Walt Disney was known to be a proud American; and Walt Disney World celebrates his patriotism and our great country through many of it's attractions, décor, and live entertainment! So while you enjoy your vacation, you can also learn about and celebrate America in many ways!
Liberty Square-This Magic Kingdom land is dedicated to early, colonial America and makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time! Be sure to check out the Liberty Tree with 13 lanterns for the 13 colonies hanging from the branches, as well as the Liberty Bell, and the detailed, period-style architecture. Also be sure to notice the period music and the colors used in the landscaping!
Liberty Tree Tavern-This colonial themed restaurant found in Liberty Square offers American dishes with patriotic names, such as the Pilgrim's Feast, Declaration Salad, Martha Washington's cake, and the Liberty Lamb Stew!
Also, every room is themed after a Founding Father or famous patriot, such as Ben Franklin and Paul Revere! Which room will you get?
Hall of Presidents-This classic attraction is an amazing show featuring realistic audio-animatronics of all our presidents on one stage at one time. The tradition is for the current president's audio-animatronic to give a speech. This show shouldn't be missed by any American! Also, be sure to drop by a few minutes before the show starts to explore the exhibits and portraits of the presidents located just inside.
The American Adventure-One of my favorites, the American Adventure building represents early American architecture and houses an incredible, inspiring show showcasing moments of American history with beautifully, detailed sets and realistic audio-animatronics! No matter how many times you see this show, you will leave the theater with a sense of pride and patriotism! The whole pavilion outside offers plenty of American history to see and enjoy too, including the shop next door which sells plenty of Americana!
The Carousel of Progress-In Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, the Carousel of Progress, which came directly from the mind of Walt Disney himself, is a rotating show which gives you glimpses of how technology and progress has improved the lives of a twentieth century American family! It's charming, nostalgic, and a wonderful lesson in U.S. History!
Casey's Corner-At the end of Main Street USA, across the street from the Plaza Restaurant, you will find Casey's Corner, a quick service restaurant with a vintage baseball theme that is about as American as you get! This little restaurant celebrates America's favorite pastime with favorites that you would find at any American ballpark, such as hot dogs, fries, Cracker Jacks, Coca-Colas, and more! (Their corndog nuggets are especially popular & delicious!) Take your ballpark fare to the next room and take a seat on the bleachers where you can watch old cartoons of Goofy attempting some classic American sports!
Main Street USA-The Magic Kingdom's entryway, known as Main Street USA, is an idyllic representation of a turn of the century, small American small town. Here, you can experience what life in simpler times was like. Explore the shops, watch a glass blower at work, hop aboard an old fashioned vehicle, or venture into the train station for some history on American trains!
Fife and Drum Corps-At Epcot's American Adventure pavilion, you may stumble upon a performance by the Fife and Drum Corps, a group dressed in colonial garb marching and playing instruments from the Revolutionary War period. We have seen them several times, and it truly takes you back to the crucial time in our history. If you are dining at the Liberty Inn, they may even come in and play for you!
Voices of Liberty-Just inside the American Adventure building, while you're waiting for the next show, you may witness a performance by the excellent a capella group, the Voices of Liberty! Dressed in period attire, they sing such American songs as "America the Beautiful," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Don't miss them!
Frontierland-This Magic Kingdom land takes you back in time to the days where most of America was wilderness just waiting to be explored! Hop aboard a raft and explore Tom Sawyer's Island, experience the mining adventures of the Old West on Big Thunder Mountain, and browse the Trading Post and other shops lining the streets of this rustic corner of the park. The architecture, scenery, attractions, and even music set the stage for this period of our history, so be sure to notice the details!
Magic Kingdom's Flag Retreat Ceremony-Every day at 5 p.m. at the Main Street USA square in front of the entrance, the park holds a special flag retreat ceremony. The best part is that a veteran is chosen to participate and is given a certificate to commemorate the experience. Be sure to take a few minutes out of the hustle and bustle and magic to honor our country. You won't regret it!
