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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019

 

It is that most magical time of year again at the Magic Kingdom and along with all the festive decorations comes an annual event not to be missed and that is the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  This party is a special ticketed event held on select nights now through December 22nd.  The Magic Kingdom closes for the evening and ticket holders can start to enter Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. with the official party beginning at 7:00 p.m. and lasting until midnight.

Let me tell you a little about the party so you can decide if this is something you would like to add on to your holiday trip.  First, let’s talk about treats!  Party guests will enjoy a variety of complimentary sweets and treats located at various treat stations throughout the park.  Also, note that there are healthy and gluten-free options that will be available upon request.   You will get to fill up on many different yummy cookies, pretzels, eggnog, hot chocolate, apple cider and fanta drinks.  There will also be special holiday treats for purchase that are only available during the party!

 

 

At this wonderful time of year, Cinderella Castle transforms each night by Queen Elsa as she gives everyone their Frozen Holiday Wish!  Christmas magic will surround you with carols and even snow coming down on Main Street!

Then there is the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade which features costumes and floats that are themed to Winter Wonderland, Christmas Sweets and of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  The parade happens twice at 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 pm.  Just a little tip, the second parade is often easier to get a better seat.

 

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Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are always special but the Christmastime Fireworks are not to be missed!  This year debuts a brand new fireworks show called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and is presented at 10:00 p.m. on party nights only.

There are many other party events happening through the night like fun dance parties, Christmas songs performed by a cappella group and special holiday character meet and greets.  All of this fun, not to mention the rides and attractions you can enjoy with much shorter waits.

So if you and your family want to partake in all this festive Christmastime fun, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner today!

 

 

2019 Holiday Dates Announced at Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The spirit of the holidays is in the air because the Universal Orlando Resort has just announced their holiday dates! With this information, you and your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner will now be all set to book your holiday visit to Universal Orlando! The Universal parks and resorts go all out for the holiday season! A visit to the Universal Resort for these exciting festivities will be a great way to get in the spirit of this magical time of year!

 

 

 

 

You can experience Universal holiday offerings from November 16, 2019, through January 5, 2020! During this time you and your party can experience a one–of–a–kind holiday celebration! Universal is the perfect place to get a little merry and enjoy some holiday spirit! This resort-wide celebration is one not to miss!

 

 

You can enjoy the sights, festive shows, and delicious food during Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! You can also experience Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s! And watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.

 

 

The holiday season will be here before we know it! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to make your festive holiday plans at the Universal Orlando Resort! The holiday season is always a magical time to make memories with the ones you love most!

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Decorations at Walt Disney World!

 

Christmas is just around the corner! I can’t believe how fast this season has flown by! I am feeling so fortunate to have experienced the magic of the holidays at the most magical place on Earth this year, Walt Disney World! During my visit to Disney last month I made sure to check out all of my favorite Christmas displays and festivities across Disney property! What I love about the holidays in Walt Disney world is that there is SO MUCH to discover! Every inch of the park is decked out and in such a unique and creative way! Disney doesn’t just put up a generic tree and garland in a gift shop. Oh no! Quite the contrary they theme every decoration specifically to the restaurant, shop or resort that it is in! For example, the ice cream shop on Main Street has garland and trees featuring ice cream cone ornaments! Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa all their decorations have a Victorian style to them to perfectly compliment the theme of resort itself!

 

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There truly is so much to see when it comes to the decorations around Walt Disney World! I recommend truly taking your time going through the parks this time of year. Be sure to stop and truly appreciate the details of the holiday decorations. There is so much to discover! Today I would like to share with you my top 5 favorite Disney World Christmas displays that are more hidden gem displays! I am leaving out the well-known park icon trees and big centerpiece decorations and going to countdown my favorite decorations that are a bit more obscure! These displays both big and small are something that I look forward to seeing year after year!

 

#5 Mickey Wreaths

 

Christmas wreaths in the shape of Mickey Mouse adorned every lamppost down main Street USA! This decoration is a Disney classic! I love it for its simplicity. It is very traditional and from a distance you may not even notice it is a Mickey, but as you begin to stroll down Main Street towards the castle you can’t miss this little touch of magic!

