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December 5, 2013

Walt Disney World - Making Christmas Beautiful

I'm keeping this one simple, folks. It's one of those "a picture's worth a thousand words" situations, so I'll rely heavily on the photos this time around. 
Disney is a company that pays attention to detail. The parks transform with the seasons, and Christmastime is the most amazing of all at the Walt Disney World Resort. There are tremendous celebrations, like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party... unique experiences such as those at Epcot's Holidays Around the World... breathtaking displays like the Osborne Lights at Studios... then there's the truly inspired (and inspiring), amazing little touches absolutely everywhere else. Every park, shop, and hotel has its own original holiday touches to take notice of. Let me take you on a tour of some of the top highlights!!!

The Contemporary Resort is a true holiday highlight in SO many ways! A trip through the resort on the monorail offers a quick glimpse, but it's worth a pit stop for further exploring. The huge Mickey head wreath is on the outside of the main building, facing toward the Magic Kingdom. At night, it's a whole new kind of glorious!


The Grand Floridian is a spectacular resort by any standard, year-round. Elegance is the norm here, and the holiday season yields sophisticated Victorian beauty in tastefully festive touches. Arguably, the most magical element of a Disney Christmas is right here in the lobby of this fantastic jewel. It's a life-sized gingerbread house! While it's not there for eating, the happy Cast Members inside will serve up plenty of yummy goodies that are!




It's not just the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian that deck the halls, however. In fact, all of the on-site resort hotels have their own themed touches placed throughout. The campgrounds are particularly fun. Guests staying here are encouraged to decorate their RVs, tents, etc. for all to enjoy. The campground even offers horse-drawn carriage rides that offer pretty complete tours! Remember, you don't have to be staying at a specific hotel to check it out. This is one fallacy that many still swear to be true, and they tend to scare off those who may be curious to check these places out. I can tell you from experience that I have NEVER been denied entry to any on-site hotel. Worst case - on a crowded day, you may be turned away from parking at the hotels, but alternative lots are pointed out in those situations. You will be stopped at the hotel guard gate and asked to show a valid ID, which they glance at before allowing you in. Occasionally, you'll find an ambitious security guard who will ask why you're there. Easy - looking for "hidden Mickeys", having lunch/dinner, shopping, OR looking at the Christmas tree in the lobby! :)

For more resort hotel/campground photos and updates, keep an eye on my Twitter feed. My WDW visits are frequent and scattered, so as I go... pics get added! https://twitter.com/OrlandoDawn

Beyond the hotels, of course there's the parks! The "spectacle" taking place at Hollywood Studios warrants a blog entry of its own, so you can click here to discover the Osborne Lights!


Magic Kingdom is always special to me this time of year. Though I tend to find myself disgruntled with the park quite frequently nowadays, nostalgia keeps me loving a Main Street Christmas. My very first step into a Disney park introduced me to this Norman Rockwell-ish fantasy, and it still takes my breath away. Enjoy this tour of Magic Kingdom's holiday highlights...


The Candy Cane Garden is near the front entry, on Main Street. Drop off a letter to Santa, take some pictures, and have a chat with a toy soldier!





 Keep strolling down Main Street to discover random street performances, as well as decorations among light poles and buildings. Even the shop windows hold happy holiday surprises!





I'm always a fan of the dance parties at Club 626 in Tomorrowland, and it seems that they're even getting a holiday refurb! Will have to report back on that after I make an evening visit (it's coming, I promise!). 


 And then, there's Epcot! Oh wow, is Epcot ever worthy of its own entry! No link for that one as of yet. It's on tonight's to-do list. I've done the visit, taken the pics... now to write up the finer points to share with you lovely people. Barring any unforeseen pandemonium at home tonight, it'll be here shortly. Until then, here's a few quick images to whet your Epcot whistle...


There is just so much to see and do at WDW during the holiday season. Downtown Disney has its own aesthetic touches too, as well as a Santa Claus greeting area. Animal Kingdom offers up the Jingle Jungle Parade. I did not cover everything here, but just because it didn't make my favorites list doesn't mean it won't make yours.


In order to keep my blog honest, I do not accept pay for any event or attraction I review. If you enjoy reading my blog, please help it grow! Even a $1.00 donation goes a long way. Thank you in advance.