Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Video: 2014 Jingle Cruise at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

by on November 18, 2014

2014 Jingle Cruise

All aboard the 2014 Jingle Cruise at WDW’s Magic Kingdom with two complete POV videos (images by Seth Kubersky)

‘Tis the season to deck the jungle with holly — and hammy jokes — as the 2014 Jingle Cruise is now underway at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Last week, the seasonal overlay to the Jungle Cruise returned for a second annual run, this time with some notable upgrades.

Last year’s inaugural Jingle Cruise was criticized for confining the custom scenery largely to the Jungle Cruise’s boathouse queue, and for some jokes that were staler than fruitcake. As you can see in the following Jingle Cruise POV videos, more holiday decor has been installed along the riverbanks, and the spiel has been adjusted appropriately to reflect the additions.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 13, 2014

by on November 13, 2014

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re attending the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, stopping by Downtown Disney and Epcot, then checking out the Osborne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Phew – that’s a lot!  Let’s get going! :)

I was absolutely over the moon when I got the email from Touring Plans asking if I wouldn’t mind attending the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The truth was I’d been on the fence about going the first night, but the tickets sold out before I pulled the trigger. So let this serve as a warning to all of you to not delay picking up those party tickets! But what if you can’t make it this year? Well, no worries! Just click to read all about it. 

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Add a Touch of Disney to Your Christmas at Home

by on November 12, 2014

Between holiday shopping, parties, school concerts, wrapping, baking, and spending time with family and friends, it can be difficult for many Disney fans to take a trip to Walt Disney World at Christmas time. But that doesn’t mean that Disney can’t be a part of your Christmas. Here are just a few ideas to bring a little bit of the joy you feel in the parks into your home and to mix some pixie dust in with your Christmas spirit.

Photo by Sarah Graffam

Christmas card from the Villas at Wilderness Lodge lobby (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

Christmas cards. If you have visited the World during the year, one of your favorite family photos from the vacation could be the perfect Christmas card. If you are lucky enough to visit in November when Disney World has put up some of its holiday decorations, you can take a photo for your card in front of one of Disney’s several Christmas trees or giant gingerbread houses, many of which are up at the parks and resorts by Thanksgiving (although Magic Kingdom’s tree is not up until after the first weekend in December). Disney Hollywood Studio’s Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which typically begins in early November, is another holiday photo op. Later, you can frame the card to display in your home as a special souvenir.

Christmas ornaments (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

An ornament collection is a great way to create family memories (Photo by Sarah Graffam)

Park merchandise. Next time you are in the parks, even if it is in the heat of summer, keep the Christmas season in mind when shopping. Many shops offer holiday merchandise year-round. Daisy Lauren has a great article on shopping for holiday merchandise at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite shops for Christmas collectibles is Magic Kingdom’s Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, which is just as full of Christmas festivity in July as it is in December. Tip: Start a family tradition by collecting a favorite holiday item. My family’s tradition is to bring home an ornament for our tree to remind us of our visit. Ornaments that show the year can bring back memories of a specific trip.

Make a gift of your next trip. Are you planning a trip to a Disney park in the next year and can keep a secret until Christmas morning? Surprise your family with a scavenger hunt to discover the trip. Or hide a note in a gift box full of Disney character plushes to reveal the surprise. One year, we put the letters to spell out Disney World in several packages for the kids to unscramble.

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Christmas Shopping at Walt Disney World

by on November 7, 2014

1Hello, my dears! Who is ready for some Christmas shopping at Walt Disney World? As promised, I’m here to take you on a tour of some of the beautiful Christmas merchandise currently for sale around the parks. For starters, there is no way I could ever feature everything here. But if you have any questions or something specific you’d like me to research please let me know in the comments. You know I’m always happy to go hunting for you! :)

Our tour begins at Disney’s Days of Christmas in Downtown Disney. This spot still proves to be the absolute best spot to find everything for the holidays. With the exception of Christmas clothing this is the place to go! Want to see what they had? Click to read more!

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Pros and Cons of Going to Disney World during the Holidays

by on October 31, 2014

Holiday Lights

Happy Halloween, everyone! Did you know that the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a week from today. And that it’s sold out? Enjoy your 6 days of downtime between the 2 month holiday of the Food & Hallowine Festival and the next 2 month holiday of Christmas and New Year’s.

