Alright, so it is that time of the year again: the tryptophan has had its way with you after yet another Thanksgiving dinner, and that sour feeling in your stomach emanating from the extra piece of pumpkin pie you ate is only slightly less nauseating than the typically boring NFL matchup on the ol’ Samsung hi-def dominating your hearth. Your mind starts to shift; yes, you were thankful for the culinary bounty God bestowed upon your family not two hours ago, but now, food is the last thing you want to think about.
What to do…what to do…
Why not seek refuge in your perpetual, two-pronged happy place: think about Christmas and Disney!
Yes, it’s time to shift one’s thoughts to Gingerbread Mickeys and mistletoe on Main Street, for it is December, and it is time to get our respective holiday acts together – both at home and if one has a trip planned to the Happiest Place on Earth. And while a substantial portion of our WDW Radio blog readers have experienced the holiday season firsthand at Walt Disney World, I, myself, have never been; as a result, my wife and I try to recreate a little bit of the Disney magic in our home at Christmastide. We feel tickles our nostalgic Disney fancy and creates extra-special memories for our young son.
But I know we’re not unique. So many of you – whether you’ve experienced Christmas at WDW or not — do the same in your own homes, trying to couple the various keepsakes and tokens from past WDW trips with the traditions and customs of a satisfying domestic holiday.
So, without further ado, here are a just a few of the “Hidden Disneys” we showcase during the Christmas season. They bring us great joy, and I hope at the conclusion of this piece you will share any special items in your home that you cherish and display, as well.
- One of our favorite stops is Die Weihnachts Ecke, the Christmas item shop, in Epcot’s Germany pavilion. Here, my family has spent many an hour sampling the pretzels and hefeweizen of the nearby Biergarten while perusing the holiday wares of this unique shop. Specializing in tree ornaments (the ceramic pickles are the best) and other Christmas décor, our favorite take-homes are the tin of German chocolate cookies (cookies long gone) and the hand blown glass Mickey ornament seen here.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios contains one of my favorite Christmas destinations in all of WDW: It’s a Wonderful Shop. Here, I found two new staples of our Christmas routine: our beloved Lady and the Tramp tree ornament and our cherished story book, seen above – the latter, we read as a family, evenings during Advent.
- Finally, if you’ve ever “played” Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf, you know the ambiance is quite festive. So, my wife and I turned an old bird feeder trinket from Cape Cod into this impromptu Winter Summerland by adding mini-Christmas lights from Home Depot. We love this ornament.
Thanks for letting me share these items which are so dear to us. I suppose I should be asking you all a question, as well, then: what Disney Parks décor to you display in your home, and why is it special to you? I look forward to your thoughts.
Richie McNanna is an 8th grade teacher from Westfield, NJ. He has been a self-proclaimed Disney nut since the age of seven when his parents convinced him that real ghosts lived in the Haunted Mansion, and his goal in life is to retire one day and become one of the Dapper Dans. Richie’s wife, Helene, is the most understanding woman on the planet for putting up with his Disney obsession and owed a great deal of emotional payback. His son is one year old and already owns several sets of Mickey ears.
(Photos from the author’s personal collection)