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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Can A Warm Weather Vacation Be "Christmasy"?

Where does Santa go after delivering gifts?  On a Disney Cruise!

A faithful Williams Family Blog reader, Carolyn, asked about how “Christmasy” a warm, dare I say tropical, vacation on Disney Cruise Line and Walt Disney World could be during the holidays.  Yes, Carolyn, there is Christmas in the tropics.  Our warm weather Disney holiday vacation was very Christmasy.  Here’s how. . .

Our first taste of the holidays was at both airports as there was a Christmas tree from our departing airport and at Orlando International!

 The Disney Cruise Line terminal in Port Canaveral was decorated for the holidays with Christmas tree and wreaths.  Is that Mickey's hand holding the ornaments?

 As soon as we got on the ship, we were greeted with the huge tree in the Lobby Atrium and the characters were decked out in their holiday attire.  There was also a life sized Gingerbread House in the Lobby Atrium.

 Christmas Eve, we had some photos taken in our pajamas to commemorate the occasion.  When we returned to our stateroom, we were greeted with a towel snowman topped with a Disney Cruise Line Santa hat!

Every gust received this holiday print to take home as a special gift.  Ours is framed and hanging on the wall!

 The ship had holiday decorations throughout.  The tree below was in the entrance to Animator's Palette and had little paint brushes and artist palettes for ornaments.

 The watermelon was carved for the occassion and even the little signs labeling foods had a holiday greeting!

 On Christmas Day we had a special holiday menu for dinner.  I considered that all the guests sailing on Disney ships that day (all 4 of them) were being treated to the same holiday meal--that's a big family gathering!
 Christmas morning, Santa was still working after his long night of toy delivery and decided to greet guests on the ship.  Well, if I were Santa, there would be no better way to relax after working so hard than to take a Disney Cruise!

We were also greeted with a buffet of holiday treats including cookies and hot chocolate and an ice sculpture of Santa's sleigh and reindeer of course.

Two hands, two cookies!  He said the frosted ones were best.

 At Castway Cay we were greeted by another Christmas Tree which was used as a backdrop for a photo.

 The trans that transport guests on Castaway Cay were decorated for the holidays and the garland included shells and fish.
 The island Post Office was also decorated and I couldn't resist the wooden hand painted Santas located throughout the island.
 Once back on land and at our Disney Resort, Coronado Springs, we were treated to another Christmas Tree surrounded by Poinsettias. 

 Downtown Disney was decorated for the holidays, too.  I love the Mickey planter in the photo above.  The fellas enjoy getting their photo taken at various locations, too!

Chef Mickey's had a special holiday wreath on display.  Look closely for the spatula.

Here's the giant Christmas Tree in front of Disney's Hollywood Studios.  This photo was taken in the morning. . . not night.  Can you tell we arrived early?

Phineas and Ferb were wearing their holiday hats when greeting guests at the park.

Santa Goofy also got into the holiday spirit at Disney's Hollywood Studios when meeting guests.

 But there is nothing else that can get you in the holiday spirit more than millions of dancing lights at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

Our warm weather Disney holiday vacation was just as Christmasy as a holiday at home, possibly more so.  And, it was definitely more relaxing from my point of view. . . no cooking, no cleaning, no cleaning up.

We made memories and stayed “present” as a family instead of focusing on the presents.  Our time together was the greatest gift and often staying home allows for other distractions.  And, with a full ship and very crowded parks, other families feel the same. Thanks, Disney, for a great holiday vacation!


  1. Well, I'm convinced ;)

    Now if only the bad weather and high flight prices weren't an issue! I'd be there! Haha.

  2. Hi, Williams Family--
    We've enjoyed reading your blog in preparation for our upcoming Christmas cruise on the Dream. One question: since we'll have a special menu on Christmas Day, does that mean that we won't have a Pirate Night menu or that we'll just miss the regular menu for that restaurant? Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

    1. Well, hello right back! Congrats on your holiday cruise! You are correct, that a menu must be skipped due to the special Christmas menu and your question is challenging my memory. . . If I remember correctly, the regular dining room menu is served instead of the Pirate Night menu, as I was ready for some crab cakes and rum bread, but did not get any due to the regular dining room menu. If I am wrong, I apologize and please let me know. Have a magical cruise!

    2. Thanks for the speedy reply! (I was just curious--we'll be happy either way.) We also appreciated your "sword tip" for Pirate Night--this week I found an adorable inflatable "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" sword at the dollar store.

    3. frogandtoadarefriends,
      You are so welcome! Great snag on the inflatable sword! We have inflatable parrots and hooks, too. Be prepared to answer questions from guests about where you got it. Enjoy your cruise, especially Castaway Cay--it IS paradise!

  3. Happy New Year, Williams Family! You were correct--we skipped the Pirate Night menu because of the special Christmas menu. We had a FANTASTIC holiday cruise--thanks in no small part to your helpful tips!

    1. frogandtoadarefriends,
      Wow--sounds like you had a great cruise! So glad you enjoyed it! Did you book your next cruise? You are so welcome! Thank you for reading the Williams Family Blog. Be sure to check us out on Facebook.