As mentioned, with one notable exception, what’s on display at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Area resorts for Christmas is the best of the best. The Deluxe Villa, Moderates, and Values aren’t doing a ton.
The decorations at those resorts do the job in terms of getting their guests in the Christmas spirit, but they are not Christmas “destinations” for Walt Disney World guests who aren’t staying at them. That is, unless you have a lot of extra time.
Also, there is one notable exception to this, and that’s way out at Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can find some of the most interesting decorations at Walt Disney World.
Let’s take a look at why it’s such a big draw, as well as what some of the other, lower-key resorts do at Christmas…
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Given the difficulty of reaching Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (from Yacht Club you’d have to take a bus to Animal Kingdom, then a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, then a bus all the way back to the other side of property if your ultimate destination were Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party), we typically tour its resort offerings on the day we go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, rather than with the rest of our resort tour.
That said, if you’re not visiting Animal Kingdom on your trip, you might want to give serious thought to heading over to Animal Kingdom during the resort tour (if time allows) as Animal Kingdom Lodge’s decorations are not to be missed. It has a giant lobby Christmas tree (4 of 9, the last resort tree, with the other 5 being at the 4 parks and Downtown Disney) adorned with African-inspired items, plus strands of garland throughout the lobby and very cool decorations at the resort’s restaurants. Consider heading over to Kidani Village to see some of its decorations, too!
Other Resorts – We really only recommend visiting other resorts if you’re going to be at or near them anyway for a dinner, or if you want to take a boat from Disney Springs to one of those resorts. Or if you are really into a particular theme.
Every resort from the Deluxe Villas on down does a decent job decorating in an on-theme manner, and the details you’ll find within the garland and trees at these resorts are typically interesting reflections of the greater themes of those resorts.
A prime example is Port Orleans French Quarter; you can see the details of one of its smaller Christmas trees above, and they most certainly fit the Mardi Gras theme. However, there aren’t a ton of decorations around the resort, there’s no icon tree, and it lacks a centerpiece that is worth investing a chunk of time to go see.
This is pretty much the norm at all other Walt Disney World resort hotels not specifically discussed in this post. We wouldn’t go as far as to say decorations are sparse at the other resorts, but they don’t rise to a level that justifies taking an hour or so to go see (and you’re looking at spending at least that much time on each of them due to transit).
It’s important to note that Walt Disney World Christmas decorations change yearly, and what you see described and photographed here is not necessarily what will be offered in 2019 or beyond. Some of these displays have already evolved a bit since the photos were taken! That said, regardless of any cosmetic changes to the displays, all of these resorts have been worth touring at Christmas since we’ve been visiting them.
For comprehensive tips to plan your Christmas-time vacation to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.
Which other Walt Disney World resort hotels do you think are worth visiting at Christmas? Which resorts have your favorite Christmas decorations? Please let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments!