Holiday Happenings in Walt Disney World

The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World and this year is no exception.  With more lights, fireworks & events than ever,even the biggest Grinch can get into the holiday spirit.

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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This part runs on select nights from 11/9/17 – 12/22/17 and does require a separate ticket purchase to attend.  You can find a full list of dates & prices HERE.

During the party you will enjoy special character meets, shorter attraction wait times, festive treats & goodies that include complimentary cookies of various flavors, hot cocoa & cider.  This year they are also offering a soft pretzel option which I am particularly fond of instead of all the sweets.  There will be a special Christmas Parade & fireworks show & Voice Play will be performing again in Tomorrowland.  You can also purchase limited edition merchandise and don’t forget to pick-up your Sorcerers of the magic Kingdom Party Card.

Epcot

International Festival of the Holidays

Although by a different name this year, this event still holds the same holiday magic.  Pick up your booklet & guide to all the fun when you enter the park & enjoy wonderful food from around the World Showcase and my personal favorite are the stories of each country’s unique holiday traditions.

Enjoy this video sample of the holiday traditions in Norway:

Candlelight Processional

This fantastic performance has become our holiday tradition.  Each night, the biblical Christmas Story is told by 1 of 13 celebrity narrators and accompanied by a live choir and orchestra.  Returning narrators include Whoopi Goldberg & Trace Adkins; they will be joined by several new narrators this year including Kurt Russel & Pat Sajak.  Find a full list of narrators HERE. This event runs from 11/24/17 – 12/30/17.

If you want the best seats, consider making a reservation for a dining package.  More details on the dining packages HERE

Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree

This holiday scavenger hunt is fun for the young ones or the young at heart.  Chip & Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree & they need your help.  The cost for your scavenger hunt map is $6.99 +tax and when your are finished, you will get a special prize.

After enjoying a day in Epcot with festive food from around the world & stories from Santa, you can enjoy a special Illuminations with a special holiday themed ending.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has gone all out for this holiday season.  The Jingle Bell Jingle Bam! show has returned & the elves from Prep & Landing must help & find Santa because he has been kidnapped.

New in Hollywood Studios this year is Sunset Season’s Greetings.  Enjoy a light snowfall on Sunset blvd while the Tower of Terror exterior is brought to life by holiday projections.  You may even run into a friendly holiday face or two such as Olaf the snowman from Frozen.

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Minnie will once again be hosting her holiday dine part at Hollywood & Vine Restaurant and you can meet Santa himself at the Once Upon a Time shop through 12/24/17.  When Santa begins to deliver Christmas gifts for the children Santa Goofy will take his place through 12/31/17.

Disney Springs

Although I was personally a little disappointed to see that the holiday drone show will not be returning to Disney Springs this year, there are plenty of festive activities that will hold my family’s attention for an entire day after we watch the new Star Wars movie at the AMC theater right in the middle of the action.

The Christmas Tree Trail will be memorizing as always with 25 Disney themed trees beneath a gentle snow fall.
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Festive snacks & food can be found throughout the shopping district and joyful entertainment will welcome everyone.  From caroling to stilt walkers there will be something to watch all around.

Santa’s Chalet will be there where your family can visit & get photos with Santa.  If you have Disney’s Memory Maker, you can get your photos added to your account at no extra charge.  When you visit Santa’s Chalet, you will be given a special pager that will tell you when to return to the line for your visit with Santa.  You do not have to wait in a crazy long line & you can shop while you wait for your turn.

Also returning to Disney Springs this year is Stitch’s Gift hunt.  This is a fabulous activity to keep the kids & family entertained while you shop.  Stitch has misplaced his gift list and he needs your help finding it.  You can pick up your scavenger hunt map with corresponding stickers and hunt your way through 16 locations to match each sticker with the correct place.  Once you have completed the map, you can return it for a special prize.

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Resorts and More

The Gingerbread Houses in Walt Disney World remain the most fantastic displays of culinary art that I have seen in my travels.  Each display is a delicate work of art and can be found throughout the parks & resorts.

– Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom 12/20 – 1/2
– American Adventure in Epcot 11/19 (This location also offers a season menu for your consumption)
– Amorette’s Parisserie in Disney Springs 11/24
– Disney’s Contemporary Resort
– Disney’s Beach Club celebrates their 18th anniversary of this event with 18 hidden Mickey’s on their display
– Disney’s Grand Floridian celebrates their 19th gingerbread anniversary & a special pin trading event in the lobby each day

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In addition to larger-than-life gingerbread houses, you can tour each of the Disney resorts & take in all of their fabulous trees & Christmas decor.  Every resort will have a detailed miniature train display in the lobby.

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Visiting Walt Disney World ruing the holidays offers numerous holiday activities that will immerse your senses in holiday cheer.  On top of all of the fun actives, the weather here in Florida is amazingly comfortable for park touring this time of year.  If you have never visited Walt Disney World during the holidays, what are you waiting for?  You can book now for 2017 or 2018 and I have a special offer of my own waiting for my holiday guests when you book by 11/30/17.

Thank you for reading.
My name is Melissa and I am a Disney Fanatic; I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me in one of the Disney Parks with my family almost every weekend.  With hours of personal experience, I’m happy to help you plan the perfect holiday vacation for your family at no added cost to you & it all starts with a free, no obligation quote.  Visit my website or contact me to book your vacation.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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2017 Epcot Candlelight Processional

This fully immersive experience is part of Epcot’s Holidays Around the World in 2017 and runs from 11/24/17 through 12/30/17.  The amazing telling of the Christmas story boasts a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir and has become a holiday tradition for my family.

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This year 13 celebrity narrators are performing at the event and there are 6 brand new narrators. Several of which I am personally excited to watch.

  • NEW! Laurie Hernandez – November 24 to 26, 2017
  • NEW! Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017
  • Ana Gastayer – November 29 to 30, 2017
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017
  • NEW! Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017
  • Jodi Benson – December 6 to 8, 2017
  • NEW! Kurt Russell – December 9 to 11, 2017
  • NEW! Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017
  • Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017
  • NEW! CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017
  • Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017
  • Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

The performances are every night at the America Gardens Theater at 5:00pm, 6:45pm & 8:15pm

If you want a good seat, you may want to consider reserving a Candlelight Processional Dining Package.  Find details on the dining packages HERE

Here is my video from last year with Steven Curtis Chapman as the narrator:

Because we are ultimate fans of the Guardian’s of the Galaxy series, we are thrilled that we have been able to grab a dining reservation, with preferred seating, to watch Kurt Russell perform.  I would also like to try out standby seating to watch Jodi Benson.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the holiday season than with the biblical telling of the Christmas story surrounded by unsurpassed talent & a celebrity narrator.  What are your plans for the season?  Who are you most excited to watch?  Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading,
My name is Melissa and I am a Disney Fanatic!  I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me almost every weekend in one of the Disney parks with my family.  I would be honored to assist you with planning your own Disney vacation from my experience and it all comes at no additional cost to you.  Contact me to start with a free, no obligation quote.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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2017 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional is a holiday tradition for my family.  It really gets us in the spirit with the telling of the Christmas Story along with a celebrity narrator, live choir & 50 piece orchestra.  If front row seats are on your list for this event, or just a delicious meal with an extra perk, then you will want to book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package.  Book early, the spots fill up quickly.  If you are one of my guests traveling to Disney World during the holiday celebrations, let me know if you would like my assistance booking one of these packages.
(Scroll down for my video from one of last year’s performances)

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As a part of  Holidays Around the World at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional presents the traditional story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Newcomers to the celebrity narrator spotlight this year include Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park for the Grand Opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Returning favorites include television, film and stage superstar Neil Patrick Harris, country megastar Trace Adkins and Contemporary Christian music artist Jaci Velasquez.

