We all know, this year has been a bit of a doozy. And as a local who is in the Parks 3-4 times a week, I can tell you that the Disney I used to know is different. So I can either complain about it, OR, I can find the positive in the pixie dust that still makes it a wonderful place. And Disney is still a Winter “Wonder”land full of Christmas magic around every corner, you just have to look up from your phone to see it.
- I LOVED the World Showplace at Epcot this year. They decked it out with tin soldiers, Frozen backgrounds, food and beverage kiosks, live music and a merch area. This was also done for Food and Wine this past year, and it makes for a nice break from the weather outside. Tables to sit or stand at, where you can go maskless to enjoy your treats, or lean and sit to listen to the amazing piano players. Annual Passholder merch can be found in here, so it’s a great spot to grab your shirt or ornament with a quick sit and a gingerbread milkshake. I also love the Washington D.C. display of the Capitol and more made out of gingerbread- amazing!
- There is something to be said about the comfort in food and the warmth it brings our soul. For several years now, the food kiosk next to American Adventure in Epcot makes a delicious turkey dinner sampler. Paired with a wine, the Cranberry Sparkling one last year was my favorite, makes it the coziest meal while sitting in the shadow of the large Christmas tree or listening to the “Voices of Liberty” in the American Gardens Theater. Just. Amazing.
- Normally, the Christmas tree lane at Disney Springs is a tradition in my family. We head over, grab a holiday treat, and snack as we stroll and enjoy the sights. They changed it up this year and spread the trees around the Marketplace, making it a scavenger hunt of sorts. Craig and I found one here and there, but the magic I enjoyed the most was surrounding the large Christmas tree with the snow falling all around it. Magical soap, and I loved it!
- I don’t know when the collection started, but I really enjoyed getting a popcorn bucket and strolling the Park while snacking on my buttersome treat. Christmas is extra special because the buckets light up, and I get to enjoy a sit with a soda while watching the Christmas floats go by at Magic Kingdom or just listening to the Carols echo through out the hub.
- I love the boats being utilized in Animal Kingdom this year! Whether it’s Characters or Santa Claus, you can see them circling the Tree of Life all day long.
- Living with the Land’s Christmas lights! A beautiful playground of foilage and fun, it’s a peaceful ride through a magical greenhouse. By the way, they have the lights on from open of park to close-so if you can’t make it in the evening, you can still see the lights pretty well during the day.
- The Red Velvet Holiday Whoopie Pie at Starbucks in Studios. I was looking for my Carrot Cake Cookie, and happened to be live streaming at the time when I walked into Starbucks. The whoopie pie picture was too divine to pass up, and after a collective consensus online, I chose it to take home with me. I had a daughter hard at work from home and wanted to spread the love, so we shared it when we came home and OH.MY. GOD. Delicious!! The cake part was fluffy, and the cream cheese with sprinkles was just enough- not crazy sweet, just the right amount. I hope they bring it back next year! And by the way, it was only $4.99- its hard to find a snack on Disney Property around $5 anymore. Great value, great taste! Available only in December- check it out!
- In 8th Grade, I tried out for “Babes in Toyland” for Mary Contrary and got the part! I LOVED the play and the movie, and I have always loved the tradition of the tin soldiers in the Disney parades. I would watch every Christmas day, the annual Disney Christmas parade with the soldiers, and I just fell in love with them. Being in “Toyland” after seeing the Soldiers in the parade every year, was a full circle life moment for me. So now every time I see them in the Magic Kingdom during this time of year, my heart smiles along with my face, you just can’t see it this year behind my mask.
- Christmas merchandise is already a fun thing to shop for, but being at Disney amongst the reds and greens with Mickey always feels extra special. And yes, every year I tell myself I don’t need it… this year I bought the Minnie Gingerbread pillow that SMELLS like Gingerbread, along with the Green Jingle Sipper that lights up! I can’t help it, I love picking up something every year.
- Just. Being. Here. Cliché? Perhaps. I know I am blessed, but there is always a unique excitement in the air when Christmas is in the Parks. I know it’s different this year, and I see it… BUT this year has also been about making the best out of the bad. If all I did this year was make someone smile with a picture, a giggle from one of my streaming videos in Morocco (if you know you know), or feel SOMETHING from the magic of the music and sights of the Parks…I have done my job and done it well.
It’s the Giving Season….THANK YOU for your support!!
I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my brand for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!