Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My 5 Favorite Holiday Happenings at Walt Disney World

     December is here! Walt Disney World is the perfect place for the Holidays. The quaintness, diversity, and already magical atmosphere lend themselves beautifully to the traditions of Christmas and the Holidays. Come mid-November, Disney's elves are hard at work for just a couple nights, out of sight, to transform Walt Disney World into a celebration for the season. All of the resorts, all theme parks, and every other place in the World puts on a new outfit full of snow and cheer. The music playing in the parks and hotels changes to Christmas music. Disney doesn't just re-theme their lands either; they create and provide unique attractions and shows just for the Holidays. Here are my 5 favorite things to see during the Holidays at Walt Disney World:

  1. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: sits nestled in the back of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Each year, 20,000 man hours go into the hanging of 40 miles of cable and lights onto the Streets of America. The light display was purchased from a family in Arkansas in the 1990's, and was transplanted to Disney World. Recently, the display was changed to include "dancing" lights, which are timed to music, and put on an inspiring show. The lights include reindeer, a globe, and millions of lights. It is worth park admission by itself. 
  2. Holidays Around the World: happens each December at Epcot's World Showcase. Around the lagoon, actors and speakers from each country represented at Epcot speak several times a day about the Holiday traditions of that country. The American Adventure includes Christmas music from the Voices of Liberty, and many other countries' programs include performances. Many traditions, such as Germany and the U.K., are relatively similar to what we know, but are just different enough to be interesting and informative. 
  3. Fireworks at New Years, Magic Kingdom Style: Each year, Disney goes even bigger with their fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom on New Years. Keep in mind, I mean "at the Magic Kingdom" very loosely. When I most recently saw the show, fireworks were launched from the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon, as well as from several areas in and out of the Park. I spent my evening at the Grand Floridian, and was still right in the middle of the show. If you want to see Disney pull out the stops, here is your chance. 
  4. Celebratory Edibles: at Disney's resort hotels are present and large, and will fill you with a little bit of childish wonder. At Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, the kitchen works each year to construct a life-size gingerbread house in the lobby. This monument to the holidays is a special treat, and a beautiful example of Disney pushing boundaries. At the Beach Club Resort, a carousel is constructed out of gingerbread. The carousel moves and works, and is surrounded by other food and edible art. It is another must-see. At Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, a miniature African village is made of chocolate and cookies each year. It is always different, and is located right outside of Boma. All of these sights are free to go see, and can be accessed using Disney transportation. Don't hesitate!
  5. "Peace on Earth" Tag to Illuminations: Epcot's nightly fireworks show becomes even more life-changing during the holidays. After the "regular" ending (I cringe calling it that), Walter Cronkite's voice tells of Epcot's message to the world: that of "peace on earth; good will to men". In addition to the touching words, Epcot shoots off more beautiful and loud fireworks into the sky than you dare think possible. An amazing flurry of bright bursts will take your breath away, and lights up the entire park. This is a must-see.
     What is your favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World during the Holidays? Comment below!