Holidays

Ask It: Best Fireworks, NYE or July 4?

by on December 13, 2017

There’s nothing like a Disney fireworks show. For certain holidays, Disney pulls out all the stops. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where the Banks family has to get to their posts to hold things in place as Admiral Boom sounds a charge from next door? It’s like that for the locals some nights as the sound like a wave of thunder rattles the windows and doors. (It’s a glorious time of year — we all love it!)

At Disney parks, there are two nights when the fireworks are their best: New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July. But which one does it better? This week we’re asking you:

Which holiday has the best fireworks shows at Walt Disney World?

View Results

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Voting is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, feel free to tell us in the comments what’s your favorite park or favorite place in the park to catch those holiday fireworks shows?

Ask It Results: Universal Orlando Holiday

by on December 13, 2017

Theme parks and the holidays go together like peanut butter and jelly, coffee and cream, computers and technical issues. But we’re ready to go for this week’s Ask It results. Although Disney in years past has the sentimental vote for best holiday theme park from out-of-town guests, losing things like Lights of Winter at Epcot or the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios does put a bit of Grinch into that holiday spirit. This year, Universal Orlando has added Celebrate Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to their previous offerings, and that has driven more buzz about whether Universal Orlando should be a destination for the holidays, either in addition or instead of a trip to Walt Disney World.

Last week, we asked you:

Does the increase in holiday experiences at Universal Orlando make you more likely to take a trip there for the holidays?

 

Here’s your results:

Yes, this year (102 votes, 12%)

Although many people would find it hard to book a last-minute trip for the holidays, you can never underestimate the power of fandom. Take, for example, the number of people who booked a single-day trip to Walt Disney World to ride The Great Movie Ride before it closed. So it isn’t surprising that there’s a small percentage of people who said “Harry Potter and Christmas? Book me a flight!” The benefit of coming for experiencing something like holiday overlays is that you don’t have to do a lot of advance planning–your main focus is just to do the holiday experiences and not worry about anything else. Now getting cheap flights or hotel availability…that could be challenging. Some people love a challenge, though!

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Holidays Around the Parks: Universal Orlando Edition

by on December 13, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit the theme parks – from a decorative standpoint that is. Last time I took you on a tour of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, but today we’ve taken a short trip up I-4 to check out the holiday cheer at Universal Orlando. Both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios parks have their own major attractions, with Seuss Landing transformed into Whoville, and the Macy’s Holiday Parade moving through the streets of Universal Studios. Oh, and there will be plenty of Potter along the way.

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Holidays Around The Parks: Epcot Edition

by on December 8, 2017

It’s that time of year again when theme parks roll out their holiday decorations to celebrate the season in their own magical ways. Whether you’re a fan of the mouse or the boy who lived, there is something for everyone this holiday season when it comes to décor in the parks. Today we’re going to take you on a tour through Epcot as we explore some of the elements that make Holidays Around the World one of the grandest, joyous celebrations of the holidays in Orlando.

One of the newer offerings this season is the Cookie Nook, located inside the former Odyssey building. As the name implies, you can find a wide selection of scrumptious Christmas cookies to pair with local brews that have a holiday flair to them. Having grown up in Titusville, I must recommend the Playalinda Brewing Company’s Sparkling Christmas Coffee Blonde, which emits a robust coffee flavor for a lighter beer. Holiday gifts are also available for purchase at this location.

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Ask It: Universal Orlando for the Holidays?

by on December 6, 2017

Although Walt Disney World often gets most of the attention during the holiday season (and with reason given the massive amounts of decorations, activities, and more throughout the resort), it isn’t the only game in town for holiday festivities. Many locals often visit Sea World and LEGOLAND to avoid the crowds and still see some very impressive bits of holiday cheer, for instance. In recent years, Universal Orlando has slowly been upping their game when it comes to holiday events, decorations, and more. (To see some of what there is at Universal Orlando for the holidays, check out Derek’s recent Saturday Six article.) Is it enough for people to make a trip this year to Universal Orlando for the holidays or plan for a holiday trip in the future? This week, we’re asking you:

Does the increase in holiday experiences at Universal Orlando make you more likely to take a trip there for the holidays?

  • No (54%, 100 Votes)
  • Yes, in the future (35%, 65 Votes)
  • Yes, this year (10%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 184

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Voting is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. Is there anything that you’re especially excited about from Universal’s holiday offerings? Let us know in the comments.

Ask It Results: The Candlelight Processional

by on December 6, 2017

It’s Wednesday, and time for Ask It. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to all. Drinking around the world. Two of these can be found this time of year at Epcot. (Although, truth told, which two you find probably depends who you are traveling with.) One of the most popular events this time of year is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator and full choir. People wait in long lines for a chance to get into one of the multiple shows each evening, but for some people, it is a “one and done” experience or something that doesn’t hold interest to wait to get in.

