{Hoosier Momma Moment} Winter Disney Tips

By now I’m sure you’ve read through my Summer and Fall Disney Vacation tips but with the Holiday Season upon us and Vacation time being used, it seemed I needed to bust out some tips for you crazy Winter Disney travelers.

We’ll do some tips for all four parks, as well as let you know what the resorts have in store for you from Christmas through New Years.

Let’s go!

Let’s start at my favorite home-away-from-home, Magic Kingdom!

There is really no better place to be for the holidays, in my opinion!

Like in the fall, Magic Kingdom hosts a hard ticketed event around Christmas called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This party includes a special stage show, hot cocoa and cookies, visits with Santa and your favorite Disney Characters, a special parade called Once Upon a Christmastime, and a special perimeter fireworks display, Holiday Wishes.

It even snows on Main Street USA!!

Parties are on select nights through December 21st and tickets for the remaining parties are around $62 dollars a person. If you’re going to be in Disney past the 21st and want to be able to see the Christmas parade and fireworks, then you’re in luck!

The week of Christmas, the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will become the regular Day Parade (starting at 3:00) with Holiday Wishes replacing Wishes! as the Nighttime Fireworks display at no extra cost beyond your daily park ticket.

Keep in mind that the Holiday season is one of the busiest times to visit Walt Disney World. If you want to catch any entertainment options (parades, fireworks, stage shows) give your self plenty of time to find a seat and wait it out.

You wont want to miss the Castle Lighting presentation “Cinderella’s Holiday Wish” every evening.

Refer back to my post on Summer Disney Tips for places to avoid during the parade (mainly the “Plaza” area around Casey’s Corner and Ice Cream Plaza).

New Years may seem like a magical time to visit Magic Kingdom but I’m sorry to say New Years Eve is one of the worst times to try and get into a Disney park.

Disney does do special New Years fireworks, and even have a DJ for dancing and “Partying with Thousands!” but here’s the thing: New Years Eve is one of the absolute BUSIEST days to EVER visit a Disney Park.

Because it’s so busy, they will begin to restrict people entering the park. The first people who will be restricted entrance into the parks will be standard ticket holders who are not staying at a Disney resort. Last year for New Years we were only allowing Vacation Club Annual Passholders who were staying on property in by noon.

I met several families who entered the park when it opened and sat at the same spot all day to have a view for the fireworks. Is that really how you want to spend your New Year let alone your vacation?

Now, if you’re committed to seeing the special New Years fireworks but don’t want to camp out, Disney will do the exact same entertainment (right down to the DJ) the day before New Years. Most people don’t know about it so it’s not nearly as crazy.

EPCOT also does some fun things for the holidays.

My all-time favorite event is the Candlelight Processional. At this show in the American plaza an orchestra and chorus assembles to sing your favorite Christmas songs.

The best part? The entire event is narrated by a popular celebrity! Last year, Justin and I went and saw Neil Patrick Harris!

Disney offers a great dinner package where you have reserved seating for a show and can enjoy dinner before hand. Now there are no assigned seats at the show so you will still need to arrive early for good seats but it was something we enjoyed when we did it.

The dinner package is an added charge on top of your standard park ticket but it is possible to still see the show without having to purchase it. You will need to stand in line for a while though, and your seats will likely be at the back and standing room only.

But I mean, who doesn’t like dinner and a show?

One of my favorite holiday traditions is at Hollywood Studios and is called the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights.

The lights dance to your favorite Holiday songs and you can search for countless hidden Mickey’s along the Streets of America.

You can check out my post about the lights here!

The lights show is free with your park ticket!

Finally, Animal Kingdom and the Resorts are all decked out for the holidays too!

Animal Kingdom hosts the Jingle Jungle Parade–a Christmas themed safari parade!

There are also lots of Gingerbread creations in all your favorite Disney resorts, from a Victorian house at the Grand Floridian to an It’s a Small World themed creation at the Contemporary!

See some great pictures from last year here!!

Despite the sometimes crazy crowds, there is no better place to spend the holidays than Walt Disney World.

Share your experiences with me, I’d love to live vicariously through your adventures!

Thanks for looking! Happy Holidays!!