 

#4 Poinsettia Trees

 

I have always loved poinsettias! I think they are so beautiful and I always know the Christmas season has begun once I start seeing those festive flowers! Disney uses gorgeous poinsettias in many of their holiday displays. By far my favorite creation Disney produces using poinsettias is their poinsettia trees! Using a towering framework in a rounded tree shape Disney florists will cover every inch of the framework with poinsettias! These poinsettia trees are spectacular and make an amazing backdrop for a family Christmas photo! Poinsettia trees can be seen in multiple places across Walt Disney World property! There are always some lining the walkway between Future World and World Showcase in Epcot as well as poinsettia trees in the entrance hub of Magic Kingdom. Pictured here you will see a poinsettia tree on the grounds of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

 

#3 Rockette-Style Christmas Ornaments

 

A display that I get so excited to see every year can be found in a storefront in Hollywood Studios! Disney is known for creating incredible window displays in many of their shopfronts and this particular display at Hollywood Studios can’t be missed! Larger than life Minnie Mouse Christmas ornaments are forming a Rockette kick-line! This display is so adorable and fun! It definitely fits into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood Studios!

 

#2 Echo Lake Decorations

 

A few years ago, Hollywood Studios icon tree moved from out-front of the park to inside the park to the center of Echo Lake. I know I said in this countdown, main centerpieces such as icon trees don’t count and that is still true. The decorations I am referring to in echo lake are the smaller accent pieces that compliment the area around the icon tree’s new location! The park’s tree sits on an island in the middle of the lake. In the water surrounding the island you will find one of my favorite Christmas decorations across all of Walt Disney World… floating Christmas ornaments! These floating baubles are beautiful all day long but at night they become a real showstopper and actually light up! These lighted baubles illuminate the water around them and create such a cool effect! I think this was the area of the park I spent the most time in just admiring the decorations and taking tons of photos!

 

#1 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

 

My top spot on my list goes to a hidden gem that I enjoy seeing year after year, the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House!  This is not your normal gingerbread house! This pastry masterpiece is life-size! The inside of the gingerbread house is an actual working store where you can purchase gingerbread treats and other festive snacks and goodies! This year the Grand Floridian Gingerbread house is celebrating its 20th annual year! I highly recommend making the trip over to Disney’s Grand Floridian resort and spa to see this one of a kind creation. From the Magic Kingdom park you can easily commute to Disney’s Grand Floridian via a boat or monorail! Definitely make sure to take the time to check it out! You will be glad you did!

Give the gift of travel this holiday! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next vacation!

Christmas Decorations in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Walt Disney World Video!

 

This past summer on June 30th 2018, Toy Story Land officially opened at Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort! The new land’s opening had been long awaited for by fans and since the grand opening many visitors have been having a blast in Andy’s backyard! Here you can play interactive carnival games in Toy Story Mania, take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, race through the backyard on Slinky Dog Dash coaster, meet your favorite Toy Story characters and more! It is safe to say that this new land has become an instant hit with park goers! With this year being Toy Story Land’s first Christmas, many guests were curious what Disney was going to do regarding Christmas decorations in the land! With all the impressive design elements and details that can be seen throughout Toy Story Land year-round, everyone knew Disney was going to pull out all the stops when it came to Christmas decorations, and they did!

 

 

The Holiday displays that can be seen throughout Toy Story Land are so fun and truly tell a story! There is everything from large displays such as the giant sugar cookie shaped like Ham to little details like reindeer antlers on Rex! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas decorations from Toy Story Land!

 

Decorations on the Character Figurines!

Disney really did think of every detail when it came to decorating Toy Story Land for Christmas! Many of the giant figures of the Toy Story characters that can be seen throughout the land have been adorned with festive attire. As soon as you enter the land you will notice that Woody is wearing a Christmas scarf! My favorite character addition is the reindeer antlers on Rex! What I love about this is the reindeer antlers give the impression they are cut out of cardboard and colored in with a crayon! Like so many things in Toy Story Land there are tons of references to everything being created by Andy himself as he was playing with his Toys! It is the things like this that remind us all of our own childhood and the games we loved to play and create!

