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Walt Disney World Holiday Festivities

(June 24, 2009) Trees glisten, snow flurries and Cinderella Castle sparkles during the winter wonderland season at Walt Disney World Resort.  By late November, themed décor will blanket the Vacation Kingdom as Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and 23 resorts unwrap their own sleighfuls of yuletide gaiety.

And with the year’s “What Will You Celebrate?,” guests can get in the spirit beginning Nov. 10 by beholding twinkling lights of one of Disney’s newest holiday traditions – Castle Dreamlights! – in Magic Kingdom.  Donning their holiday finest, Cinderella and friends take to the Cinderella Castle stage daily for a dream-come-true, light-the-night moment. With 200,000 sparkling, jewel-like crystals adorning the iconic castle, the glistening light-show spectacular signals the beginning of Disney seasonal merriment.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
at Magic Kingdom – Nov. 10 also marks the first of 19 select evenings when the theme park hosts the long-running Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During this popular special-ticket event, guests are treated to “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks spectacular plus special shows featuring Disney characters decked out in their holiday finest, carolers, festive tree lightings and more.

The “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” celebrates the festivities with dancing snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, a horse-drawn sleigh, enchanting floats and spirited characters all proceeding through the streets of the theme park in a merry and melodic cavalcade.

During “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season,” Cinderella Castle beams brightly as the evening is capped with eye-popping fireworks orchestrated to classic holiday tunes.

Favorite attractions also are open throughout the evening.  And while forecasters predict the first snowfall of the season will swirl a winter-like effect down Main Street, U.S.A, guests can take heart: there’s hot cocoa and cookies to add a warm spirit, plus apple slices and apple juice as the perfect trimming for a not-to-miss outing for the whole family.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are: Nov. 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29 and Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18.  Advance tickets are suggested as some nights are expected to sell out. Advance tickets and information are available now by visiting www.disneyworld.com or by calling 407/W-DISNEY.
 
Beginning Nov. 27,Walt Disney World Resort unwraps even more wintertime wonderment across property.  Here’s the lineup:

Epcot Presents Holidays Around the World
– International holiday traditions unfold throughout World Showcase Nov. 27-Dec. 30 when storytellers such as Pere Noel in France, La Befana in Italy and Santa Claus in The American Adventure share the traditions of the season and spread the message of goodwill. As a “nightcap” to each day, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” – a kaleidoscope of lasers, lights, fireworks and music – takes on a spirited holiday finale.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot
A heartfelt holiday tradition led by a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra showcases the reason for the season Nov. 27-Dec. 30. Presented at America Gardens Theatre at 5, 6:45 and 8 p.m. nightly, Candlelight Processional features celebrity narrators who retell the joyous Christmas story. The narration is interspersed with memorable music. Past celebrity narrators include Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Abigail Breslin and Edward James Olmos.  Performances are included with Epcot admission, and guests are advised to arrive early.  Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Special dining packages that include guaranteed seating for this beloved event also are offered by calling 407/WDW-DINE.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios –
Bathed in bulbs of brilliance, the streets of America glow with millions of dancing lights and animated displays Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, 2010.  Amid gently falling snow, guests will bask in the glow as twirling carousels, melodic angels, colorful wreaths, marching toy soldiers and Santa and his reindeer move to high-energy music and 3-D effects, creating a dazzling symphony for the senses.  The spectacle actually starts behind the scenes while the summer temperatures are still on the rise in Florida as dozens of Disney “elves” begin their meticulous work on more than six miles of rope lights, 84 angels, 66 snow machines and more.
 
Holiday Happenings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – “Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade” gets a holiday makeover Nov. 27 through Jan. 3, 2010, when it is magically transformed into “Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade.” This whimsical spectacle is a theatrical showcase of characters, floats and puppetry with a holiday world-beat twist. Guests can meet Disney characters decked out in their holiday best at Camp Minnie-Mickey, which also features live seasonal entertainment, holiday photo opportunities and decorative Christmas trees.
 
Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney There are enough toys to fill up Santa’s sleigh at stores such as Once Upon a Toy, World of Disney, Team Mickey Athletic Club and LEGO Imagination Center.  Guests can finish their holiday shopping at this one-stop mecca featuring something for everyone on their list – Tren-D, the newest designer boutique; Basin bath and body shop; Arribas Brothers; Disney’s Days of Christmas holiday shop; Fuego by Sosa Cigars and more– and enjoy the dazzling light display and holiday décor that adorns the Downtown Disney streets
Nov. 17-Dec. 24.  And at Downtown Disney Marketplace, guests can meet Santa himself Nov. 17-26 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 27-Dec. 24 from noon to 10 p.m. (subject to change).
 
Christmas Confections Sweeten Vacation Kingdom – Each holiday season, Disney chefs deck the halls in fanciful fashion, creating larger-than-life displays from edible ingredients all across Walt Disney World Resort.  The sweet scent of gingerbread fills the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where a life-sized Victorian gingerbread house is constructed for the holidays.  To create the 16-foot-high dream house, Walt Disney World pastry chefs use 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, 140 pints of egg whites and 180 pounds of apricot glaze.  Meanwhile, at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a life-size carousel silently spins in the lobby, featuring ponies made of chocolate and fondant, giant candy cane poles, handcrafted poinsettias and hand-painted portraits of famous Disney characters. 

Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line
For a gift that’s both nautical and nice, Santa’s wish list could include a cruise on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, both decked “to the rafters” with holiday cheer.  From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to both ships, with traditional “turkey day” fare to Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas.  Beginning Nov. 21, special stem-to-stern events on both ships include: nightly King Triton’s Tree Lighting of a glittering, three-deck-tall tree; family crafts such as decorating stockings, making holiday cards and creating animation cels; storytellers sharing tales of diverse holiday traditions; feasts in Disney’s three themed dining rooms; and “Til We Meet Again,” a special seasonal edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise.

To make arrangements for a holiday vacation at Walt Disney World Resort, guests can visit www.disneyworld.com, call the Disney Reservation Center at 407/W-DISNEY, or consult with a local travel agent.

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-- Posted June 24, 2009

 

 

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