The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

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It might be the most wonderful time of year, but at Walt Disney World it’s also one of the busiest. In addition to the cooler temperatures and school holidays, guests flock to Walt Disney World over the holidays to enjoy Disney magic enhanced with Christmas extras at all four theme parks.

But not all parks are created equal in their vacation offerings. Let’s take a look at which parks are most worth the cost in dollars, crowds, and effort to make park reservations.

The 2nd best park for Christmas – Magic Kingdom

During the holiday season, stepping into the Magic Kingdom is like stepping into an old-fashioned Christmas card. Main Street in the US is dressed up, there’s a giant Christmas tree in Town Square, and even Scrooge couldn’t “cheat” the windows and the Christmas music loop.

The highlight for many, of course, is Cinderella’s Castle, which lights up with holiday screenings (RIP Dream Lights) after dark.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

So why isn’t the Magic Kingdom the best park for Christmas Day or even Christmas? Well, even though Walt Disney World is almost back to normal, there is still room for improvement. While the Jingle Cruise returns, other attractions that once featured vacation overlays haven’t, such as Space Mountain and Tomorrowland Speedway.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

Plus, most Christmas extras and decorations can be found near the front of the park; and while other lands have a bit of their vacation touches here and there, it’s largely the same as in mid-July. And, many vacation activities are reserved for Disney Very Merriest After Hours events at an additional cost. .

Now, when it comes to holiday treats, the Magic Kingdom has guests covered from apple candy to Dole Whips specialties to flavored shakes and coffees; and while they are fun and made for Instagram, that is also part of their problem.

However, it should be noted that the Liberty Tree Tavern at the Magic Kingdom offers fantastic holiday meals all year round, making it the perfect place for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner. And Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Table Royale allow guests to dine like royalty in a castle that’s sure to be memorable.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

When it comes to holiday entertainment, instead of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom this year, it’s the Very Merriest After Hours event. Basically it’s the lite version of Very Merry, but still features Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade, Minnie’s wonderful Christmas fireworks, dancing parties, Mickey’s Castle stage show and Minnie’s Very Merry Memories, plus free cocoa and cookies. The problem here is that it can cost up to $ 249 per person, which is more than it costs to experience the Magic Kingdom for a full day instead of a few hours.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas
Once upon a time Christmas!

Still, after its last night on December 21, the parade is slated to be offered in the park for free and until New Years.

So, is the Magic Kingdom a perfect park for Christmas fun and flair? Yes. Although in 2021, the Magic Kingdom is offering a little less than before with steep prices for additional holiday entertainment; and we didn’t even address the crowd!

Since the Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s most popular park, it’s often the busiest, and it’s almost guaranteed to be at full capacity on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Additionally, the most atmospheric part of the park – being Main Street, USA – will also be one of the busiest areas in the park.

Customers with a reservation at Magic Kingdom Park on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or any day before the holidays, should approach their visit as if they would on Christmas morning at home. Get up far too early (take advantage of early entry to the theme park if possible!) And tackle your to-do list like unwrapping a pile of presents under the tree before the crowds descend.

The best park for Christmas – EPCOT

While most would expect Magic Kingdom to be the top pick, and understandably, the Disney park with the best Christmas bang for your buck in 2021 is EPCOT.

While Cinderella’s Castle has holiday screenings, EPCOT’s Earth spacecraft not only received a new lighting package as a magical 50th anniversary lighthouse, but also a Christmas-themed show afterwards. sunset ! It is a stunner.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

The park also has its own massive Christmas tree at the entrance to World Showcase, as well as American Adventure gingerbread exhibits and Washington, DC icons inside the rotunda of the American Adventure building. .

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

The decor doesn’t stop there! Most of the pavilions at the World Showcase have decorated their halls with decorations that reflect their history and culture. For example, the UK flag has traditional Christmas cookies among its garlands while Mexico is bright and lively with red poinsettias and pink and purple baubles.

While much of the front half of EPCOT – formerly known as Future World – remains behind construction walls, the park’s two vacation attraction overlays are back! Guests aboard Living with the Land will experience Christmas light shows as they navigate the various greenhouses as Figment from Journey Into Imagination appeared wearing her Christmas sweater. Much like Magic Kingdom, guests can also meet characters dressed in their best holiday clothes nearby!

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

When it comes to vacation dining, EPCOT really shines. Like the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT’s Garden Grill at The Land Pavilion serves vacation-style family meals year-round, and the park is home to a true foodie’s paradise in World Showcase.

But the real star of the show for many is the EPCOT International Holiday Festival, which runs from November 26 to December 30. Pop-up vacation kitchens serve sweet and savory dishes from around the world representing vacations celebrated both near and far. Even if a guest can’t get an advance reservation for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, this festival offers more familiar and exotic fare than even the largest family gathering.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

The Holiday Party also includes a Holiday cookie walk, which rewards guests with a free specialty cookie after successfully completing the festival cookie offerings. There’s also Olaf’s Hidden Tradition Expedition, a treasure hunt that also offers a reward.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

EPCOT and the festival also offer live entertainment at no additional cost. Almost every World Showcase pavilion features holiday storytellers who educate and entertain guests about their country’s holiday legends, from La Befana in Italy to Santa Claus in the UK to the Hanukkah storyteller.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

At the entrance to World Showcase, guests can also hear JOYFUL! A celebration of the season, and each night a famous narrator is accompanied by an orchestra and choir at the American Adventure’s traditional Candlelight Processional.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

The best part is that all of this live entertainment, which has 12 acts in all, is included with your park ticket.

In addition to EPCOT’s wide variety of food, entertainment and settings, there is of course the crowd factor. Not only is EPCOT bigger than the Magic Kingdom, but its walkways are wider and most public spaces more spacious… with plenty of space to get away from it all and explore.

Plus, while EPCOT doesn’t have as many attractions as Magic Kingdom, there is no queue required to explore World Showcase, and much of its holiday entertainment is offered multiple times a day.

, The two best Walt Disney World parks for Christmas

No one wants to spend their Christmas vacation stuck in queues or unable to move through a crowded aisle. EPCOT not only offers customers additional space, but a variety of new and familiar vacation experiences that can be enjoyed on a whim and without the detailed plan of attack required to enjoy other parks. For me, EPCOT is the real winner this holiday season.


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Let’s hear from you

Do you agree with my pick of the best Walt Disney World park for Christmas? Have you visited WDW while on vacation – and if you did, would you do it again? Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to this holiday season at WDW? Let us know in the comments below…

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