Things I Haven’t Done: Christmas in Walt Disney World

By Ryan Reed




Continuing with this series of posts, I want to talk about Christmas in Walt Disney World.  As I stated in my previous post, I will cover what makes me want to experience these things I’ve missed in Walt Disney World so badly.  Some are shocking, as they are staples for every Disney fan.  Having said all that, there is one major Christmas event (or Spectacle, if you will) I was lucky enough to experience: the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at what I’m most excited about seeing in Walt Disney World during the holiday season…

 Magic Kingdom
 

A look down Main Street USA during the Christmas season.



Seeing the Magic Kingdom laced with Christmas lights, strewn with wreaths, and our favorite characters dressed in holiday spirit has to be an incredible sight.  As we all know, the park itself will astonish you every time you walk in; add in hundreds of lights to celebrate such a joyous holiday and you have the makings of an amazing event.

Cinderella’s Castle with its “cool” Christmas decorations.



Cinderella’s Castle gets to be center stage (as it often is) for a holiday version of Wishes.  With it being decked out with “icicles”, white fireworks light up the sky forming a wonderful backdrop to the newly decorated castle.  Wishes is always a spectacle; I cannot wait to see it with a holiday twist.


Mickey and Minnie make their way down a “snowy” Main Street USA



As I’ve stated before, I’ve never been a parade guy but looking at some of these pictures make me really want to make an effort to see what Mickey has in store.  One of the coolest Disney touches that I’ve noticed is the snowing effect they have used on Main Street.  I’ve seen plenty of snow in my life – being from Upstate New York – so this isn’t new to me, however, seeing this effect in Magic Kingdom sounds, well, magical. 




Holidays Around the World at EPCOT

Sportsman Shoppe of the United Kingdom Pavilion in World Showcase.


 
Now this is something I just became aware of when searching for material for this article: wow!  This is right up my ally.  I can’t get enough of World Showcase let alone having it decorated for the holidays with each country celebrating in their own unique customary way.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say this will be my favorite part of a Disney vacation during Christmas.

 

Resort Hopping


I’ve always loved the Wilderness Lodge.


Seeing the Wilderness Lodge decorated in holiday spirit, complete with a giant Christmas Tree makes it look even more warm and cozy than it normally does.  I haven’t been able to experience every resort, or make time to do so.  I figure a wonderful time to explore these great places would be when Disney has them decorated for the season.  From the pictures I’ve seen, they all look unbelievable.  Making it a point to go around to each resort, taking in the sights and taking advantage of what each has to offer sounds like a unique way to relax.
 
 
Another shot of Wilderness Lodge.

 

Of course: the Gingerbread House.
 
 
 

Everyone has heard about the Grand Floridian’s infamous gingerbread house.  The house is 16 feet high and takes about 10,000 gingerbread pieces to complete!  What a sight to see it must be. 

 

 
Gingerbread Carousel at Disney’s Boardwalk.

 

Animal Kingdom Lodge has gingerbread decorating in the lobby of Jambo House.
 
 
The Food
           

The food found throughout Walt Disney World during the holidays is all about the decorations.  Some specialty treats will pop up here and there for the given holiday/time of year but what I love is the unique decorations found throughout the parks.


 
 
Any Disney candy apple is fantastic.

 

A fun Christmas twist to a classic Disney treat.

 

Disney never disappoints with their cupcake decorations.
 
 
 


As with everything in Walt Disney World, there’s so much offered during the holiday season.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of what can be found on property during Christmas; leaving some experiences left for the unknown excites me even more though.  I hope to hear some of your favorite Disney traditions during the holiday season; let me know in the comment section below!


 

**************************

 
 
 
 

