Disney elves blend yuletide traditions and Christmas cheer to create a wintry wonderland ready for holiday revelers at Walt Disney World Resort as early as November 9. There’s an extra night of merry at the Magic Kingdom with 20 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party; and at Epcot, singer/actress Olivia Newton John makes her debut as a celebrity narrator for the beloved Candlelight Processional. Highlights:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have its longest-ever run with 20 magical nights from November 9-December 21. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. Dates for 2012: Nov. 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30 and Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. Beginning at 7 p.m. (after regular park hours), guests with special event tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can enjoy all the holiday splendor with lively stage shows, spectacular fireworks, a unique holiday parade and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. For more information, visit www.Disneyworld.com/Christmasparty. NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.
Entertainment, Fireworks and More: Santa’s elves have transformed the Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees. The fun includes the Holiday Wishes nighttime spectacular: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.
Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle: Cinderella Castle transforms into a glimmering ice palace for the holidays — thanks to a special effects spectacle bathing the castle in 200,000 shimmering white lights. Magic Kingdom guests are treated nightly to the dramatic castle celebration and stage show.
Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the poignant reading of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a mass choir performing seasonal melodies, and a 50-piece live orchestra. Actress/Singer Olivia Newton John makes her debut as one of a dozen narrators to take to the stage at this year’s event, performed nightly November 23 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Crowd favorites Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise return to America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. Guests can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package, which combines lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. For more information and reservations: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/candlelight-dinners/
Holidays Around the World: Storytellers from around the world share traditions and lore from their homeland throughout World Showcase. The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Nov. 9, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Celebrate safari style as Disney’s Animal Kingdom is wilder than ever this winter season. Mickey and his pals rejoice in traditional holiday music with a world beat twist during the daily “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.”
Get all your Christmas shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer, plus live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.
Walt Disney World Resorts
The resorts are dressed up for the holidays with festive décor, gingerbread houses and more. And guests can experience even more magic this season with great pricing. For as little as $72 per person, per day, guests can enjoy a 6-night, 7-day vacation package with room and tickets valid at all four theme parks. Visit Disneyworld.com, for booking information. Rates are based on availability.
*Sample package quoted is for a family of four – two adults, one junior and one child — in a standard room at a Disney All-Star Resort for stays most nights Nov. 1 – Dec. 20 (excludes Nov. 17 – 23, 2012). Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use.