Here are the narrators:*

  • NEW! Laurie Hernandez – November 24 to 26, 2017
  • NEW! Matt Bomer – November 27 to 28, 2017
  • Ana Gastayer – November 29 to 30, 2017
  • Whoopi Goldberg – December 1 to 3, 2017
  • NEW! Pat Sajak – December 4 to 5, 2017
  • Jodi Benson – December 6 to 8, 2017
  • NEW! Kurt Russell – December 9 to 11, 2017
  • NEW! Warwick Davis – December 12 to 14, 2017
  • Trace Adkins – December 15 to 17, 2017
  • Neil Patrick Harris – December 18 to 21, 2017
  • NEW! CCH Pounder – December 22 to 24, 2017
  • Jaci Velasquez – December 25 to 27, 2017
  • Chandra Wilson – December 28 to 30, 2017

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances. Availability is limited.

As with last year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite restaurants in and near Epcot again this year like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

According to Disney Food Blog, the individual restaurant prices are as follows:

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Breakfast: Adult $60.00 / Child $36.00 Lunch: Adult: $70.00 / Child $42.00 Dinner: Adult: $70.00 / Child $42.00

Biergarten
Lunch: Adult $44.00 / Child $25.00 Dinner: Adult $51.00 / Child $29.00

Coral Reef
Lunch: Adult $66.00/ Child $22.00 Dinner: Adult $66.00 / Child $22.00

Garden Grill
Breakfast: Adult $43.00/ Child $27.00 Lunch: Adult $57.00 / Child $36.00 Dinner: Adult $57.00 / Child $36.00

La Hacienda de San Angel *Dinner Only
Lunch: N/A Dinner: Adult $80.00 / Child $17.50

Les Chefs de France
Lunch: Adult $65.99 /Child $17.99 Dinner: Adult $75.99 / Child $22.99

Nine Dragons
Lunch: Adult $50.00 / Child $16.99 Dinner: Adult $58.00 / Child $18.50

Restaurant Marrakesh
Lunch: Adult $50.00/ Child $21.00 Dinner: Adult $58.00 / Child $21.00

Rose and Crown
Lunch: Adult $57.00 / Child $21.00 Dinner: Adult $57.00 / Child $21.00

San Angel Inn
Lunch: Adult $60.00 / Child $15.50 Dinner: Adult $74.00 / Child $17.50

Spice Road Table
Lunch: Adult $50.00 / Child $21.00 Dinner: Adult $58.00 / Child $21.00

Teppan Edo
Lunch: Adult $62.00 / Child $16.99 Dinner: Adult $74.00 / Child $20.75

Tokyo Dining
Lunch: Adult $62.00 / Child $16.99 Dinner: Adult $74.00 / Child $20.75

Trattoria al Forno (located on Disney’s BoardWalk, accessible via walkway or boat from Epcot’s World Showcase) *Breakfast and Dinner Only
Breakfast: Adult $47.00 /Child: $28.00 Lunch: N/A Dinner: Adult: $60.00 Child: $21.00

Tutto Italia
Lunch: Adult $64.00 / Child $22.00 Dinner: Adult $70.00 / Child $25.00

Via Napoli
Lunch: Adult $54.00 / Child $20.00 Dinner: Adult $57.00 / Child $24.00

Holidays Around the World is an extravaganza of holiday entertainment, merchandise, food, beverages and festivities where guests can celebrate at Epcot throughout the holiday season. Time-honored traditions come alive through the sights and sounds of the countries of World Showcase, and live performances enliven the park throughout the day.

Holidays Around the World, including the Candlelight Processional, runs Nov. 24-Dec.30, 2017 at Epcot.

Watch as Steven Curtis Champman tells the Christmas Story…

Thank you for reading.  My name is Melissa and I am a Disney Fanatic.  I’m also a travel agent.  You will find me almost every weekend, with my family, in one of the Disney Parks.  Contact me to book your next trip with personalized planning at no extra cost.
Melissa Mathies – Pixie Dust Adventures
www.PixieDustAdventures.com
Melissa@PixieDustAdventures.com
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Walt Disney World 2016 Holiday Festivities

There is no better place to celebrate the holiday season than at Walt Disney World.  The resorts are all amazingly decorated and the parks are no exception.  Disney prepares all year for the holiday celebrations; watch episode 5 of ‘Inside Disney Parks’ to see how they were busy preparing all the way back in July:

