Thanksgiving through New Year’s there is extra magic at Walt Disney World. During those few weeks you’ll find some of the lightest crowds of the year, and also some of the heaviest. The 2015 holiday season looks to be incredible, with new experiences debuting and an old favorite ending forever. Here are the top ten reasons why you need to visit Walt Disney World now. Just grab a bag and go, don’t look back or take the time to think about what you’re doing.
Central Florida has had an unusually warm November this year. Not only have several daily record highs been set, some areas have set a record for the all time high temperature in the month of November. It sure beats the frost, snow, and ice that some parts of the country are already getting! At the end of the year there’s usually little rain in Florida, and the only snow that you’ll see is made out of soap. If you want to see why Florida is called the Sunshine State, now is the time to visit.
9. Now Snowing in Celebration
Speaking of snow made out of soap, or Snoap as it’s often called, you can experience it for yourself in the nearby town of Celebration. Now Snowing runs nightly from November 28-December 31. Snoap falls on the hour, starting at 6:00pm. There’s a train ride, horse drawn carriages, an “ice” skating rink, visits with Santa, carolers, and more. The town’s tree alone is worth the visit. Two Christmas concerts will be held, one on December 12 and the other on December 19. While Celebration isn’t part of Walt Disney World, it was designed by Disney Imagineers, and it has a Disney feel. You can almost picture Walt Disney himself seated in one of the rocking chairs off of Market Street.
8. Decorations in the Parks
All four parks become more festive for the holidays, and the decorations will add to your overall Disney experience. Each park has a tree that is themed, and there are decorations on the light poles, in the store windows, and even overhead. Some of the rides also take on a holiday theme, such as the Jingle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom.
7. Resort Decorations
Plan to spend one day of your impromptu trip out of the parks and exploring the Deluxe Resorts. Resort hopping is fun at any time of the year, but it is spectacular at Christmastime. You’ll want to have your camera ready, because all of the resorts decorate differently. If you’re short on time the must-visit is Disney’s Grand Floridian. The gingerbread house this year is as incredible as ever, and it will put you in the holiday spirit; and make you hungry.
6. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Mickey is at it again at the Magic Kingdom! In this separate ticketed event you’ll see a special holiday parade, watch a show with your favorite characters from Frozen, enjoy a dance party, and wait in shorter lines for the most popular rides. There’s a special version of Wishes, and you can feast on all the hot cocoa and cookies that you want. If that weren’t enough, you’ll see it snow on Main Street, U.S.A. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held on select nights through December 18.
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5. Disney Springs
Downtown Disney has officially changed its name to Disney Springs. The work is not yet complete, there are still construction walls all around, but there are also some exciting new choices. Some of the new offerings are The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia, and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. If those aren’t reason enough to visit Disney Springs this holiday season, how about a chance for the kids to meet Santa? He’ll be there daily through December 24. You’ll also love the decorations, the shopping, and the live entertainment at Disney Springs. This is a great time to visit.
4. Star Wars Launch Bay
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
While Star Wars fans are still upset over the cancellation of Star Wars Weekends, there is a new experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that might fill some of that void. Star Wars Launch Bay officially opens on December 1 in the Magic of Disney Animation building. Star Wars Launch Bay promises meet and greets with Chewbacca and Darth Vader, an up close look at props from the saga, a behind the scenes video, and special merchandise. December will also bring a new scene and other surprises to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, and an updated version of Jedi Training Academy. If you’re looking for Season of the Force, which will also be held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. That is not scheduled to start until January.
3. Holidays Around the World
If you’re having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, Epcot will take care of that! Holidays Around the World is an annual tradition that begins on November 27, and runs daily through December 30. Storytellers are positioned around World Showcase, and they will share with guests Christmas traditions from their home countries. There are special holiday goodies for sale as well. If you’re still saying “bah humbug,” head over to the Fountain of Nations and catch “Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season”. The upbeat Christmas classics will have even Scrooge singing along.
2. Candlelight Processional
The crown jewel of Holidays Around the World is a Walt Disney World classic. The Candlelight Processional is held three times nightly in the America Gardens Theater. A celebrity narrator will tell the Biblical Christmas story. He or she will be backed by a mass choir and a 50 piece orchestra. The event is quite popular, so if you don’t want to miss out consider booking a Candlelight Processional Dining Package. You’ll then enjoy great food and have a guaranteed seat for the show. The Candlelight Processional runs nightly, November 27 through December 30.
1. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights presented by Siemens
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If you’ve never seen the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, drop whatever you’re doing and head immediately to Central Florida. Don’t even bother to pack, you can buy what you need once you get there. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is indescribable, you have to see it to believe it. Millions of lights take over the Streets of America, and every few minutes they dance to the music. Ask a Cast Member what time the lights will be turned on, it’s a magical experience. This is the 20th year for the amazing display, and unfortunately it is also the last. If you’ve never seen the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, or if you want to experience them one last time, make your plans now. On January 3, 2016, the lights will go out forever.