Christmas will be here before you know it, and you might be asking yourself, “Hey, self, should I make my holiday season even more magical by going to Disney World?” I’m glad you asked. Disney World during the holidays is one of my favorite times of year to visit. It’s a time when there are several unique elements from decorations to food present that transform the parks into something special. That’s not to say that it’s the perfect time of year to go. Like any season, there are positives and negatives. While I believe that every Disney enthusiast should aim to visit at least once during the holidays, here are some of my personal pros and cons that should help you decide if it’s worth it.


ak tree

PRO: The Decorations

Walking down a fully decorated Main Street, U.S.A., is almost worth the trip alone for me. I already enjoy spending time just wandering around the Magic Kingdom staple but when the decorations are up, the ambiance gets even better. The decorations don’t stop there. Obviously the rest of the areas in the parks have decorations, but the hotels do, as well. I enjoy hotel hopping just to see how each one is decorated. The level of detail will vary, but some of the hotels go all out: for example, there’s a huge gingerbread house at the BoardWalk!

CON: The Crowds

Like any popular time of year at Disney, you’re going to feel cramped at some points. If all you want out of a Disney trip is short wait times and you don’t care about Christmas, maybe plan a trip for some other time. I could be perfectly happy just walking around the parks and taking everything in, but I understand how some people might not enjoy this and need plenty of attractions. If this is you, whatever you do, do not go during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s the busiest time of year by far. Check out our crowd calendar for more information, but generally it’s less crowded the earlier you go in the season (besides the week of Thanksgiving, of course).

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Details on the Updated Cinderella Castle Lighting Show – “A Frozen Holiday Wish”

by on October 27, 2014

FCS796642The Holiday Season begins in a little over a week and a half at Walt Disney World! (Wait…what?!) One of the most incredible aspects of Disney’s holiday festivities is the Cinderella Castle holiday lighting show at the Magic Kingdom, which this year will see a change.

For the festive season, Cinderella Castle lights up each evening with more than 200,000 white shimmering lights, causing the castle to appear as though it has been frosted over. The effect is simply stunning, and photos do not do it justice. Prior to this year, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother performed the magic to make the castle shimmer.

However, in 2014 a brand new version of the show features a Frozen twist: “A Frozen Holiday Wish” will debut on November 5. The new show will feature Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and even Olaf; it will end with the traditional castle lighting ceremony, this time with Elsa turning the palace into an icy wonderland.

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10 Reasons to Take a Holiday Cruise on Disney Cruise Line

by on October 9, 2014

It’s that time of year! Holiday sailings for the Disney Cruise Line! I just returned from a Halloween on the High Seas sailing on the Dream and we enjoyed our Thanksgiving cruise on the Disney Fantasy so much last year that weve booked another on the Disney Magic this year! The Halloween sailings for 2014 started in September and continued through the end of October. The Very Merrytime sailings start November 8th and go through the end of December. All Disney cruises are magical for me, but the holiday cruises have something a little extra. Here are 10 reasons to try one!

1. No Cooking Holiday Dinners – Oh, yes! This is my favorite part. If you are onboard for one of the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas – you do not have to cook!!!!!! Equally exciting – you do not have to clean, so you get to enjoy the holiday as well!!!! Win win win. We had a choice of seven entrees for our Thanksgiving dinner. And I can testify firsthand that the turkey was delicious. On our Halloween sailing, our servers even brought us an absolutely adorable cake in the shape of a spider.

2. Gorgeous Decorations – The ships are gorgeous any day of the year, but they are really done up for the holidays. For the Halloween sailings, there are four different Halloween trees decorated with pumpkins. Actually, they usually start off with just leaves and by the end of your sailing it’s covered in pumpkins. And don’t miss the portholes on deck 4, they have adorable Jack-o-lantern faces. During the Very Merrytime sailings, there will be Christmas trees everywhere! In the restaurants, in the atrium, in the terminal, even on Castaway Cay! There is also a giant gingerbread house in the lobby which they start constructing in early November and finish around the last week of November.

