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Disney for the Holidays: The Most Magical Moments

Our recent trip to Walt Disney World in December was as magical as I had hoped it would be. Of course there were problems to overcome and I will not sugar coat them but I want to share my experience with visiting Disney at the most wonderful time of the year.


Trees, trees and more trees. As a Christmas tree lover, I have 7 in my home, this was a paradise. In fact I wish we had had more time just looking at the trees. There is a Christmas tree stroll in Disney Springs that we simply didn’t make time to explore. Of course the trees were all themed. For example the EPCOT tree had Happy Holidays written on it in at least a dozen different languages. The Animal Kingdom tree had wood carvings of Animals. I am sorry to say I didn’t take enough pictures. This was my daughter’s first trip in over 2 years so the focus was really on her. But here is the Animal Kingdom tree.

The resorts had beautiful decorations. From the million foot tall tree in Wilderness Lodge to the life size gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian, I highly recommend resort hopping to see the creative and beautiful holiday decorations.

Another thing I didn’t take pictures of was the Santa in EPCOT. He was absolutely wonderful. Scarlett was shy but managed to ask him for a birdhouse for Christmas so that she could give a bird family a home and she would make scientific observations throughout the season. He said it was the sweetest gift anyone had asked him for all year. We got beautiful Memory Maker photos with our absolute favorite photo pass photographer Ray.

Very Merriest After Hours

In short this is the greatest splurge purchase I have ever made. When I did it I said to Pat that Christmas is so special to me and I think this will bring me a stupid amount of joy and he said ok fine. Great story, right? It was one of the most magical evenings I have ever had. From the lights to the trees I was so full of joy and then it snowed! It snowed! Scarlett and I ran around Main Street jumping for joy.

During the Parade, Scarlett’s eyes lit up. For a kid who’s not into characters she waved and smiled like she believed with her whole heart. Pat and I both cried seeing our high risk child who had been locked up for nearly two years light up like a Christmas tree. To see the joy in her eyes was an unbelievably wonderful thing. Our closest friends said they saw those pictures on Facebook and teared up themselves.

Included in the party were cups of hot coco and gingersnaps. The coco was luke warm but those were some of the best cookies I have ever had and they let me take quite a few. Of course we rode several rides with wait times under 5 mins and then we watched the spectacular themed night show. The castle lit up with Christmas colors while Christmas music played and the fireworks exploded overhead. If you are on the fence about doing this event in the future, let me tell you it was absolutely worth the money.

Candlelight Processional

This was everything I wanted it to be. On select nights at EPCOT celebrity reads the Christmas story accompanied by a an orchestra and over a 50 person choir. It was truly spectacular and I am so glad I booked the dining package at Coral Reef to secure a seat. More to come on all our restaurant reviews. I discovered at the end of the show that Scarlett knows the Halleluiah chorus. Yes I know it is an Easter song but it was fantastic to see this choir and orchestra perform with audience participation. It was the perfect end to a fabulous show.

Holiday Snacks

Here’s where things went wrong. The lines for the festival booths at EPCOT were significantly longer than I expected. Longer than Food & Wine. The ride lines at EPCOT weren’t horrible (I should mention I didn’t do any standby lines, but I looked at the times). It was specifically the holiday booths. Scarlett was not interested in standing in those lines and this trip really was about her so the only thing I got was the pumpkin pie funnel cake. Don’t worry I’ll cover the rest of my food in a later post.

I really hope we find a way to go back in December again. Scarlett will go to middle school next year, which makes pulling her out during the school year a little tricker and Christmas Week is the busiest time of the year so I am not sure how we’ll make that work. But I can make it work for you! Email me at and I’ll help you plan your perfect holiday trip to Disney.

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