I don’t understand why when people think Christmas, they don’t think Disney. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that not everyone in the world is as obsessed with Disney and Christmas as I happen to be, but that is beside the point. There is no reason (well maybe a few reasons) why you shouldn’t be actively booking a Disney vacation as you’re reading this article. The most wonderful time of the year at the happiest place on earth? I can’t imagine a better way to spend the Holidays.

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I was lucky enough to spend my first Christmas at Disney World less than a year ago, and I have to say it changed Christmas a lot for me. It was that awkward transition phase some experience in their first year of college. You’re an adult, but you’re not yet fully adult; you’re a child, but have outgrown childish things. Christmas becomes one of those things that border being too young and being too old. Well, that might have been true, had I not spent 5 days of my Christmas vacation exploring the Disney Parks.

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Here’s the thing. People criticize Disney for being to commercial, for not understanding the true meaning of Christmas, and a plethora of other things that could be said about plenty of other favorite Holiday past times. Yet, I spent my Christmas more connected with my family than I had been in years. There is something genuinely magical about Disney in its ability to bring people together, to allow them to let go and just have fun again like they were allowed to when they were kids. I had no pre-holiday stress induced arguments with my mom, no post-Christmas-blues fights with my dad. We just had fun, a lot of it.

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So yes, the incredible light shows, beautiful castles, delicious food, and overall child-like wonder that Disney provides is magical, but the fact that I could spend Christmas eve eating Main Street cupcakes with my sister and watching Cinderella’s castle get lit up like icicles, and Christmas day have a delicious dinner surrounded by all my family and hear a beautiful telling of the Christmas story was really what sold me on the Disney Christmas experience. In the end, the most magical place on earth is only as magical as the people standing next to you.