So, say you love holiday decorations AND you love Disney, but you just can't afford to spend your Christmas money on a few nights at a resort for the season. You don't have to!
You can see all of the Christmas decorations at the Disney resorts for free.
Experience the grandeur of the Grand Floridian, the exotic flora at the Polynesian Resort and the cool art Deco that is the Contemporary Resort all without spending a dime, well, other than gas money (but that doesn't count).
Here's how to do it.
Start your visit at Disney Springs. Yes, you'll have to brave the traffic getting into there, but Disney Springs is open to everyone and parking is free.
Once parked there in either the Orange Garage or Lime Garage, you can check out their decorations throughout the shopping district, or skip it and hit the bus line for the resorts.
Disney uses free buses to take people to and from each resort. Those bus lines are marked by reort number so just pick a starting destination... for example, the Polynesian Resort.
Wait in that line and a Disney driver will pick you and your crew up.
The bus ride is about 20 minutes, but the buses have access to the gated resorts. That's the key; you can't just drive in there unless you are checking in or have a reservation to do so... visiting by car is just not as easy.
The bus drops you off right up front by the resort entrance. From there, you are free to roam about the property to check out the decorations in the center area and all about the property.
When you have seen what there is to see at the Polynesian Resort, go upstairs. There you can access the monorail system, again for free, and go to the next resort.
In order, that means the Grand Floridian is next. When you exit the monorail, the decorations are everywhere. The Grand Floridian is just that - Grand.
The Christmas Tree inside it so large, the two story gingerbread house built inside their center area is hidden behind it.
The whole area smells like that gingerbread (and yes, you can buy a piece of it - the sales shop is inside the gingerbread house). The other shops all boast their own decorations.
From the Grand Floridian, you can walk to the rear of the property and take a free ferry ride around the 7 Seas Lagoon.
This is best done at night to experience the lighted boat show on the water. The ferry goes from the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian Resort and then the Magic Kingdom.
The boat ride is about 10 minutes with two different vessels to choose from. One is open air and small or the other is enclosed and large.
Be wary of disembarking at the Magic Kingdom stop, while there are things to see, without a ticket, access to anything is minimal and you are competing with all of the foot traffic of park weary folks trying to leave from there.
While on the lagoon or back on shore, you can see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom at 9 p.m. and at Epcot at 9:30 p.m.
Once back at the dock, the Contemporary Resort is just a Monorail stop away. This year, the Christmas display inside the resort is the "Frozen" Castle made entirely of Chocolate.
That's a lot of chocolate!
Each resort has restaurants and other dinning and snack options to keep you fueled along the way, and, if you are so inspired, you can pick up a Disney decoration of your own in any giftshop.
After your last resort visit, simply wait for the bus to take you back to Disney Springs.
The last bus rides leaving the resorts depart at 1 a.m. The last ones leave Disney Springs at 2 a.m.