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Disney Savvy Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on September 24, 2014

Cinderella Castle - A Glass Slipper Vacation

Cinderella Castle at Christmas

Ed. – We realize it’s still over a month until Halloween, and you haven’t even ordered your Thanksgiving Turducken yet, but tickets are already on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Enjoy the Food&Wine-aweenThanksmas season and have a Happy New Marathon Weekend.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a popular, hard ticket event at Disney World where guests can enjoy holiday festivities and the Christmas spirit at the most magical park of them all, the Magic Kingdom! The party is scheduled for select dates throughout November and December. In addition to the festive atmosphere, but also a series of holiday performances and activities to enjoy. Like what? New this year is the lighting, or rather freezing, of Cinderella Castle by Frozen’s Elsa! The party also offers character dance parties, Holiday Wishes, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, character meets, and so much more. To help you maximize the Disney magic, I’ve got a little early Christmas present:

Disney Savvy Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Plan for the Cold - Contrary to popular opinion, Florida is not warm and sunny all year long. In fact, it can get very chilly at Disney World during the holiday season, especially at night. The past two times I attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I’ve needed several layers or even a coat to keep warm. When your party date draws close, check the extended forecast or monthly average temperatures for an idea of how to dress.

Watch the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade from Main Street – Many guests have their own opinions for where to watch the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Electrical Parade; but for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I encourage everyone to find a spot on Main Street, U.S.A. for the popular Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Why? Main Street, U.S.A. is the only location in the park where fake snow drifts down from above as the parade passes by, creating a picture-perfect winter wonderland! Spots along the parade route go quickly, so claim a space early!

Prepare for Rain - During my first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party experience, it rained the whole night! Myself, along with most of the party guests, just donned a poncho and braved the damp, but there were few changes to the party due to the inclement weather. First of all, some elements of the parade were removed for safety purposes. The main floats were still included, but some of the characters and dancers were not. Whenever the weather isn’t cooperative, Disney does their best to carry on the night as planned, but some performances and live entertainment can be cancelled, delayed, or altered. It’s just something to prepare yourself and another reason to check the forecast.

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The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Dates Released

by on August 11, 2014

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

©Disney

While it may well still be sweltering outside, the time has come for us all to start thinking about…Christmas. That’s right, nothing says preparing for the Holiday Season like knowing the second you step outside, you’re going to need to take another shower. However, for those who are eagerly planning a vacation for November/December, this is, of course, one key piece of news you’ve been waiting for.

You see, the dates for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which takes place annually at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, have been released! This season’s event is scheduled for Friday, November 7, 2014, through Sunday, January 4, 2015. (Note that – barring changes to park hours – they will be unavailable on December 10 since the park is scheduled to close at 6:00 pm.)

The dazzling showcase of festive lights takes place on The Streets of America. Guests marvel as they walk along, gazing up at the beautiful lights, made even more spectacular when they start to blink and dance to the musical tracks.

In addition, introduced last year and continuing this year, guests who purchase Glow With The Show ears will see them interact with the lights as the ears have been programmed to light up, both matching the colors of your surroundings and flashing to the beat of the holiday music.

For those who are unaware, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights started modestly in Arkansas as each year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights. Over time, the collection of lights grew until 1995, when the lights were brought to Walt Disney World Resort.

The event is included in the price of your admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Candlelight Processional Dining Packages Now On Sale

by on July 8, 2014

Candlelight Processional

©Disney

The Candlelight Processional, which takes place at Epcot’s America Gardens Theatre, is honestly one of the best parts of the holiday season. What is better than a celebrity narrator, a mass choir, and an orchestra performing a re-telling of the Christmas Story? To ensure that you get to see this fantastic show, which is extremely popular, Disney offers the Candlelight Processional Dining Package, and I bring good news! The package is now on sale!

This year’s Candlelight Processional takes place from November 28 through December 30. Showtimes are at 5:00 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. nightly. (With the exception of December 7, which will only have showtimes at 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.) While most of the celebrity narrators haven’t yet been announced, we do know a few of them. The list currently includes:

  • November 28-29: Jodi Benson
  • November 30-December 2: TBD
  • December 3-4: TBD
  • December 5-6: Whoopi Goldberg
  • December 7-8: TBD
  • December 9-11: TBD
  • December 12-14: TBD
  • December 15-17: Sharon Stone (New)
  • December 18-20: Ana Gasteyer (New)
  • December 21-23: Marlee Matlin
  • December 24-25: TBD
  • December 26-27: TBD
  • December 28 – 30: Steven Curtis Chapman

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