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My Disney World Christmas Wish List

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©Rikki Niblett
©Rikki Niblett

Walt Disney World and the Christmas Season. It just doesn’t get any more magical than that. I absolutely love this time of year as the Disney World Parks and Resorts begin to deck their halls and debut their annual holiday events and roll out new festive merchandise, it sort of helps me to kick off my own holiday preparations. One way to prep for the upcoming holiday is to take a few moments to drop by the Magic Kingdom or the Santa Chalet at Disney Springs to let the kids, and yourself, tell Santa what’s on your wish list. This tradition got me thinking…  If I could, what would I ask Walt Disney World to get me for Christmas? If you will, indulge with me in a little bit of Christmas fantasy as I fill out My Disney World Christmas Wish List!

Bring Back the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Of all the holiday entertainment at Walt Disney World, the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights is my personal favorite. I love the fake snow, the music and carols, the looks on everyone’s faces as they take in the lights, and the fact that it’s free with park admission! So as you can imagine, I was pretty much crushed when I heard that this is the last year for the Osborne Lights, yet I’m just as thrilled about the new developments coming to Hollywood Studios such as Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land. At this point, I’m holding onto a hope that Disney may move the Osborne Lights to another location at Walt Disney World. An announcement confirming my hopes is most definitely on my Christmas Wish List this year.

New Epcot Pavilions – I’m sure that I’m not the only one who would like new Epcot pavilions from Disney World this year, am I right? (Yes I am, if the comments on my recent Epcot Strengths and Weaknesses post are any indication.) World Showcase is one of the most popular corners at Walt Disney World, but there hasn’t been any new additions to this part of the park in years, with the exception of a new shop or restaurant. (I know, I know, Frozen Ever After is currently under construction, but that kind of World Showcase addition isn’t exactly what I had in mind…) What I’m asking for is a new pavilion or two. Personally, I would love an Australian or New Zealand pavilion, or maybe even Brazil or Israel. Thoughts?

dress for success
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – (c) Disney

Update Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Don’t get me wrong, I love Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The first time or two. The problem I have with it is that it really hasn’t changed that much in the past several years and I feel that it doesn’t offer enough. For instance, character dance parties, like the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show, is fun but only for so long. Besides, Tomorrowland hosts a dance party with the Incredibles on a consistent basis regardless of the season. Secondly, A Frozen Holiday Wish, where Elsa lights up the castle for the night, is worth watching but can be seen on non-party nights. Now I have no complaints about the free cookies and cocoa, and Holiday Wishes blows my mind each time; but, I do have a complaint when it comes to the parade. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is a definite party highlight and shouldn’t be missed, especially if you can catch it on Main Street, U.S.A. The snow blowing through the air, the glittering castle at the end of the street, and the music and lighting couldn’t be more picture-perfect. But, not to be a Scrooge McDuck or anything, but it hasn’t changed much over the years and I would love something different besides a character addition or two. New floats is what I’m asking for here. Disney has raised the bar when it comes to parades with the Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy Parade and Paint the Night at Disneyland. It would be so awesome to see some of that new technology and creativity in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade too. Besides, I’m really tired of that Goofy candy-themed float. It’s used in Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party’s “Boo to You” Parade and in the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Basically, I see it at least three times in a three month period and have been for years. So please, Disney World, could I have a new float or two?

Animation Academy (c) Disney
Animation Academy (c) Disney

Bring Back the Animation Academy – I’m still grieving over the closure of the Animation Academy. I’ve always been fascinated by animation and this 30 minute class let me try my hand at drawing a Disney Character with helpful step-by-step instruction from a Disney Animator. It was so much fun and, even those who lacked artistic ability, were able to follow along well enough to produce a respectable sketch. Unfortunately, the Magic of Disney Animation building, which housed the Animation Academy, closed earlier this year to make way for the Star Wars Launch Bay. Now I’m all in favor of more Star Wars in the park, but I want this Hollywood Studios gem back like yesterday.


