Friday, December 22, 2017

Special Holiday Events at Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom

Over the last few weeks, I've gone over holiday events at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Springs, and Disney resorts. This week I'm covering the last two parks--Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

At Hollywood Studios, the decorations are everywhere including Gertie the dinosaur wearing a Santa hat! Around Echo Lake, you'll find jumbo sized ornaments, garland, and a giant Christmas tree set in the middle of the water! Stick around through the evening, and you may have the opportunity to watch Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and see Sunset Seasons Greetings.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

This show full of holiday magic is projected on the Chinese theater. Based on the Christmas show Prep and Landing, the story line is that Santa is missing! Full of holiday hijinks, tag along with Wayne and Lanny as they rescue Santa and save Christmas. Lots of great projections and fireworks make this fun for everyone.
Nighttime Spectacular   
Feel the warmth of holiday magic as the buildings and rooftops transform and immerse you in scenes from Mickey’s Christmas CarolBeauty and the BeastPluto’s Christmas TreeTim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and more. It all builds to a festive finale that must be seen—and heard—to be believed. It features traditional holiday tunes, projections, special effects, fireworks and even a little snow!
Sunset Seasons Greetings

When night falls on Disney’s Hollywood Studios, an unforgettable scene starts to unfold. Billboards start to change and the Hollywood Tower Hotel (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror) magically transforms. 

The Toy Story characters guess which new toys are coming this Christmas as the scene becomes covered in holiday wrapping paper. The Swedish Chef turns the scene into giant gingerbread houses. And finally, Olaf pining over his holiday wish as music plays and the scene freezes over into a Frozen winter wonderland complete with dancing Aurora Borealis lights and projected falling snow.

At Animal Kingdom, Christmas is a little more understated. You'll find lots of wreaths and garland, and some characters are dressed in their holiday finery! Animal Kingdom does have a huge Christmas decorated with traditional snowflakes and lights but also animal masks, large animal depictions, and drums! Some of the other trees may have animals like zebras, hippos, lions, giraffes, and more!

All the Disney parks are magical at Christmas! If you're visiting, make sure to see them all and find the magic of the holiday!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Special Holiday Events at Walt Disney World: Epcot

Walt Disney World is a magical place at Christmas, and there are so many things to see and do! Thus far we have covered Magic Kingdom and things to see outside the parks. Today we tackle Epcot!

Pere Noel in France Pavilion in Epcot
International Festival of the Holidays
Throughout World Showcase, each country shares its holiday heritage. Moving around World Showcase during the Holidays Around the World celebration may put you face-to-face with the (good) witch La Befana, known in Italy for filling children's shoes with treats, or the Chinese Lion Dancers who bring good fortune and happiness. In many countries, the storyteller is a representation of Santa, such as Pere Noel in France and Father Christmas in England. 

There are meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus in The American Adventure plus other holiday characters. The celebrations of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah can be found at the American Adventure.

Holiday Finale for IllumiNations
The evening is capped by the visual splendor of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the mesmerizing Epcot spectacular featuring fireworks, laser and water all spruced up for the season with a spirited holiday finale.

Illuminations finale. (Photo Credit: Disney Travel Company)

The Candlelight Processional: The beautiful Biblical story of Christmas read by featured celebrity narrators, a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra at America Gardens Theatre. Beautiful music and a great story makes for a holiday tradition. To make sure you have a seat, Candlelight Packages are available with breakfast, lunch, and dinner at select Epcot and Epcot area resort restaurants. You get a great meal and guaranteed seating for the heartfelt Candlelight Processional. Otherwise, make sure you line up early for the show; the later shows are sometimes easier to get into.

Candlelight Processional with a full orchestra and choirs!

Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree
Another fun scavenger hunt has come to Epcot! Chip and Dale are collecting ornaments for their Christmas tree—and they need your help! To get started, purchase a map and sticker from select merchandise locations, including Pin Central, Disney Traders and World Traveler at International Gateway. As you travel around World Showcase, be on the lookout for Chip and Dale as they gather ornaments from holiday decorations in each World Showcase pavilion. Once you spot them, add the corresponding ornament sticker to your map. Then, take your completed map to Disney Traders and exchange it for a festive surprise, courtesy of Chip and Dale!
Maps are $6.99 plus tax, and are available throughout Holidays Around the World at Epcot while supplies last.
JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season
Rejoice in seasonal sounds that blend inspiring gospel with jazz, R&B and more. Catch daily performances of this uplifting holiday show at the Future World Fountain Stage.

Epcot is one park not to miss during the Christmas holiday. Music, entertainment, and lots of great food means this should be on your list of places to see at Christmas.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Special Holiday Events at Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom

Last week we went over holiday attractions to see at Disney Springs. This week, let's take a look at the special holidays things to do while at the Magic Kingdom!

A Frozen Holiday Wish features Anna and Elsa in an all-new show on the Castle Forecourt Stage. With special appearances by rugged mountain man Kristoff and lovable snowman Olaf, the show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom, transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays. "A Frozen Holiday Wish" shows every night at 6:15pm. It'll show again later during party hours on party nights, too.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Special Holiday Events at Walt Disney World: Outside the Disney Parks

Any avid Disney World lover will tell you that a "bad" day at Disney is better than good day at home, but really, we all know that some times are just better than others at Disney World. Visiting around the christmas holidays is one of those good times!

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to Do Disney Cruise Line Online Check In

Yes! You're going on a Disney cruise, and your travel agent has given you the date for your online check in. But what is that, and what does it mean? For first time cruisers, sometimes the online check in process can feel overwhelming!

First, why do online check in? It simplifies the process once you are at the port, and it helps you be prepared for the cruise! There are two parts to the process. The first one is simply the online check where you'll enter your emergency contact information, the identification you'll be using (passports versus government ID), set up your onboard account, and sign up your children (ages 3-12) for the kids' clubs. The second part is where you'll choose your Port Adventures, book spa and adult dining reservation times, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservations, and more!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Using Mobile Order at Disney World's Quick Service Restuarants

Back in the summer, Disney rolled out a new mobile order option at a few of their quick service locations at Disney World. Initially only available at a few locations, it's now offered at more than 15 locations throughout the parks and Disney Springs!

So, how does this order option work? When you've chosen a location where you want to eat, scroll down to My Plans and press the Order Food button. Then you can choose the quick service location you desire. Or from the Dining menu, tap the quick service restaurant you want in the My Disney Experience app. Tap on the Order Food icon, and the menu for the restaurant pulls up.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Five: Five Reasons You Should Attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Fall is a fantastic time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The weather is cooler, the crowds are lower than summer, and there are lots of fun things to do! In Epcot, the Food & Wine festival is sure to please even the most sophisticated palate. The Magic Kingdom is decorated in beautiful and festive fall decorations, and, on select nights, the Magic Kingdom is transformed into Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! 

But is it worth paying an extra entry fee to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Maybe not for all families, but certainly for many!  If you have very young children, paying for a party that takes place between 7 pm and midnight may not be worth it for you, but if your family can enjoy those hours, here are five great reasons to make time for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party: