It's no secret that Walt Disney World goes all out for the Christmas season. The decorations, the parties, the holiday overlays, it's really the most wonderful time of the year to visit the resort. Of course, Disney has to provide some lovely Christmas music for every part of WDW, much of it pretty familiar, much like the muzak one would hear at a regular shopping mall.
However, some parts of Disney World provide Christmas music that stands tall not just for the parks but in the world itself. They're fun, inventive, mixing different styles and cultures for a sound unlike anywhere else. It's tricky to narrow down, but here's a ranking of the best Christmas music to be found in Walt Disney World to make a visit there for the holidays, the best time of the year.
10. Disney Springs
This massive shopping complex has a lot of great Christmas sights, from the variety of trees to ornaments and more. The music is interesting as it's artists like Straight No Chaser and others who put their own unique spins on the usual radio Christmas songs and sometimes mixed with sounds of other periods. The vibe is lively, which fits the area and you can hear anything from a big band take on a classic to a terrific jazz rendition of a modern tune to make your shopping and dining experience at the Springs better.
Folks tend to race through Frontierland a bit to get to Big Thunder Mountain and (when it was open) Splash Mountain. If they slow down a bit during the Christmas season, they can hear some of the best music in all of the Magic Kingdom, even more than Main Street. The fun here is the "Old West" feel with guitars, violins and other instruments of the time used for the Christmas carols. While Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness try, they can't quite match just how lovely Frontierland is making you imagine this is how a Christmas in the Old West really was.
8. Echo Lake
With the Osborne Lights display sadly long gone, the Hollywood Studios has some interesting Christmas mixes. Hollywood Boulevard mixes a lot of 1940s Christmas songs one hears all the time. But the main street and Echo Lake areas have some terrific ""big band" takes on classics. It fits the old-school Hollywood vibe of the park, and it's great to hear these lovely songs to make it feel like you're decades in the past when such tunes were in their heyday.
7. Polynesian Resort
The Polynesian lives up to its name, with the background music always having an island feel to it. So, of course, they have a fun mix at Christmas time with some regular songs at times. The main music has steel drums and other island instruments to perform the songs, including a fun island take on "The 12 Days of Christmas." The other songs are just as fun and stand out from the usual Christmas loops to make the Polynesian feel again like you're on the islands for a good visit during the holidays.
6. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
Tucked away in Liberty Square, this small shop sells Christmas ornaments all year long and so little surprise it has some nice music. Yet it it's also among the best you'll you'll hear as it'sit's all themed to colonial times with older instruments and just what these songs once sounded like. The loop is fantastic, letting you feel like going back into the past for these songs, and it is another reason why Liberty Square is the most underrated part of the Magic Kingdom.
5. Epcot Entrance
As a park with two distinct halves, Epcot does a fine job balancing that for its Christmas tunes heard in the entrance area. They're classic Christmas themes given a spin from both a "futuristic" feel to capturing the various nations of World Showcase. It's fun hearing these almost sci-fi-like carols giving way to songs from Germany, Italy, or the United Kingdom, and the World Showcase areas can hold some of that, too. Thus, Epcot maintains a great Christmas mix, unlike any Disney park.
4. Grand Floridian Resort
Long known as the most elegant resort on Walt Disney World property, the Grand Floridian goes all out for Christmas. The massive tree and the huge gingerbread house are must-sees, so it makes total sense that the Christmas music is such a delight. It's mostly piano and softer takes, fitting for the area, and if you're lucky, you can see an actual pianist perform some. Yet just the background music is lovely, some regular songs but just the classic style that makes the Grand Floridian even better at the holiday season.
3. Jingle Cruise
The holiday overlay of the Jungle Cruise is a good ride already. The best part is the music playing over the queue area which manages the feat of mixing a 1930s vibe with a jungle feel. The radio sounds scratchy and often interrupted with "ads" for the time period with the usual Jungle Cruise puns. This is one time guests don't mind waiting in line to listen to Christmas music as only the Jungle Cruise can provide.
2. Animal Kingdom
It may seem odd that some great Christmas music comes from this park, yet anyone who's visited can testify to it. The inventiveness comes from mixing various cultural themes into classic Christmas tunes as you walk around the park. The Africa section has carols with drums and whistles, while the Asia part has a more exotic air. Dinoland USA (which is still there) is more of a classic American feel, while even Pandora has a fun mix. It's terrific at night with the lights and decorations abounding, and even the animals themselves get into the holiday spirit for the season.
1. Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yes, the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Christmas may seem an odd choice for the topper of Disney World Christmas music, but it's true. It's just amazing to listen to these classic Christmas carols given an African beat, complete with amazing choir singing, drums and a beautiful mix of themes. It comes together into an amazing package that makes you want to sit in the lobby for hours and listen. It makes sense that one of Disney World's best resorts also has one of the most unique Christmas music themes in all of Disney World.