It might still look and feel like summertime outside, but the holiday season is just around the corner at Walt Disney World, and it’s the MOST magical time of the year!
In addition to special holiday events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Epcot Festival of the Holidays, the holiday season at Disney World also includes Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Hollywood Studios, and new holiday décor in Discovery Island at Animal Kingdom.
But did you know that even MORE holiday fun and experiences can be enjoyed at the Walt Disney World Resorts without ever going into a theme park? And that there are two special holiday-themed tours each year, too?
Today our good friends from Small World Vacations are sharing their tips for enjoying the holidays at the Disney World hotels and more!
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Decorations and More at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Each Disney World hotel has decked the halls (and lobby) with its own themed Christmas trees and decorations. If you’re going to Walt Disney World between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, be sure to take time to tour the Disney Resorts and see all the incredible trees and decorations.
A great way to visit multiple resorts and check out the holiday decorations is to take a ride on the Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail loop, and hop off at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Disney’s Grand Floridian is one of the most popular hotels during the holidays thanks to the iconic 14-foot tall gingerbread house which is built each year in the resort’s lobby.
It takes a full week to decorate the gingerbread house with more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread, 1,050 pounds of honey, 140 pints of egg whites, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 700 pounds of chocolate, 800 of flour, and 35 pounds of spices.
The Grand Floridian gingerbread house is filled with unique details such as hand-painted window scenes featuring Disney characters playing in the snow, dozens of hidden Mickeys, and edible flowers decorating the outside of the house.
You’ll also want to check out The Bake Shop that’s located inside the gingerbread house where you can purchase holiday treats, merchandise, and more.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to the popular gingerbread display that is a must-see every year! In 2018 the display was Cinderella Castle and featured Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Fairy Godmother. The Contemporary’s gingerbread display is located on the Grand Canyon Concourse at the hotel and is a must-do!
The Contemporary gingerbread display also features a snack stand where guests can pick up sweet treats including gingerbread shingles, popcorn, Pumpkin loaf, gingerbread cookies, and much more!
And at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort you’ll find tropical-themed holiday decorations!
After visiting the Magic Kingdom Resorts, hop on a ferry and visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge for more holiday fun! The 60-foot-tall Christmas tree is the grand centerpiece of the hotel lobby and takes our breath away year after year!
At Disney’s Beach Club Resort, you’ll find an almost life-size gingerbread carousel complete with moving horses and hidden Mickeys. It’s made with 36 pounds of honey, 96 pounds of flour, 150 pounds of icing, and 50 pounds of dark chocolate, and more.
Next door at Yacht Club you’ll usually find a train display that’s perfectly charming for the holidays!
And over at the Boardwalk you’ll occasionally find a fun gingerbread display too! (Your mileage may vary this year.)
At each of these resorts you’ll also find sweet gingerbread treats, holiday merchandise, and more!
And if your plans include a visit to Disney Springs, you’ll want to take some time to wander through the Christmas Tree Trail, a winter wonderland enhanced with holiday music, falling snow, and trees decorated with over-the-top ornaments inspired by Disney movies and characters.
Yuletide Fantasy Tour
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to transform Walt Disney World into a winter wonderland for the holidays, you can discover the secrets to the magic in the behind-the-scenes Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy Tour.
Guests on this tour can go backstage to discover how Disney’s holiday services designers use special themes to create the distinctive decorations that deck the halls throughout Disney World. Guests will also visit the Floral Department for an up-close look at the special displays created just for the season and join a Disney Springs culinary artist to whip up a seasonal treat of your own.
Holiday D-Lights Tour
Disney’s Holiday D-Lights Tour takes you behind the scenes in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot for a look at how the Parks are decorated for the season and introduces you to the talented people who make it happen.
The tour includes a meal at Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge along with VIP seating for the Candlelight Processional and the new Epcot Forever nighttime spectacular.
The price is $289 per person, and this tour is only offered only on select dates in December. You can find additional information and make reservations for the Holiday D-Lights Tour on the Disney World website.
Ultimate Disney Christmas Package
Once again this year, you can celebrate the magic of the holidays at Disney World with the Ultimate Disney Christmas Package. Guests who book this vacation package check-in to their hotels on December 21 and check out on December 26 and get to celebrate with an itinerary full of festive fun in between!
The Ultimate Disney Christmas Package includes:
- December 21 – EXCLUSIVE nighttime access to experience Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, and Expedition Everest. Plus catch an exclusive showing of the park’s new Rivers of Light: We Are One show.
- December 22 – Celebrate the season with tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom
- December 23 or December 24 (one night per reservation) – EXCLUSIVE reserved viewing to watch Epcot Forever, an all-new nighttime spectacular. Plus, each guest (ages 3 and up) will receive a digital $50 Epcot Theme Park Dine Promo Card to use at participating Epcot locations
- December 25 – An Ultimate Disney Christmas gift delivered to your room
- December 26 – Bid a fond farewell
This package includes a 5-night stay at a select Disney Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa Resort hotel and 4-day theme park tickets with Park Hopper Option. Get more details here.
And remember, there are other offers for your 2019 Walt Disney World Vacation including FREE Dining on select dates in September, November and December.
Scroll down for an Exclusive, Special Offer from Small World Vacations!
Small World Vacations is happy to help with your Walt Disney World Vacation. Learn below what they can do for you!
Small World Vacations agents have been to Walt Disney World over 2,500 times! We know what you need to know before you go. We’re Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planners (that’s the highest level, ranked by Disney!) who have been there, done that and are going back.
Learn how we can help you and what our guests are saying about us:
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If you are ready to begin planning your 2019 Walt Disney World vacation, simply fill out Small World Vacations’ no obligation quote form! Small World Vacations is happy to share over 22 years of Disney expertise and firsthand experience with MyDisneyExperience, discounts, dining reservations and FastPass+ so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some Disney Magic!
There are some great deals for your 2019 Walt Disney World Vacation. Check out the current discounts. Small World Vacations’ agents compare offers to find the best deal for you.
Get the Magic started and complete a request for a price quote with Disney Food Blog’s recommended Travel Agency — Small World Vacations. An agent will review your travel preferences and provide you with a no-obligation quote along with their phone number so you can speak directly with them.
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