Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Walt Disney World December 2016 Preview

by on November 30, 2016

Walt Disney World December 2016

Walt Disney World December 2016

Welcome to TouringPlans’ Walt Disney World December¬†2016 preview – we hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Who’s with us and ready for December? The holidays, which started as soon as the Halloween decorations came down are in full swing. We’ve got food booths at Epcot, Christmas parties, and TENTS.

Ready for more? Read on.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever November 24, 2016: So Much To Be Thankful For!

by on November 24, 2016

Hello Friends! First, let me start by wishing the very happiest Thanksgiving to those that celebrate. Personally, I’ll be enjoying more than my fair share of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie today! Due to the crowds I’ll be steering clear of the parks this holiday weekend. But that didn’t stop me from getting some amazing shots to share with you over the last few weeks. For starters, check out this¬†glorious sunset at Epcot!

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Please click below to read more. This week we’ve got holiday decorations, Dr. Strange,¬†PizzeRizzo, and more!

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Dani’s Best Week Ever November 17, 2016: It’s Christmastime in the Disney World

by on November 17, 2016

The most merriest of seasons has started to arrive at Walt Disney World. Like hanging ornaments on a tree, it takes a little time for the vacation kingdom to become full dressed in holiday regalia. The first shiny ornament that Walt Disney World unwraps each year is the Magic Kingdom. For well over a week, Christmas decorations, music, and a few festive shows have ushered in the holiday season at the most attended theme park in the country.

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In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmastime in the Disney

I awoke one weekend morning with as much zeal and excitement as my younger self did on Christmas. It is rare that I head to the theme parks in the morning. When I was a kid I couldn’t have any fun until my chores and homework were done; as an adult I still often impose such rules on myself.

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img_5506Arriving around 9:30 AM on a weekend resulted in a little bit of a back up at the parking toll and throughout the parking lot, but seeing the wreaths on the parking plaza kept my impatience at bay. Once on board the tram I quickly became covered in goosebumps because the t-shirt and shorts I was wearing did not combat the slightly chilling morning air. I’m a Florida girl so anything below 72 degrees Fahrenheit is chilly to me.

The holiday spirit continues at the Ticket and Transportation Center with decorations, festive music, and red scarves adorning the Mickey and Minnie topiaries. Apparently not having learned my lesson from the chilly parking tram ride, I headed for the ferry boat. The views along the Seven Seas Lagoon made it worth it, though.

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First Impressions of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM

by on November 15, 2016

Ok so the name is awful. We can all agree on that. But, if you are a fan of the Disney animated shorts centered around Prep and Landing, then perhaps you get it. Last night Disney’s Hollywood Studios rang in the holiday season without the beloved Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and instead ushered in Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM. Is it a worthy replacement? Read on…

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Ok so I am not one for teasers. No, it is not a worthy replacement of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. But, there is no way that spectacle is coming back. The land in which it formerly resided is barren and blank. It is Tatooine and all us Star Wars nerds await its harvest.

Anyway, the new nighttime spectacular, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM is an energetic night time show incorporating the new trifecta du jour: fireworks, amazing lasers, and precise projections. This combination was made into a fan favorite with a recent Star Wars themed night spectacular and it got my hopes up for a groundbreaking holiday night time show. Sadly, as much as I am obsessed with Christmas and as much as I love Prep and Landing, I am left wanting something just a little more.

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New Stage Show for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on May 5, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

This year, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a brand new stage show will be replacing the Celebrate the Season stage show. Called Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Mickey and his pals will celebrate with an unforgettable Christmas party filled with music, dancing, color and fun. Friends are invited for the fun, including, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Peter Pan, Alice, Pinocchio, Snow White, and many more!

According to the official synopsis:

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever December 31, 2015: Surviving Magic Kingdom Holiday Week Crowds

by on December 31, 2015

Do you love ginormous crowds of people, endless seas of strollers, and triple-digit wait times? If so, you’ve picked the Best Week Ever to visit Walt Disney World. But even if you are allergic to all of the above, it is actually possible survive the madness of Magic Kingdom holiday week crowds, and even enjoy a visit to America’s most popular theme park during the busiest week of the year, with the proper preparation.

In contrast to my relatively calm Christmas Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, my December 29 visit to the Magic Kingdom came smack in the center of 2015’s winter peak season psychosis. I braved the Magic Kingdom holiday week crowds in order to share with you a first-person perspective on navigating Disney when attendance is at its most extreme.

Without that professional motivation, I’d normally avoid Walt Disney World on days when our Crowd Calendar hits 10 out of 10, but many visitors don’t have another option due to work and school schedules. If the busy holiday week is the only time your family can visit WDW, I hope my experiences will help educate you about the perks and pitfalls of a peak season vacation.

 

Magic Kingdom Holiday Week Parking

As any Magic Kingdom veteran knows, simply arriving at the park is an adventure in itself; that’s doubly true during peak holiday weeks. My day of queuing began around 9 a.m., many yards before the Magic Kingdom parking toll booths.

Magic kingdom holiday week crowds parking

 

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Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

by on December 30, 2015

Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom

Enjoy Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom without getting out of your pink bunny pajamas. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

No matter which park you pick, the Christmas holiday is one of the busiest times to visit Orlando. But if you must attend a Walt Disney World theme park during the peak travel system, I discovered that you could do worse than spending Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom may seem like a strange Christmas Day selection, since the park is positively Scrooge-like in the seasonal cheer department when compared to the other WDW parks. There’s nothing at Animal Kingdom on the scale of Magic Kingdom’s Holiday Wishes, DHS’s Osborne Family Spectacle, or Epcot’s Holidays Around the World; there isn’t even an Animal Kingdom Christmas parade anymore.