Liberty Inn-This is a quick service restaurant at the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot, which can be found right next to the American Adventure show and displays early flags flown by the original colonies on the wall inside! The fare here is also very American with such items as cheeseburgers, New York Strip Steak, and apple pie!
Listen up, my fellow Star Wars fans! Today, we are going to give you a look at a Disney World activity that is both kid and geek friendly, the Droid Factory!
At WDW, you can actually build your own Star Wars droid action figure! Just like the popular Build Your Own Lightsaber stations, you can add your own personal touches to your toy, which is not only a great souvenir but also a fun experience, especially for kids and that wannabe Jedi in your family.
Since we are big Star Wars fans, we were eager to give this activity a try. We learned that there are actually two locations at Disney World where you can build your own droid. The first is inside Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios; but, as you might imagine, it's often crowded! The other location is inside Once Upon a Toy store at Downtown Disney.
The droid building stations consist of organized bins full of the pieces you can choose from to build your droid. The 71 different pieces come in different colors and designs, so feel free to mix and match; although, it can be a little difficult to attach the pieces. I would definitely recommend being present if your child is bent on building a droid.
The fun part is that you can also fit your customized droid with a fun accessory, ranging from ball caps to hats you find around WDW, Mouse Ears, and even an Indiana Jones hat!
Here are a few of our creations!
We actually made these droids at the station in Once Upon a Toy. Unlike Tatooine Traders, there was little to no wait and we didn't feel rushed. There was also a Build Your Own Lightsaber Station at this location too, like you would find at Hollywood Studios.
If you are interested in either of these activities, but don't want to fight the pressing crowds, definitely head over to Downtown Disney to partake. While the Star Wars theme and atmosphere is lacking, the lack of crowds and pressure is worth it, especially when you have young kids!
Once you've built your droid, you can have it packaged like a real authentic Star Wars action figure!
The price for your own customized droid is around $12, with a double pack ranging just under $20. Not sure if you want to purchase? No problem. There's no charge for playing around and building your own creation, and it's a lot of fun too!
View of Wishes from the Ferry
A must-do for any Disney World Vacation is a viewing of Wishes, the Magic Kingdom's magical fireworks display!
Wishes combines specially timed fireworks, a beautiful score, castle projections, and character's voices to tell a story about wishes coming true; and once you've seen it in the sky over the Magic Kingdom, you will be ruined on fireworks for life!
So deciding to see Wishes is really no decision at all; but what is, is where should you watch it?
The most common, and one of the best, is definitely on Main Street USA or at the Hub. The view is classic and perfect; but crowds and timing are often issues so many guests end up in the market for alternatives. Fortunately, we have a few for you!
New Fantasyland-Like we said, the view from Main Street or the Hub is classic and popular. Why? Because the fireworks are exploding over Cinderella Castle; but at the New Fantasyland, they explode over the Beast's and Prince Eric's castles! Plus, New Fantasyland is absolutely beautiful at night; and seeing fireworks overhead makes you feel like you're in a picture-perfect postcard!
Ferry to Magic Kingdom-We experienced this on our last trip by accident; but it's now one of our new favorite ways to watch fireworks! We were heading to the Magic Kingdom from Wilderness Lodge to catch the fireworks, but boat traffic on the Seven Seas Lagoon slowed us down and we ended up stuck in front of entrance. But surprisingly, this was not a bad thing! Watching the show from the water, with the lights of the park and Main Street Train Station as a backdrop was truly magical; and we got to enjoy it comfortably seated on our boat with a breeze to keep us perfectly cool! We definitely recommend it!
