There is no denying that this holiday season looks like nothing we’ve ever been through before. It is a little scary and a little sad and a lot different.
We feel it, too.
And we know there are lots of people canceling plans with family or their trips to Walt Disney World that are now left searching for ways to add a little bit of that Disney magic to their celebrations at home.
To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of 25 ways you can add a little Disney magic to your holiday season.
First things first
When putting together this list, we reached out to our in-house experts – the WDW Prep Patrons – for their help.
And, as usual, we were blown away by their creativity and willingness to share their expertise.
The best part about these ideas is that they cover a wide range of skill levels and interests.
And, for many people, they will also serve as inspiration for even more ways to bring a little bit of Disney home for the holidays.
Disney holiday ideas
Things to eat
2. Try your hand at freestyling some Mickey-shaped pancakes.
3. Make some Mickey Waffles. – Melyssa C.
4. Recreate Disney recipes for holiday meals. – Jillian H. & Rachel M.
5. Serve treats and snacks in your old Disney popcorn buckets. WDW Prep Patron Angi J. said, “We are fans of Trader Sam’s, so we will be enjoying one of their holiday drinks in one of their holiday mugs!”
Things to watch
6. Watch Soul on Disney+ (it comes out on December 25).
7. Watch the Disney Holiday Singalong. It will originally air on ABC on November 30 but will be available later on Disney+. – Alli S.
8. Watch the Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic special on Disney+. – Michael M.
9. Watch YouTube videos of past parades, fireworks, Candlelight Processional, etc. – Aimee F.
10. Watch Noel on Disney+ while planning your 2021 WDW Christmas vacation! – Victoria C.
Things to do
11. Put together Disney-themed puzzles or Lego sets.
12. Theme your gift tags. Patron Robin K. explains: “We do secret Disney themed names on our wrapped Christmas presents. Last year we did Toy Story. Everyone who will be at our house on Christmas Day is given a character (Rex /Woody / Hamm / Bo Peep / Buzz /Jessie etc.). When they open their stocking gifts, they find a sticker or toy on top that shows them who their character is, and then they know which gifts under the tree belong to them! It’s a tradition my mom started when we were little because she did not want all of us kiddos to try and guess what was in our packages. She did tons of themes, but we have done Disney strictly for the last 15 years!”
13. Drive around and look at Christmas lights while playing the soundtrack to Holiday Wishes. – Heather R.
14. Make or buy Disney-themed advent calendars. – Rosaleen O.
15. Theme your Christmas tree after Disney. We do a little Disney Christmas tree with magic band garland and character autograph ornaments. – Kimberly M.
16. Try your hand at some Frozen Yoga YouTube videos. – Natali B.
16. Participate in one of the virtual experiences at the Disney Family Museum. They have virtual tours, storytimes, and a speaker series (for free), and even an escape room you can do with a group (for a fee).
18. Plan your very own Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Amy C. says, “We have a Mickey Pinata, Disney Christmas cookies (bought from a local small shop artist), Holiday Plates with Mickey and Minnie, decorating our own Mickey Mouse shaped Rice Krispie treats, Disney arts and crafts, hot chocolate bar, and such. It’s a party for 6, but it will be awesome!”.
19. Organize a Disney-themed Secret Santa/Secret Snowman exchange with other Disney pals. – Leah Y.
20. Look back over old trip photos. Patron Cory Carter says: “I’ve made photo books and given them to my kids to open on Christmas morning along with an ornament to remember our trip. We also have a few Christmas-themed Disney books that I put out in December.”
21. Listen to Disney theme park holiday playlists on Spotify. Search for the park and the words “holiday” or “Christmas.”
Things to make
22. DIY some Disney ornaments or a gingerbread house. – Alyssa L.
23. Try your hand at making some of the Mickey Yarn Present-Toppers we found on Disney Family.
24. No snow where you live? Cut out your own Disney and Star Wars-themed paper snowflake versions!
25. Make and send some Disney-themed Christmas or thank you cards to your friends and loved ones.
Ways to connect
Even if you are far away from the ones you love, there are still ways to connect with others.
Physically distanced group activity
Many of us have quickly become experts in communicating virtually. And while it isn’t the same as sitting in the same room together, it can be a great way to connect with family and friends.
But, when you are on camera, you don’t have to simply talk to one another.
You could pick an activity or craft from the list above and then Zoom or FaceTime while working on those.
Maybe you decorate cookies “together” or work on gingerbread houses.
You could do a wine tasting or even play some online games.
GroupWatch on Disney+
GroupWatch is a feature on Disney+ that allows you to hold virtual watch parties by syncing up the audio and video so that you’re watching a movie at the exact same time.
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime also have their own versions of this feature, and while it isn’t the same as sitting in the same room, it can help you feel connected to love ones that are miles away.
Sometimes you want to share things with a bunch of loved ones, but you don’t want to text it, and you don’t want to put it out on social media for everyone to see.
Facebook Groups are a great way to do that.
Create a private Facebook Group (a private group means that only members you’ve invited can see who’s in the group and what they post) and then invite family and friends to join you. You can use the space for all sorts of things, like to share holiday photos or recipes.
You could even conduct a virtual cookie decorating contest and use the space for voting or sharing your creations, or you could ask everyone to post pictures of their trees or decorations.
And since Facebook Groups have a “Watch Party” option, you can all hop on video within your group and do it that way as well.
There is something about having a designated space for sharing that makes it easier for people to reach out to connect with others.
And now, more than ever, reaching out and connecting to others is good.