One of the things I love about staying at Disney Resorts is the way they greet you when you walk in for the first time. “Welcome home!” they all say, and to the regular Disney Goer, that is exactly what it feels like when you walk through those doors or drive under that big Walt Disney World sign.
A much more fun and exciting home away from home; that’s how the Elrods view Disney, and at Christmastime it is decorated up in such a way that would make even Martha Stewart a little lightheaded. Although, not all of the resorts are worth your time at Christmas, visiting any of the Deluxe and even a few of the Moderate resorts can be exciting, inspiring, and at times, breathtaking. Oh and guess what the best part is…it’s free!
The easiest way to get around to the resorts is to use your own mode of transportation; aka: your car. All of the resorts will have some sort of security to get through, but tell them your reason for visiting and they will let you in, no problem. Also, be prepared to show a picture I.D. However, if you are visiting Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, there are some amazing resorts with even more amazing Christmas decorations that you can visit very easily using Disney Transportation, or your own two feet! Here’s a list of the nearby resorts and how you can get to them without driving:
From Magic Kingdom:
Contemporary Resort – short walk, monorail
Polynesian Resort – monorail, boat ride
Grand Floridian Resort – monorail, boat ride
Wilderness Lodge and Campgrounds – boat ride from Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary Resort
Beach and Yacht Club Resorts: short walk from the back gate of EPCOT
Boardwalk Resort: short walk from the back gate of EPCOT, or a boat ride
So now you know where to go, but what is there to see? Well, Disney definitely doesn’t skimp when it comes to Yuletide Magic, but two themes that you will notice the most are the exquisite Christmas trees and jaw dropping gingerbread creations.
The Christmas trees at Walt Disney World are just one of the things that Disney Cast Members work all year round to plan and perfect. Some are simple but ornate, some carry themes, and some sweep up to great heights of six stories tall! These vertically blessed trees are breathtaking sights to behold and are so large that they can be tough to capture in just one picture.
The gingerbread creations will leave you gawking, as well. I say creations because in Disney, just throwing together a little house with a Santa Clause-clad gummy bear on the roof is not their style. Imagine whole gingerbread villages and life-sized gingerbread trees! Or even better, a real, working carousel made of gingerbread with chocolate horses, or a gingerbread house so large that it is actually a little shop that they sell refreshments from! Disney makes it all possible and you just have to see it to believe it for yourself.
36 lbs. of honey
96 lbs. of bread flour
100 pints of eggs
10 lbs. of spices
10 quarts of simple syrup
100 lbs. of icing
50 lbs. of dark chocolate
10 quarts of egg whites
100 lbs. of confectioner sugar
1,050 lbs. honey
600 lbs. powdered sugar
35 lbs. spices
800 lbs. flour
140 pints egg whites
180 lbs. apricot glaze
Don’t think that trees and gingerbread will be all that you see at Christmastime in Disney. As you wander the halls and lobbies of these Disney Resorts you will also notice ornate wreaths, miles of garland, fun holiday merchandise in the gift shops, and Holly Jolly atmosphere music to boot.
Elrod WDW Tip: If you are staying at any of these hotels, check with the front desk and see if there is any special holiday events going on. You never know when you may encounter carolers in the corridors or pictures with Santa in the lobby. You may even get a glimpse of main mouse, himself…
You never know what surprises Disney will dream up when you make Walt Disney World your home for the holidays.