 

 

Characters Outfits!

Not only do the figures get holiday touches but the real meet and greet characters that roam through Toy Story Land also get festive touches to their outfits! Woody and Jessie have Christmas vests, Buzz has a Santa hat on top his head and the Green Army Men are all wearing holiday scarfs!

 

 

 

Green Alien Baubles

Out front of the Alien Swirling Saucer attraction you will find a stacked display of three massive Christmas ornaments! 2 of which are decorated to look like the Little Green Aliens! There is an additional bauble like this that can be spotted near the rides exit!

 

 

 

Ham Sugar Cookie!

This display is my favorite of all the Toy Story Land decorations! The thing to remember with Toy Story Land is that we ourselves are shrunken down to the size of a toy, so everything is scaled to how toys would see! With that in mind this sugar cookie is gigantic! It is decorated with frosting to look like Ham wearing a Santa hat! What I think is so fun about this decoration and the reason it is my favorite is actually the detail behind the display. If you peak behind the cookie you will see that the Ham cookie is being held up by a Green Army Man! This is one of the many ways that the holiday pieces in Toy Story Land are not just decorative, but they also tell a story that ties into the land itself!

 

 

 

Ride Overlays

What is incredible about the Holiday enhancements in Toy Story Land is that Disney is not just adding decorations they are bringing additions to your entire experience in the land! This includes Christmas overlays on the attractions! On Alien Swirling Saucers, new Christmas soundtracks have been added as onboard ride songs and will play at random in the rotation of music that guest can experience during their ride! When I rode the attraction with my family we did not get one of the holiday songs. However, we did get to see one of the holiday sets as we were waiting in line. It is very adorable! The lighting effects during these sequences are also red and green to go along with the holiday music! The Slinky Dog Dash Coaster also has some Holiday themed audio bits that can be heard as you ride the attraction!

 

 

I was so impressed with all the enhancements that Disney made in Toy Story Land during this Christmas season! I filmed my experience getting to see all of the holiday decorations and overlays for the first time! You can watch my experience in our new YouTube video!

 

 

Looking for the perfect gift to give your family this holiday?! Give the gift of a Walt Disney World Vacation! Your loved ones will remember the memories made during your trip forever! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today. Our team of travel professionals are excited to help you plan the vacation you have been dreaming of!

Holiday Treats and Beverage Offerings at The Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The holiday season is upon us! This season is filled with decorating, celebrations, parties and of course… FOOD! Food plays a big role in many of our holiday celebrations and festivities! What better way to rejoice in this wonderful season than spend time with those you love and enjoying some of your favorite treats! You get the picture! Holiday foods and goodies are an iconic part of our holiday season and Universal Orlando Resort has you covered!

 

 

Let’s take a look at the festive food and beverage offerings now available for the holiday season at Universal Orlando! These items can be enjoyed now through January 6, 2019!

 

Holiday Treats!

 

 

A popular holiday treat this year is the Red Velvet Yule Log. The red velvet adds a fresh twist on this holiday classic!  You can find this treat in Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Croissant Moon Bakery. You can also find this festive favorite in Universal Studios Florida at Beverly Hills Boulangerie and San Francisco Pastry Company.

 

 

For many apple strudel hot from the oven is a holiday staple! Universal has put a spin on this holiday classic by putting it on a stick and adding a drizzle of frosting! Be sure to try this treat for yourself in Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Croissant Moon Bakery. You can also find it in Universal Studios at Beverly Hills Boulangerie and San Francisco Pastry Company.

 

 

Additional treats include reindeer cupcakes, waffles on a stick, cheesecakes, ribbon pastries and an array of classic sugar cookies! All of these goodies can be found at multiple locations throughout the parks!

 

 

Festive Sips

 

 

With all these amazing holiday treats, you are going to want a festive beverage to wash it all down! Here are some of the new holiday drinks that have premiered this year.

