When it comes to getting into the holiday spirit, Magic Kingdom takes the cake. Our vacation doesn’t officially start until we visit Magic Kingdom. While we arrive at Disney World on Christmas Eve, we don’t go to any of the parks until Christmas morning, when we head to Magic Kingdom.
It’s an annual tradition. We wake up early and head to Magic Kingdom for the last half of the morning Extra Magic Hour on Christmas Day. The nostalgia and excitement hits when you step off the bus and hear the classic entrance music. We pause after walking under the train station and admire the towering Christmas tree in Town Square. As we approach Main Street, it happens. We see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. The feeling is reminiscent of running downstairs and seeing all the presents under the tree for the first time. It means our trip has officially begun.
As we walk down Main Street, we catch a whiff of popcorn, followed by fresh waffle cones. Even if the cinnamon goodness is artificially piped throughout Main Street (sorry to kill the magic), it certainly gets you in the Christmas spirit and in the mood for a fresh homemade waffle! It smells just like breakfast on Christmas morning!
From the nostalgia of the sights and smells of Main Street, to the Holiday edition of the Wishes fireworks show and the castle drenched in lights, Magic Kingdom packs a serious holiday punch. The only thing it truly lacks, however, are holiday snacks that are unique to the park. Many of the holiday snacks at Magic Kingdom can be found throughout Walt Disney World. I remember reading about the holiday offerings before our first trip. I was excited for the complimentary hot chocolate, peppermint ice cream and snickerdoodle cookies, only to find out that they were only offered during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Our first year, we did get a hot chocolate float from The Plaza Ice Cream Shop, but it hasn’t been offered since.
While many of the holiday snacks at Magic Kingdom are discontinued after Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (ends 12/18), there are still a variety of snacks offered year-round that can add to the Christmas spirit!
The Confectionary is one of my favorite spots on Main Street. During the holiday season, The Confectionary offers holiday themed candy apples, specialty cupcakes, assorted holiday cookies, cake pops and chocolate-dipped marshmallows. Sure, you can find these items throughout Disney World. In fact, many of the items offered at The Confectionary are also offered at Storybook Treats in Fantasyland. What separates The Confectionary from any other snack store in Walt Disney World is the fact that you can watch the delectable treats being handmade by skilled confectioners. The store features an open kitchen surrounded by a glass window. During any given day, you can find the confectioners preparing rice krispie treats or candied apples.
Last year, we stopped by Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Day. Before heading back to the hotel, we decided to redeem our remaining snack credits at The Confectionary. We actually stocked up on cookies and I can personally endorse the peanut butter cookie, packed with peanut butter cups. It’s soft, moist and filling.
A few doors down is Starbucks, err, the Main Street Bakery. Sure, you can find a Starbucks anywhere in Walt Disney World (thank the coffee gods). In fact, you can find a Starbucks almost anywhere in the world, but this particular spot is extra special. I love heading into the Main Street Starbucks before heading deeper into the park, especially right before a late-night EMH. It’s always packed but the line moves pretty fast. My family will normally find a spot on Main Street for the Wishes fireworks show. They’ll hold the spot and I’ll run into Starbucks to grab coffee. I love grabbing a Peppermint Mocha Latte from Starbucks and sipping it while watching the fireworks. As if the Wishes fireworks show didn’t scream “Christmas” enough, the peppermint mocha adds an added dose of holiday cheer.
Before heading further into the park, stop by the Pavilion Ice Cream Parlor. The freshly made ice cream sandwich is offered year-round. It features a heaping scoop of Edy’s ice cream between two freshly made chocolate chip cookies. It can easily be shared between two people, as it’s a massive ice cream sandwich. I believe it’s on the dining plan as well, making it a great value at $5.29. I recommend getting the mint chip – it has more of a holiday feel to it.
Another awesome spot for ice cream is Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. Choose from fresh Belgian waffles, funnel cakes, or their version of the fresh ice cream sandwich, prepared with soft serve ice cream. If you can’t secure a breakfast ADR at Be Our Guest on Christmas Day, this is the spot to go for breakfast! The have freshly made Belgian waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream, as well as ham-and-cheese omelet and nutella and fruit waffle sandwiches. During lunch, go for the chicken and waffle sandwich!
While Magic Kingdom lacks unique holiday snacks, it does hold its own. It’s all about creating nostalgic experiences. For example, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the Confectionary or a Dole Whip!