Walt Disney World is the Most Magical Place on Earth – and that’s just a fact. From the moment you walk through the front gates at a Disneyworld park, you are immersed in a new world.
(PSA: I want to share a little backstory on what Disney teaches me about faith – if you’re just here for the most magical seasons to visit Disneyworld, you can skip this top section and scroll down until you see the heading “5 Events at Walt Disney World that Radiate Disney Magic”)
So what’s so magical about Disney?
People smiling and laughing, the cares of their everyday lives melting away.
Cast members go out of their way to make your day magical.
Every piece of decor, every color, every attraction is carefully planned and thought out
Secret hints of magic and whimsy are around every corner – even if you’ve been a million times, you probably won’t notice them all. They aren’t there to be obvious, but rather are hidden yet present. That way, if you do notice them, you’ll be surprised and delighted all at once.
People are just happier there – you can ask people questions and they look you in the eyes when they answer you. Strangers bond over a 200 minute line to ride a new ride.
People take pictures for each other, laugh together, and help each other as they navigate the park.
And all of this is before we even get to an actual ride. The rides themselves are equal parts magic and thrill. Every detail is themed to perfection. Every ride is more than just an exciting moment, it’s an experience that immerses you into the story and world of the characters from the ride.
All in a day in the Magic Kingdom you can travel to a futuristic world, fly through space, journey through the history of early America, go on a jungle cruise, fight pirates, fly on a magic carpet, soar around with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, and so much more.
Disney. Is. magic.
And Disney teaches me about faith.
When I go to Disneyworld I forget about the stress at work, I forget about whether I need to work out more, I forget about whether someone likes me or doesn’t, and I let it all melt away. I get to be present, to live in the magic, to escape, to enjoy.
Isn’t it the same with Jesus?
He offers us the magic of his presence all the time, and it’s like a trip to Disneyworld. Let me share a few of my favorite verses that discuss just what I’m talking about.
“None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” -Romans 8:38-39 (MSG)
“Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” -John 8:12
When we live enveloped in God’s love, nothing fazes us. Nothing else matters, and when we live in Jesus’ light, we have plenty of light to live in. We don’t stumble around in darkness anymore.
Sometimes in faith, I think it’s easy to get caught up in the worries of everyday life – we create our own shadows where the clutter of life’s worries and expectations causes us to live in a darkness of our own making. We can get to a point where our faith becomes a routine, and the stresses and worries of life fill in all the space that we don’t block off for our “Christian living”. Faith gets a corner of our life, then everything else seeps in to all the leftover space.
But Disney reminds me that faith should be like Disney magic – it permeates every corner, every moment, every thought and feeling. Faith is everywhere, and when I walk into a Disney park, I’m reminded of what my faith should feel and look like.
Romans 8 reminds us that nothing gets in between us and God’s love. John 8 reminds us that we have plenty of light to live in. Today, I want to encourage you to let your faith be a little more like Disney magic and a little less like a responsibility you have to fit into your day. Let it permeate every corner. Let it surprise and delight you. Let it find you in every corner of your life. Let it make you feel giddy. Look for it. Look for it everywhere. It will be found, and you don’t even need pixie dust.
So maybe you’re like me, and you’ve fallen into a bit of a comfortable routine with your faith – you let it be about checking off the right boxes, reading the right verses, carving out your quiet time each day. You, like me, stopped letting it take over your whole world and delight you around every corner. Maybe you need a trip to Disney to remind you!
Ok, I’m not trying to bankrupt you over here, so maybe you don’t actually need to go to Disneyworld right now. But, I will share with you what I think are the 5 most magic-filled events at Walt Disney World, because even just looking at the pictures may inspire a little Disney magic in you. Maybe it will even remind you that Jesus offers you this same kind of magic every single day you choose to walk in His presence.
5 Events at Walt Disney World that Radiate Disney Magic
Let me start by saying these are in no particular order. They are all just as magical as the last, and each one reminds me that magic can be found in all different areas of life. Also, this is not by any means a comprehensive list – you may think Disney’s most magical event didn’t even make this list! These are just my personal faves, and I’ll share with you why. If I missed one that you love, let me know in the comments!
1. Christmas Time at Walt Disney World
This is pretty self-explanatory. Christmas at Walt Disney World, much like Christmas in general, is just magical and amazing. I love Christmas a lot. As soon as Halloween ends, I’m putting up Christmas decorations, lighting up the fireplace, and wearing cozy sweaters while watching a good, cheesy Hallmark movie. I just love Christmas.
But Christmas spent at Disney World is a special breed of amazing. The whole place is lit up in absolute splendor, the parades are extra magical, the fireworks shows are extra magical, and every person seems to radiate with the cheer and joy of the season. If you think Disney World is a joyful place year-round, go at Christmas. It’s next-level.
Even the guests are extra magical during this time of year.
One year around Christmas time, my whole family was down at Walt Disney World together. We decided to go see the Festival of the Lion King show, and I actually think it may have been my first time seeing the show. See, the shows used to not really be my speed. If it wasn’t a fun ride, I wasn’t really interested. I didn’t want to sit through a show. But, we all were going to see this one together and I was assured by my uncle that it would be worth the wait.