 Ryan Reed is from Upstate New York and grew up in a suburb just west of Rochester.  He graduated from the College at Brockport with a Bachelors of Science in Philosophy; he also plans to go back to school to acquire his MBA within the next couple of years.  For hobbies, Ryan spends his time staying active and just recently ran the 2014 Boiler Maker 15K for the first time.  Also, he is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan who thinks every year is “our year”.  Basketball is, without a doubt, his favorite sport and shares the same interest with his father.  They both bond over being Boston Celtics fans and regularly make trips to the New England area to watch them play.  Ryan’s interest in craft beer is shared amongst his friends and girlfriend; they enjoy touring, learning, and experiencing everything brewers have to offer.  His ties to Walt Disney World started before he even was a year old.  As a child, his family took him back year after year and has continued to go back almost yearly.  At first, his love for Disney World was due to the attractions that he had never experienced elsewhere.  Then he began to be intrigued with how the parks, rides, and restaurants came to be – the sheer size of what they were able to build fascinated him.  In his sophomore year of college Ryan took part in the Disney College Program.  He worked at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Fantasmic! as well as Rock N’ Roller Coaster.  This experience allowed him to see a whole new side of Disney and gained an appreciation for what they do more than ever before.  Now Ryan looks for any information he can to understand the history of Disney World and how it came to be.  He has witnessed Disney go through a lot of changes but his interests and appreciation for the parks evolved along with it.  His favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion but a close second is Tower of Terror.  Epcot has become his favorite park; there are so many different things to experience – each visit seems like a new adventure.  His favorite time at Disney is dusk; each park transforms into something completely different once the sun sets.  His favorite Disney movie is Toy Story and favorite Disney character is Tigger.  Ryan’s articles will discuss tips about Disney World, some “best of” pieces, as well as history of both the parks and resorts.


 

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Merry Christmas from Disney Avenue

Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse from the Fantasy on Parade. Vacationland magazine, Fall 1967.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Disney Avenue. Thank you for making DisneyAvenue.com part of your “Disney world.” Enjoy this Christmas Day post as a gift from us to you. Happy Holidays everyone…

Mickey’s Christmas Chalet from the 1985 30th Anniversary Disneyland Calendar

The next three photos below are of the Main Street Holiday Flower Market set up! This is the type of detail that makes the Disney theme parks special. These little “corners” you stumble upon brimming with detail or a real ‘lived-in’ feel.

Disneyland Christmas  – 1963

1935 Disney Christmas Card

Santa Claus in Disneyland 1966

The Candlelight Processional started in 1958 at Disneyland park, but the photo we have below of the ceremony is from 1959. The colors are so vivid, and Main Street, U.S.A., looks much like it does today. It seems as if the photo was just taken yesterday. However, if you look a little more closely, you’ll notice that the members of the choir are sporting various looks from the ’50s. Look at the people in the crowd along Main Street and see how well-dressed they are.

 
The next two photos below are of the Nativity Scene from the Disney Hollywood Studios Spectacle of Dancing Lights:
 


A Fantasyland Christmas Window

A scene from the 1952 Disney Christmas cartoon Pluto’s Christmas Tree:

EPCOT – Illuminations – Peace on Earth Finale

 
 
EPCOT Christmas
 
Animal Kingdom Christmas
Hollywood Studios Christmas
 
 
Christmas Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Candlelight Processional 1994
 

To top off this Christmas article, we have The Night Before Christmas from 1933. You may have seen Santa’s Workshop on TCM recently. This is basically a direct follow-up to that right down to Santa’s design.

 
 
Have a Very Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Cast Member Gets Down at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

By Keith Mahne
 

What would the Disney Parks be without their cast members? I mean no cast members, no magic, right? Well, I have something to share with you that I think you’re really going to enjoy! It happened at a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2006. A cast member dressed as Gideon Cat from Pinocchio decided they were going to “let it all hang out” and really get down. I have no doubt this will put a smile on your face and is just another example of cast members going above and beyond to create the magic. Continue after the page break and have a look…

 
 
 
**************************
 
 
 
 
 
Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true everyday.
 
 


(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Disney Avenue Podcast – Show #9 – Christmas Special with Jim Korkis

The Disney Avenue Podcast returns with a wonderful Christmas Special that is sure to get you in the Holiday spirit. Disney historian and author Jim Korkis joins host Keith Michael Mahne for a wonderful interview on Walt Disney featuring some amazing and rarely heard Christmas stories from his life. Jim is the ultimate “go-to guy” on Walt Disney and we couldn’t think of a better person to have on this Christmas Special. Jim tells us about Walt’s love of the Holiday Season, what Christmas was like for Walt as a child, about a special gift to Lillian that inspired a classic animated movie, and so much more. So get cozy by the fire, grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this Disney Avenue Podcast Christmas Special…

After you listen to the show, please make sure to check out Jim’s wonderful books at themeparkpress.com and Amazon. They make the perfect Christmas gift for any Disney enthusiast!

//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3243888/height/360/width/640/theme/standard/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/

 
 
 

The Disney Avenue Podcast would like to thank Geren Piltz and Brian Vermillion for their contributions to this show!

