Even though we’ve visited the parks countless times since the early 80’s, up until 2008 I had never experienced the magic of Christmas at Walt Disney World. When we were kids, we always visited in the summers, and even as we started visiting more often as adults, I never managed to take a trip to see the holiday decorations.
Once Mama Darling and Emily Styles moved to Florida in 2006, I was determined to see the Christmas decorations. The trouble is, I am a teacher, and the only time I could manage a holiday visit to WDW (before I moved to FL) was during the crowded vacation weeks. I typically do everything I can to avoid the crowds! I normally visited Mama Darling during my winter break. For a Christmas present in 2008, she bought me a one day park hopper so that I could finally experience all the lovely decorations at Walt Disney World. She was a seasonal passholder and was blacked out the day we planned to visit, so she also bought herself a one day park hopper so I wouldn’t have to go alone!
I knew the parks would be extremely crowded, so I planned on skipping attractions and just taking in all the sights and sounds of the holidays. We managed to visit Epcot, Magic Kingdom (twice!), and Hollywood Studios that one day, and somehow were able to book dinner at California Grill. Highlights included seeing Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, the Christmas storytellers at the different countries in World Showcase, seeing the castle at night, snow falling on Main Street USA, and experiencing the Osborne Lights for the first time. It was an incredible, day and it’s hard to put into words what you experience when you visit Walt Disney World during the Christmas season. These are some pictures from my day:
The following day we visited Downtown Disney and checked out some of the fabulous decorations at the resorts. I really got the full experience during that short visit! Once I moved to Florida in 2010, we made it a yearly tradition to visit WDW every December. It really gets us in the Christmas spirit and gives us a chance to celebrate the holidays together as a family.