3 Family Christmas Disney Stories
I’m celebrating the holidays by sharing some personal family stories that tie together Disney and Christmas. I hope you’ll listen. You can find the podcast here on Podbean and here at iTunes. You can also type in “Disney at Work & Play Podcast” when you visit Spotify.
Below are some additional photos that support this podcast. Check them out!
Receiving The Art of Walt Disney for Christmas
The first story references a book I received as a child as my only Christmas present. Authored by Christopher Finch, it can still be had on Amazon. Below are some photos from that book that have always stood out for me.
In 1973 this photo from the opening of Walt Disney World is full of so much imagery that I could stare at the unique details for hours. The skyway passing through; the architecture on both sides of the castle; the gingerbread on the buildings along Main Street, U.S.A.
This set of photos sharing the intricacies of animatronics made me feel like I suddenly had insider knowledge to this space age technology.
The first image shows corporate homes at Bayhead being built in Lake Buena Vista. The second is a profile of corporate building in EPCOT. These images came several years before the Epcot Center we know today would be showcased. I wanted so badly to live there!
Our Disney Christmas Ornaments
There are lots of Disney decorations in our home during the holidays, but these have enormous sentimental value. The first shows some vintage ornaments on the tree. Snow White, the seven dwarfs and the Three Fairies from Sleeping Beauty were some of the first ornaments I purchased at The Disneyland Hotel. You see Oliver from Oliver and Company. as well as Flounder and Jaq of Cinderella. They were all ornaments available through McDonalds in Happy Meals.
These cross stitch ornaments were done by yours truly on long Sunday afternoons away from my wife.
My favorite is this Mickey Christmas cross stitch I did for my wife. I also purchased the bell and the potpourri/candle combination.
Our 1st Christmas in Orlando
In the podcast, I shared the story of discovering The Walt Disney World Village all decorated for holidays on our first Thanksgiving visit. Since then, we have been blessed with being immersed with the holidays at Disney. Below are some of our favorites around the world.
I can’t say enough about how the Toy Soldiers from Babes in Toyland symbolize Christmas at Disney. When I was a child, they advertised the holidays at Disneyland with line art of these toy soldiers. It would be years before I enjoyed Christmas at any of the Disney parks, but I would not forget that the symbol of celebrating the holidays Disney style are these soldiers.
Decorations on Main Street U.S.A. before a certain Dragon changed holiday height restrictions.
They look a little different these days. But they’re still festive.
Don’t miss the windows at the Emporium. They share the story of Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
The sounds of Christmas are as important as the visuals you see at Disney parks. They are beautifully represented here by the Dapper Dans.
Here’s one thing you can’t get at Disneyland. These lights are simply jaw dropping:
Remember the Lights of Winter? They were a beautiful gateway to the holidays.
Did you know that Listen to the Land does their own Christmas overlay. It has a homespun–not quite approved from corporate look.
The pure sounds of the Voices of Liberty bring the soul of the holidays too Epcot.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I love the kitsch decorations of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
No Disney holiday is complete without the merchandise. It’s displayed beautifully at Mickey and Company on Hollywood Boulevard.
Those like me who lived in the aftermath of the 50’s understand these ceramic figurines. They are crazy.
So glad they moved the tree to the island in the middle of Echo Lake. I hated the location in front of the park. Does anyone remember when they were in front of the Chinese Theater?
One of the most beautiful places to visit Santa is here on Sunset Boulevard.
Toy Story Land kind of feels like Christmas year around. Helps to have the right lights!
Remembering the Osborne Festival of Lights!
The real reason for the season!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
In small ways the holidays have hit Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a big way. It begins in Discovery Island with new decorations, and a beautiful Tree of Life series of presentations.
Notice the creative use of used parts like a bicycle wheel with spokes. This is a modest but beautiful tree in Africa.
Dinoland has become the new Osborne Festival of Lights. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Even Pandora got into a little bit of the holiday spirit.
Other Places Around the World
The best time to resort hop is during the holidays. Hotels like Disney’s Grand Floridian are just simply beautiful.
My favorite tree in the Festival of Trees at Disney Springs. Love me some Robin Hood!
We shouldn’t forget The Disney Cruise Line. It may be the Caribbean, but you won’t forget that it’s the holidays.
That’s it for Christmas! But stay tuned because next week we not only review the year but announce some exciting news for the upcoming year! Be sure to subscribe to our podcast!