The holidays are here, and there are so many festive ways to celebrate on Disney property. We talked about some of the events taking place in the parks in the Disney Parks Holiday Celebrations post last week. All of the Disney resorts decorate and get into the Christmas spirit as well. If you have the time to resort hop here is a list of the best ones to check out. It is also good to know during the week of Christmas there will be character meet-and-greets at the deluxe resorts with different characters dressed in their holiday attire. Santa also visits each deluxe resort on Christmas Eve.
Fort Wilderness Campsites
The campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort go all out for Christmas! Guest elaborately decorate their tents and RV’s and campsites with lights and lawn decorations, and it is something neat to see. You can’t drive around the campsites in your car; you will need to rent a golf cart to see the campsite decorations. It is always a good idea if staying on a campsite or one of the cabins to plan to rent a golf cart each day. The resort is vast and spread out, and you can only access the restaurants and store by taking the internal buses, walking or using the golf carts. Staying at Fort Wilderness Campsites any time of the year is fun, but a visit during Halloween or Christmas is the absolute best time to stay here, or at least come and visit the grounds.
On Christmas Eve The resort hosts the Christmas Golf Cart Parade where guests staying at the property will transform their golf carts into fantastic parade float-like creations. It is amazing to see how creative these Disney fans are. The show last about a half hour. The resort also does a Halloween Golf Cart Parade as well.
During the entire month of December, the resort offers Holiday Sleigh Rides that depart from Crockett’s Tavern every 30-minutes. The 25-minute ride will take a family of four adults or two adults and three children on an adventure through the unspoiled woodlands and allow guests a glimpse of the uniquely decorated campsites as well. The fire engine red sleighs adorned with garland and festive lights are available to reserve 180-days in advance and cost $79 for the family.
It is no secret that the Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue is my and my family’s absolute favorite thing on Disney property and for more information read my review from a few months ago here. For the Holidays this interactive show gets into the Christmas spirit and instead of singing their typical folk songs they change it up to Christmas songs and the sing-a-long that erupts along with the audience is truly magical. I would recommend this show anytime of the year; it is one to do over and over again and would be especially wonderful for a Christmas visit.
The Grand Floridian Resort is a must stop for anyone visiting starting mid-November through January. In the lobby is where you’ll find the most extravagant Gingerbread house in all of Disney property. The life-sized gingerbread house is a pop-up holiday gift shop that sells a variety gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, chocolates and truffles and miniature gingerbread house sets as well. The store is open daily 10 am- 10 pm. The resort also offers free gingerbread house decorating demonstrations in the lobby Monday-Saturday at 1 o’clock. An awful lot of effort goes into creating this massive gingerbread house and weeks of preparation is put in resort-wide to pull it off. Here are some fun facts about the gigantic gingerbread house.
- 1,050 lbs of honey
- 140 pints of egg whites
- 600 lbs of powdered sugar
- 700 lbs of chocolate
- 800 lbs of flour
- 35 lbs of spices
- 400+ hours to bake
The Contemporary Resort, as well as the Grand Floridian Resort, are two of the easiest resorts to visit during a day spent at the Magic Kingdom since the Contemporary is a quick walk or one stop on the monorail loop. They also have an impressive gingerbread house in their lobby. Although not as intricate as the one at the Grand Floridian; it is still a spectacular site to see! Each year there is a different Disney characters theme done in the iconic styling of Mary Blair’s ‘It’s a Small World.’ The display is on the concourse floor located in front of the gorgeous multi-level mosaic designed by the beloved Mary Blair.
Beach Club, Yacht Club and the Boardwalk Resorts
For a day spent at Epcot or Hollywood Studios, you could quickly step out of the theme parks and take a “Friendly Ferry” from Hollywood Studios or a leisurely walk from Epcot’s World Showcase over to any of these three Resorts to check out their impressive Gingerbread displays.
The Beach and Yacht Club Resorts
Located in the “Beach-Side” lobby, you will find a larger-than-life spinning gingerbread carousel. For those of you not familiar with these two resorts they are connected so you can take a quick stroll from the Beach Club Resort over to the Yacht Club Resort lobby to check out their incredible Christmas village display complete with a miniature train set surrounded by a rock candy mountain range.
The Boardwalk Resort
Here at the Boardwalk guests will find a smaller scale edible version of Atlantic City including beach sites, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel as well. According to the Disney Parks Blog, guests can decorate a gingerbread ornament for $8.95. The proceeds of the ornaments will benefit one of the best organizations around— Give Kids The World; a non-profit organization that helps families with life-threatening illnesses get to Orlando and stay at their magical resort and visit all Orlando theme parks including Disney parks with donated tickets.
A visit or a stay at the Wilderness Lodge is always a great idea. Inside the main lobby in mid-November, you will find a spectacular 60-foot tree. This monstrosity takes 18-hours to put up and is worth a visit. Dinner reservations at the Whispering Canyon for the whole family would be a great excuse for guests who plan to check out the resort but aren’t staying on the property to come on over to see the display.
Animal Kingdom Loge
The Animal Kingdom also provides a beautiful oversized Christmas tree complete with themed ornaments. This resort would make for a fantastic stay for guests. It is a bit farther away from the other resorts and theme parks making it a slightly longer commute for the resort hoppers. Reservations at Boma would be a great to get you to the resort to check out the holiday decorations and enjoy a delicious meal too.
There’s so much to do on Disney property during the holidays. It is truly the most magical time of the year to visit. If you are thinking about a last-minute holiday vacation or already planning for next year contact me to book your next trip.
“See you real soon!”