From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Thomas Smith

If you’re like us, then you’ll agree there’s no better place to be at Christmastime than Disney Parks. So, before everyone begins to log off for the Christmas weekend, we’ve got a sleigh full of rare Disney holiday images from our Walt Disney World Resort archives guaranteed to bring joy to your day!


Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in the Christmas parade in Magic Kingdom in 1976

Most of you know the Christmas parade is a beloved tradition at Disney Parks! And our first photo from the archives is an amazing look at the Walt Disney World parade back in 1976 as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse traveled down Main Street, U.S.A.

If you can believe it, this year is the 40th anniversary of “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade”! The Parade will feature Mickey, Minnie and other favorite Disney characters making their traditional appearances at Walt Disney World Resort along with outstanding musical performances, also filmed at Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’i and aboard Disney Cruise Line. It’ll air on ABC on Monday, Dec. 25 (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PT) and stream the next day on Hulu and Disney+, and we’ve got the complete list of musical stars — both from this holiday season and some looks back at iconic performances from Christmases past.

You’ll also catch some fun facts from the last 40 years and hear fond memories of the holiday tradition from former parade hosts!

Soldiers in the 1976 Christmas parade in Magic Kingdom

Back to the 1970s now for another eye-popping Christmas parade moment from the archives featuring some special Toy Soldiers proudly marching down Main Street U.S.A., at Disney World. The soldiers always march to the cheers of visiting guests!

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse trimming the Christmas tree in 1980

In the 1980s, Mickey and Minnie were photographed trimming the Christmas tree and preparing presents at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Chip 'n' Dale in a holiday wreath in the 1980 at Walt Disney World

Also in the 1980s, Chip ‘n’ Dale brought their merry mischief during Christmastime at Disney World.  As you can see, both showed off their best holiday outfits as they wished “Happy Holidays” from EPCOT.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck dressed as Bob Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit, Nephew Fred and Ebenezer Scrooge in 1983 at Magic Kingdom

Back in 1983, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck made special appearances in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World – they were dressed as Bob Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit, Nephew Fred and Ebenezer Scrooge.

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” debuted in the U.S. on Dec. 16, 1983. It’s still a favorite to watch all these years later.

Mickey Mouse on a sleigh surrounded by reindeer at Walt Disney World in 1972

There was pure Christmas joy in 1972 when Mickey borrowed Santa’s sleigh to bring Season’s Greetings to guests visiting Disney World. This historical image gives you a front-row seat to this unique sight, including reindeer!

A Christmas Tree in Disney’s Contemporary Resort in 1961

In 1971, a one-of-a-kind tree dazzled guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Look close and you’ll see nearly 20 levels of holiday cheer with a giant star on top!

A large poinsettia tree at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in 1992

In 1992, you wouldn’t have wanted to miss the towering poinsettia tree at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa during Christmastime. The lobby tree was created out of maroon, white and pink poinsettias. Glowing candles and cherubs also decorated the poinsettias swirl pattern throughout.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in a red sleigh during Christmastime at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in 1989

In this next rare 1989 photograph, you’ll notice just beyond Mickey and Minnie is the green “contemporary” delight rising from the ground up at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Also, did you spot the Disney World monorail on the move in the background?

Pluto sparking some holiday magic at Walt Disney World in the 1980s

And for a bonus 10th photo, we’re including an amazing shot from the 1990s of Pluto bringing extra magic and light for guests at Disney World! Pluto has been “best in show” since he first sniffed out stardom in 1930 and was a star of the show during yet another unforgettable Christmas at Disney.

Ready to visit for the holidays? There are more holiday stories to come here on the Disney Parks Blog before the new year, so keep checking back for the latest updates.

Merry Christmas!

History of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

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