Are you a guest on Disney World property looking to stretch your dollars? Or, are you a Florida resident who just wants to take in some excellent theming? These Disney World Free Christmas Activities will bring you holiday cheer without breaking the bank.
Christmas is a time for lavish decor all around property for everyone to enjoy. Walt Disney World is especially magical at Christmas time. You can feel it in the air even without visiting the parks. As a matter of fact, you can celebrate Christmas throughout Disney World for FREE!
Free Christmas activities exist all over Disney World. Find them in yuletide tributes at Disney Springs and the Disney deluxe resorts. Bring a little money just in case though, because there are inexpensive extras and souvenirs all around – just be smart about it!
Where To Find Disney World Free Christmas Activities
Disney Springs At Christmas
Disney Springs brightens up the night with Christmas lights and carolers. One of the great attractions of the area is the Christmas Tree Trail. Disney Springs is a completely free open area full of restaurants and shops. The Christmas Tree Trail is a self guided tour throughout Disney Springs for a look at differently themed trees.
This year Disney is going bigger than ever with 25 trees. That’s 10 more trees than they started out with in 2016. Nordic Winter, Star Wars, and Haunted Mansion are among the new tree themes. There will also be at least one Mickey and Minnie tree and a tree celebrating the parks and monorail. In addition to the Christmas Tree Trail, you are invited to window shop at various holiday displays throughout the area.
Disney Deluxe Hotel Christmas Decorations – On The Monorail System
The Grand Floridian at Christmas time is something to behold. If you only visit one Disney World resort at all during Christmas, I would argue that it should be this one. Already brimming with splendor, the luxury hotel indulges it’s theme with festive decor including an enormous gingerbread house.
The lobby of this hotel at Christmas is something out of a fairytale fantasy. It’s fascinating to study the creations and read about all of the ingredients that went into making them.
The Contemporary has its own gingerbread display over the Grand Canyon Concourse. This is the level above the lobby where you can dine at Chef Mickey’s, the Contempo Cafe, or the Outer Rim lounge. The towering display pays tribute to Mary Blair who designed the original Grand Canyon mosaic that the concourse is named for.
In addition to this masterpiece, there is an enormous Christmas tree right outside the hotel that you can see as you approach from the Magic Kingdom walking path.
The Grand Floridian and Contemporary are both part a ring of hotels connected by a monorail loop. Kala Kalikimaka is the thing to say as you arrive at the third of these hotels. The Polynesian Village is heavily Hawaiian themed and while you won’t find as much traditional Christmas decor, there is plenty of adornment with some tropical flair.
The Grand Ceremonial House is already a stunning lobby that transports guests to a secluded Polynesian village. The charm and warmth bleeds over into the Christmas decor which serves to augment the allure of the Southern Pacific islands.
Disney Deluxe Hotel Christmas Decorations – Off The Monorail System
Invoking the same level of charm as Polynesian Village, Wilderness Lodge is different in that it perfectly plays into the Christmas theme. The towering lobby inspired by Great National Parks boasts an huge fireplace and several cozy couches and chairs.
Timber and rock work, make the ideal setting for the gigantic Christmas tree and a lighted display at the lobby entrance. The entire resort is festooned with ornate wreaths and garland. If you decide to explore and tour the grounds there is more decor at the villas and even some Christmas displays put out by long term guests at the resort.
As a side note, Animal Kingdom Lodge is very similar in design, but with very differently themed details. Animal Kingdom Lodge is more remote a destination than the other deluxe hotels. However, it is still a beautiful place to visit and offers many activities throughout the day.
The Yacht and Beach Club are two connected resorts, but each has its own lobby. The Yacht Club has traditional garland and Christmas trees with a strong nautical theme. There are ships entwined throughout all of the decor and navy blue found in most of the decor which gives off a very unique feel when compared to the reds you usually find.
The centerpiece of the Yacht Club lobby is a train set/Christmas town display with a detailed mountain village complete with an operating train and a motorized gondola system. The more you look at this scene, the more expansive and intricate you realize it is!
Beach Club has the outward appearance of very conservative decor. Christmas garland winds up the lamp posts and garland appears on the building. Inside, garland is draped all around the lobby and Christmas trees adorn the lobby floor. The decor here is no less Christmassy than what you find at Wilderness Lodge, or Grand Floridian, but it gives off a completely different vibe, which is what is so great about visiting each of these hotels at Christmastime.
The garland is decorated with lighter colors and more nautical inspired ribbon and anchors. The big draw to Beach Club however, is the amazing gingerbread carousel. The moving carousel with very ornately decorated chocolate horses is one of the best and most unique Christmas Displays found in Disney World. Each year the carousel has a different theme, but there is always great attention to detail and lots to admire.
The truly fascinating thing about the Boardwalk is that it manages to strike a beautiful balance between the Victorian era elegance of the Grand Floridian and the oceanside elements of the Beach Club. Then it adds it’s own flourishes of celebratory flair. This is most apparent at Christmas time.
Boardwalk incorporates it’s own theme and style into the standard Christmas decor. Rather than a major focal display in the lobby like some of the other hotels, the Boardwalk instead features more of an exhibit of a variety of smaller gingerbread houses. This is an easy stop to make and very worth it if you are walking around and taking a tour of the crescent lake area.
Non Disney Hotels to Include
The Swan and Dolphin sit just off of the waterway from Crescent lake to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These elegant hotels are gorgeous and easily overlooked because they are not owned by Disney. However, they have lovely Christmas decor every year and it is really a great place to stop by and look around while you are touring other resorts in the area.