Cranberry Margarita

First up we have the Cranberry Margarita. This holiday margarita can be found at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill in Universal Studios and at Mythos over at Islands of Adventure.

Ingredients: Tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and cranberry juice shaken and served on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge, fresh cranberries and a sugar/salt rim.

Pumpkintini

Next up is the Pumpkintini! This fun pumpkin martini can be found at Mythos in Islands of Adventures.

Ingredients: Dark rum, orange liqueur, apple cider and pumpkin puree garnished with a cinnamon sugar rim.

 

 

Apple Cider Irish Mule

Another favorite, the Apple Cider Irish Mule! This can be found at Lombard’s Seafood Restaurant in Universal Studios.

Ingredients: Irish whiskey stirred with apple cider, topped with ginger beer and a cinnamon stick and apple slices for garnish.

 

You can also find a Harvest Margarita with great pumpkin and apple flavors when visiting Confisco Grille! Find an Apple Pie on the Rocks – a blend of vanilla vodka, apple juice and cinnamon at Finnegan’s. Discover the Jack Frost with vodka, prosecco mixed with lemonade and a sugar rim over at Lombard’s and Confisco Grille.

 

 

Universal also has some festive non-alcoholic drinks. Guests can enjoy the Candy Cane and Eggnog frozen beverages, hot cider or hot chocolate! These beverages are all served park-wide at all the food & drink carts.

There are so many delicious treats to discover this season at the Universal Orlando Resort! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next visit!

FESTIVE FUN FACTS About Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving! I am still enjoying the leftovers now! I don’t know about you but for me and my family a holiday tradition for us is to always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! This is a tradition for so many families that look forward to seeing those dazzling musical performances and towering character balloons each year! If you have ever dreamt about going to watch the parade live but don’t want to fight through the New York City crowds or deal with the frigid winter conditions then I have great news for you! You can experience a version of the Macy’s holiday parade all season long at the Universal Orlando Resort in sunny Orlando Florida!

 

 

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s guests can look forward to experiencing light snowfall, twinkling lights, joyful music and a mix of both merry and mayhem! This parade made it’s debut last year in 2017 and was an instant hit with park-goers! The festive parade will return as part of Universal’s resort-wide Holidays celebration, running Nov. 17 – Jan. 6. The parade’s theme is inspired by beloved childhood memories and brought to life by many popular Universal characters!

 

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

 

Here are a few festive fun facts about Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s:

 

  • The parade will travel a grand total of more than 26 miles as it makes its way down the Universal Studios Florida streets each night!

 

  • There is no question that the highlight of the parade is its 15 intricately hand-crafted floats featuring characters from Despicable Me, Madagascar, Shrek and more. And these floats are MASSIVE. You can’t miss them!

 

  • The float featuring Shrek, Fiona and Dragon rivals the size of two large African elephants. This float Weighs in at about 30,000 pounds and measures 35 feet long! Also thanks to Dragon’s 16-foot wingspan, it’s also one of the widest floats!

 

  • It’s not a holiday parade without those classic Macy’s star balloons! The star balloons in the parade measure 24 feet wide! That’s the same size as the width of five taxi cars!

 

  • Piloting floats and balloons of this size requires a lot of practice! Training begins each summer for Universal’s team of nearly 300 people, including float operators, balloon handlers and parade escorts!

 

  • Guests will see more than 100 dancers and characters during the parade! They are all dressed to impress in their holiday best!

 

  • Last year, over 220 gallons of snow machine fluid were used to create a special Florida snow flurry during the parade’s finale!

 

Watch our videos from last year’s Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s:

 

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is a dazzling experience that you have to see for yourself! There is still time to plan a last-minute getaway to the Universal Orlando resort this holiday season! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner today!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 20th Year Dedication – Disney World Christmas 2018

Disney World flagship resort, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is home to one very special holiday tradition! The Grand Floridian Gingerbread house has been an annual Christmas tradition at the resort. Guests come back year after year to marvel at the life-sized gingerbread house that sits in the resort’s grand lobby! This year the Gingerbread house celebrated an exciting milestone! 2018 marks the 20th anniversary for the house at the Grand Floridian!

