is set on being there, arrive early, be prepared to stay all day. and don’t expect to see all the attractions.
The annual Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration parade, televised on December 25th, is taped mid- to late November or the first week of December. In 2016 Disney returned to filming the actual parade at Disneyland, while the musical performances were taped in all four parks at Walt Disney World.
Most of all, bring along a humongous dose of patience and humor. The daily tree-lighting ceremonies and the parades are wonderful. The Magic Kingdom is truly magical at this most wonderful time of the year—when even the windows of the Emporium shop on Main Street U.S.A. are decorated in the spirit of the season. And don’t forget to ride the Jungle Cruise as it is transformed into the Jingle Cruise complete with festive Christmas decorations and Yuletide-themed jokes.
Check back for all Yuletide happenings at Walt Disney World as we discover the new International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot, celebrate Christmas at Disney Springs, The Studios, and more. This article was published first on the blog of The Mouse for Less. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter here.