But that lack of seasonal draws made Christmas Day at Animal Kingdom a great idea, if your plans included enjoying attractions without asphyxiating in capacity crowds. This may change after Avatar arrives, but as the least-attended Walt Disney World park Animal Kingdom was a relative oasis for those seeking a smidgen of elbow room.

On my way into Walt Disney World property on Christmas morning, road signs advised that the Magic Kingdom was closed. Over at Animal Kingdom, however, there were acres of empty parking spot. Since this lot is the easiest of the four parks to get in and out of, consider using it when heading to one of the other parks on peak days.

 

For Christmas 2015, the entrance to Animal Kingdom was decked out with the usual giant tree, and new security scanning stations. Unless you are one of the few folks randomly selected for scanning, the new procedures appear have little to no effect on your entry speed.

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SATURDAY SIX SPECIAL EDITION: Six Reasons We LOVE Christmas at the Orlando Theme Parks

by on December 25, 2015

This week‚Äôs¬†SATURDAY SIX¬†takes a look at¬†Six Reasons We LOVE Christmas at the Orlando Theme Parks. It’s hard to beat Halloween in Orlando. Universal has its world class Halloween Horror Nights while Disney has their Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, both of which are among the highlights of the theme park year. It is just an amazing time, but can there actually be a time that’s better? Yes there is, and it’s called Christmas season. Not only are the hotels decorated (in fact a day could be spent resort hopping at WDW just to see the Christmas decorations such as the giant tree at Wilderness Lodge or the huge gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian) but the parks have a whole bunch of new stuff. Plus IT’S CHRISTMAS! To paraphrase Frank Cross in Scrooged,¬†it’s the time of the year when we all act a little nicer, we give a little more, and we actually are the people that we always hoped we would be. So today we are going to look at some of our favorite reasons that Christmas in the Orlando Theme Parks is our favorite time of the year‚Ķ.

 

# 6 -Macy’s Holiday Parade

For our family, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV every year is the official start of the Christmas season. Universal has it’s own version of that parade starting in December with the Macy’s Holiday Parade in Universal Studios Florida. Not only are there the large balloons (several from the actual parade in New York), but guests can sign up to be balloon handlers! There are also many floats and of course your favorite characters.

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Balloons making their way in Macy’s Holiday Parade. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

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Straight from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York comes the Happy Hippo balloon. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

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MINIONS!!!! (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever December 17, 2015: A Times Square Disney Christmas

by on December 17, 2015

Explore the Times Square Disney Store and more at Best Week Ever travels from MCO to NYC! (Photos/Video by Seth Kubersky)

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‘Tis the season for snowmen, sledding, and snuggling up by a fireplace…unless you live in Orlando, where temperatures are currently in the 80s. So for that real holiday feeling, I flew up north to visit family…and found New York City unseasonably spring-like with near-record highs in the mid-60s. Despite the wacky weather, I was able to able to soak up some of that world-famous Manhattan holiday spirit during a Best Week Ever visit to the heart of Broadway, where some familiar Floridian faces can also be found — along with some frightening ones. Join me now for A Times Square Disney Christmas, with special guest stars Charlie Brown, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and an all-star cast straight from the Island of Misfit toys.

I was one of approximately 1,000,000 people in line for the Hamilton ticket lottery. No, I did not win. I blame Aaron Burr…

 

Times Square Disney Store

From The Lion King to Aladdin, Disney is all over Times Square, but the Mouse’s flagship store is ground zero for fans of Mickey’s film franchises. Though there is precious little in the Times Square Disney Store that directly relates to the Orlando theme parks, you will find a wide range of almost every other brand of Mouse merchandise, along with a few surprising bargains.

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“No Planning” Holiday Dining at Disney World

by on December 6, 2015

Believe it or not...sometimes not every table is filled months in advance!

Believe it or not…sometimes not every table is filled months in advance!

It is no secret that making dining plans for an entire Walt Disney World vacation can be a difficult and time consuming task. This task becomes even harder during the busy holiday seasons when Advance Dining Reservations can completely fill¬†up months ahead of time. While we can not stress enough how important the planning process is for dining, touring, etc. (otherwise what would we be doing running a website like this?) we also must admit that there are times when it is enjoyable, and even a relief, to visit Walt Disney World with no plans and to simply “play it by ear.” So even though we can’t really recommend visiting Walt Disney World at the holidays with no planning, we can tell you that if you decide to go this route, you will not be completely out of luck ¬†for eating a quality holiday meal. Here are three suggestions for how you might approach the situation (yes, this is a planning guide for a trip with no planning…sometimes we can’t help ourselves.)

 

Fife & Drum SignBook A Last Minute ADR

As of the morning before Thanksgiving 2015, a quick MyDisneyExperience search of all restaurants at Walt Disney World for an afternoon reservation on Thanksgiving for a family of four yielded plenty of results including restaurants in all four theme parks, Disney Springs and plenty of resorts throughout property, many of which offer special holiday menus. So even with only one day of planning, it is possible to get an ADR for a holiday meal. It should also be noted that Disney is well aware that the vast majority of its guests on Thanksgiving day will be looking for a meal that at least in some way contains turkey, dressing, etc. and some restaurants that normally wouldn’t serve this kind of cuisine add it to the menu for the holiday including Magic Kingdom’s Tony’s Town Square Restaurant¬†and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa. Similarly, ham is among the most common standard menu items on buffets and can easily be found on menus throughout property for Christmas and Easter meals. The point being that you may not even need to sacrifice your traditional holiday menu items by booking a last minute ADR at wherever is available.

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