The Walt Disney World resorts come alive with holiday decor and amazing gingerbread displays every year! Visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts at Christmas is a magical way to add some unique holiday cheer to your Walt Disney World vacation! Visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts always makes a fun “non park day”, and Christmas is no exception!
Christmas is a magical time to visit Walt Disney World. The parks are decked out in their holiday best, the Christmas Tree Stroll is happening at Disney Springs, and the resorts are magical! With so many easy transportation options around Disney property, taking time to visit nearby resorts to enjoy the holiday decor is easy! The best thing about visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts to see the Christmas decor is that it is FREE! This makes a perfect, non park day activity for your family!
How are the Walt Disney World Resorts decorated?
Walt Disney Word resorts are typically decorated in the common lobby area, with some decorations at the entrance and the merchandise locations.
Each resort decorates along with its theming. Disney’s Deluxe Resorts tend to have “more” and more detailed decorations. Things such as large gingerbread displays, massive trees, and sometimes a Christmas village or train display. The most “famous” resorts for decor are the Grand Floridian and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. But you cannot go wrong at any of them!
How can we see the Christmas decor at the resorts?
Planning a day of no theme parks is ideal for visiting the resorts at Christmas. When staying on the Skyliner or at a Monorail resort, it’s VERY easy to access nearby resorts. Even if you are at a resort such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can easily take a bus to Magic Kingdom and hop on the monorail. Or, to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and board the Skyliner to the Skyliner resorts.
Pro Tip: Do a little research ahead of time, and see which resorts are near yours. This will help you make a plan for visiting some to see the beautiful decor and displays.
What are the BEST Walt Disney World Resorts to visit at Christmas?
Remember, each Walt Disney World Resort is going to be unique, but some stand out more than others! So to make it easy, I have narrowed it down to a couple in each resort tier.
Disney’s Deluxe Resorts
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. This the most popular resort to visit during Christmas. The life size gingerbread house in the lobby is unique to this resort, and absolutely stunning! The life size gingerbread house brings visitors from all over Disney property to this resort. It is literally life sized-and made out of real ingredients. They even sell gingerbread treats right there near the house in the lobby. Not far from this is the GIANT, beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The Victorian theming and decor of this tree fit perfectly at this resort. The lavish garlands, baubles, and decorations typically reflect the 12-days of Christmas.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. If you want cozy, Christmas vibes, this is the resort to visit. The glowing teepees, canoes, and antlers make the towering, 60-ft Christmas tree absolutely stunning. If you go up the the stairs near Whispering Canyon, you are treated to a gorgeous view of the tree-and you’ll see the entire lobby from a birds eye view.
The roaring fireplace, rocking chairs, and cozy cabin feel of this resort all work together to make it amazing at Christmas. In past years, guests have seen a gingerbread cabin in the lobby-but it has yet to return in recent years.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort. For another gorgeous gingerbread display, you will want to stop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. In the lobby, you will find a gingerbread carousel-that actually moves! Typically, the carousel is themed differently each year. I have seen princesses in past years, this year it is DuckTales, and it’s always worth checking out! There are some beachy Christmas trees around, but the gingerbread carousel is really the highlight of this resort at Christmas!
After your visit at Beach Club, it is very easy to check out Disney’s Yacht Club and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn!
Disney’s Moderate Resorts
Disney’s Coronado Springs-Gran Destino Tower. This resort falls into the Moderate resort category. However, it has a deluxe feel to it, and the Christmas decor does not disappoint!
The red and green lighting of the Moroccan style lamps adds to the festive decor of the garlands and boughs in the lobby. The tree is stunning, and very classy. It is decked in white poinsettias and jewel toned baubles. The white poinsettias remind guests of the Spanish theming of this resort.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter. One of the best resorts in the moderate category, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter is a hidden gem. That makes it even MORE worth visiting during the holidays! The overall theming here is on point year round. While there is no gingerbread display, the Mardi Gras infused Christmas decorations make it worth the visit.
From there, easily access Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, take a carriage ride, and even make your way to Disney Springs for the Christmas Tree Stroll.
Disney’s Value Resorts
Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts. These are so easy to visit since they are right next to each other! They are connected via a walking bridge, and their retro and animated theming are so unique for the holidays.
Both of these fall in the Value resort category-and on the Skyliner they make it easy to access near by resorts if you are spending the day visiting Walt Disney World Resorts at Christmas.
Pop Century is decorated with fun decade theming. The retro inspired decor from decades past, along with the vintage holiday soundtrack make it perfect for an afternoon visit! Also, they often offer gingerbread display options and fun holiday activities in the lobby. Another aspect that makes it fun is when guests decorate their room windows for others to see. This is often the case at the Value and Moderate resorts, and it’s fun to see how your neighbors decorate their doors and windows!
Art of Animation has beautiful, illustration inspired decor. The unique drawings on the ornaments are what really make this special. While Art of Animations’ Christmas decor isn’t over the top, it’s worth checking out if you are at Pop Century or another Skyliner Resort.
Visiting the Walt Disney World resorts when you are in Orlando for the holiday season is a “must”. I am a big fan of enjoying seasonal and “special” Walt Disney World activities you won’t find year round! Adding a day to enjoy the resorts and take in the Christmas decor is definitely worth the time!