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Walt Disney World Resort - Magic Kingdom, Part 10


Toy Soldiers
Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Christmas in Magic Kingdom

Christmas is a special time all over WDW, but none more so than Magic Kingdom. While all the parks (and the resorts) all get dressed for Christmas, the holiday atmosphere seems to rise to another level in MK. Perhaps it's the Christmas Tree in Town Square. Maybe it's the Christmas parade. Maybe it's the decorations. But in late November through December, you'll *know* it's Christmas in Magic Kingdom.

The Christmas decorations go up, but Main Street isn't complete until after the Christmas Parade is taped for Network Television. Until that time, the garland and the Christmas Tree don't get installed, since it blocks the views from the TV cameras. The flag pole is even moved from the middle of Town Square, and re-planted in front of City Hall for filming (and while the tree is up).

They used to put the Christmas tree in the Rose Garden, but while the tree looks impressive in Town Square, not so much in the Rose Garden, where the open areas and the Castle made it lose a little stature. So the Magic Kingdom Christmas tree doesn't make it's appearance now until ABC has their yearly feature.

However once the parade is taped, it only takes Disney one night to make Main Street whole...

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

With the Christmas tree set up in Town Square and the decorations down Main Street, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party just makes the Christmas experience complete.

They have cookies, apple slices, apple juice and hot chocolate stations around the park, special shows (here's a clip from a group called Rusty Cutlass) and Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. (The same one they show on TV every year minus Mylie Cyrus and Justin Bieber.) The fireworks show is called Holiday Wishes, and it snows on Main Street. Even if it's 80 degrees out. All the characters are in their winter and Christmas garb. Even if it's 80 degrees out. The best part of the party? The weather back home probably sucks, and you're not there...

Christmas in Magic Kingdom
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Castle, pre-lights
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The Castle Ice Lights
The Castle Ice Lights

Cinderella Castle Ice Lights

In 2008, the Imagineers decided that Cindy's Castle should get plussed a little, and ended up hanging 200,000 LEDs and 200 strobes lights on the Castle. It's all hung from around 30 custom castle-brick-colored nets. (There's a picture of the netting further down this page.) Electricity used per night to power the lights? About three home-dryer cycles.

They have a lighting ceremony every evening, an explaination of why there's ice on the castle. You can find video of that here.

Castle Ice Lights
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Further up on Main Street
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Reflections in front of Crystal Palace
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Main Street at Christmas
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In 2011, I attended D23's Magic and Merriment and actually got to take pictures backstage! Well, a couple of them, anyway...

2011 D23 Magic and Merriment backstage photos
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Holiday Wishes is the Wishes variation shown during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Video of Holiday Wishes can be found on my video page.

Holiday Wishes
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Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (2008)

Video of the 2009 and 2010 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade can be found on my video page. Arguably, the 2010 version in front of the castle is the better version...

2008 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
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Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (2009)

2009 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
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Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (2010)

2010 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
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Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (2011)

2011 Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade
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Final thoughts on Magic Kingdom

I applaud Disney for finally adding an expansion to a park that's been over-crowded for a decade. Toontown did have a temporary feel to it, and I'm not sure it'll be missed. But however well princesses were selling when they designed the area, it's not enough to just cater to the princess crowd.

And while I agree that most of the park remains untouchable (such as Adventureland), Tomorrowland is a mess, and could use some freshening. The stage shows recently attempted there have failed miserably. There are rumors that if Carosel of Progress' motors fail, the attraction is doomed.

The only thing I could suggest, would be to replace Stitch, and convert the land that the Speedway is using to something else. Something that doesn't use a two-stroke gasoline motor.

Arguably, the best thing that could happen to the park in Tomorrowland is Marvel, but Disney doesn't have the rights to use it's own properties in the Orlando theme park area. Oh well...

That all said, I do admit some of my most memorable moments at Disney World, is the slow stroll down Main Street as they close the park down, when everyone has a tired smile on their face, looking forward to a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow...
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End Magic Kingdom - Part 10 of 10.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

  • 04/17/2010 - Entire page re-imaged, rewritten
  • 06/02/2012 - Complete replacement
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2