Review: The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2012

by Gray Cargill on November 28, 2012

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My apologies to all you solo travel generalists out there; this one’s for the Disney fans. Perhaps you’d rather read this blast from the past? Christmas Week Travel. . .Or Not.

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Do you dream of a traditional Christmas with snow and sleigh rides, candy canes and hot cider, enormous Christmas trees and garlands, surrounded by the magic of the season? Do you find that reality just never lives up to your holiday fantasies? Does the idea of spending the holiday at the most magical place on Earth sound, well, magical. . .until you think about how expensive and crowded and filled with families it will be? Don’t let those things stop you!

Cinderella's Castle and Holiday garlands

Cinderella's Castle and Holiday garlands

There is so much going on at Disney World during the holiday season, it might just be the best time to go as a solo traveler. When you’re at Disney World, you’re part of the Disney family. And the best part is you can go earlier in December and enjoy all of the holiday spirit and then still spend Christmas with your dysfunctional family if you feel obligated want to.

Magic Kingdom Train Station

Magic Kingdom Train Station

Last year, I was at Disney World during the beginning of the holiday season (early November), and they had already put up decorations for the season. There was something special about seeing the parks and resorts decorated for the holidays. . .like there was an extra layer of magic on top of the magic, if you know what I mean. But if I had gone in late November or December, I could have enjoyed so much more! I honestly had no idea how many holiday activities are available at Disney world until I read The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2012.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

Most Disney fans have heard about holiday events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and the Candlelight Processional, but there is so much more going on than that. You might even have trouble squeezing in rides! Here are just a few of the many ways you can enjoy the holiday spirit at Disney World:

  • Tour all the holiday displays in the parks and resorts (don’t forget the Boardwalk and Downtown Disney!)
  • Go to a Santa Meet-and-Greet
  • Enjoy some good old-fashioned Dickens Carolers
  • Go for a sleigh ride
  • Go on a Gingerbread Crawl, which includes one part eating of gingerbread treats and one part oohing and ahhing over magnificent gingerbread creations
  • Go on a Holiday Beverage Crawl, which includes such time-honored favorites as Gluhwein, hot cocoa and hot cider. (But who could resist the Caramel Apple Margarita?)
  • Experience Christmas traditions and listen to storytellers from around the world at the countries of World Showcase in Epcot
  • Decorate your resort room window for the holidays
  • Enjoy some roasted chestnuts
  • Watch the Holiday Wishes Fireworks
  • Go to one of the holiday parades in the parks
Epcot Christmas Tree

Epcot Christmas Tree

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2012 gives you detailed information on all of these activities so you don’t miss a thing. AJ Wolfe of the Disney Food Blog has filled 250 pages with incredibly comprehensive information and color photos to get you in the holiday spirit as you plan your trip. Learn how to plan and budget for your trip, read insider tips for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, and get the full monthly schedule of events. Learn how– and when–to book holiday events, shows, and dinner reservations. Take advantage of AJ’s touring tips for the holidays, which will ensure that you get into all the events that are important to you without wasting time in long lines.

Naturally, given AJ’s expertise in the food of Disney, a substantial portion of the book focuses on where you can enjoy great meals and holiday treats at Disney World during the holidays. Forgot to make dining reservations on Christmas day, the busiest day of the year? Check AJ’s tips for the best restaurants to visit when you don’t have a reservation. That alone makes the book worthwhile.

Hollywood Studios

This building is strung with lights for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios

In case you’re wondering, The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2012 doesn’t address being solo during the holidays at Disney World. But go to any Disney message forum online and you will meet people who go solo for the holidays all the time. I would not hesitate to do it, and I probably will at some point in the future.

This guide is only available in digital format, which is a good thing: It allows you to immediately download it to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to bring with you to Disney World. If you have specific questions, you can click on items in the table of contents or do a search for keywords. This makes it really easy to find what you’re looking for quickly. (You can’t do that with a paperback guide.)

If you have never experienced the crowds of the busiest time of the year at Disney World, this book can save you a lot of time–and headaches. Take advantage of the wisdom AJ has gained from her own experiences over multiple holiday trips to Disney World. The $14.95 price is more than reasonable for the amount of detailed information that’s included in this book. Best of all, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you don’t think it’s worth it, you can get a full refund. But I’d very surprised if that were the case. I don’t know anyone who covers Disney as thoroughly as AJ does. This book is destined to be your Disney Bible during the holidays.

Disclaimer #1:I received a complimentary review copy of this guide. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.

Disclaimer #2: If you buy the book by clicking on links you find on my website, I get a commission. But you already know this, right? Click on the banner below to download your copy today.

Download your WDW Holiday Guide here

Kirstin November 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I think that is the only downside of being downunder – we’ve got more chance of winning lotto than getting snow on Christmas Day. When I was little my mother used to threaten that Christmas was off and we were going to the beach for a barbeque – it never happened. Every year we would sit down to a full English Christmas Dinner, not fun when it is the middle of summer.

I think it would be an amazing experience to go to Disney World on Christmas Day.

Gray November 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

And it would be less of a temperature shock to your system than coming to New England for Christmas! 🙂

David Graham November 28, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thanks Gray, as travel bloggers many times there are opportunities to review products and places that have been made available to us gratis. You have done such a fair appraisal on this great eBook that would very helpful on a Disney Holiday Adventure. Thanks again for another great post, I am now ready to head out to the Walt Disney World Resort.

Gray November 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Well have a great time, David! 🙂

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