I personally always make a special trip over to the Grand Floridian when I visit Disney World during the Christmas season just to see the house! This year my family and I happened to be visiting the resort during a very special time, we got to see the dedication ceremony of the house! The ceremony was very special, all of the chefs who helped bring this massive and beautiful creation were all in attendance along with the resort managers and cast members. A cast member sang “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and everyone watching joined in! The moment was filled with so much cheer. As a big fan of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House it was incredible to be here for this special occasion. You could feel in the air the passion that all the chefs and cast members have for this Grand Floridian tradition, as well as how beloved the tradition is for all the guests who were in attendance.

To top the celebration off, Mickey and Minnie arrived wearing their holiday best and one lucky family joined them to help cut the ribbon and officially open the Gingerbread House for the 2018 season! The inside of the gingerbread house actually serves as a retail location where guests can purchase gingerbread and seasonal treats! The most popular item sold here would have to be the gingerbread shingles. They are identical to the shingles that are on the gingerbread house!

This year they have moved the gingerbread house to the center of the lobby just beneath the orchestra. In years past the gingerbread house’s location was always off center in the corner of the lobby. I love the new location! It definitely makes the house a main focal point of the grand lobby, a position that this piece of art truly deserves! Also, the new location has helped free up space around the house this year making it easier to view the house and give the line to purchase your holiday treats a much nicer flow! This open space around the house now includes a pathway lined with poinsettias!

I felt so honored to be in attendance for the opening of this year’s Grand Floridian gingerbread house and so happy to get to celebrate the 20th year for this special tradition! I filmed the entire ceremony and I am excited to share the festivities with you in our new YouTube video!

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is one of the many holidays attractions and experiences that you can enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season! There is truly extra magic in the air throughout the Disney parks and resorts at Christmas time! There is still time to plan a holiday vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

The new Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s is unlike any other parade that has been at Universal Orlando Resort.

We have 16 new balloons that will soar above you, 13 of which were exclusively designed for us by Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment. And let me just say right now: the Dronkeys from Shrek are adorable (more to come on them later)!

These 15 floats are HUGE. Each float has an astonishing lighting display and unique details to each theme.

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

Jingle All the Way With the Minions

The Minions are bringing mayhem to the holidays this year. You’ll hear them sing their own rendition of Jingle Bells as they attempt to decorate a Christmas tree. Look up and you’ll see Bob the Minion balloon chase after his favorite teddy bear, Tim. You’ll also see Lucy (for the first time ever), Gru and his daughters spreading holiday cheer.

Santa Claus is Coming to Madagascar

Up next, King Julien and the Madagascar crew are inviting you to a tropical holiday party. The Penguins are searching for Santa Claus, followed by King Julien who has gifted himself a giant pineapple balloon. The last float showcases Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman celebrating the holidays like only they can.

Celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of Year with Shrek  

Shrek, Fiona and their baby ogres are also celebrating the holidays in their swamp. Gingy leads the festivities from above with his gingerbread house float below. Donkey follows right behind with an assortment of gifts. Lastly, Shrek and Fiona share a massive float with Dragon while two of her Dronkey babies fly above.

Here Comes Santa Claus…With His Elves

Holiday favorites are also returning with a brand new look. Santa’s elves are inviting you into the workshop where you’ll see all your favorite toys come to life. Following close behind is Santa Claus himself. Santa’s float is beautiful when it lights up with all the reindeer!

Having a performance background, I’m also really excited about the choreography in this parade. We have more than 100 performers and every one of them has a unique personality that ties to their character’s theme.

Also new to the parade this year is the musical score—and Santa will be making it snow throughout the parade.

You can watch the parade near the end of your park day in Universal Studios Florida. Check the Official Universal Orlando Resort App or your park map for the parade start time when you visit.

The parade is just one of the exciting new elements coming to this year’s Holidays celebration at Universal Orlando Resort.

The festivities start on Saturday, Nov. 18 and run through Jan. 6. Start writing your Christmas list and add Holidays at Universal Orlando to it. You won’t want to miss it!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is here. And at Disney Springs, it’s not only here, but bigger and better than ever. That goes for everything from holiday shopping
to entertainment, and of course, to the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail!

