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Is there anywhere more magical to spend the festive season than at Walt Disney World? Imagine a Christmas Day surrounded by all of your favorite Disney characters, life-size gingerbread houses to snack on while you’re exploring your resort, and endless festivities to keep the whole family happy. It’s impossible to choose just one Disney resort to experience at Christmas, as plenty of them go all out with decorations and themed adventures. But we’ve rounded up a shortlist of all the best Disney resorts for Christmas to help make that decision a little easier. Read on for all of the Disney spots to hit up this December!
Disney Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is widely regarded as the best place to spend Christmas in Florida if you’re a big Disney fan. As the most luxurious (and expensive) of all the Disney Resorts, the whole team here goes all out to ensure a seriously magical stay. Expect Victorian-themed Christmas decorations adorning every surface and a lobby fully converted into festive magic with a huge central tree. The coolest part? The oversized gingerbread house that sits center stage, cooked up by the Disney team. This elegant resort truly brings the Christmas spirit to life each year.
Children, in particular, will love Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge during the festive period. This prestigious resort doesn’t hold back with the decor, and that’s something you’ll notice as soon as you come face to face with its towering tree as you wait to be shown to your room or suite. If Animal Kingdom is your favorite Disney park, you’ll love the convenience of staying at its animal-themed hotel over Christmas. Expect plenty of characters dressed up in festive outfits with a fusion of African and traditional Christmas activities happening throughout the hotel.
You’ll never get bored over the festive season if you check into Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort. Kids will love the chance to meet and greet with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elf, Kandy Kane. There are reindeer games for everyone to enjoy, gorgeous decorations covering every surface and that incredible Disney-themed tree right in the center of the action. The new Santa Village is a joy to wander through, especially with frosted sugar cookie decorating sessions, an oversized chocolate Santa scene to admire and a spectacular outdoor light show on the outdoor causeway, complete with dancing trees.
Those looking for the ultimate traditional Christmas experience will fall head over heels for Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. Walk through the lobby to admire the huge wreaths wrapped around each French-inspired wrought iron pole and sing along to Christmas tunes during your downtime. Combining all the usual Christmas fun with New Orleans touches, you’ll spot lots of classic Mardi Gras colors like purple, gold, and green throughout, too. You’re also within easy reach of the Port Orleans Riverside here, which means you need to squeeze in a stroll alongside the newly-decorated Sassagoula River.
Ask any Disney resort fan and they’ll likely say Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is one of the best resorts to head to this Christmas. Spectacularly decorated with an atmosphere like no other, this deluxe resort offers endless memories with the whole family. As a recently refurbished resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is one of the finest for high-scale, modern Christmas decorations, with new elements being added each year. Despite the warm weather outside, you’ll feel fully enveloped in wintery cheer at this resort, with its endless mugs of hot cocoa, comforting fireplaces, towering Christmas trees, and other little details. Don’t forget to try the holiday feast at Whispering Canyon Cafe while you’re there.
You don’t have to wander far to spy magic at this top-rated Disney resort. Head to the lobby of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and you’ll be greeted with oversized white Christmas trees adorned with a rainbow of baubles and tinsel in every direction. Expect festive-themed character drawings all over and a cast full of merry characters, too. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is renowned for being one of the best Disney Resorts for those who like to decorate their suites during their stay, which means you’ll find festive cheer in almost every area of this incredible resort.
You never know what to expect when you arrive at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn when the festive season hits, as this resort mixes it up every year. It could be an oversized, edible gingerbread display. Or maybe a huge range of vintage-inspired decorations inspired by an amusement park at Christmas. This underrated Christmas resort uses quirky circus-themed elements throughout with lots of traditionally colored festive baubles. Wander through its grounds and you’ll also see huge inflated Disney characters wearing a full festive get-up. Don’t forget to wander around Crescent Lake after dark to see the larger tree lit up in all its glory.
Okay, so you may not first think of heading to the Caribbean (or, at least, a Caribbean-themed resort) for traditional Christmas cheer but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. This charming resort mixes pineapples and conch shells with festive decor in a way that simultaneously sticks to the theme and goes full-face into Christmas mode. Celebrate the festive magic with a themed gondola ride through the resort, visit Caribbean Beach to top up your tan over December or dig into one of the delicious restaurants here for some Caribbean-tinged Christmas food.
Adults may prefer Disney’s Riviera Resort over Christmas, especially if those adults in question are looking for a more refined Disney experience. Of course, the decorations go all out here just as much as any other Disney resort, but they come with a more elegant style and some especially beautiful ornaments. While here, dig into all of the dining options available and make a reservation at Topolino’s Terrace: Flavors of the Riviera while you’re here. This rooftop hotel brings a whole new ambiance that ensures you get into a festive mood from the second you sit down. It’s a stylish hotel that promises a Christmas to remember.
The life-size gingerbread carousel is the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Disney’s Beach Club Resort during the Christmas period. A sister resort to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, they are connected in the Epcot Resorts Area on Crescent Lake, which means you’re free to wander from one to another and enjoy the Christmas cheer at both. The Yacht Club resort goes all out with a Christmas village complete with its own running train, while the Beach Club’s huge gingerbread display is certainly awe-inspiring. Fusing its typical coastal design style with plenty of Disney-themed festive elements, these two magical resorts promise a wonderful Christmas, Florida style.
If you’d rather experience a tropical Christmas than a wintery-feeling one, there’s nowhere better to head than Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. If you didn’t already know, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is themed around the Polynesian islands, which means tiki-themed decorations like trees decorated with pineapples. Another recently renovated resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features beautiful florals and lights in every direction, with vibrant wreaths in the hallways and oversized stone ornaments complete with red and green accents. If you’re hoping to experience a warm Christmas with all of the perks, there’s nowhere better to breathe in the magic than this Disney resort.