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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Things I Haven’t Done: Christmas in Walt Disney World

By Ryan Reed




Continuing with this series of posts, I want to talk about Christmas in Walt Disney World.  As I stated in my previous post, I will cover what makes me want to experience these things I’ve missed in Walt Disney World so badly.  Some are shocking, as they are staples for every Disney fan.  Having said all that, there is one major Christmas event (or Spectacle, if you will) I was lucky enough to experience: the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at what I’m most excited about seeing in Walt Disney World during the holiday season...


 Magic Kingdom
 

A look down Main Street USA during the Christmas season.


Seeing the Magic Kingdom laced with Christmas lights, strewn with wreaths, and our favorite characters dressed in holiday spirit has to be an incredible sight.  As we all know, the park itself will astonish you every time you walk in; add in hundreds of lights to celebrate such a joyous holiday and you have the makings of an amazing event.


Cinderella’s Castle with its “cool” Christmas decorations.


Cinderella’s Castle gets to be center stage (as it often is) for a holiday version of Wishes.  With it being decked out with “icicles”, white fireworks light up the sky forming a wonderful backdrop to the newly decorated castle.  Wishes is always a spectacle; I cannot wait to see it with a holiday twist.



Mickey and Minnie make their way down a “snowy” Main Street USA


As I’ve stated before, I’ve never been a parade guy but looking at some of these pictures make me really want to make an effort to see what Mickey has in store.  One of the coolest Disney touches that I’ve noticed is the snowing effect they have used on Main Street.  I’ve seen plenty of snow in my life - being from Upstate New York - so this isn’t new to me, however, seeing this effect in Magic Kingdom sounds, well, magical. 




Holidays Around the World at EPCOT


Sportsman Shoppe of the United Kingdom Pavilion in World Showcase.

 

Now this is something I just became aware of when searching for material for this article: wow!  This is right up my ally.  I can’t get enough of World Showcase let alone having it decorated for the holidays with each country celebrating in their own unique customary way.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will be my favorite part of a Disney vacation during Christmas.

 

Resort Hopping


I’ve always loved the Wilderness Lodge.


Seeing the Wilderness Lodge decorated in holiday spirit, complete with a giant Christmas Tree makes it look even more warm and cozy than it normally does.  I haven’t been able to experience every resort, or make time to do so.  I figure a wonderful time to explore these great places would be when Disney has them decorated for the season.  From the pictures I’ve seen, they all look unbelievable.  Making it a point to go around to each resort, taking in the sights and taking advantage of what each has to offer sounds like a unique way to relax.
 
 
Another shot of Wilderness Lodge.
 
Of course: the Gingerbread House.
 
 
 

Everyone has heard about the Grand Floridian’s infamous gingerbread house.  The house is 16 feet high and takes about 10,000 gingerbread pieces to complete!  What a sight to see it must be. 
 

 
Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Boardwalk.
 
Animal Kingdom Lodge has gingerbread decorating in the lobby of Jambo House.
 
 
The Food
           

The food found throughout Walt Disney World during the holidays is all about the decorations.  Some specialty treats will pop up here and there for the given holiday/time of year but what I love is the unique decorations found throughout the parks.


 
 
Any Disney candy apple is fantastic.
 
A fun Christmas twist to a classic Disney treat.
 
Disney never disappoints with their cupcake decorations.
 
 
 


As with everything in Walt Disney World, there’s so much offered during the holiday season.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of what can be found on property during Christmas; leaving some experiences left for the unknown excites me even more though.  I hope to hear some of your favorite Disney traditions during the holiday season; let me know in the comment section below!


 

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 Ryan Reed is from Upstate New York and grew up in a suburb just west of Rochester.  He graduated from the College at Brockport with a Bachelors of Science in Philosophy; he also plans to go back to school to acquire his MBA within the next couple of years.  For hobbies, Ryan spends his time staying active and just recently ran the 2014 Boiler Maker 15K for the first time.  Also, he is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan who thinks every year is “our year”.  Basketball is, without a doubt, his favorite sport and shares the same interest with his father.  They both bond over being Boston Celtics fans and regularly make trips to the New England area to watch them play.  Ryan’s interest in craft beer is shared amongst his friends and girlfriend; they enjoy touring, learning, and experiencing everything brewers have to offer.  His ties to Walt Disney World started before he even was a year old.  As a child, his family took him back year after year and has continued to go back almost yearly.  At first, his love for Disney World was due to the attractions that he had never experienced elsewhere.  Then he began to be intrigued with how the parks, rides, and restaurants came to be – the sheer size of what they were able to build fascinated him.  In his sophomore year of college Ryan took part in the Disney College Program.  He worked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Fantasmic! as well as Rock N’ Roller Coaster.  This experience allowed him to see a whole new side of Disney and gained an appreciation for what they do more than ever before.  Now Ryan looks for any information he can to understand the history of Disney World and how it came to be.  He has witnessed Disney go through a lot of changes but his interests and appreciation for the parks evolved along with it.  His favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion but a close second is Tower of Terror.  Epcot has become his favorite park; there are so many different things to experience – each visit seems like a new adventure.  His favorite time at Disney is dusk; each park transforms into something completely different once the sun sets.  His favorite Disney movie is Toy Story and favorite Disney character is Tigger.  Ryan’s articles will discuss tips about Disney World, some “best of” pieces, as well as history of both the parks and resorts.


 

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