Did you know that Christmas at Disney is the most magical place to celebrate the holiday? It is my favorite time of year at Disney World. I want to share with you my tips for celebrating Christmas at Disney on a budget. See how to celebrate Christmas at Disney without blowing your vacation budget and still get a magical holiday experience!
How to Celebrate Christmas at Disney
Build up excitement for your Disney Christmas vacation by watching these Disney Christmas movies during your vacation countdown.
Stay Off Property.
Walt Disney World and also surrounding hotels raise their prices during the holiday season; if you can stay off property do it. I rarely stay on property during the holiday season. Lately, I have been using Hotels.com to find a great rate for off-property hotels.
Skip Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Yes, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a fun event and something I think everyone should go to at least once. At the same time, if you are tight on money you can still experience a merry time at the Magic Kingdom without the party. All of the parks, not just the Magic Kingdom, are decorated above and beyond your expectations. The same parade shown during the party is available the week after Christmas at the Magic Kingdom.
Don’t Miss the Special Attractions & Shows.
The Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Jungle Cruise. Elsa transforms Cinderella’s Castle every night into a light icy wonder. Hollywood Studios has the new Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM Show. Epcot has the Candlelight Processional and the storytellers telling their Christmas stories around the World Showcase.
Skip the Disney Parks Altogether.
You don’t even need to go to the Disney parks to experience holiday happenings at Walt Disney World. Disney Springs usually brings out Santa and/or Santa Goofy. The resorts are dressed up so pretty. You can enjoy a free S’mores campfire with Chip & Dale at Fort Wilderness (bring your own s’more ingredients rather than buying their kit). You can watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks, with piped in sound, at the Ticket & Transportation Center Ferry Dock.
The Grand Floridan has the Gingerbread House, The Contemporary has gingerbread sculptures, the Beach Club has a chocolate Carousel and all of the resorts are dressed up so pretty! You can get some really nice family portraits at the resorts. Oh, and I can’t forget huge trees in each resort. They are so beautiful! Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will feature an African Marketplace – made of gingerbread.
Schedule a Special Holiday Dinner.
Did you know that many of the Walt Disney Resort restaurants have a special Thanksgiving and Christmas Day menu? A special meal at Disney is a great way to celebrate! This is something you do need to plan early, though.
Visit Disney Springs.
Disney Springs gets lit up with beautiful lights and trees. You can catch live music and fun everywhere!
- Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt” – Beginning Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this scavenger hunt-style activity is fun for the whole family. Guests who complete the hunt can visit participating locations to receive a limited-edition completer button.
- Once Upon a Toy Town Fountain – The fountain plaza is home to a nightly interactive Christmas dance party. There’s also pin trading, a nightly tree-lighting ceremony and more.
- Disney Spring Christmas Tree Trail – This is a walkthrough of about 30 decorated trees. Each tree is based on a Disney movie. I absolutely love it!
Visit Celebration, Florida.
Celebration, Florida is right next to Disney World. It is well worth an Uber or Lyft ride. Downtown Celebration has a “snowfall” and the kids can play in the mountains of “snow”. There is live entertainment and cute places to dine at. You can ride a little train or get a horse-drawn sleigh ride, those do have a cost.
Decorate your Resort Room Windows.
If you are staying on property (or off) decorate your rooms to be more in the Christmas season. Be sure to visit the Disney campgrounds to see the decorations the guests have there.
Have Santa come to Your Resort Room.
Santa can come to where you are. Have a mini tree and open gifts at Disney!
Go mini golfing at Winter Summerland. The mini golf place on Disney property is where Santa vacations! Lots of fun theming and at a very reasonable price.
What is your favorite way to celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World?