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Disney Magic for the Holidays!

Disney Magic for the Holidays!

By Mary Ball

Wonder. Magic. Wishes. People travel to Walt Disney World looking for these, and in the holiday season each park pulls out all the stops! Disney celebrations capture the beauty of Christmas and the holidays, so even those who don’t care for thrill rides can have an amazing time. Marc and Suzanne Sanders, who vacationed at Disney World over Christmas 2018 with their children, Clara Grace and Clayton, said that they would never go to Disney in the summer again! The combination of lovely weather, gorgeous lights, unbelievable firework displays, and the exceptional decorations made them feel like they were walking through a Thomas Kinkaide painting!

All four parks feature unique holiday fun. Some of these are new this year! Every night in Magic Kingdom, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella’s Castle with glistening ice during A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show. And during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a fabulous event that requires an additional ticket, an all-new firework show comes to life that can be enjoyed across the park! The show celebrates the magic of Christmas with beloved holiday songs.

Get a taste of Christmas and holidays around the world during Epcot International Festival of the Holidays! Most notably, come for the popular Candlelight Processional, where the biblical Christmas story is read by celebrity narrators and choirs sing. Each night Epcot Forever, a new nighttime show, shines above World Showcase Lagoon.

Need a snack? Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe. The Holiday Cookie Stroll invites guests to purchase the five cookies featured in the Festival Passport. Collect matching stamps and receive a complimentary Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie at the end. And look for Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt to scout World Showcase locations for the chipmunks and their ornaments. Completed maps (usually available for purchase) can be returned for a festive surprise.

For the first time in its two-decade history, Animal Kingdom introduces festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Beginning Nov. 8, 2019, as the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by holiday music. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life shimmers and sparkles throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.

Look for snow at Hollywood Studios! Don’t miss the Sunset Seasons Greetings show at the park, featuring projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel, amazing laser effects and “snow”, along with stories, songs, and cheer from favorite Disney friends. Each night, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! treats visitors to a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the Chinese Theatre. Meet Olaf as he delivers a special holiday greeting inviting guests to join him in For the First Time in Forever Sing-Along.

Christmas week is historically the busiest week of the entire year at the world’s busiest theme park. It can also be a lot of fun! Preparing mentally for the crowds, giving yourself time between attractions, and keeping a sense of humor are a few practical ways to enjoy the beauty in the midst of park fun. Definitely download the My Disney Experience app for use in the parks. Several app features can streamline your visit. Mobile ordering for many restaurants (including quick service), adding Fast Passes after you’ve used your initial allotment, and checking the real-time waits across all the parks are just a few ways the app can help you. Jackson residents, Dasha and Jamie Peipon took advantage of the app and found it very helpful in avoiding lines and getting to the shows on time when they took their children to Disney for Thanksgiving one year. Dasha also adds: “Disney is magical any time of the year. But it’s extraordinary during the holidays. All the shimmering lights and Christmas music make you feel like a kid again. You open your eyes and suddenly find yourself somewhere between The North Pole, Arendelle, and the magical land of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. It’s a dream come true.”

Christmas is outside the parks, too! Consider touring the lobbies at area resorts and visiting Disney Springs! Some guests like to ride the monorail and take the boat transfers to enjoy the holiday decor in the lobbies of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot resorts.

Christmas at Disney is busy, bustling, beautiful, and magical. Hope you can see it for yourself this year!

Mary Ball is a travel advisor who lives in Madison with her family and loves to find adventures with her husband and four kids.

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