by Daisy Lauren
I decided to head over to the Magic Kingdom this afternoon to see the Christmas decorations in the lovely, Florida sunshine! It has been very gray and rainy lately. Today was the first day with perfect blue skies, so it was worth running over, even though the park closed early tonight for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
When I arrived at 3pm, tons of cast members were already setting up for the party. Several signs directed guests with party tickets to the park gates. I asked at the gate if they were already allowing guests with party tickets to enter and was told they would not be allowed to enter until 4pm. (Seems odd, though with all the signage already up, I wonder if people were being admitted?)
One clear benefit of arriving at this time on a party night is that the big planter in front of the train station is roped off. This allows for great photos without tons of people in the way. Still – the photo doesn’t do it justice! There must be 1,000 poinsettias in that flower bed. It is really amazing! I have to wonder how many poinsettias end up in the Magic Kingdom every year. They were just everywhere along Main Street.
After walking under the train station and emerging onto Main Street I started spotting all my favorite Christmas decorations back for 2013! One thing that is noticeably missing is the Christmas tree, which should take its rightful place on Main Street after the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (which airs on ABC on December 25) is filmed the first weekend in December. Of course, Mickey wreaths line the lamp posts all along Main Street.
The Toy Soldiers are also back guarding the flag pole. While I like the “pumpkin people” that take over this area during Halloween, I just love the toy soldiers. I remember being a little girl and watching them stomp along Main Street playing horns. Sadly, the Christmas Parade is not included in general admission anymore unless you visit the week of Christmas. In order to see the toy soldiers in action, you’ll have to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Another cut in recent years is the option to meet Santa Claus. While the Candy Cane Garden is open to guests to take photos during the day, Santa doesn’t visit until the party starts. Of course, the full experience is available the week of Christmas, but the crowds are enormous then, making it difficult to tour the parks.
Here is the view down Main Street with the beautiful wreaths strung between the buildings. The two Christmas trees and toy soldiers in this photo seem like the hottest photo spot in the entire park! Especially once the guests attending the Christmas party started entering the park, the line was easily 25 parties deep. If you see this with a short line it is worth stopping to grab a quick photo.
The shop windows all along Main Street have also been updated to feature Christmas scenes. While it would have been impossible to photograph them all for you, I included one of my favorites below. If you’ll be visiting during the Christmas season be sure to check out the store windows at the Emporium. They tell the story of Mickey’s Christmas Carol from 1983. (Many copies of that VHS were worn out at my house!)
Garlands and wreaths continue down Main Street, with lovely red flowers in every flower box along the way. I took tons of photos, but I think this one gives the best perspective on what the buildings look like. They really do a great job of adding detail to every build along the way.
In front of the castle poinsettia trees have been placed in the flower beds surrounding the Partners Statue.
I always thought these were a strange addition. They aren’t really Christmas trees, and they must be tough to maintain. I can’t argue with the fact that they make for lovely photos, though! The red in the background makes this my favorite time of year to photograph the statues in this area.
Moving beyond Main Street you’ll be hard pressed to find many decorations at all. In Adventureland I didn’t find a single thing beyond the Jingle Cruise. Luckily, I was able to grab a poster for the Limited Time Magic that began today. The supply seemed plentiful, and for the few minutes I was there, I didn’t see people grabbing them by the dozen for ebay.
In Frontierland and Liberty Square there was rustic garland here and there, spread throughout those lands. However, it does blend in. From looking at the below picture you’ll see what I mean. You could almost miss it entirely!
Fantasyland has added a couple strands of garland and wreaths in the new section of Fantasyland, mostly in the Beauty and the Beast areas.
In Tomorrowland only one section of the park is decorated, and it might not be where you’d expect. These glittering silver decorations line the stage of the 626 Dance Party.
That pretty much sums up the decorations that you’ll find in the Magic Kingdom this year. Of course, this is just what there is to see during the day. The park comes alive at night with all the glittering lights on the Castle and down Main Street. But that is for another time! So I’ll leave you with one last view down Main Street.
What is your favorite Christmas decoration in the Magic Kingdom? What are looking forward to the most on your Christmas visit? Are there other things from the parks you’d like to see? Please let us know in the comments below, and – as always – thanks for reading!