Last week, we asked you:

Is the Candlelight Processional something you like to do every year, occasionally, or never?

Here’s your results.

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Ask It: The Candlelight Processional

by on November 29, 2017

It’s the time of year for Peace on Earth, and there’s plenty of holiday spirit at Disney parks. One long-running tradition is the Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story with word and song with a celebrity narrator and a full choir. This week, we’d like to know:

Is the Candlelight Processional something you like to do every year, occasionally, or never?

  • Occasionally (36%, 120 Votes)
  • Never (34%, 115 Votes)
  • Every year (30%, 99 Votes)

Total Voters: 334

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The poll is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. Do you have a favorite narrator? Let us know in the comments.

Four Places to Watch Thanksgiving Football at Walt Disney World (Besides ESPN Club)

by on November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving, the most festive and gluttonous day in between Halloween and Christmas, is a holiday steeped in family and tradition. For some that tradition includes dressing up like pilgrims and bringing an entire turkey dinner into the Main Street Railroad Station. For many others, the traditional Thanksgiving celebration includes the ubiquitous background noise of American professional football. Specifically, the annual battles between the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and whichever other random teams are forced to skip a holiday and play football on short rest. Seriously though, football is as much a part of Thanksgiving at the Parade, the turkey, and the giant stack of Black Friday advertisements in the morning newspaper. This leaves many people to ask us “where is the best place to watch Thanksgiving football at Walt Disney World?”

A typical Thanksgiving meal at Walt Disney World. This one in particular is at Sanaa.
Credit: Tammy Whiting

There are a few obvious choices. First of all, as you already know, the Thanksgiving games are broadcast on the major networks and are available on the televisions in all Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms. So staying in your room for the game (or games) of choice is an easy, yet also a potentially boring and lonely option. There is also the Boardwalk Resort’s ESPN Club, the standard sports destination on property. The main problem with the ESPN Club is the crowds, especially on an NFL football day during an extremely busy time at the Resort. Moreover, both of these options are neither festive or particularly inventive. To remedy this we’ve come up with our list of four other places to watch Thanksgiving football at Walt Disney World.

The criteria for making our list was threefold: an establishment must have televisions on site capable of tuning into a football game, it must serve something that can reasonably constitute a Thanksgiving dinner, and it must have come to the mind of this author. Seriously. I don’t know everything. (Don’t tell my wife!) If you’ve ever done Thanksgiving sports viewing at Walt Disney World and know of some spots not mentioned, please chime in down below in the comments or on Facebook.

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Ask It Results: Best Holiday Park Decorations

by on November 15, 2017

Around the house here in Gold’n’Oak it’s beginning to look a lot like pre-Christmas. The bins of Halloween décor have been packed away, and the bins of Christmas décor are staged in different places in the house for easy deployment after Thanksgiving day. At Disney parks, it is incredible how the logistics teams come together to flip a virtual switch to change from Halloween to Christmas seemingly overnight. Because the two décor sets happen so close, it is easy to make comparisons between the two. So last week we asked you:

Which holiday season gets the best decorations at a Disney theme park?

Here’s your results.

Halloween (204 votes, 17%)

 

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Menus for the Disney Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

by on November 10, 2017

Disney Festival of Holidays

©Disney

The Disney Festival of Holidays is returning once again to Disney California Adventure and it is bringing a ton of great new food and beverage options courtesy of Festive Food Markets and Disney ¡Viva Navidad!. These booths are similar to what Guests experience during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but these options all have a holiday flare to them.

This year, there are 12 different marketplaces during the Disney Festival of Holidays that are found throughout. In addition, there are a few other unique options for Disney ¡Viva Navidad!. Here’s a look at what you can expect!

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

  • Chicken Liver Paté with cherry jam and pistachios
  • Cranberry-Pear Tart with rosemary-infused cream
  • White Chocolate-Dipped Lingonberry Speculoos Cookie
  • Chorizo Queso Fundido with house-made tortilla chips

Making Spirits Bright

  • White Cranberry, Pear and Blood Orange Mimosa Flight (Also sold individually)
  • White Wine Flight with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand; Fess Parker Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County; and Bertenura Moscato, Italy (Kosher) (Also sold individually)
  • Red Wine Flight with Castle Rock Pinot Noir, Reserve, Russian River Valley; Joel Gott Zinfandel, California; and Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County (Also sold individually)
  • Chandon Sparkling Wine, Brut, California
  • Red & White Rotational Wine Selection

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