Monorail-It may be difficult to time this experience, and your view may vary along the route, but the Monorail is as iconic as the fireworks themselves; and getting a lofty view of this display as you make your way around the loop is pretty special! Plus, there's air conditioning and usually a place to sit!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad-We discovered this experience by accident, but it's now one of our traditions! You see, many of the rides at the Magic Kingdom have shorter lines during Wishes, including this popular attraction, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We like to board this attraction during Wishes, as it is a long show, and then enjoy this wild, outdoor ride underneath the fireworks! You feel closer to the display as you ride; and the view, while it varies during the ride, is amazing. It's a sure way to create a magical Disney moment you won't forget!
Splash Mountain-It's true that a large part of this ride takes place indoors; but the outdoor scenes offer unique views of Wishes! Since this ride is also quite long, timing is required. If possible, it would be best to board when Wishes begins or shortly after. As you float through the outdoor scenes, you will be treated to views of the fireworks; but the best view is right before the trademark drop, where you get a bird's eye view of this part of the park. Just be sure to keep your eyes open!
Cinderella's Royal Table-While we have not experienced this for ourselves, it's on our to-do list! The windows of Cinderella's Royal Table look out over Fantasyland; and now, New Fantasyland and its castles! If you are seated near the windows, you're sure to be treated to a fairytale view of Wishes; and what a better way to watch than inside Cinderella Castle at your own table?
Magic Kingdom Deluxe Resorts-Many Disney guests recommend catching Wishes from the Magic Kingdom Deluxe Resorts, as they all offer their own views. The Grand Floridian boat dock is a popular viewing spot, as is the beach at the Polynesian which is located directly across the lake from the castle. Another favorite is at the Contemporary, which sits right next to the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. There you can catch wishes from the observation decks or from their signature restaurant, the California Grill, which is situated at the top of the resort with a lofty view into the park!
Tomorrowland Bridge-Here you can get an angle view of the castle and fireworks while an illuminated Tinker Bell flies down right over your head! It's definitely a unique Wishes experience with a cool view of Tink's descent over the park!
Crystal Palace-We have actually had dinner at the Crystal Palace during Wishes; and this restaurant offers several views of the show. If you are fortunate enough to get a table near a window facing the castle, you can dine with Winnie the Pooh and the gang as you watch from the comfort of your table! If you happen to be seated elsewhere in the restaurant, you can get a small view of the fireworks through the glass panes in the ceiling, or head onto the porch for another view. Want to hear our secret spot? There's a small area near the Crystal Palace, along the rail, that offers a postcard view of the castle and rarely has crowds!
So those are our unique spots to view Wishes! Did you know about any of these? Do you have any unique spots of your own? Share with us!
Star Wars Weekends 2013 has now come and gone; but we were fortunate enough to catch the last week of this special event for this year this past weekend!
We are big Star Wars fans, as well as Disney fans, so Star Wars Weekends is pretty much a dream come true; and as the crowd levels and abundance of Star Wars inspired costumes and tees proved, we were not alone.
During our vacation, we dropped by Hollywood Studios shortly after park opening to catch some of the action. So here's a look back at our Star Wars Weekends Experience!
As soon as we passed through the turnstiles, we headed down Sunset Boulevard to Darth's Mall! This is pretty much the Star Wars Weekends headquarters containing event merchandise, special event pins, character spots, themed refreshments, and, most importantly, air conditioning!
You can find Darth's Mall between Rock n' Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It was pretty crowded, but the very well organized. We also picked up a special event pin, as is our tradition. We also checked out the life-size Rancor and saw that you could wait in line for a pic with Luke Skywalker.
Even though Darth's Mall is pretty much a giant tent, the Disney details can still be found here! Here's what we found above the registers when waiting in line to pay! The Mouse Ears bearing the Empire logo were a nice touch, as was the C-3PO head!
On the main event stage, located in front of the giant Sorcerer's Hat, Boba Fett was busy guarding Han Solo frozen in carbonite. As he paced the stage, he interacted with guests snapping pictures of him from below. He even commended a passing guest wearing a t-shirt of a Storm Trooper for being loyal to the Empire!
Designated photo spots could be found all throughout the park. The lines were long, but we managed to snap a quick pic of a Clone Trooper who was patrolling the Streets of America and humorously attempting to keeping guests in line!
