Holiday Update: Walt Disney World News

New fireworks show joins the fun of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as Walt Disney World transforms into a winter wonderland beginning Nov. 8

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 3, 2019) – Starting Nov. 8, Walt Disney World Resort will unwrap the 2019 holiday season with very merry festivities across its theme parks, resorts and Disney Springs. This year marks the debut of a new holiday celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a spectacular new holiday-themed fireworks show at Magic Kingdom Park.

It all adds up the most fun this side of the North Pole, with special live entertainment, characters in festive garb, seasonal décor, holiday treats, specialty eats, miles of garlands and decorations, and a shimmering castle to lift holiday spirits.

While Santa and his elves are busy preparing for the holidays, savvy guests are already planning their holiday vacations at Walt Disney World. To help with all that planning, here is an advance look at holiday happenings across the resort:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins in the Holiday Fun for the First Time

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce the biggest holiday season in its two-decade history, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Daytime and nighttime, guests will experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic. Here is some of what’s in store:

  • In the heart of the park, on Discovery Island, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical scene. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day becomes night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
  • As the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
  • Dinoland, U.S.A. will rock out with the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale” and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
  • Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur in Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances.
  • The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
  • Tusker House diners get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
  • Guests will find out-of-this-world holiday fun at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal cheer with a display at Pongu Pongu of whimsical holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
  • A Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. Decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals, the tree is a prelude to the holiday magic that awaits inside the park.

Magic Kingdom Park to Unveil New Holiday Fireworks Show

The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life this holiday season as visions of fireworks dance in the air during an all-new nighttime show – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Hosted by Minnie Mouse, the holiday extravaganza invites guests to come together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas. The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates Nov. 8-Dec. 22, and nightly Dec. 23-29.

This holiday season will also see Magic Kingdom transformed into an enchanting wonderland with dazzling decorations, holiday treats, a shimmering ice castle and more. Returning holiday favorites include:

  • With glittery Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece, Magic Kingdom shines its brightest during the holidays. Guests will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters in their festive finery and fireworks bursting above. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
  • Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. Dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience select rides and attractions (including the “Jingle Cruise”), savor complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates: Nov. 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; Dec. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22. For more information and ticketing, guests can call (407) 939-1872 or visit Disneyworld.com.

Beloved Epcot Candlelight Processional Begins Nov. 29 as Highlight of Holiday Festival

Joyous Yuletide traditions from across the globe are at the heart of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. From Nov. 29, 2019, through Dec. 30, 2019, merry-makers will be immersed in a vast world of holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine and costumed storytellers in many of the 11 World Showcase nations.

  • Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition – the Candlelight Processional – features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances will run three times nightly during the festival. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
  • Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase will serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe.
  • World Showcase pavilions will come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
  • Chip & Dale are gathering ornaments for their Christmas tree and guests can join in the fun! To be part of Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt, guests will purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations looking for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. Completed maps are returned for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo.
  • With its premiere scheduled for Oct. 1, 2019, holiday guests will be among the first to view “Epcot Forever,” a new nighttime spectacular bursting above World Showcase Lagoon.
  • Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers and more.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Glitters with Special Holiday Entertainment

Holiday adventures begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as new attractions and lands turn this theme park into one big holiday gift. Add seasonal shows, enchanting “snowfalls,” décor and more, and it’s easy to see how holidays here become extraordinary:

  • Park guests will be mesmerized by the Sunset Seasons Greetings show projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Boasting amazing laser effects and “snow,” the experience also includes stories, songs and cheer courtesy of favorite Disney friends.
  • The nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will treat holiday-goers to iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the iconic Chinese Theatre. To add a sweet touch, guests will be able to make reservations for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. This event is not included with theme park admission, and pricing and reservation information will be available later this year.
  • Holiday touches and festive décor throughout the park will include seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
  • As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.

While guests are merry-making through the park, they will want to stop at the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge where they can live their own Star Wars adventures and find the perfect holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences are subject to capacity.)