Well, wait we did – in a crowd of hundreds of people waiting to get in to see the show (because fair warning, Christmas comes with magic, but it also comes with bigger crowds). We stood like cattle in huge corrals out on the pavement waiting for them to open the doors. My feet hurt from walking all around the park, and I was ready to go in and sit down. And then, lo and behold, it started pouring rain.
My family couldn’t help but laugh. There was nowhere to go, and we still wanted to see the show. I’ll never forget what my dad did next; he started singing Christmas carols…and everyone in the crowd joined in. Together, in the rain, outside the Festival of the Lion King show, hundreds of us sang Christmas carols and laughed. It was epic, and it was straight up JOY – our voices rang through the rain singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and it was so beautiful and moving…I could have cried. Who knew such a cheesy song could have that effect?
If you love Disney, trust me, go at Christmas. You’ll love it all the more.
Here are a few events that happen only at Christmas – you can click on each to learn more:
-The Christmas-themed night shows at each park! (Even a new one coming to Magic Kingdom!)
–The tree of life at Animal Kingdom turns into a giant Christmas tree (it’s beautiful!)
The story I just shared about Christmas with my family at Disney World actually brings me to my next most magical event at Disney World…
2. The Festival of the Lion King show
Ok, hear me out. Yes, it’s just a show. No, it’s not new. No, it’s not a thrill ride. But…it’s magic.
The Festival of the Lion King show is more than a show, it’s an experience. There are acrobats, crazy talented vocalists, trampoline acrobats, dancers, aerialists, and more. You will absolutely not regret going to see this show.
Even better, from a logistical standpoint, the show is set up in a round theatre, so the seats are riser-style benches that go almost all the way around the stage. So, there are no bad seats!
It’s even interactive, so be ready to embarrass yourself a little bit.
I wish so badly that I had pictures from it, but I’ve never captured any good ones while inside the show. Also, as per usual with Disney stage shows, flash photography is prohibited, so your options for capturing it on camera are pretty limited. But, I would encourage you not to even try. Just sit back and enjoy the moment. Be in the moment and take it all in. It’s worth it, I promise!
3. The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival stretches through most of the spring at Walt Disney World, and if you’ve never seen it, I would highly recommend making your next trip to Disney in the spring so you can enjoy it!
The whole of Epcot turns into a giant topiary display that is next level. The sheer talent of the artists that create these pieces will blow your mind. It’s just a beautiful and magical experience to walk around Epcot and enjoy the art, enjoy nature, enjoy the world of man-made and nature colliding, take in the beauty, and just downright have a good time. There are butterflies and flowers and happiness everywhere.
There’s really not much else to say about it except that it’s well worth enjoying. Here are a few things you can expect if you head to the festival – you can click on each one to read more about it:
–Outdoor kitchens (outdoor areas where you can sample delicious treats!)
–Special tour opportunities like the Royal Tea Garden Tour and the Gardens of the World Tour
4. The Happily Ever After Fireworks Show
I’m sorry, but if you saw the Happily Ever After Fireworks show at Magic Kingdom and didn’t cry, are you even human??
The Happily Ever After Fireworks show is Disney magic at its finest. Sure, it’s crowded. And sure, you have to get there pretty early to get a good view, but let me tell you…it’s worth it.
This fireworks show lights up Cinderella’s castle with state-of-the-art projection technology and takes you through classic and modern Disney tales alike. Timed to Disney music, fireworks boom in the sky as the castle becomes a giant projection of your favorite heroes and heroines.
I literally cry happy tears every time I see this show. Many people like to use this time as a chance to get on rides with shorter lines – please don’t! At least once, sit through this show and just enjoy it’s magic.
5. For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long Celebration
Ok, so this one is a bit of a weird one to include, but I just think Frozen is such a special movie. I work at a music school, so trust me when I say I too got tired of hearing “Let it Go” belted out of the lungs of every 8-12 year-old girl. But, the movie has so much deep meaning to me about living like who we are made to be, taking risks for the people we love, and being willing to go on a bit of an adventure to find the person we are truly called to be.
That being said, this live-action stage show at Hollywood Studios is intentionally goofy. The Frozen Sing-a-Long Celebration is set after the first movie (at least at the time of this writing it is!), and it’s narrated by two actors that play the Royal Historians of Arendelle.
The show itself is just a bundle of fun, but at the end you get to sing loud to your favorite jam, “Let it Go” as snow falls from the sky all around and Elsa herself whips up some great special effects on stage. Call me cheesy, but there is just something about a theatre full of people singing words like:
“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all…”
That gets me every single time.
To me, it’s moving. And the special effects definitely help. Even if you don’t have kids, just do it. Trust me. And if you do it, sing loud!
So that about wraps it up! Disney magic is all around us folks, and even if you can’t go to Walt Disney World right now (or even any time soon), know that Jesus offers you this type of magic every day you choose to walk with him. I hope you love this top 5 list of Magical Events at Disneyworld! Let me know in the comments if you have another favorite event that didn’t make this list, or let me know if you love one of these events just as much as I do!
With Great Joy,