The Legends of the Force Parade took place at 11 o'clock; and we grabbed a spot to the side of the stage. We discovered that this was a great spot as some characters came very close to where we stood, including the Star Wars Weekends Celebrities!
Here's the 501st Florida Garrison, a group of serious Star Wars fans who don impressive Star Wars costumes and do a lot of charity work while sharing their passion for the franchise. They are a big part of the parade, but unlike the Disney Star Wars Characters, and the Star Wars celebrities, they don't end up on the stage but pass on by in front of the American Idol Experience.
It's Billy Dee Williams, the actor who portrayed Lando Calrissian in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi!
Here comes Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the Clone Wars Series and behind Her Universe Clothing Line.
This is R2-MK, a Disney Droid with Mouse Ears! We wanted to take him home!
As we were on our way back from getting FastPasses for Star Tours, we saw Kit Fisto and Mace Windu walking through the streets, guarded by several Clone Troopers! We followed them, of course, until they disappeared into a Backstage Area; but hey, it was pretty awesome looking up to see a Jedi walking next to you!
Now for a look at some Star Wars Weekends Merchandise! Here's one of our faves, a Thermal Detonator Hot Potato Game! How cool is this?
Best Star Wars Shirt. Ever.
And so true!
Now the only way to end your Star Wars Weekends Day is to catch the popular Hyperspace Hoopla on the main event stage in the evening; but as we had already seen it, we decided to skip a viewing this visit. But if you would like to see it for yourself, and we strongly encourage you to, check it out here
The Walt Disney World parks turn into different worlds at night, offering special entertainment, different ride experiences, lots of glittering lights, and cooler temperatures!
The only downside about the evening hours at the park is that the magic is coming to an end for the day, at least until the next morning of course! So how do you cap off your day at the parks? We have a few ideas...
Today, we are going to offer a few recommendations for how to end your day at Epcot! Enjoy!
5.) Last Stop Shopping-We think that Epcot has some of the best places to shop at WDW. World Showcase is full of shops that offer items from each country, the Art of Disney store near the entrance has collectibles and artwork for sale, but MouseGear is our favorite. MouseGear is a huge store full of a variety of Disney merchandise. It's like a slightly smaller version of the World of Disney Store; but not quite as congested; and the A/C in here feels awesome after a long walk around the World Showcase. We like to do a little shopping here before we end the day because we have seen all that the park has to offer at this point and then you don't have to haul everything around the rest of the day.
4.) Evening at Living with The Land-The Land is often a busy, crowded pavilion during certain points of the day; but one of our favorite times to visit is during the evening. When most folks are packed around the lagoon to watch Illuminations, you can head into The Land to enjoy the Living with the Land attraction, grab a delicious nighttime snack at the famous Sunshine Seasons, or hopefully find a short wait for Soarin'?
3.) Dinner-In our opinion, Epcot offers some of the best restaurants on property, this is especially true of World Showcase. Many Disney regulars think that one of the best Epcot activities is dining in view of Illuminations, Epcot's nightly fireworks display, such as at the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom pavilion.
2.) Illuminations-Epcot's nightly fireworks display is Illuminations, which is centered in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon. Every night, a huge globe which is covered with digital screens is floated out into the middle of the lake. This globe is the centerpiece of the show and even showcases scenes on the screen all while fireworks explode overhead, timed to the music. It's quite a spectacle and a great way to end your day at Epcot.
1.) World Showcase After Dark-World Showcase is one of our favorite things about Walt Disney World! The shopping, dining, history, culture, and overall experience is something we always look forward to; but once the sun goes down, World Showcase offers a whole new atmosphere. At night, World Showcase is all lit up and can make you feel as if you're wandering the streets of Paris or Morocco or Mexico after dark. It's beautiful and peaceful and also a lot cooler, a big plus seeing how World Showcase is over a mile long and can wear you out during the heat of the day. Also, since people will be packed along the edge of the lagoon, the stores and exhibits and streets should hopefully be empty for you to enjoy! So take a stroll and enjoy the view and what World Showcase has to offer before heading back to your resort for the night.
