Holiday Decor at Disney Resorts

At Disney World, the Christmas Season begins as soon as Halloween is over.

That means overnight starting on November 1, you'll begin to see holiday decorations.

While Magic Kingdom is always the first to get the holiday treatment, the other parks and resorts are not far behind.

And if you are visiting for the holidays you won't want to miss the holiday decor at the Disney World Resorts.

When are Disney Resort Decorated?

There is no exact date for resort decorations to appear, but typically you'll find the resorts will be decorated by mid-November.

The resorts are not all decorated at once. Typically the Deluxe Resorts are done first, as these are a bigger draw for guests.

Resort Decorations

All Disney World Resorts will have elaborate and themed Christmas trees displayed in their lobby area.

Even the less expensive Value Resorts will be fully decorated. But some of the resorts really go above and beyond, and are worth stopping by to check out, even if you aren't a guest at that resort.

Notable Resort Decorations

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The decor is inspired by the animals you'll see around the savanna at the resort. You'll find African masks, handcrafted decor, and more. It is one of the best and most unique holiday decor you'll find.

Disney's Beach Club Resort

This resort not only has an amazing Christmas tree, but also a life-sized gingerbread carrousel. You can also purchase gingerbread goodies here.

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

This resort has a full miniature display of the Boardwalk made entirely of gingerbread. You can also purchase gingerbread goodies here.

Disney's Contemporary Resort

This resort has a large Christmas display outside that you can see as you leave the Magic Kingdom for the evening. Inside you'll find a gingerbread display based on the works of Mary Blaire (the artist behind Small World and the mural in the Contemporary Resort).

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Here you'll find the iconic life-sized gingerbread house. The house also serves as the shop where you can purchase your own gingerbread treats.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

The rustic holiday display here is beautifully done. You'll have your fill of Christmas plaids and reindeer antlers at this gorgeous resort.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground

Sure the team at Disney World will set up decorations, but it's the guests who are the stars during the holidays! Every year guests come to the campground with lights, inflatables, trees, and more to decorate their space.

When to Visit The Resorts for the Holidays

If you want to check out these resorts for the holidays you should have a plan.

I recommend doing a self-guided holiday resort tour during your trip if you have the time. The best times to fit this fun holiday tour in is on the morning you plan to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. You can sleep in, and spend the morning and early afternoon exploring the resorts (in the air conditioning). You'll be rested and relaxed before a late night at the party. You'll also save yourself the cost of a park ticket that morning.

Another option is visiting these resorts on either your arrival or departure day. If you arrive in the afternoon you might not want to spend the money on a park ticket. Same with later departures. This is a great way to spend that time either before or after your flight.

Things to Note

If you are staying on Disney property, one easy way to visit several resorts is to take the bus from your resort to the Magic Kingdom.

From there you can take the monorail to the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort.

If you are spending the day at Epcot, the International Gateway Entrance (located between the UK Pavilion and the France Pavilion) will put you right by the Boardwalk Inn, the Yacht Club, and the Beach Club Resorts.

Alternatively, you could take a bus to Hollywood Studios, and then walk to these resorts. You can see the walking paths here.

Lastly, you could take a Lyft or Uber to the resorts you want to visit. Just be aware that on busier days Resort Security may turn you away if you do not have a resort reservation or a dining reservation at that resort.

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