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No Castle on This Year’s Christmas Card!

by Makena W.

When non-locals go to a Disney park, they like to take a lot of pictures. Most parents go down to this magical place with a mission in their head: Create and obtain the perfect Christmas card picture. Now everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) who has been to Walt Disney World has taken the classic “Whole family in front of Cinderella Castle” picture, which usually ends up being SOMEWHERE on the Christmas card. People who receive Christmas cards with this common– yet spectacular –photograph from friends and family may get bored with the same picture, especially if you visit Walt Disney World every year. Here are some unique Christmas card photo ideas that will give friends and family who always receive a card from a frequent Disney-goer a break from that castle.

Snow People at Downtown Disney
On the walkway between the resort bus stops and the entrance to the Ye Olde Christmas Shop, you will stumble upon a unique group of sculptures. They are statues of snow people, I believe. Yes, I said snow people. It looks like it snowed recently in Florida (the odds!) and some kids came along and made snowmen and women. We have posed with them every visit to Downtown Disney. Obviously, this captures the feeling of the Christmas season any time of the year, which makes it a great place for a Christmas card picture.

Cinderella Fountain
A lot of people miss this fountain. I didn’t even know it was there until my last trip in August! It’s behind the castle and, if you are facing Cinderella’s home, it is to the right. I love the little secret to it-it looks like a normal fountain honoring Cinderella before her fairy godmother came along. The backdrop of the fountain includes swirls of yellow on a shade of coral. Now, if you bow and look at the fountain, you can see that the swirls suddenly make sense and a crown appears on her head. But when a child looks up to the fountain, the crown is already on her head. Why? Because a child never has to bow down to a princess! This cute story is one of my favorite secrets in Magic Kingdom, but it is not only the tale that draws me to it, but also the pure beauty of the sculpture in Cinderella’s likeness. Not a lot of people are around this fountain, which makes it a great place for a picture, along with the loveliness and legend.

Ride Photos
If you have been on a thrill ride at WDW, you know about the camera that is placed at the peak of the attraction-the highest drop on the Tower of Terror, the launch on the Rock N Roller Coaster, when you see the Yeti on Expedition Everest, and more. These pictures are worth a peek when you exit the attraction. Everybody either laughs at the picture or is embarrassed by it. Either way, it shows your true colors, which makes it PERFECT for a Christmas card! Your family and friends would get a kick out of it. You can even strike a special pose to make the picture better (more on that another time).

Brick in MK or Leave a Legacy

On your way to the opening gates at Magic Kingdom, you walk over bricks. If you look down at these bricks, each one has a name date and picture on it. At one time, these bricks were available for purchase and people bought them, whether just as a memory, to propose or just to say you are a part of Disney. Epcot had a similar system called Leave-a-Legacy to commemorate the Millennium celebration. If you were lucky enough to snatch up one of these two offers and took a picture of your family pointing to your brick or picture, it would be the perfect Christmas card! My brother and I had a Leave-a-Legacy in Epcot, and have taken Christmas card pictures before. Sadly, they are slowly getting rid of the Leave a Legacy panels and, on our last trip, ours was surrounded by construction walls. Besides last year, we have always taken a picture with ours and it has been our Christmas card picture once.

Secret trails in Animal Kingdom
Okay, so this is a “go with me here” moment. I am aware that the picture I will be describing in a second is the Tree of Life, but this idea is a different view of it. Throughout Discovery Island, there are trails to wander that lead to nowhere or just in a circle. One of these trails happens to go very close to the Tree of Life-VERY close. Instead of the picture being your family in front of the tree, it would be your family leaning on the base of the tree. You can see the detail in some of the 325 animals that make their home on the tree, and it is probably the closest you can get to the tree without go to see “It’s Tough to Be a Bug.”


Speeder Bike
If you have ever seen the 6th Star Wars movie (which I hope most of you have), you would recognize the Speeder Bike across from Tatooine Traders. In the famous scene, Stormtroopers are chasing the rebel alliance in a forest.  This chase is not the conventional foot chase, but instead, they are pursuing them on floating futuristic motorcycle-type things that blend into their surroundings. It’s now your turn to try one. Some people are hesitant to sit on it, but you can. You look like you are in the middle of the fight, so put on your best “bring–it-on” face and wait for the camera to flash!

Epcot Topiaries
If you have ever been lucky enough to visit WDW during Epcot’s Flower Festival, you know what I mean when I say these topiaries are detailed, delicate and delightful to the eye. There are a variety of characters and icons that are scattered about the park, and they definitely live up to what people say about them. The beauty captivates your attention and holds it for a long time: which makes it the perfect subject for a Christmas card photo.  Explore the gardens, find a beautiful topiary surrounded by magnificent flowers and say “cheese”.

Even though some of you may think it is a little early to be thinking about Christmas, this is good information for pictures in general. Some of these pictures my family and I have taken before, not to use as a Christmas card but just because they are fun. Next time you go to the “World”, keep these ideas in mind and remember to bring out the camera when the time comes, whether you use the picture to send to your friends and family or not.

This week’s “Where in the World” picture is in an attraction. Can you guess which one?

See ya REAL soon!

How do YOU incorporate Disney into your holiday cards?  Tell us about it in the comments below.