How do you like to end your day at Epcot?
The Walt Disney World parks turn into different worlds at night, offering special entertainment, different ride experiences, lots of glittering lights, and cooler temperatures!The only downside about the evening hours at the park is that the magic is coming to an end for the day, at least until the next morning of course! So how do you cap off your day at the parks? We have a few ideas...Today, we are going to offer a few recommendations for how to end your day at Hollywood Studios! Enjoy!5.)
Take Advantage of Shorter Lines-
Oftentimes at night, the lines for certain rides and shows at the parks are shorter than during the busy hours of the day. This is often the case at Hollywood Studios, especially since most people have flocked to Fantastmic. So enjoy the cool temperatures and glittering lights and walk on The Great Movie Ride, MuppetVision 3D, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and maybe even Star Tours!4.) Leisurely Dinner
-If you are looking for a relaxed evening after running through the parks all day, enjoy one of Hollywood Studios awesome themed restaurants! Our recommendations? Check out 50s Prime Time Cafe for a blast to the past and some hilarious moments or head to the drive-in to catch a cheesy, vintage monster flick while seated in an old fashioned car at Sci-Fi- Dine-In Theater! Who doesn't like Italian with just a taste of Hollywood? Book a reservation at Mama Melroses. But if you are looking to dine like the Hollywood stars of old, consider the famous Brown Derby!3.) Boat Ride to Epcot Resorts
-Did you know that you can go to Epcot or the Epcot Resorts via short boat ride from the Hollywood Studios exit? Hop aboard a boat, located at the dock outside the park underneath the Tower of Terror, and relax as you cruise to the Swan and Dolphin, Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club, and even Epcot if you wish. You can also walk along a lighted path next to the water; but it can be a little long for some. When you drop by these resorts, take advantage of their shopping and dining, as well as the gorgeous views and Boardwalk entertainment! If you time it right, you may even caught Illuminations from Epcot exploding overhead!2.) Fantasmic
-Of course, you can always end your night with a viewing of Hollywood Studios famous Fantasmic show! This outdoor show employs everything from lasers to fireworks to water projections to boats laden with Disney characters to wow and entertain! It really is one of the best ways to end your day at this park. Just be sure to get in line early for a good seat or take advantage of the Fantasmic FastPasses
Disney is now offering!1.) Night on Sunset Boulevard
-This Hollywood Studios street is home to Rock n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror, both of which only improve at night! Rock n' Roller Coaster is indoors; but the rock music blaring through the plaza at night as you enter to ride just makes it cooler; and of course, the Tower of Terror only seems more thrilling glowing in the dark at the end of the street! Enjoy the shorter lines (hopefully) and get a whole new experience from these attractions by going for just one more scream before you call it a day!
What Is It? Have you ever experienced the art class inside of The Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios? The class is offered every 30 minutes all throughout the day; and it's indoors, air conditioned, great for all ages, and it's free!
Many guests steer clear of this park treasure because they lack artistic ability and really don't want to be embarrassed in front of their family on vacation; but Disney breaks down how to draw Disney characters so simply and easily that, even if you're artistically challenged, you will still do great! The kids will really enjoy it too!
What's It Like? Once you enter the classroom, you will sit down in front of a Mickey-shaped artist desk which has a fresh piece of drawing paper set in place and ready for you! A Disney Animator will then welcome you to the class and have the you and the guests vote on which Disney character you would like to draw. During our visits, we've had the chance to draw Tigger, Stitch, Jiminy Cricket, and even characters from Pixar's Up.
Once a character has been decided, your Animator will project their own sketchpad up on the wall overhead and begin to demonstrate in easy steps how to begin drawing your character, where to add details, and then add the final touches! Before you know it, you've drawn a Disney character like a real Disney animator! You also get to take your sketch home!
