Among the many fun and festive things to do at Walt Disney World during the Holiday Season, is “decoration hopping”: that is, visiting the various Disney resorts to see the wonderful decorations. If you have a Disney trip planned for the month of December, you are in for a treat and I encourage you to plan some time in your trip to do just this.
It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that Disney, the master at creating scenic backdrops for a year’s worth of events and festivities, is at its glory during this time of year. The parks are, of course, decked out with lights, wreathes, garlands, trees, and many other holiday symbols and decorations celebrating all the winter holidays. But overlooked by many who visit during this time of the year, are the resorts where, in my opinion, the true Christmas “gems” are, when it comes to decorating. For here, the Disney imagineers and decorating staff, combined with the Disney florists, bakers, and pastry chefs, create some real Disney holiday magic.
Perhaps the best known, is at the Grand Floridian, where every year, a life-size Gingerbread House is created. Intricate in it’s detail, this is actually an edible creation, where castmembers then set up shop and sell some of the most delicious gingerbread cookies throughout the Christmas Season…and I speak from personal experience as one who is not hugely fond of gingerbread….it is yummy!
You also won’t want to miss the Wilderness Lodge, whose theme is somehow perfect for this time of the year. Here amidst roaring fireplaces (and yes, it gets cool enough in Florida at this time of year sometimes for those fireplaces to seem pretty cozy), you will find a towering Christmas tree as the focal piece for the Wilderness Lodge lobby. It is several stories high, and the only word I can use to describe it is….amazing. But be sure to look beyond the sheer size and take a peak at the ornaments, and other decorations that festoon the Wilderness Lodge. In fact, be sure to do this at each resort, because the decorations are not one-size-fits-all: instead, you will see that the theme of the resort is reflected in that resort’s decorations. So at the Wilderness Lodge, expect to find lots of Native American and Pacific Northwest-inspired touches that add to the uniqueness of the decorations.
Speaking of unique, try to visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge as well, to see its equally impressive, and enormous Christmas tree. Here, of course, the decorations are inspired by African art and they are not only beautiful, but fascinating and unique.
Still looking for more Christmas inspiration? Then try to stop by the Boardwalk Inn and the Yacht and Beach Club, because they also have some very interesting holiday displays. At the Yacht/Beach Club you will find another edible masterpiece, a beautiful carousel. And the last time we were at the Boardwalk there was a great Christmas-inspired gazebo complete with Donald and Daisy Duck. Of course, each of these resorts has their own themed holiday decorations. Take a look at the beautiful plantings and gardens also, for additional holiday inspiration.
These are, of course, just some highlights: each resort has its own way of celebrating this “most wonderful time of the year”. While you’re visiting each one, take time to have a bite to eat as well. You will find some of the best restaurants on Disney World property to be located at the resorts.
Enjoy “decoration hopping” and most of all enjoy your Walt Disney World Christmas vacation!
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. She will be posting live updates from her family’s upcoming New Year’s Disney vacation on The Affordable Mouse facebook page.
- 10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Disney World Christmas Vacation (theaffordablemouse.com)
- Top 10 Disney World Holiday Favorites by Chris (chipandco.com)
- WDW Winter 2011 Room Only Savings Offer (mousemisers.com)