The Casual Runner

CASUAL ADVENTURER: Christmas at Disney

Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two!  Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.

The What: Top 10 Christmas Adventures at Walt Disney World
The Where: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
The When: November 1st’ish to January 1st’ish (varies by year)

IMG_9642Casual Runners love Disney, and that is not just limited to runDisney.  Every year, starting the day after Halloween and lasting until the New Year, the Walt Disney World Resort transforms into a veritable Christmas wonderland.   For those Casual Runners looking to make a trip to “The World,” we want to share our Top 10 list of Must Do Christmas Adventures at Walt Disney World. Here we go!

10. Stroll down Main Street USA: Magic Kingdom. Perhaps the single largest concentration of Christmas decorations can be found on Main Street USA.  While other guests are running to get in line for Anna and Elsa or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, be sure to take some time to stroll up Main Street at a leisurely pace and take in the beautiful decorations.

9. Candlelight Processional: Epcot. Celebrity narrators and local school choirs headline this show at the American Gardens Theater in Epcot that is a Disney classic dating back to Walt Disney himself. The telling of the Christmas story in this unique setting draws big crowds. You can reserve tickets with dinner packages tied to table service meals at select Epcot World Showcase restaurants, just be sure to make your reservations far in advance as they will book up fast every year.

IMG_25748. Store Window Displays: Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs. Disney brings back the classic tradition of special holiday window displays from Christmases past at select retail locations on property. Do not walk by these displays too quickly as the intricate designs and even automation and special effects will certainly make your day and bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike.

7. Christmas Overlays to classic attractions.  This is a trend we hope that Disney continues. For the season the Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise, and, in the past, the Jammin Jungle Parade became the Jingle Jungle Parade (though it is on hiatus for 2015 due to in-park construction). When you ride Living with the Land in Epcot, keep your eyes peeled for some hidden holiday additions. These new takes on classic attractions and parades are always enjoyable and make revisiting old favorites that much more important during the holiday season.

6. Holidays Around the World, World Showcase: Epcot.  Each of the pavilions in World Showcase gets into the holiday spirit with decorations, music, and even story tellers featuring the unique holiday culture and customs of the respective host nations.  As if you needed another reason to spend some more time in World Showcase. Tasty adult beverages are always optional as you stroll along the promenade.

5. Park Christmas Trees: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood, Epcot, & Magic Kingdom. Each of the 4 theme parks has its own Christmas tree themed to that park.  Make a point to stop and check each of these out, especially the various ornaments, and even have your picture taken in front of them.

4. Illuminations Holiday Tag: Epcot. Epcot nighttime spectacular, Illuminations, gets “plussed” for the holidays with the addition of a “tag” at the end of the normal show.  We do not want to spoil it, but the music and narration never fails to inspire and move guests. So make sure to stay and enjoy it before saying goodnight to your magical day at Walt Disney World.

3. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Magic Kingdom. This hard ticket event (which means you have to buy special park admission as your day passes will not get you in), takes place on certain nights in November and December. The party starts at 7pm but your party ticket will get you into the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm that day. You will be treated to the special editions of the Christmas parade, Celebrate the Magic, and Holiday Wishes during the party, and enjoy festive character meet and greets and all of the hot cocoa and cookies you can handle. This party does sell out on some nights, so make sure you buy your tickets in advance if you have particular night that you want to go.

IMG_28182. Christmas Monorail Pub Crawl. The deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World go all out for Christmas. From life size gingerbread houses to multi-story Christmas trees, you must check out the extravagant lobbies of these hotels. So grab some friends, hop on the monorail, and tour the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Contemporary resorts to check out their beautiful holiday displays. While there, you can stop and imbibe in some tasty holiday beverages to further your holiday cheer. If you are feeling particularly festive, you can hop on a boat and check out the decorations at the Wilderness Lodge.  Now that is a LOT of holiday happiness.

1. The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Hollywood Studios. Sadly, we know that Disney already announced that 2015 is the last year for this amazingly spectacular spectacle of Christmas light awesomeness. Two things you need to know. First, if you have not already experienced this, you need to get yourself to Hollywood Studios this holiday season to check it out. Second, it is our hope that there will be a next generation successor spectacle to this event, because it just would not be Christmas in Walt Disney World without it.

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  1. Pingback: The Casual Runner | Ride all the Rides - Part 2 - The Casual Runner

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