You can get a taste of The Magic of Disney Animation's Art Class In this video below where a Disney Animator explains how to dry the lovable, bouncy Tigger! Follow along and put your art skills to the test, you will probably surprise yourself!
If you think about it, March is really a busy month! For example, in March we have St. Patrick's Day, Spring Break, March Madness, the First Day of Spring, and Easter; and what better place to enjoy these special times of year than at Walt Disney World!
Yes, Disney has something for each of these March events, whether you're looking for leprechauns, Easter bunnies, a basketball game, or a break in the Florida sunshine! Now we know St. Patrick's Day has already come and gone, but you can still enjoy what March has to offer now!Spring Break
-March can be a little unpredictable when it comes to the weather. Sometimes this particular month can offer sunshine and mild weather, but other times it can be just as cold and snowy as January; and this can be hard to handle when you were ready for Summer the day after Christmas, right? Florida is always a top destination for Spring Breakers, but you can escape the crazy college kids and crowded beaches, and still enjoy the sunshine, while taking a Disney vacation! Even if the temperatures are still a little chilly, Disney Resorts offer heated pools, so you can enjoy some water fun, and the flowers and landscaping will be in full bloom! That's our kind of Spring Break!Easter
-If you're visiting Walt Disney World over Easter, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy this special holiday in Disney-style! First of all, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be available to meet guests at the Magic Kingdom all this month! You can also enjoy an Easter Meal at several of WDW's restaurants; and, most importantly, attend an Easter Sunday church service at the Contemporary's Fantasia Ballroom. If that wasn't all, Epcot is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt
at the World Showcase for Limited Time Magic! There is a cost for the map and stickers to mark where you found the hidden eggs, but you can turn in your completed map for a prize: a Vinylmation Keychain 2-pack!
-Take your bracket down to Walt Disney World and cheer on your favorite team at the Boardwalk's ESPN Club
! This restaurant features tons of television screens and sports paraphernalia, as well as a delicious menu! Don't want to miss a second of the big game? You don't have to! There are even televisions in the bathroom! But be sure to get to the restaurant early on game day so you can grab a table. It's first come, first serve here.
You can immerse yourself in the sports universe even more with a visit or stay to Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, or to Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex!Springtime
-Celebrate the beauty of Spring with Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival
! Every March, topiaries resembling Disney characters and other cultural symbols appear across the park, along with colorful, blooming gardens, gardening workshops, a butterfly house, and even tasty food stands! No matter what weather March might bring, it's always spring in Epcot this time of year!
As you've read, March is a big month for Walt Disney World and a great place to celebrate early Spring activities!
Downtown Disney is a shopping complex at Walt Disney World that offers a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment across the water from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort!
Downtown Disney is popular with guests, although not nearly as much as the parks; but is this spot really worth visiting? We definitely think so! Here's why!
Free Admission-Yes, there are some things at WDW that are free; and visiting Downtown Disney is one of them! No tickets or admission is required to enjoy Downtown Disney; and with plenty of window shopping, free entertainment, sights, and free samples of chocolate from Ghiradelli to enjoy, we encourage you to visit!
The World of Disney-The world's largest Disney Store is located at Downtown Disney. It really is massive and packed full of Disney merchandise! The store is also decorated really cool and is sure to be a hit with kids. Be sure to notice that each room is decorated with Disney characters and pixie dust; and the outside offers some great photo ops and possibly a spit attack from Stitch!
TrenD-Girls, this store is for you! TrenD is a Disney boutique filled with unique, stylish souvenirs for us grown-up Disney princesses, such as vintage style Disney tops, jewelry, wallets, Disney Dooney and Bourke bags, and much more! For a rare Disney find, head here!
Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop-The name of this restaurant alone may be reason enough to visit Downtown Disney! The aroma wafting through the doors is amazing and the massive menu is even more so with such sweets as The Gold Rush, The Golden Gate, The Cable Car, and Mint Bliss, as well as waffle bowls, tons of toppings, and even sea salt caramel hot cocoa!
