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10 Must-Do Christmas Activities at Disney World

If you're looking for magic, Disney is the place to be, obviously!  BUT - Disney during the holidays brings "magic" to a whole 'nother level...

If you are lucky enough to be heading to Walt Disney World this holiday season, here are 10 things that you simply CAN NOT miss!

1. Check out the Disney Resorts dressed up for the Holidays

Disney Christmas Grand Floridian
Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Each of the resorts has their own special holiday decor and theming.  My personal favorite is The Grand Floridian- it has an actual human-sized gingerbread house in the lobby!  Stop by and purchase a cookie (they sell them in the house!)  to snack on while you take in the lavish decorations.

TIP: You don't have to be staying there to check it out, the Grand Floridan is just a short monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom!  It makes for a nice change of pace and breaks from the parks during the day.

2. Candlelight Processional at Epcot

Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the Christmas story, told by celebrity narrators alongside a live orchestra and accompanying choir.  Narrators for 2018 include Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Hunt, and Whoopi Goldberg, among others.  Three shows take place nightly from November 22 through December 30, 2018.  If you're a fan of the Christmas story along with traditional Christmas music, this engaging performance is for you.

3. Say "Cheers" to new holiday drinks

A holiday vacation is a perfect time to try a tasty new concoction.  This year Disney has rolled out several new and festive drinks including:

  • Coquito: Tropical Eggnog with a Bacardi Gold Dark Rum Floater

  • Firenog: T.G. Lee Eggnog with Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

  • Spiced Rum Punch Slush: Spiced Rum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P., Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon

  • Walnut Spiced Coffee with Walnut Liqueur and topped with Cinnamon and Whipped Cream

  • Rum Rudolph: RumChata with Eggnog topped with Whipped Cream and a dash of Cinnamon

  • Tropical Snowstor: A bourbon-based drink with flavors of cinnamon and toasted coconut, and garnished with a candy cane (seen above)

4. Attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard ticket event at Magic Kingdom that takes place several evenings starting in Early November and running through mid-December.

While it can be pricey, I highly recommend going at least once!  There's nothing quite like it.  A special holiday firework show, Christmas parade, SNOW on Mainstreet and free cookie and cocoa stations make it a truly unforgettable night.

5. Snack your way around the World at the International Festival of the Holidays

Yule log from France Pavilion in Epcot

Celebrate the many cultures represented in the World Showcase at Epcot through your taste buds!  Marketplace booths will be set-up throughout offering seasonal snacks and treats!

Another fun activity returning to Epcot Showcase this year is the Cookie Stroll.  Grab a passport and try any 5 cookies, stamping your passport with each, then return to Sweets & Treats to collect a free cookie!

6. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus

Of course, you can meet characters of all kinds at Disney, but did you know you can also meet the 'Jolly Old Elf' himself? You can find Santa and Mrs. Claus towards the back of the American Adventure Pavilion. Grab some cocoa and cookies while stopping by.

7. Have a holiday feast with Mickey and the Gang at Hollywood & Vine

Holiday Dining with Minnie at Hollywood and Vine

Minnie, Mickey and the whole gang meet and greet you in their holiday best at this character dining experience at Hollywood & Vine, located within Hollywood Studios.  It's a great way to meet the 'Fab 5', get great character photos and also eat a delicious holiday meal.  The buffet offerings include a meat carving station, mashed potatoes with gravy, seafood mac n' cheese and of course all the dessert you can eat.

8. Take an adventurous ride on the Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise at Walt Disney World

When the Jungle Cruise skippers are sick for home during the holidays, what are they to do but transform the Jungle Cruise into the 'Jingle Cruise'- complete with make-shift decorations and new corny jokes!  It's one of my favorite attractions because it changes with each skipper you meet - two rides are never the same.

9. Be mesmerized by 'A Frozen Holiday Wish'

Elsa lights the castle at Magic Kingdom

Watch in awe as Queen Elsa uses her magical powers to turn Cinderella's castle into a glistening palace of ice!  200,000 white shimmering lights ablaze at nightfall in the Magic Kingdom each night throughout the holiday season.

10. Get festive in Hollywood Studios' Sunset Season's Greetings

Tinseltown is lit up at night with Sunset Season's Greetings!  Snow falls and lights twinkle above Sunset Boulevard while the surrounding billboards come to life with classic Disney characters.  Lights, lasers, and projections work together harmoniously to create another spectacular nighttime show as only Disney can do so well!

If you asked me what my favorite Disney memory is (and I've been to Disney A LOT)...

It's standing on Mainstreet watching the Christmas parade, hot cocoa in hand, soldiers marching by, "snow" falling and my kid's faces lit up with wonder.  I know will I will remember that moment forever!   What's your favorite Disney holiday moment?

Until next time!