We love Christmas at Disney Parks. Check out the top 5 reasons you need to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom this Christmas season.
#1 Largest Christmas Tree
As you make your way to the entrance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you are first greeted by this breathtaking and HUGE Christmas tree. What we love about this tree is that so many of our favorite Disney animals are featured throughout the tree. Several rustic ornaments incorporate the beautiful theming of this park.
Many of the animal masks remind us of the animal carvings along the Tree of Life. We also love the fun mixture of animated characters. At the base of the tree are large gifts such as a crocodile xylophone, Chip ‘n’ Dale snowglobe, stuffed animals, and more.
This tree is both beautiful during the day to enjoy each of these beautiful ornaments, and breathtaking at night fully illuminated. This tree is a small glimpse of the many reasons to love Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Christmas.
#2 Decorations throughout the park
What is truly amazing about the holiday decorations is that they are uniquely themed to fully incorporate the heart and life of each Disney Park. The decorations found throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom are made of natural fibers and materials.
As you enter the Park you will find natural fibers and plants strung along this festive garland. You can feel the celebration of the holiday while remaining in the natural beauty of the Animal Kingdom.
Even the stores are decorated with festive decorations. I loved the wreath and garland that adorns the Island Mercantile. While traveling throughout the various parts of the Park, you can enjoy holiday decorations representing each culture. This decorative wreath formed from bottle caps in Africa truly amazed me.
While journeying over to the beautiful Land of Pandora, we see a few unique Christmas decorations as well. The Amplified Mobility Platform unit that stands near Pongu Pongu at the Land of Pandora is large but pretty basic.
Even the Amplified Mobility Platform unit gets decked out for the holidays. We love the braided beard, Santa hat, and the strings of lights all around it. This is the perfect amount of Christmas cheer while keeping with the overall theme of this unique land.
#3 Merry Menagerie
Truly one of the BEST parts of the holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Merry Menagerie. Guests can interact with “life-sized artisan-sculpted puppets” of animals such as reindeer, foxes, polar bears, penguins, and more.
If there is no other reason to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the holidays, please visit the park for the Merry Menagerie. They are just that magical. The puppeteers seem to blend in with these amazing puppets. The puppeteer costumes help to deflect from their appearance and direct your sole attention to those of the adorable puppets.
This experience is found at Discovery Island near the Tree of Life. Guests can enjoy this unique experience throughout the day. These large puppets seem to come alive.
If there is no other reason to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the holidays, please visit the park simply for the Merry Menagerie. They are just that magical.
I (Donna) will admit that I enjoyed interacting with these puppets as much as my children did. These reminded me of the true magic of Disney. There are no long lines to wait in and no photographers – just joy.
#4 Holiday Flotillas
I (Donna) absolutely love the character cavalcades (in Magic Kingdom), motorcades (in Hollywood Studios), and flotillas (in Animal Kingdom.) This is such a fun way to experience your favorite characters throughout the day. These were first introduced in 2020 when the parks first reopened.
This new interaction was a way for guests to see their favorite characters while providing social distancing. We love that traditional character meet and greets have returned, but we are equally thankful that these other great character interactions remain.
For the holiday season, you can still enjoy your favorite characters, but the flotillas are decorated for the holidays. Many of our favorite Disney pals will greet guests from these holiday-themed flotillas.
Currently, guests can enjoy the following flotillas: Mickey & Friends, Discovery Island Drummers, Discovery River Character (featuring characters from either Pocahontas or Disney’s Lion King), Scrooge McDuck & Launchpad, and the NEW Up flotilla featuring Russel and Dug.
Of course, everyone wants to see the big man himself, Santa. Santa traded in his sled for a flotilla for the past few holiday seasons. He greets Guests as he travels along the waterway throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
#5 Tree of Life Awakenings
The Tree of Life is such a beautiful Park icon. At nighttime, the Tree of Life comes to life as illuminations are projected upon the tree. For the 50th anniversary, this beautiful park icon features a breathtaking show that celebrates the great circle of life. Be sure to check out the full description of these projections HERE.
At 6:15 pm, the Tree of Life comes to life. Guests visiting in November through December can enjoy not only one but two great projection displays. Guests can enjoy the 50th Anniversary Beacons of Life Tree of Life Awakenings and also a special holiday Tree of Life Awakenings. These beautiful wintry scenes are enjoyed with special holiday music accompaniment.
At 6:15 pm, the Tree of Life comes to life and alternates between the 50th Anniversary Beacon of Light to a wintry Tree of Life Awakening.
The Tree of Life Awakenings occurs approximately every 10 minutes until the park closes.
Should you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Christmas?
There are many fun, festive offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This park is often overlooked by other parks with bigger coasters and great characters. Don’t skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom this holiday season. The natural and unique decorations found throughout the park to the fun Merry Menagerie make this a “Must Do” this holiday season.
Will you be visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom this holiday season? Have you visited Animal Kingdom for the holidays in the past? Which is your favorite offering? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook Page.
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