Team Mickeys-This store is a haven for the sports enthusiasts in your family as it features ESPN products, sport collectibles, and Disney themed sports merchandise! For some hard to find souvenirs for the guy in your life that has everything, this is the place to go!
Lego Imagination Center Shop-Is your little prince tired and frustrated after being dragged from store to store all afternoon? This shop will put a smile back on his face! At the Lego Imagination Center, kids can shop for legos, as well as take in some larger than life lego sculptures depicting scenes from Toy Story, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! There is also a sculpture of a tourist family at Disney, and a huge lego sea serpent that's actually in that water! It's a must-see!
Here's why we think Downtown Disney is worth the visit! What do you think?
The most wonderful time of the year is here again; and Disney is decking the halls! The Disney parks we know are changing with cooler temperatures, seasonal celebrations, and Christmas decor.
But let's get down to details. How different is it visiting the parks during this time of year compared to traditional summer trips? What can you really expect?
Here are the differences that you really need to know:
Weather-The temperatures are definitely different during this time of year than in the summer. While many of the days are mild, hovering around the seventies, this isn't always the case. In fact, it get really cold, especially in late December and in January! Also, the evenings usually get pretty chilly.
Packing-Since the weather is cooler, you will need to layer. We are talking jeans and sweatshirts here. That means your clothes for this vacation will take up more room in your suitcase than the standard shorts and tanks you pack in the summer. However, two things that should not change on your packing list is sunglasses and comfy shoes! These are still a must!
Resorts-Almost all of the Disney resorts decorate for Christmas. This is especially true of the deluxe resorts. They go all out with giant Christmas trees in their lobbies and even some special sights and activities, such as the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian which actually sells Chrstmas treats! Other resorts feature giant edible treats too. Therefore, we think that all the resorts should be visited this time of year because of how amazing their themed trees and decorations are. Definitely make resort hopping part of our intinerary for your holiday Christmas vacation!
Parks Decor-The parks also decorate for the holidays! This is especially true of the Magic Kingdom! Cinderella Castle is actually covered in ice-like lights and characters are known to don winter wear. Every park boasts their own giant tree with ornaments themed after the park's theme, and there are plenty of festive details to enjoy! So when you visit, don't expect some of the standard pics of the parks as seasonal decorations may definitely influence your photos!
Crowds-Early December usually offers light crowds; but halfway through the month and through New Years, the parks and resorts are at peak season! While it's a blast to see the parks decorated and celebrating Christmas, the masses can make navigating, lines, and the overall experience difficult.
Pools-The resort pools usually are open, but we doubt you will want to take advantage of them due to the cooler temperatures. If traveling with kids, you may want to prepare them for this disappointment as there are no indoor resort pools at WDW.
Refurbishments-Since a few weeks of this season featues few crowds, Disney may take advantage of those precious weeks to update and refurbish some of their attractions and restaurants. So when you visit, know ahead of time if your favorite ride is going to be shut down so you won't be disappointed.
Food-You may find some special Christmas theme sweet treats for sale if you visit during this wintery season!
Special Events-Walt Disney World offers a variety of holiday special events during this time of year, in addition to all of their other fun activities! For example, at the Magic Kingdom, you can enjoy Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party featuring a special parade, fireworks display, extra characters, and holiday dance parties. However, it will cost you some extra cash. Epcot offers their traditional Candlelight Processional, as well as presentations of how Christmas is celebrated around the world at the World Showcase. Hollywood Studios has the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, where a section of the park is literally covered in millions of light set to music and where fake snow sifts down from overhead. Lastly, Animal Kingdom has a special Christmas themed parade!
So these are the main things you need to know when visiting WDW during this time of year. While the traditional Disney World experience is still there to enjoy, there is definitely a festive feel in the air and holiday twist to much of what you see.