Join Mickey and his pals at Walt Disney World for Disney’s Holiday Happenings!
With the smell of pumpkin lingering in the air… Disney Parks was hard at work setting up for the Merriest time of year! Most of the hard work takes place overnight after the last Halloween party and the next morning as guests walk in, it’s a Christmas winter wonderland. Which only makes sense because Walt Disney loved Christmas. Between the lights, wreaths, garland, trees, and tin soldiers…It makes it the most wonderful celebration of the year. It sparkles everywhere you look , especially Cinderella Castle! Disney Imagineers even switch over the Jungle Cruise to get a holiday make over re-named as the Jingle Cruise, with decorations and holiday themed jokes throughout the ride. During the holiday season, every day as the sun sets, Elsa uses her magical ice powers to light the castle into her ice castle. Elsa turns the kingdom into a winter wonderland along with Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf. Make sure you take time to enjoy the stage show party: A Frozen Holiday Wish.
The decorations are in every part of the parks, including the shops and restaurants, and at every Disney resort. One of my favorite Christmas activities is taking time outside the park to resort hop and see the different decorations that are themed to each different resort. Many of the resorts get decorations made of gingerbread, like a gingerbread house, a castle, or a merry go round. It amazing to see that it all made of gingerbread!! They even sell pieces of the gingerbread for you to taste.
The holiday season brings a large array of special holiday treats around the parks and resorts to enjoy starting November 5th. They are all too pretty to eat and it will be difficult to pick just one favorite!
This time of year also brings a wonderful celebration, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It is a special ticketed event that takes place select nights in November and December in Magic Kingdom. During the holiday bash, there are many complimentary treats included with your admission, including holiday cookies, hot cocoa, and other drinks. Looking for something more lavish? Make sure to check out the different varieties of cookies, snacks and beverages located throughout the park including gluten and allergy free snacks. Some specialty party snacks are available to purchase. There is also Mickey’s Very Merry Party merchandise available only during party hours. One neat feature of the Christmas party is the chance to visit with some Disney characters that you normally wouldn’t see. Plus who wants to miss a chance to ride their favorite ride in the dark with the smell of Christmas in the air! Don’t forget to get your spot early for the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and special fireworks called Holiday Wishes!!! Those are 2 things you definitely do not want to miss while attending the party. My favorite thing about the Christmas party is seeing all the beautiful decorations and the magic of it snowing down Main Street! Some nights do sell out fast, so be sure to get your tickets ahead of time.
Epcot has the International Festival of the Holidays, where you are able to discover holiday traditions of the 11 World Showcase nations. Each nation has holiday musical productions, seasonal food and beverage specialties, and live performances of that cultures traditions. Children are also able to participate in helping Chip and Dale find ornaments for their Christmas tree. The family will take a map and ornament stickers around World Showcase, be on the look out for Chip and Dale collecting ornaments in each countries pavilion. After you spot them, place the correct ornament sticker on the map, and once it’s completed you can exchange the finished map for a festive surprise! Epcot is also very well know for it’s Candlelight Processional. Each night a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and choir tells the biblical story of Christmas. There is an exciting line up celebrity narrators, make sure you check out the schedule! A Candlelight Processional dining package is also available. With reservation, your family will enjoy an holiday meal at your choice of approved restaurants and after your meal you will have a priority reserved seat for the performance that same night. Reservations for the Candlelight Processional dining package are recommended because it does fill up quickly. At the end of the night, make sure you catch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, a fireworks and laser light show, with a special holiday finale!
Enjoy Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios, where Sunset Drive will become a winter wonderland with falling snow, decorations, and holiday stories from some of your most beloved Disney characters. Something brand new this year, is that Disney has added a fun holiday projection show on the Hollywood Tower of Terror that decorates it for the season. Billboards in the park will also come alive at night sharing some of your favorite characters love for the season, including Mickey and Minnie, Toy story characters, the Muppets, and everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. Don’t forget to hang out with Minnie, Mickey, and friends at Minnie’s Holiday Dine for a dazzling dinner party at Hollywood and Vine filled with holiday cheer! Hollywood Studios is also offering a Fantasmic dining package, which includes dinner at Mama Melrose, the Hollywood Brown Derby, or even at Hollywood and Vine to enjoy Minnie’s holiday party, then you are able to watch Fantasmic from a VIP section. Along with the Fantasmic dining package, Disney offers a Fantasmic dessert party with VIP seating for Fantasmic. Hollywood studios also has the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM Holiday dessert party. You are able to indulge in Disney themed holiday sweets and beverages with a special VIP area to enjoy the combination projection and firework show taking place with Disney characters and festive holiday music. At the end of the evening, you are given a special holiday ornament to remember those special memories of the evening. It is a premium event, that takesplace select nights, and is also known to sell out fast. So make sure you reserve your reservation ahead of time!
Disney also offers 2 tours to take you behind the scenes to show how the Disney Imagineers transform the parks and resorts to get dressed up for the holiday season. Yuletide Fantasy and the Holiday D-Lights tours. The Holiday D-Lights tour is offered on 12 select nights where you can see the most cherished holiday traditions that take place at Epcot and Magic Kingdom… including how Cinderella Castle gets decorated with all those magic twinkling lights.
Another fun holiday event that Disney does, is a horse drawn holiday sleigh ride. Festive sleighs decorated with garlands and lights will take you on a 25 minute ride through the beautiful scenic wooded trails through Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Board your cozy sleigh ride during the month of December! Reservations are recommended.
For more information on the holiday happenings, be sure to visit Disney’s website or call (407) W-Disney for more information!