Different Characters in the Parks – Does anyone remember Long-Lost Disney Friends for Limited Time Magic back in 2013? This is when Disney World brought back some characters who hadn’t been seen around the park in a number of years, such as the characters from Robin Hood, Pinocchio, and even the Three Little Pigs. I would love it Disney brought back this event or even made it annual thing. I’m personally hoping to visit with Bianca and Bernard from The Rescuers, Pocahontas and Meeko, Ludwig Von Drake and Scrooge McDuck, characters from Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Oh, wait! Characters from The Emperor’s New Groove would be awesome too. Can you just imagine getting to meet Yzma and Kronk?

Tomorrowland3Refurbish Tomorrowland and Epcot’s Future World – What else would I ask Walt Disney World for Christmas? A little attention to the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland would be more than welcome. Fellow Disney World fans have been pleading for the removal of Stitch’s Great Escape and I would love for it to be replaced with something new and fresh, perhaps something themed around Wall-E or The Incredibles? Secondly, let’s talk about Space Mountain. Disneyland’s version is so much better and completely ruined me on Disney World’s. I want a soundtrack like Disneyland’s, or at least the old projections on the ceiling back. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin could handle a little update too, as it’s looking a little worn and outdated these days. You know what else I would like to see refurbished? Epcot’s Future World. Except for The Land, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Club Cool, and the fountain, Future World pales in comparison to the rest of the park and seems to be a far cry from Disney World’s best work. I want to go to Epcot for more than just Soarin’ and World Showcase and I truly believe that the Imagineers could make that happen.

Monorail - Spaceship EarthMore Monorail Access – I gotta be honest. I can only handle so many rides aboard a Disney Bus. I appreciate the fact that Disney offers free transportation and all; but after a day or two of bus rides, I’m kinda done. I’ll actually go out of my way to ride the Monorail instead of having to ride a bus and this is why I would love for more Monorail access at the Disney World Parks and resorts. Is this request practical? Absolutely not; but hey, that’s what Christmas miracles are for.

More Resort Merch – I’m loving the new Disney Vacation Club and resort-themed merchandise that’s becoming more and more common at Walt Disney World these days. You see, a number of the Deluxe Resorts on property are just as much must-sees for me as park attractions; and so, I’m loving being able to bring home a souvenir from one my favorite corners at Walt Disney World. So please, Disney, keep the resort merch coming!

So that is my Disney World Christmas Wish List! Is anything on my list on yours too? What would you ask Disney World for Christmas? Let me know.

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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

7 thoughts on “My Disney World Christmas Wish List

  • Oh, I so agree with you on so many requests but none more than having Long Lost Friends visit the park more often. I simply cannot understand why Disney refuses to meet the obvious wishes of so many of its guests. If the costumes are there, why is it such a big deal to mix it up a bit? Although Chip and Dale are adorable, guest can see them just about everywhere. Please, Disney, make those special friends a bigger part of the daily experience at your parks. What an inexpensive way to bring good will and happiness to your guests!!

  • I think the lights should be at “downtown disney/disney springs”.
    For no charge for enjoyment for locals and guests.

    It would be a big draw and could be sponsored by the shops at the center.

  • I’m with you on the Animation Academy. When our daughter was about 7 we went through the Academy. She loved drawing the characters so much that when we planned future trips the first thing she would start talking about was the Academy. We have what seems like hundreds of characters that she has drawn there, and we’ve “only” been about 8 times! Since she heard about the Academy closing she has not asked about going back to DW.

  • Regarding the Osborne lights, any suggestions as to who emails should be directed to at the Disney corporate level in order to lobby to keep this very special seasonal attraction?

    • Agreed

  • Amen on the resort merch. I stayed at Wilderness Lodge earlier this year and they had a wide selection of items with the DWL logos on them. (Pausing to sip coffee out of my Wilderness Lodge travel mug…)
    Then we spent a weekend at the Poly back in September and I was underwhelmed. As big and as many gift shops as they have, they don’t have any decent Poly t-shirts? (They had one and it was hideous) RedBubble is getting better at Disney shirts than Disney is.

  • No question you’ll get you wish when it comes to the lights. All we need to find out is how soon, where, and by whom?

    While I would also welcome an addition to World Showcase, I’d limit it to just one pavilion. I like the idea tht there’s some transitional space between them, so that pretty much limits us to the area between China and Germany.

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