Each Disney Park has its’ own holiday offerings.  Below is a line-up of what is being offered in 2016:

Magic Kingdom Park:
along with the fabulous decorations making Cinderella’s castle the focus of the park, the Magic Kingdom also offers special character meets & holiday treats throughout the park.
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Perhaps the biggest celebration in Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, offered in the Magic Kingdom on select nights from Nov 11th – Dec 22nd.  Keep in mind that this is a separately ticketed event.  This festive holiday experience is an entire blog article to itself so I will not go into detail here.  You will be able to experience a light snowfall on main street and make your way to various stations to collect collect different cookies and various drinks.  You will need to purchase tickets in advance to be able to attend this marvelous holiday party.  You can find price & date details HERE
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Goodies above from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

The Jungle Cruise attraction has now been re-themed to the Jingle Cruise for the holidays.  The attraction now includes holiday decorations and a new story line, dialog and even a few holiday jokes.  It might be cheesy, but still a fun & festive experience.
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Totally Tomorrowland Christmas is a fun dance party stage show in Tomorrowland starring Mike from Monsters Inc and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.  This show usually occurs during the Christmas Party, but is currently listed on the schedule, during regular park days during Thanksgiving week from Nov 20 – Nov 26

A Frozen Holiday Wish, stage show and castle lighting on the stage in front of the castle.  Starring your favorites from Disney’s Frozen, Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff.  As of today this stage show in front of the castle will occur nightly at 6:30 from Nov 7 – Dec 31 2016. CLICK HERE for my video of the full show.  The video, with my little camera, does not do this show justice, be sure to see it in person.  🙂

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Cinderella Castle before and after ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ show

Holiday Wishes Fireworks, Celebrate the Season will be showing during the Christmas party but is also currently listed on regular park days for Christmas week from Dec 23 – Dec 31.

On November 4th the magic Kingdom began an all new nighttime show on the castle entitled ‘Once Upon a Time‘.  This show replaced the ‘Celebrate the Magic’ show and features Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast leading guests through various Disney bedtime stories.  If you want to watch my video of this event, CLICK HERE to find the full video on my YouTube Channel

onceuponatimeshow

Epcot:
In Epcot all of the countries have been included in the holiday celebration.  During Holidays Around the World, you can lean about the holiday customs of 11 different countries throughout the World Showcase.  Each country will have a story teller (usually the Santa for their culture).  This extravagantly costumed person will be scheduled during certain times of the day to share their holiday traditions with guests.  I can attest to the fact that all of these immersive experiences are both entertaining and educational.  Don’t forget to take the time to taste a few of the holiday treats in the different countries.
epcot_italy_christmas

In Epcot you will also be able to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus outside of the American Adventure Pavilion
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Each year Epcot holds the Candlelight Processional which tells the biblical story of Christmas by a celebrity narrator surrounded by the rich sounds of a live choir and orchestra.  This is an inspiring and uplifting experience that I highly recommend the next time you visit Epcot during the holiday season.  Some of the narrators for 2016 are Whoopi Goldberg, Steven Curtis Champman, Neil Patrick Harris, Cal Ripkin Jr and more.  This show has become such a HUGE success that I highly recommend reserving seats for a meal through the Candlelight Processional dining package.  This will guarantee you a spot at one of the 3 daily performances: 5:00pm, 6:45pm, & 8:15pm Nov 25 – Dec 30.
CLICK HERE for a full video of the 2016 Candlelight Processional narrated by Steven Curtis Chapman
candlelight_processional

Holidays Around the World in Epcot will offer some new food kiosks along the World Showcase from Nov 25 – Dec 30. You will be able to sample some traditional holiday food.  You collect a special food passport (like the passports that they had out during the Food & Wine Festival) and you can follow along and check off your favorites or the samples that you have tasted.

