I’ll just come right out and say it: the Christmas season turns me into a complete sap. I blame my mother. I get it from her. But you know what also turns me into a complete sap? Disney. I blame my grandmother. So put the two together and I am a blubbering mess of good tidings and Mickey Mouse. The good news is that Disney and Christmas have something else in common: they are both unequivocally about love. So snuggle in, grab some tissues, and get in the Christmas Disney spirit with me.
Muppet Christmas Carol
This movie is a must for my family at Christmas. My mom insists we don’t watch it too early, but we HAVE to watch it by Christmas Eve. The Muppets always tug at my heartstrings, but somehow this Christmas movie gets me a little bit extra. The story is the classic Dickens’ tale, as told by Gonzo, but it also includes all original songs. The songs are magical. Even sung in Kermit’s silly little voice, the melodies will bring a tear to anyone’s eye. Plus, Michael Caine brings fantastic professionalism to this Muppet-filled movie. “After all, there’s only one more sleep ’til Christmas Day….”
The fireworks make me cry on any random day. So combining the fireworks with Christmas is a double whammy. I love the fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom during Christmas. Even if it’s 90 degrees out, it still feels festive and exciting. The fireworks shows are always about wishing, believing, and keeping hope alive. And that is never more true than at Christmas time. At Christmas, we have even more to believe in and a tangible hope that is alive. Just thinking about it makes me all choked up.
Snow on Main Street
Also in the Magic Kingdom is the rarest thing to happen in Florida: snow! On Main Street, U.S.A. you’ll sometimes get the surprise of the night and see snow falling over the street. Of course, it’s not real snow. It’s just soap. But when it flies from the tops of the storefronts, it sure looks like that white, fluffy, cold stuff all of us New Englanders loathe so well. I don’t mind it as much in this soap Disney form. There’s something so magical and beautiful about watching kids leap up to catch snowflakes, hearing their squeals of joy as it comes floating down. It makes us all feel a little like a kid once more.
Tree Lighting at Sea
One of my favorite memories of childhood is watching the tree lighting ceremony on the Disney Magic when I was 6. It was my family’s first ever Disney Cruise and we sailed over Christmas. While I’m sure they can’t do it this year with the need for social distancing, back then we all crammed in the atrium of the Magic and sang carols and watched as Mickey and friends lit the giant Christmas tree. When they did, snow magically came floating down all around us. We were amazed. It was so magical. We all cried and laughed and celebrated, and still do, just thinking about it.
Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi
I love watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas every year. It features three amazing holiday shorts that are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. One of the most heartwarming ones is Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi. This cartoon follows the beloved tale with a Disney twist. In it, Mickey and Minnie have no idea what to get each other for Christmas and end up sacrificing their most beloved possession to get something the other will love. Their love and generosity toward each other are so meaningful and beautiful.
Christmas Dinner on Property
A very cool thing about Disney is that it is open even on Christmas Day! This is great for those of us who want something extra special on the holiday and/or don’t want to do any of the cooking! There are a ton of fantastic dining options around property. And Disney makes sure to go all out, obviously. Many quick-service places around the Parks will be open for fun holiday treats, and many restaurants have special Christmas menus just for the day. This is a unique experience that the whole family will enjoy and cherish for years to come.
The Gift of Each Other
The final experience I wanted to include on this list was a simple, but powerful one: the gift of each other. Togetherness is rare in today’s world. Disney understands and values the idea of togetherness more than anyone, and the Parks, Cruises, and movies strive to cultivate an atmosphere where being together is just a natural part of life. Spending time in Disney allows you to temporarily forget anything outside those gates. You can leave your baggage at the door and just have fun for a while. And you get to do it with those you love most. Being together at Christmas is a tale as old as time. For me, getting to spend time with my family, at Disney or at home, makes me cry endless happy tears. May you enjoy this Christmas and let the spirit of the season fill you each and every day.