The holidays are a magical time of year that gets everyone dreaming of castles and fairytales with all sorts of sweet and joyous endings. What better way to celebrate than with a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida! The most magical place on Earth that fulfills every child’s wishes and dreams … and most of their parents’ too!
Just after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas is one of the most affordable times and least crowded times to visit Walt Disney World Resort. It is one of our family’s favorite times to visit as the entire property is decorated from the streets to the stars in holiday lights and garlands to change any Scrooge into an elf. In contrast, the week between Christmas and New Year’s are the most expensive and most crowded times to visit. With some planning it can be manageable- here is where a great travel agent who specializes in Disney is invaluable. They can give you all sorts of tips and make your dining, specialized tours, tee times reservations for you well before your arrival. It is best to start planning this type of trip at least 180 days in advance of your arrival to ensure the best restaurants and desirable times. You should also plan to be at the theme park you plan on touring for the day at opening because the parks have a tendency to close, due to capacity, well before noon each day.
In this installment of my series, “Celebrating Christmas in Walt Disney World” we will look at the celebrations you will find in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. This park is typically only open from 9 am through 6pm daily. So, plan accordingly. If you are a Disney Resort guest, with Extra Magic Hours, you might be able to enter the park as early as 8am or stay as late as 9pm. If you have a chance to visit this park on a day that offers Extra Magic Hours, I suggest it. This is the biggest of the Walt Disney World theme parks and it really does involve far more walking from attraction to attraction than any of the other theme parks on property. That said, please don’t let it deter you from visiting. This park is my 9 year old middle child’s favorite theme park. She is an animal buff- and while this s NOT a zoo- there are plenty of animal exhibits and every attraction is based on something you might find in nature’s animal kingdom. During the holidays, you will be welcomed to the park first by their stories high Christmas tree just before the turn styles to enter the park. Inside, you’ll find the entire park decorated beautifully with Santa Goofy and friends holding court in Camp Minnie Mickey. You can also have breakfast in Tusker House, hosted by Donald Duck with Daisy Duck, Mickey, and Pluto- all dressed in their holiday sweaters which makes for an adorable holiday picture if you can remember to wear your holiday sweater too! The park’s daily, afternoon parade is re-worked with a Christmas theme- “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade” which is a great parade without the holiday theme- and is truly enhanced with new lyrics and costuming throughout. You’ll be singing, “Rhythm of One” (from the parade) for the rest of the day!
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