Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Magic Kingdom Area Resorts Holiday Hop

It's that time of year...the fall leaves are coming down, and everybody's beginning to think of getting out their holiday decorations!  Just the other night I was seized by a ridiculous desire to drop what I was doing and go put up Christmas lights. ;)

Luckily Disney World doesn't have a problem with starting the festivities a little early.  Many of the Magic Kingdom decorations should be up by now, and they should be going up quickly at the resorts too!

I love how every corner of Walt Disney World transforms at the holidays.  There's so much to see, but you don't want to miss any of it!  So today I thought we'd travel through some of the very best of the decorations around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, at the Magic Kingdom area resorts!  If you'll be touring WDW during December, I would highly recommend taking a day or an afternoon to just hop around the deluxe resorts like this and soak in all the different details.

1.  To start your tour, head to the Wilderness Lodge.  It's not one of the main monorail resorts, but these decorations are definitely not-to-be-missed!

The Wilderness Lodge lobby is practically made for Christmas time.  It's got that soaring roof (plenty of room for a GINORMOUS Christmas tree!), lots of rustic wooden railings for pretty swags, a beautiful fireplace...

I bet this is Santa's favorite chimney to come down on Christmas Eve. ;)

And the holiday decorations include lifesize antlers.  Seriously.

To properly enjoy Disney Resort Christmas decorations, you can't just breeze through taking photos.  You have to linger and wander...


Find a rocking chair, maybe by that big fireplace, maybe by the windows, maybe on the second floor to get a view of all the festive decorations from above, and soak it all in.  Find the Christmas bears by the bridge, stroll down to Roaring Fork to see if the cupcakes have any Christmas sprinkles...

Take some time to wander around that huge tree and check out not only the antlers but the tepees, the ribbons, the baubles.  All the decorations are SO BIG you'll feel like a character from the Nutcracker standing next to it!

Once you've finished at the Wilderness Lodge, hop on a boat and head to our next Magic Kingdom Resort stop...

2. The Contemporary Resort!  Now it is also pretty cool to approach the Contemporary by monorail come December, because you get to see the big Mickey wreath!

And if you keep an eye out from the monorail you'll also see a giant Christmas tree in the courtyard out front, beyond the port cochere.  But it's also fun to approach from the boat, because then you'll be on the ground floor and will get to see the decorations in the lobby...

The wreaths and the trees are all decorated in modern yet elegant golds and reds and oranges...


Around every corner there seems to be another tree or wreath, and I love looking down the corridor to the Wave, transformed with evergreens and ornaments.

Just look at that BOW!  The Disney decorators must have so much fun planning different looks for different spaces.  Just at the Contemporary, you have the subdued tones in the lobby, but upstairs on the Grand Canyon Concourse it's a burst of colors...

They have a GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS TREE!  And in front of it is a gingerbread shop, complete with a gingerbread Contemporary you can buy...

Do you see the white chocolate monorail peeking out of the front?

There's no huge tree in the lobby, but there is that huge Mickey wreath in the window!

3. Hop the monorail to get to the next resort on our Christmas Tour.  Ride two stops to the Polynesian Resort!

The décor at the Polynesian isn't on quite the same scale as the Wilderness Lodge or Contemporary, but it's even more pretty because it's more subtle.  You'll find poinsettias have crept in amongst the usual tropical greenery in the Great Ceremonial House...

...and there IS a lovely tree to take photos by!  The funny thing is, the Polynesian tree actually is pretty impressive compared to ordinary trees.  It's only compared to the ridiculously huge trees at some of the other resorts that it looks normal-sized!

The decorations filling the green branches at the Poly are tropical flowers, brightly-colored balls and bows, and a few Polynesian trinkets too!

In Boutiki, the tiki lamps have taken on a special festive flair...and the tiki gods too!

Does this guy have a name?  I feel like he should!


And don't forget to go outside, under the Port Cochere to admire the decor out there too.  I love how every corner of the resorts seems to has some sort of festive spirit added!

Like those GIANT hanging wreaths.  Beautiful!  There are even swags hanging from oars...

...I don't know why, but I just love that!  I want to have a Polynesian themed Christmas some year and recreate them at my house. ;)

If you have the energy, I'd suggest walking from the Polynesian to the last and final stop on our Seven Seas Christmas Tour.  It is most definitely the Grand Finale, because we are headed for the GRAND FLORIDIAN!

4. Approaching the Grand from street level, through the Port Cochere, is especially magic at the holidays:

Big lovely bows and swags welcome you, and off to either side is a sea of poinsettias with a few reindeer grazing...

When you enter, it's just immediate, in-your-face CHRISTMAS:

There are five, perfectly framed Christmas trees.  And just look at how PACKED each one is with ornaments!  They're literally dripping with Christmas spirit...


And these are just two of the smaller trees!  Then there's the COLOSSAL tree in the center of the lobby...

Once you can manage to tear your attention away from this gorgeousness, you'll notice the lifesize gingerbread house.

This thing is just ridiculously adorable.  Smoke even comes out of the chimney:

I LOVE IT!  And there are so many details to notice...

...like the windows dedicated to different Disney characters...

This gingerbread house has porches and balconies complete with winter village scenes, Santas, and furniture.  I think my American Girl dolls are ready to move in.

Even the smallest touches are utterly enchanting.  These sugar-spun poinsettias and snow drops are so delicate and lovely!

Don't forget to follow the bedecked Grand staircase up to get a view from above...

 Completely gorgeous.  Before I saw it in person, I would hear people talk about the Grand Floridian Christmas decorations and think they were exaggerating.  Not any more!  There is just SO much to look at.  Even on the second floor, in the hallway and in the shops, there are YET MORE wreaths and pretty Christmas things to be seen...


Have you ever visited the Magic Kingdom resorts at the holidays?  Which is your favorite?  Share your Christmas favorites in the comments. :)

For even more photos and holiday fun...


  1. I am SO excited to be staying at the WL next week! I can't wait to tour all of the other resorts as well.

    1. Hope you have a wonderful time!! The Wilderness Lodge is one of the prettiest resorts come the holidays! :)

    2. Hope you had a magical time, Laurie! WL is wonderful at the holidays.

      Miss Emma, Thank you for the tour of all these deluxe resorts. We've had the pleasure of staying at each of these, and your pictures brought back all those wonderful memories. Thank you very, very much for capturing the beauty of WDW at the holidays and sharing it with us!

  2. I have only been once at Christmas, 2011. It was AH-MAY-ZING! One of my favorite things that we did was tour the deluxe resorts.

    1. I bet that was so much fun, the deluxe resorts have super deluxe decorations!

  3. I haven't been during Christmas time since 2009, and that time we were staying at the Beach Club Villas so we checked out that area's resorts. These photos are lovely!