It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Holidays at Disney

Just hear those Dapper-Dans singing and decorations there, too.
Right now, it’s lovely weather to ride a teacup together with you.

That’s right, the holidays are here and waiting to bring us some much-needed relief from the stressful year it has been. It’s my absolute favorite time to be in either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. These two weeks of the year are my secret sweet spot for the best decorations, low attraction closure rates, and low-level crowds—Disney perfection.

Disney parks always have an air of magic around them, but the holidays bring an extra special something to that tingling of enchantment we usually feel. Our ambient musical favorites are tweaked to funnel holiday cheer through the walkways and attractions. The delightfully tantalizing scents of baked goods, now spiced with ginger and cinnamon, tease our tastebuds with just one sniff. All of our senses tell us that it is time to celebrate the ending of another year and the holidays ahead.

Living overseas, I have had quite a bit of time to reflect on why this particular time of the year hits the spot more than any of the other seasonal events that Disney celebrates, and I have concluded it is the short-lived nature of the season itself. Halloween, for example, seems to run for half the year, and by the time it arrives, that freshness that the festivities once had seems worn. Christmas, Hanukkah, and other December-based holidays are shortened in their celebration by Halloween in the parks and Thanksgiving, for many, in their homes.

The six main Disney theme parks in the USA don’t hit full holiday swing until the last days of November. The result of this seems to be that every day you can experience it feels correct for the season. You aren’t experiencing spooky decorations and the colors of Fall only to go home and remember it is still summer. Instead, the holiday environment at Disney carries home with you and feels like an extension of your own celebration. So whether you are watching the parade in Magic Kingdom or settling in for a day at Epcot with the Festival of the Holidays, the experience always feels new and exciting.

Are you visiting the Dinsey parks over the holidays and needing to decorate, conceal gifts or keep traditions along while struggling in the confines of a resort room? There are a few tricks that might help. If you are wondering how Santa will manage to bring all those presents to your hotel or how you will tackle things like milk and cookies or the lighting of your Menorah, here are a few guides that I have added over the years that might assist in your planning:

Next week, I’ll be adding to this series with a new Holidays at Disney article to cover some of the more recent aspects of traveling around this time of year, so keep your eyes open for that.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

I’m wondering if you are all looking forward to the end of this year as much as I am, though I know it can be a difficult time for some and others that don’t celebrate this time of year at all. Even so, I tend to think that the end of the year — holidays aside — is an excellent opportunity to reflect on what we can be grateful for, even at times that feels limited.

Admittedly, I don’t know much about the celebration of Hanukkah. I have not left it out intentionally, but it isn’t seared into my memory bank at the Disney parks the same way Christmas celebrations are. Because of this, I didn’t want to do it any disservice by guessing how that atmosphere feels in the same environment. I would absolutely love your opinions and experiences on that though, if anyone is willing to share.

Join me next week for the next chapter in The Holidays at Disney.

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. After her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world. Zoë is the mother of two children and has a lot of experience in traveling long distances with kids and special needs. Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.

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