Hollywood Studios:
On November 14th Hollywood Studios will debut a new nighttime holiday show which follows the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular show on some nights & replaces it on other nights.  The ‘Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!’ show will be displayed on the Chinese Theater and will be lead by the popular elves in Disney’s Prep and Landing.  The projections, fireworks & lasers guarantee to get you in the holiday spirit.  CLICK HERE for my full video of this show on YouTube.
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Hollywood Studios will also have a notable opening that is not holiday related.  The grand opening of Pizza Rizzo on Nov 18th.  This new Muppet themed pizza restaurant will offer personal pizzas and other quick service food.

Minnie’s Holiday and Dine Dinner at the Hollywood & Vine Restaurant will take place daily from Nov 7 – Jan 3.  During this dinner hosted by Minnie Mouse herself her pals Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Santa Goofy will join her all dressed in their Christmas best.  be sure that you make reservations well in advance for this holiday meal.

Animal Kingdom:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom park will be fully decked out for the holidays and this tree is one of my favorites.  Just look at all of the detail in each one of the larger-than-life ornaments.  Keep your eyes peeled for a meet with Santa Goofy making appearances around the park.
Donald’s Happy Holiday-O-Saurus Dance Party will take place in DinoLand USA from 12/18 – 12/31.  Check the daily times guides for party times.

animal_kingdom_christmas_tree

Disney Springs:
Not only will the parks be offering spectacular holiday cheer in 2016.  Disney Springs has a new line-up of holiday activities.  A festive atmosphere will welcome guests to this spectacular shopping district.  There will be a nightly tree lighting ceremony, carolers and holiday dance parties.

You can walk along the new Christmas Tree Trail through a gentle snow fall with toy soldiers and carolers. The trail will begin at Once Upon a Toy.  Be sure to admire the detail of the 15 different trees themed after Disney Characters.  The themes announced on Disney Parks Blog will be Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Disney Villains, Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, Muppets, Mulan, Cinderella, Princess and the Frog, Frozen, Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled and Mary Poppins.  The tree tail will run from November 11th through January 8th.

Experience Festival of Toys at the Once Upon a Toy Fountain in the Disney Springs Marketplace.  Toys will magically come alive for an interactive holiday dance party nightly on the plaza.  Plus, there’s a pin trading, nightly tree lighting ceremony and more.

During the holiday season Disney Springs will be showing off brand new drone technology as 300 drones light up the night sky in Disney Springs Starbright Holidays; This will occur nightly at 7:00pm & 8:30pm.  See a special sample video by Disney Parks blog HERE

Don’t forget to share your wish list with Santa at Santa’s Chalet.  You will need to check in and will be given a pager by one of the elves.  It will page you when it is time to return to the line.  Be sure that you have a good camera handy or that you have purchased Disney’s Memory Maker package.  There will be a Photopass photographer standing by to snap those precious & unforgettable moments with Santa.
Santa will be greeting guests daily from Nov 25th – Dec 30th from noon to 10:00pm  From Dec 25th – Dec 30th Santa Goofy will greet guests while Santa prepares for next year.
santa_disney_springs

Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt Stitch has lost his shopping list & needs you to help him complete it.  Pick up a location map and gift stickers at once of 4 locations: Once Upon a Toy, Super Hero Headquarters, Welcome Center or World of Disney information desk.  There are 11 stores on the list to hunt for Stitch & match the stickers to.  Once complete, visit one of the pick up locations for a limited-edition completer button.  THis runs throughout the holiday season from 10:00am until 11:00pm

If you have time for a festive round of golf, be sure to visit Disney’s Winter Summerland Course where you can play on 2 different courses that feature Christmas Decor and Santa.  This course is located just right outside of Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park which will be closed this holiday season for refurbishment.  Unless included with your ticket this course is an added cost
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All of the parks and resorts offer fabulous holiday celebrations and I plan to attend each and every one this holiday season.  be sure to watch my Facebook page, You Tube Channel and blog for my personal reports.

My name is Melissa and I am a Florida local.  I am also a travel agent.  I plan to experience each and every one of the above listed holiday celebrations in person this year.  Consider booking through a travel agent for your next vacation.  It never costs extra to you & you get expert advice and planning assistance.  Holiday packages for 2017 are already open, what are you waiting for?  Contact me for a free quote.
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