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


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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The Holidays Are Here at Disneyland Resort

by on November 3, 2017

Disneyland Holidays


November 10 kicks off the official holiday season at the Disneyland Resort and it’s the most festive time of the year! This year, there’s going to be some fun new additions mixed in with the standby favorites.

First, this year will mark the debut of new seasonal transformations in Cars Land! Due to the success of Haul-o-ween, Mater and Luigi have put a holiday spin on their attractions. In addition, there will be new delicious eats and great new merchandise, and Disney characters in their holiday finest. Here’s what you can expect:


  • Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle features shimmering icicles and more than 50,000 twinkling LED lights. Oh and you don’t want to miss the fireworks spectacular “Believe … in Holiday Magic” as it features a magical snowfall finale
  • The “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade will return with daily performances. The parade will feature favorite Disney characters who will join Santa Claus to spread holiday cheer along with marching tin soldiers, gingerbread cookies, dazzling floats and lively holiday music.
  • Guests can meet Santa at his special location in Critter County
  • There will be a gigantic  60-foot Christmas tree with nearly 1,800 ornaments that will welcome guests to Main Street, U.S.A.
  • “it’s a small world” has been transformed into “it’s a small world” Holiday to celebrate children around the world and the holiday traditions of their countries. FastPass will be available for this attraction.
  • Of course, you don’t want to miss Haunted Mansion Holiday which celebrates the collision between Christmas and Halloween with Jack Skellington and his friends from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

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Candlelight Processional Narrators Announced for 2017

by on October 13, 2017

Candlelight Processional


The Candlelight Processional is one of the best holiday events that happens at Walt Disney World. There’s something so incredible about experiencing a mass choir, an orchestra, and a celebrity narrator performing a re-telling of the Christmas Story. This year, the Candlelight Processional will take place from November 24 through December 30 at the America Gardens Theatre found at the American Adventure Pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot.

Today the full list of celebrity narrators have been announced. This year’s narrators include:

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Epcot Holidays Around the World Changing to Epcot International Festival of Holidays

by on September 7, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

The Epcot Holidays Around the World has always been a holiday season staple. During the event, Guests get to experience holiday storytellers from countries around the world, taste different holiday cuisines, and more. Well, this year, it’s going to be seeing a change, because everything at Epcot is a festival. 🙂

The experience will now be known as the Epcot International Festival of Holidays. Guests will still be able to learn about the holiday traditions of the countries found in World Showcase. You’ll get to enjoy live musical performances and take a festive global tour as performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase.

Oh and it wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without food and beverage booths! Guests will be able to enjoy more seasonal food & beverage specialties at the now expanded Holiday Kitchens. Guests will be able to indulge in the flavors of the season as they explore the tastes of the holidays around the world as each marketplace booth will celebrate a different nation. We don’t know all the options yet, but here’s what booths we do know will be there:

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Sunset Seasons Greetings – A New Holiday Happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 7, 2017

The holidays are a magical time of year and with the end of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ holiday festivities have been in flux. Sure, during last year’s festivities, we had the introduction of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks spectacular, but overall, things felt a little lackluster. That will be changing this year!

Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney's Hollywood Studios



New, for 2017 will be something known as Sunset Seasons Greetings. Guests will be able to experience falling snow, twinkling lights and stories from several iconic Disney characters all on Sunset Boulevard. This holiday season, with the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show, billboards will suddenly begin to move into motion and tell a tale, courtesy of iconic characters sharing their love for the season. Also, the Hollywood Tower Hotel will get in on the action as it magically transforms, bringing to life the characters’ stories.

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