Christmas is only one week away, so you can probably guess the topics of my posts this week. There are so many Christmasy things to do in Walt Disney World that it’s going to take all week to cover them (and I’m sure I’ll still miss a few!). In keeping with the idea of being able to have a day in Walt Disney World themed around your favorite things whatever time of year your trip is, today I’m going to talk about six Christmas-related experiences that are available year-round.
1. Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course
As I mentioned in my post on snow, this mini golf course near Blizzard Beach is themed after Santa Claus. You can choose the snowy winter course or the sandy summer course. If you prefer a white Christmas, choose the winter course, but if you enjoy the idea of Santa on vacation, you can see him buried in the sand on the summer course. Whichever course you choose, you get a special greeting from Santa (via a computer) after the last hole. The current price for an 18-hole round is $12 for adults and $10 for kids.
2. Carousel of Progress
Step back in time to experience Christmas in the 1990s that never was (were?).
As I’ve mentioned multiple times (in my posts on vintage Magic Kingdom, musical theater, and rain), Carousel of Progress is my favorite attraction, but even I can’t get over how dated that final scene is (“You’re not going to tell us about the old days when you didn’t even have a car phone.”). I wish they would restore that scene to the original version. It would be cool to see it, and any other option that tries to make the last scene futuristic would have a constant struggle with being out of date. What was my point again? Oh yes, it’s a Christmas scene, and it’s there all year long. With tree lights 30 percent brighter.
3. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square
I love Disney Christmas ornaments; there’s more than a few of them on my tree right now, in fact.
I also think ornaments make great souvenirs, because you don’t have to find a place to put them, and there’s a designated time once a year when you pull them out and all the memories of your wonderful vacation come flooding back. That’s why I’m very glad you can buy Christmas decorations year-round in the Parks. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is the place to go in Magic Kingdom. The other in-park holiday shop is…
4. It’s a Wonderful Shop
It’s a Wonderful Shop is the holiday shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’ve only been in there once, which was during the Christmas season, and I’ve read conflicting information regarding whether or not it’s always open year-round. It’s worth stopping by to check, if for no other reason than to take a photo of yourself with the snowman outside.
5. Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney
This Christmas shop is larger than the other two and has a wider selection. If you’re looking for something unique or want to have an item personalized, this is the place to go. Going inside never fails to put me in the holiday mood, even in the middle of summer.
6. Disneyland Scene in Soarin’
In the last scene of Soarin’, you fly over Disneyland and see the fireworks, but did you ever notice that it’s during the holiday season? If you look down at Main Street, U.S.A., you’ll see a Christmas tree and holiday decorations. Here’s a brief clip to refresh your memory:
● ● ●
Your Christmas-any-time-of-year experience in Disney involves three parks, Downtown Disney, and mini golfing. Although I usually like starting in Magic Kingdom, I think Epcot would be the best first stop, since the queue at Soarin’ will be shortest first thing in the morning. After Epcot, take the monorail over to Magic Kingdom to see Carousel of Progress and stop by Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. Then, I’d suggest heading over to Downtown Disney. Take all the time you need to wander around Disney’s Days of Christmas. Next, take a bus over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out It’s a Wonderful Shop. Wrap up your festive day with a round of mini golf at Winter Summerland. It’s open until 11 p.m. every day, so you should have no trouble getting there before closing.
Check back on Tuesday for Christmasy things to do in Disney World if you happen to be there in November or December.