Back for its second year, the Tree Trail now boasts 25 Disney-inspired trees, including ten
additions featuring iconic characters. Wondering what’s new? Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Sleeping
Beauty, Pinocchio, Snow White, Dumbo, Fantasia, and Lady and the Tramp now take center
stage with trees themed to these beloved stories. There’s also a tree featuring an assortment of
ornaments that are all available at the nearby Disney’s Days of Christmas store. (Tip: look for
the featured ornament on ALL the trees, housed inside a special display lantern; most are
available for purchase, while supplies last.) And one of my favorites—the Disney Springs
Tree—showcases the many retail brands here on property – one look reminds me that I can
pretty much complete all of my Christmas shopping without leaving property.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Call me a traditionalist, but in spite of the many options, my top pick is still the classic Mickey
and Minnie tree. That’s the beauty of the expanded Tree Trail – there really is something for
everyone!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Based on the popularity of this new seasonal staple, hours have been extended an additional
hour every Friday and Saturday and also on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Tree Trail is
offered through the holiday season, and will run through January 7, 2018. The updated
operating hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday:   12 pm to 10 pm
Friday – Saturday:  10 am to 11 pm
Sunday:  10 am to 10 pm
Christmas Eve, 12/24:  10 am to 11 pm
Christmas Day, 12/25:  10 am to 11 pm

From my family to yours, have a very Happy Holiday and awesome New Year!

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

This holiday season at Disney Springs, you can create family memories, celebrate the season and find special gifts for all of the special people on my list – plus a treat or two for yourself! Make your holidays more magical, too, by enjoying everything Disney Springs will have to offer this holiday season…

While holiday shopping is certainly more magical here at Disney Springs, here’s some of our seasonal “must-dos”:

  • A Bigger, Better Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail: Last year Disney introduced custom decorated holiday trees to the Marketplace, each themed to a popular Disney story or character. This year, the Christmas Tree Trail will expand to twenty-five trees – many of them larger than last year’s evergreens – including ten new trees inspired by Disney classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

  • Santa’s Chalet: Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet near the exit of Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail, making the Marketplace the most magical nook in all of Disney Springs. You’ll be visiting in your holiday best, smiling for Disney PhotoPass Photographers who will be on hand to capture photos, and probably taking a few selfies with your own camera, too! Santa Goofy will take over when Saint Nick heads back to the North Pole on December 25 – so we may have to visit twice.
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt: The mischievous experiment 626 is at it again with an expanded scavenger hunt featuring four new stops, including a special stop at the more-magical-than-ever Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail. A great activity for families with kids older than mine, it’s your chance to work together, decipher clues, and discover all the spots where Stich is hiding. Complete the mission and receive a limited-edition button.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: After nearly twenty years, “La Nouba” will take its final bow on December 31, 2017. I’ve seen the show a handful of times and can attest that there’s nothing else quite like the gravity-defying, jaw-dropping thrill of this stunning 90-minute show. There’s a good chance we’ll be getting a sitter so we can see it one last time before the curtain closes. Limited tickets available; visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/la-nouba for additional information and to purchase.

Complimentary and adjacent self-parking keeps things simple and hassle-free. With the retail delivery service available at all Disney Springs stores, I won’t have to add anything else my overloaded stroller, making it easier for guests to pop in to one of the award-winning restaurants to relax and refuel. Fan favorite eateries include Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza or D-Luxe Burger for a quick bite or any of our signature restaurants – featuring everything from steak and seafood to home-style favorites – for a more substantial sit-down meal.

What’s your first stop at Disney Springs this Holiday Season?

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Offerings Begin November 19

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Offerings Begin November 19

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (previously known as “Holidays Around the World”) will return to Epcot from November 19 through December 30. What can you expect this season? The return of the guest-favorite Candlelight Processional, new Holiday Kitchens, entertainment additions and more.