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland

By Keith Mahne

 Are you ready for the tale of “A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland”? I hope so because we are about to have a listen to the story from a 1958 Disneyland Records LP. It’s about two children, named John and Jane, on an adventure at Disneyland during Christmas Eve. This grand LP even included a full size booklet with some beautiful art that you’ll see in a moment and covers eleven pages and has poems and song lyrics accompanying it. Join us after the page break for “A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland”…

https://archive.org/embed/AChristmasAdventureAtDisneyland

Here is a look at the album art…feel free to read along while you listen:

 Side one

  1. All Aboard For DisneyLand
  2. Disneyland At Last – Song: “The Storybook Tree” (Written-By – Camarata*)
  3. Fantasyland “Once Upon A Dream” (Fain-Lawrence) Song: “Jingle Bones” (Huemer-Camarata)

Side two

  1. Frontierland
  2. Adventureland – Song: “The Jungle Tree” (Written-By – Camarata*)
  3. Tomorrowland – Song: “Futuristic Christmas Tree” (Written-By – Camarata*)
  4. Home At Last On Christmas Morning

     

    Let us know what you thought about the A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland record in the comments below. Do you remember listening to this when you were younger? We love hearing from our readers so be sure to let us know your thoughts. Happy Holidays everyone!!
     
     
     
    *******************************************

     
     

    Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true everyday.

    (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

    A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition – Magic Kingdom Holidays

    By Krista Joy
    Welcome back to another A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition article. This week we travel to the Magic Kingdom during the holiday season 2014! Today we’ll have a walk down Main Street to check out the new decorations, seasonal cupcakes inside Starbucks, Hildegard Olivia Harding signing autographs inside The Plaza Restaurant, Mickey Mouse in the new ‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!’ Street Party and stroll through the Emporium to check out some of the wonderful Christmas gifts and ornaments for sale! Finally, we will head to the Train Station for a look at the Christmas tree upstairs, the view of the crowds below, and of course, the old train pulling in for a stop! Join us after the page break…

     
     
    ***************************************
     
     
    Krista Joy is an a former Disney cast member, current head author at Disneyways.com and a co-host for the Disney Parks Podcast. She was born, raised, and has never lived any where else but in the heart of Orlando Florida. Not knowing what it’s like to be away from Walt Disney World for very long – the magic has truly become a part of who she is. Krista’s Disney dream is to bring magic and fun to the every day lives of her fellow Disney fans – while sharing some laughs along the way. She is very grateful to Keith and the team at DisneyAvenue.com for helping her to make this dream a reality! You can read more about Krista at http://disneyways.com/connect/
     
     

    (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

    Disney Documentary Hour: Holiday Time at Disneyland (1962)

    By Keith Mahne

    Today we return to the Disney Documentary Hour segment here on Disney Avenue with a wonderful little film that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. It’s an episode of the beloved Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color that was originally broadcast by NBC on December 23, 1962 (Season 9, Episode 13 of the Disney Sunday Show). Grab some popcorn and a nice cup of hot chocolate and continue after the page break as we watch the film “Holiday Time at Disneyland”…

    This episode features a Holiday tour of Disneyland by the avuncular host of the show. Since the main attraction of the Christmas Season at Disneyland was the parade, it was featured heavily in the television show.

    The parade premiered at Disneyland for the Holiday season of 1960 and lasted until 1964, when it then became the “Fantasy On Parade” featuring the marching “wooden” soldiers and those silly reindeer. Unlike today where the Christmas parade will run for upwards of two months, in the early 1960s typically the parade would start about a week before Christmas day.

    And now Disney Avenue presents Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color episode “Holiday Time at Disneyland”…Enjoy!

     
    ********************************************
     
     
    

    Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four. Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true everyday.

    (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-52889002-1’, ‘auto’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

    Christmas Time at Disney Avenue

    Editor’s Note: Friends it is finally the most wonderful time of the year again here at Disney Avenue and I just wanted to wish everyone a joyous Holiday Season and to let you know that we added some wonderful Christmas music in the music player above. Simply click on the playlist tab on the top right and scroll down to the bottom for hours of wonderful Holiday time park music that is sure to get you in the spirit. Stay tuned for some amazing Christmas time posts, pictures and podcasts. Happy Holidays everyone!!!

    — Keith Mahne