While most of us are still sweating with the heat of the summer, Disney elves are already hard at work to blend yuletide traditions and Christmas cheer to create a wintry wonderland ready for holiday revelers at Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line. And the best part? Some of these events begin as early as November 8.
Here are some highlights:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have 19 magical nights from November 8-December 20. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World Resort guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit.
Dates for 2013:
Nov. 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22
Dec. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20
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. Guests can enjoy new experiences and attractions at New Fantasyland. 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: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular, 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 nightly November 29 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. Whoopi Goldberg and Ashley Judd highlight the list of narrators this season.
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. Click HERE for information and reservations.
Holidays Around the World: Guests become immersed in the festivities, as they experience a celebration of the holidays from the various countries 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. 8, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.
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” Nov. 7, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.
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 Resort Hotels
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 $74 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. Total package price $2,051.
*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. 8 – Dec. 12 (excludes Nov. 23-29, 2013). Tickets are valid for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use.
Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, beginning early November through the new year, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries,” New Year’s Eve galas and Disney friends dressed for the occasion.
Special stem-to-stern holiday events include a nightly tree lighting in the atrium lobby, visits from Santa Claus and his elves, traditional holiday feasts, family holiday crafts, holiday storytellers and more. When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.
Guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. On Christmas Eve, guests can leave milk and cookies for Santa when he visits the ship at midnight. Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28 – Dec. 5. To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit www.disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact a travel agent.