What I Miss About a Disney Christmas: Disney at the Holidays - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on

Hi, Guest!
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles

What I Miss About a Disney Christmas: Disney at the Holidays

Walt Disney World photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-15-2011

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

I'll start by saying that we’re exceptionally lucky.

I have been able to spend the holidays, and by that I mean Christmas Day itself, at Walt Disney World, five times in the last 11 years, with our sixth visit coming up next year. That probably tells you a lot about how much we love this time of year at Disney.

I know that a lot of people shy away from actually spending Christmas at Disney, and I can’t say I blame them, because you will have huge crowds to deal with, there’s no disputing that, and a lot of people have family commitments. For us, though, it’s a perfect time to visit, and around about now, there are 10 things that I realise I miss about not being in Disney for Christmas.

The first thing is how easy everything is there. There are no discussions about which part of the family we should be spending time with this year, or whether we should just spend it alone. There’s no travelling, well, provided you don’t count the nine-and-a-half-hour flight there and back to the UK, of course! By that I mean that you don’t have to face the road trip to visit relatives on, or perhaps just before or after the day itself. You can settle down in a beautiful resort and just enjoy yourselves. There are no demands on your time, it’s up to you what you want to do and when.

The second thing I miss about a Disney Christmas is that we can get some amazing meals for less than we’d pay here – seriously! I bet you weren’t expecting me to say that, but if we go out for a Christmas meal at a local restaurant, which is often preferable for us, then we’re easily looking at a bill for just food equivalent to around $175, plus drinks. We’ve been amazed by the quality of meals we’ve had at Disney for a similar amount, or even less. After one memorable Christmas Day dinner at California Grill, we commented that it was much better value than had we stayed home, and of course there you can also enjoy an additional treat of Wishes!

Epcot - poinsettia trees photo
Epcot - poinsettia trees

In front of the poinsettia trees during the Christmas season. - photo by chezp

The third thing I miss about Christmas at Disney is just wandering around the parks, and the resorts, and taking in all the beautiful decorations. Every time we see homes decked out with lights, I can’t help but think of the Osborne Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and of course, nothing can compare to those. Sadly, a lot of the time, we don’t see any decorations over here that even remotely rival Disney’s stunning displays, and boy do I miss the sight of enormous Christmas trees, poinsettias everywhere you look, and oversized wreathes.

When you think of Disney at Christmas, you can’t help but miss the added extras that the holiday season brings. Every time I read a trip report from someone lucky enough to be there around Christmas, I experience a fleeting moment of sadness, realising that this year I won’t be able to watch, and in part, smell the parade during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, hear the beautiful vocals of the Candlelight Processional, and admire the stunning Christmas ending to IllumiNations. So that’s the fourth thing I miss about a Disney Christmas, all those additional offerings that won’t be back at the World for another 12 months.

The fifth thing I miss about a Disney Christmas is the weather. Yes, of course, it can be all over the place, and we’ve had days and nights when the UK would have been decidedly warmer, but there’s always the chance of a warm day and a pleasant night. There’s something very magical about enjoying pleasant temperatures during the middle of the winter, and trust me, there’s nothing more surreal than being able to go swimming on Christmas Day, which we’ve done before!

Number six is the music that’s constantly played around the parks. That may sound odd, but there are so many songs that we just never hear over here, but are always present at Disney. The classic is, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Every time I hear that, it just makes me smile and think of Disney. After all, if that title doesn’t sum up Christmas at Disney, I don’t know what does?

The seventh thing is some of the treats you get when you stay at a Disney resort. These have become more limited in recent years, and last time we were there in 2009, sadly there was no Christmas stocking waiting on our door on Christmas morning, as we’d always had before. However, you can usually find some of the Disney characters in the lobby, and perhaps some festive hot drinks as well. Keep an eye out for details.

The eighth is being able to find wonderful Christmas goodies in all of the shops, and not just Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney or the Christmas shop in Liberty Square. We’ve gotten so many special personalised souvenirs over the years, the most important of which is the Christmas ornament of Eeyore, with our married names on it, that we got on our honeymoon. It was the first time I’d had something, apart from our wedding certificate, with that on it. If this is something you want to do, then be sure to get in early, as waits can stretch for days and days at this busy time of the year.

Number nine is something that’s also been affected in recent years, the poinsettia trees. I absolutely fell in love with them on our first holiday trip to the World, and now I always make sure to have a couple of poinsettias in the house to remind me of the amazing creations you can find at Disney. I hope that, after a disappointing show in 2009, the trees are back to full strength by the time we next return.

The final thing I miss about Disney at Christmas is perhaps the most obvious one, being immersed in magic from start to finish! Somehow, right now, 2012 seems a very long way away, but my goodness, when we do get back to Disney next Christmas, we’ll enjoy every minute of it!

Hollywood Studios - Osborne Lights photo
Hollywood Studios - Osborne Lights

Looking up towards the main Christmas tree from the San Franciso end of Streets of America. - photo by chezp

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 12-15-2011 - Article #760 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - 13,14,15,16,17,18
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.

Tampa airport to Disney [transportation suggestions?]
by klmaterrell
17 Jan 2015 at 8:54am
Is there a cheap way to get from Tampa to Disney. The air fare is so much cheaper for us to fly into tampa (like $800). Is there a car service that...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney travel Expert needed
by fivebarbiegirls
13 Jan 2015 at 2:58am
Does anyone have a suggestion of a disney travel expert that can book my trip? I found one on here with our last trip in 2009 and she was wonderful....
(click title above to view replies)

Can you have both Tables in Wonderland (TIW) and Deluxe Disney Dining Plan (D...
by jennimouse
13 Jan 2015 at 1:33am
Can you use both tables in wonderland and DDDP together? Lets say we have cocktails or wine with our food. Can we use our DDDP to pay for the meal...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 6370

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.