First up, the Candlelight Processional, a highlight of a holiday visit for many guests, features a retelling of the traditional Christmas story by a celebrity narrator and music from a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. This year the show will welcome a few new narrators to the season’s lineup, including Matt Bomer, CCH Pounder and Pat Sajak. Returning favorites Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg and Jaci Velasquez are also scheduled to appear. The Candlelight Processional is performed three times each evening, 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre from Nov. 24-Dec. 30. Candlelight dinner packages can be reserved now by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Offerings Begin November 19

Guests can also enjoy entertainment throughout World Showcase, with each pavilion’s holiday traditions coming to life for guests through the sharing of joyful music and time-honored traditions. New this year is the group Mostly Kosher, who will perform holiday classics celebrating Hanukkah in the America Pavilion. Returning favorites also include JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season and Canadian Holiday Voyageurs.

In addition to more entertainment, the park will also feature a total of 15 Holiday Kitchens this year, serving up more holiday cookies and other sweet seasonal treats than ever before. Stop into the Odyssey for snowflake sugar cookies and warm apple fritters with cinnamon ice cream, or head to the Canada pavilion for Maple Buche de Noel. (Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for a closer look at this year’s offerings in the coming weeks).

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Offerings Begin November 19

Guests can also finish their holiday visit at Epcot by watching “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks, which will feature a special holiday finale.

What are you looking forward to experiencing most this holiday season at Epcot? Tell us in the comments section below.

2016 Candlelight Processional Dining Packages Now Available

It’s never too early for some holiday cheer! And today, we’re excited to announce that dining packages for 2016 Candlelight Processional are now on sale.

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As a part of Holidays Around the World at Epcot, this favorite Walt Disney World Resort holiday tradition presents the story of Christmas in truly spectacular fashion – with a celebrity narrator, a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Celebrity narrators this year include some returning favorites like contemporary Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman, actors Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris and newcomers like legendary baseball player Cal Ripken, Jr. Here’s the list of confirmations we have so far:*

  • 11/25-27 – Steven Curtis Chapman
  • 11/28-12/1 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/2-12/3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/4-12/12 – TBA
  • 12/13-12/15 – Meredith Vieira
  • 12/16-12/18 – TBA
  • 12/19-12/21 – Joe Morton
  • 12/22-12/27 – TBA
  • 12/28-12/30 – Cal Ripken, Jr.

The processional is performed three times per night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.) during the holiday season at the American 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.

This year, in addition to lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are available at some favorite Epcot restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and 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 $27 plus tax per person for adults and $14 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $47 plus tax per person for adults and $20 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

‘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 musical performances enliven the park throughout the day.

To book a Candlelight Processional dining package, conatct your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner today!

Holidays Around the World, including the Candlelight Processional, run November 25 – December 30, 2016 at Epcot.

*Narrators and entertainment are subject to change without notice. Theme park admission is required. There is no 5 p.m. show on 12/4.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Fills 21 Nights With Holiday Cheer In 2016

Recently Disney shared the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Today we’re back with dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This favorite Walt Disney World Resort holiday tradition returns to the Magic Kingdom Park for a festive 21 nights this year.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey Mouse presides over the holiday festivities during this enchanting after-hours party that showcases special entertainment, including “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” and a holiday edition of the fireworks spectacular “Wishes,” as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite Disney characters in holiday attire.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place the following nights:

November – 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
December – 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

Tickets for both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will go on sale later this spring.


Periscope Walk Through Of The Osborne Family Spectacle Of Dancing Lights

This week on Travel With Rick, we take a Periscope walk-through of one of the final days of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Hope you enjoy today’s video, be sure to leave a comment and share it with your friends!


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Holidays By the Numbers at Disney California Adventure Park

Disney has put together some numbers on the holiday cheer at Disneyland park, and today I’m back with some festive figures for Disney California Adventure park!

9 – Height in feet of Sally’s traffic-cone Christmas tree in Cars Land

(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

50 – Performers in “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” at Paradise Garden

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2,000 – Square feet of snow play area at Olaf’s Snow Fest in Hollywood Land

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3,000 – Multi-colored LED lights on the Buena Vista Street Christmas tree

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