This year Disney will start celebrating the Holiday season on November 7 and runs through December 31. Each park has their own way of celebrating and go over the top when doing it.
Being the theme park that represents the world, with the World Showcase, let's start with Epcot. This park won't actually start it's Holiday events until after Thanksgiving, November 28. On this day we will see the Candlelight Processional, Holidays Around the World and Illuminations with the Holiday Tag all begin.
As we stated in a previous article, Candlelight Processional is the story of the birth of Jesus, narrated by a celebrity (this year includes Sharron Stone, Jodi Benson, Steve Curtis Chapman, Whoopi Goldberg, Ana Gasteyer and many more) and includes performances by a mass Choir and orchestra of your favorite Christmas songs.
Holidays Around the World is a celebration where each country has their version of Santa Clause tell that country's Christmas Story. This is great for you and your children to learn more about how other countries celebrate. All of this, along with wonderful decorations around the park will help you get in the spirit for the Holidays around the world.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is the main attraction for Christmas in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
What started as a small display on residential street has since turned into a fascinating display of millions of colorful dancing lights on the backlot's Streets of America. You will also be treated to snow during the show. Last year the lights got an upgrade to include the new Glow with the Show Mickey Ears, so that even your hat can dance with the show. Be on the look out for the Black Cat!
This park has the most going on. Starting on November 7 and ending December 19 (My Birthday), the Magic Kingdom will host the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. This party includes the Once Upon a Christmastime parade, Lighting of Cinderella's Castle, Celebrate the Season, Totally Tomorrowland Christmas, FREE cookies and hot cocoa, holiday Wishes and much more!
As soon as you walk in to the park and see the Main Street area, decorated in all it's Christmas glory, you will be amazed. From the toy soldiers around the Town Square area, the wreaths on the lamp post, and the garland on the stores, you will know it's Christmas in the Kingdom.
During the time frame of the Christmas Party, the atmosphere will change. Snow will fall on Main Street, the castle will twinkle in the background, once the Fairy Godmother lights it for Cinderella that is.
Starting on December 20, the events of the party will take place during regular theme park hours, and without an extra cost. The only change will be the Free cookies and cocoa. The Festival of Fantasy Parade will be replaced with the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, the Holiday Wishes will replace Wishes.
Let's talk about crowd levels for this time of year. With this beginning in the early parts of November, the crowds aren't that bad, until Wine and Dine Weekend and Thanksgiving. The best times are through the week, but if you're going on a weekend, pay attention to the Christmas Day Parade taping in the Magic Kingdom, it will be packed around Main Street, and stay bottle-necked there until the end of taping, but the attractions will have low waits.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually the low times of the year, but Christmas Day through New Years is the most crowded time of the year, with most of the parks in Orlando closing for capacity at some point during the week.
Is It Worth It?
While I have only been to witness Christmas the week after Christmas, we love it. And find it worth the time to go, even if for a weekend to help get you and your family in the Christmas Spirit.