I’ve waited all year to see the Disney resorts completely decked out in full Yuletide splendor. Finally, the time is here! We’ve spent weeks visiting hotels in the evenings to see all the beautiful trees. Resort-hopping has kept us so busy that I honestly haven’t had time to put up a tree at home. I have to wonder if I need my own tree when I can enjoy these amazing displays whenever I want? Especially when visiting the resort trees involves no cleanup on my part whatsoever! Due to working extended hours, BobaChef hasn’t made Christmas cookies either, but Disney handles that as well. Lots of goodies are for sale at all the Deluxe resorts. A few even feature life-sized gingerbread displays, giving us the spicey smells of someone baking! Not able to make the trip this year? Follow along as I experience Christmas at WDW Resorts.
One of the most opulently decorated resorts is, of course, the Grand Floridian! Their gingerbread house takes so much work to create every year that you might think they’d slack off elsewhere. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’ve pulled out all the stops with large floral arrangements, multiple mid-size trees, balconies garlands, and a four-story tree. This 40-foot tall centerpiece is covered in swans, birdcages, huge bows, and flowers. Even the shops and display windows are each uniquely themed.
On the other end of the spectrum from the Grand Floridian is the Contemporary with its modern minimalist decor. Most of this resort is sparsely decorated with wreaths and trees made from plain metallic ornaments. Of course, their Frozen Mary Blair gingerbread castle sits proudly on the main concourse. The Contemporary makes up for what it lacks inside, with an enormous 70ft tall, fully decorated Christmas tree outside. This is must see when doing Christmas at WDW resorts.
The Polynesian Villiage, the final resort in the monorail loop, is beautifully decorated as well. Big, Bright, tropical florals are everywhere, on every tree, every wreath, and every garland. Orchids, hibiscus, and ginger flow out of the lit greenery in every direction. While the Poly’s lobby tree isn’t as large as at some of the other resorts, it’s just as beautiful. The exterior has more of a “natural” feel than the pinks and purples inside. Yellow and orange flowers mixed with materials such as burlap, raffia, shells, and wood immediately bring to mind tropical isles.
Another tropically themed hotel, this time with nautical leanings, is the Old Key West Resort. Here you’ll find decorations featuring sea creatures and water birds in bright jewel tones. As you pass the gatehouse, you might see these three (below) with their gullets full of ornaments! Of course, OKW has a special place in my heart due to it’s kooky Florida decor.
There are two more spots that boast nautical holiday wreaths and trees: The Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. At the BCR, the sea and its inhabitants play a prominent part in the decor. Turtles and fish in muted tones of copper & teal adorn the greenery. The sailing and fishing ornaments at the YCR are no less beautiful in traditional shades of blue and white. I know it is tempting to stay in the lobbies, watching the miniature village display or the life-sized gingerbread carousel, but trust me, if you explore a little you will be rewarded. The hallways and shops in these sister hotels are also done up with holiday touches.
A short jaunt down the waterside path and you’ll find yourself at the Boardwalk Inn. While most people visit this hotel to see the gingerbread shop, the candy-colored Christmas decorations are worth the walk by themselves. The garlands and trees at the Boardwalk are stuffed full of bright toys and striped ribbons. This hotel also hosts the two most frightening items on Disney property; the horrible carved wooden demon toddler chairs! These monstrosities lurk in front of the fireplace across from reception. These things are absolutely horrifying and have no right to be darkening the door of a holly, jolly Christmas!
If you need to go somewhere calm and comforting after seeing those chairs, Wilderness Lodge Resort is the perfect place to go! To spite the fact that you are in a huge, cavernous space you’ll feel homey and cozy in the beautiful lobby. The decorations at the WL contain elements of nature like horns, antlers, pine cones, etc. paired with red and black buffalo check ribbons. There are many trees throughout the halls, but the three-story central tree features Native American and animal themed ornaments. The large tree is only one of the focal points of this resort’s holiday decor. They have beautifully decorated the bridge over the spring near the rear entrance, as well as created a photo spot with a rustic bench and a family of life-size willow bears. Of all of the trees at Disney hotels, I have to say, I think this is the most creative.
If you live locally or will be on vacation in Orlando through the beginning of January, you must take a day, or, at least, a few hours, to tour the resorts and soak up as much holiday cheer as one person can handle!