Christmas Arrives at the Magic Kingdom! Castle Lighting, Decorations – Over 100 Photos, Video

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was the first day of Cinderella’s Holiday Wish, which culminates in the lighting of Cinderella Castle! The Magic Kingdom is decked out for the holidays, except for the large Christmas tree, which will arrive after the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade taping in early December. This is our 7th year covering Christmas at Walt Disney World! The first year was 2007, when the castle lights debuted. That year, it was dusk for the first showings. And the large Christmas tree was still in the Rose Garden before being moved to Town Square. 6 years later, much has changed! Keep reading for the first day of Christmas 2013 at the Magic Kingdom.

There is new artwork this year for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – we really like it! Mickey and Minnie join Pluto in a winter wonderland, with a background of Cinderella Castle in ice. We will be at the first Party, and I’ll be posting photos and an article full of tips!

Red and white flowers are planted at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, and the front of the Main Street Train Station is decorated with garland, trees and poinsettias!

We just picked up a new camera – a Nikon D5200, and I had fun trying some new settings. This is my favorite so far, called Color Sketch. I have a handful of photos using that setting in the article.

Mickey’s head is shaped like a large Christmas ornament.

Garland lines the archways into the Magic Kingdom.

Candy Cane Garden still needs a few more touches (including the sign), but is already attracting guests in with toy soldiers and coundown to Christmas sign.

The Main Street Train Station:

Toy soldiers greet guests in Town Square.


The view from the Main Street Train Station second level is quite festive!

Here is our video of the decorations at the Magic Kingdom 2013, from day to night!

Two decorated Christmas trees are located upstairs.

I’m not sure what this ornament is supposed to be!

Back downstairs, I took photos in Town Square and on Main Street.

There is a wide variety of stockings this year, including classic characters like Donald, Mickey and Minnie.

Special treats can be found in the Confectionery.

The Emporium is ready for Christmas, with displays and merchandise. Some of my favorite items are Victorian Mickey and Minnie related.

Seriously, this is a HUGE stocking! I tried taking the photo next to other merchandise to show the size.

A large wreath circles the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor sign.

Poinsettia trees have been placed in the hub. I like using them as a background for characters, like Pluto and Goofy.

Decorative hanging baskets with Cinderella Castle in the background.

Timothy Mouse is my favorite character to photograph here!

Here are a few more merchandise items. The Santa hat with hands is similar to what was sold last year, and I expect it will sell very well this year too.

Princess Tiana’s gazebo is beautifully decorated.

Dinner was at the Plaza Restaurant. This is a favorite of ours! We tried out the Color Sketch with it, and it even has our eye color correct (but I’m not sure what color it was trying to make my hair).

We left the restaurant and found a beautiful rainbow that created a full arch.

The rides weren’t busy last night, but Main Street was all evening. Everyone seemed to be most interested in the holiday decorations and offerings!

Cinderella’s Holiday Wish was listed on the times board.

We waited for Cinderella’s Holiday Wish to begin.

Cinderella’s Holiday Wish features Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Donald. They try to figure out how Cinderella Castle should be decorated, and the Fairy Godmother shows up to help them. In the end, it’s Cinderella who is to make the wish.

Here is our video of Cinderella’s Holiday Wish with the Castle lighting!

Cinderella’s wish is for the castle to sparkle like her glass slippers. And with that, the Castle is lit, one section at a time until it’s bathed in ice.

The characters leave the stage, and guests can enjoy taking photos of Cinderella Castle.

We stayed for the “Celebrate the Magic” castle show. We’d heard that the “Frozen” segment would be kicking off, but it didn’t. Hopefully Friday! The holiday segment was featured, which includes turning the castle into gingerbread and the 25th Anniversary castle cake.

Here is our video of “Celebrate the Magic” with the holiday tag!

I’ll have tripod shots of Christmas at the Magic Kingdom after Friday night!

I walked around Town Square for more photos.

Cinderella Castle from the side:

Disney was filming near the Walt statue, it looked like a segment with Glow with the Show Ears during Celebrate the Magic.

I left the park just as Wishes started.

This is just the start of the holiday season here at Walt Disney World! We will be bringing you coverage all season long.