Many people dream of spending Christmas in the most magical place on earth – Disney World. They want to get away from home and enjoy a little Florida sunshine and a lot of Disney fun.
However, you have some considerations to think about. Here are the top five:
1 – Consider The Family Repercussions
Many families have long-standing traditions on how they spend Christmas. Upsetting these traditions can upset some family members. And who wants to make Aunt Alice mad at Christmas? You have several options:
- Invite your family to come along. Work through the cost and travel logistics and start a new tradition of the whole clan spending Christmas at Disney World.
- Celebrate on a different day. Many families, especially large ones, will get together, trade gifts, and share a meal on a day other than December 25. Keep your traditions, but just schedule them for a different day.
- Be there virtually. With the magic of Skype, you can virtually attend your family’s Christmas celebration, watch everyone open gifts via webcam, and then hang up and get in line for Space Mountain.
Disney tries to accommodate many different food traditions around Christmastime, but there are so many different ideas on a proper “Christmas meal” that you might not find a Disney restaurant that meets your ideals for a Christmas feast. You have several options:
- Stay someplace with a kitchen and cook. Some of the larger villas on Disney property have small kitchens, and many of the vacation homes and more extravagant hotels near Disney property have facilities in the room that allow you to prepare your own mean. Remember that you will need to plan time to go grocery shopping, and make sure you have all the utensils needed for your cooking event.
- Go wild. If the idea of spending your holiday slaving over a turkey or a ham doesn’t strike you as much fun, then create a new tradition. Maybe you could plan on a Disney character breakfast, or eat as much ice cream as you can all day long. After all, it’s time to celebrate!
3 – Consider Your Gift Giving Traditions
The most important consideration here is to be clear about expectations. For many people, the investment in a trip to Disney World means that the trip itself is the present. For others, they may still want to enjoy sharing and opening gifts. Whatever path you choose, be sure that everyone understands the choice and is on board. If you do decide to share gifts, remember that you need a way to get them to Disney World – and get them back home. Here are some creative ideas:
- Disney Gift Cards. Tell family and friends about your new Christmas plans (they will probably be jealous), and politely ask them to give Disney gift cards. This way, you can use the extra money to pick up a few fun souvenirs and possibly fund an extra special meal (Victoria And Alberts, anyone?).
- Ship boxes to the resort. If you want to keep some of your gift giving traditions and you already did your Christmas shopping back in August, then you might want to ship your wrapped presents to your Disney World resort before you leave for your vacation.
4 – Consider New Traditions
If you always visit grandma on Christmas Eve or you always make homemade pizza for Christmas (yes, that’s what my family does), then be prepared to start a new tradition, or at least put your typical traditions on hold and try something unique. Plan to check out the Very Merry Christmas parade at the Magic Kingdom, or marvel at the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Many people really enjoy visiting the life sized ginger bread house in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Be sure to take advantage of the fun that Disney has to offer.
In addition, decorating is often an important family tradition. Here are some options to add a little Christmas cheer to your hotel room:
- Use Disney Floral & Gifts. Yes, the prices are high, but the convenience and quality are high too. Disney Floral can set you up with everything from a little gift basked to a full-sized, fully decorated Christmas tree.
- Bring decorations from home. More shipping and more schlepping, but you might want to bring a few favorite decorations from home to brighten up your room.
- Buy decorations locally. If you have a rental car there are plenty of Walmart and Target stores nearby that sell all the same stuff you can get at home.
5 – Consider Your Worship Options
For many families, attending a worship service is a highlight of their Christmas. While Disney no longer offers religious services on their property on a regular basis, they typically do offer them at Christmas and Easter. In past years, there have been Catholic and Protestant services at Disney’s Contemporary Report. Ask the Disney Cast Members at your resort about options on Disney property.
Alternatively, if you have a car, there are many churches in Orlando that offer services as well. Be sure to call for details, as some offer services only on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day. Also, plan to arrive early since many churches do fill up on Christmas.
By considering the five points above, your family can be sure to enjoy a special time at Disney World. And thanks to the fine folks over at Touring Plans (Source) for their list of Christmas considerations. It was a terrific list that inspired our list here.
What do you think about spending Christmas at Disney World?