Disney Springs Delivers Season’s Greetings

Perfect for this special time of year, the Disney Springs retail, dining and entertainment district is where guests can make a holiday list and check it twice as they breeze among dozens of trendy brand-name stores and a large and varied collection of Disney merchandise. They can also indulge the holiday hungries at great dining spots that will also serve up seasonal cheer. Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run Nov. 8, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020:

  • Guests strolling the Christmas Tree Trail will be treated to custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring favorite Disney characters.
  • Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.

Disney Resorts Deck the Halls

Resort hotels across Walt Disney World will be decked out for the holidays. Seasonal décor and massive Christmas trees usher in the festive spirit:

  • A life-size holiday gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the place to pick up Christmas treats, including (of course!) tasty gingerbread. Disney’s Beach Club Resort boasts a life-size, edible carousel as a holiday tradition, while a holiday village with a miniature train takes center stage at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
  • A special dining experience always ties a big red ribbon around the holidays. Holiday menus that celebrate the season will be found at restaurants throughout Disney resort hotels. For holiday dining information and reservations, guests can call (407) WDW-DINE.

 

Disney on a Budget

It is no secret that I live the single momma life.  Which means one income pays all the bills.  Life can be a little tight around here.  BUT we always find that extra bit of money to get our Disney fix on.  It isn’t easy but it is possible.  So how do I do it?  How do I do Disney on a budget?  I ask myself this all the time….here is what I came up with.  I mean,  this is how I do it:

  1. Annual-Pass We are Annual Passholders.  My first year I purchased our Disney passes through AAA.  There is a slight discount that saved me about $25 per ticket.  However, you must be a AAA member to qualify for the discount and tickets must be paid in full.  Renewing I opt to pay Disney direct and I utilize the flex pay.  Paying for Gold status a little each month.  This really helps stretch that dolla!
  2. We eat before we go to the parks.  Let’s face it Disney food can be quite costly for a single momma with two very hungry kiddos.  Our favorite place to stop for a quick bite is Chick-Fil-A.  We get a great meal for a fraction of the Disney price AND leave with a full belly.  Definitely can make it to lunch without hearing those three money eating words, “Mom, I’m hungry.”
  3. fruitWe bring snacks.  Yes!  Disney will allow you to bring a few munchies into the parks.  Now, don’t pack your whole fridge.  Bring a few apples, grapes, carrot sticks, maybe even a Gogurt. Anything that will fit in a small lunch bag.  Then put this bag in your back pack.  You may even want to freeze a bottle of water to keep the snacks cold.  It is Florida and we are known for those warm summer temperatures all year round.  Well, for the most part.  We aren’t called the Sunshine state for nothing.
  4. disney waterWe get ice cold water from Disney for FREE!  That’s right ya’ll!  Free water at Disney.  The magic words are, “May I have a cup of ice water, please?”  Just say this magical phrase at any F & B stand or restaurant where they serve fountain drinks and you will get it for free.  You will thank me for this one later.
  5. We buy souvenirs only for special occasions.  We only visit WDW EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.  So, I limit purchases.  It is ok to say no most of the time.  Then when you purchase a goodie the lil one’s cherish it more.

 

So now you know, how I do Disney on a Budget.  Don’t get me wrong it is so fun to spend that money in the parks, but to feel that squeeze in my bank account later is not so fun.   And for anyone worried that we are missing out on Disney Treats and Dining.  We definitely are not.  Occasionally I do  purchase treats in the park and make reservations for  Disney Dining,  BUT only for special occasions.  It is ok to limit these purchases.

I truly believe, magic is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Get Your Party On This Summer!

 

This summers hottest party are exclusively at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  WDW is hosting not just one but two hip hopping parties (included with regular park admission.)

ddDonald’s Dino Bash:  Donald is taking over DinoLAND U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a  prehistoric party that is a rip roaring dino thrill.  Come celebrate Donald’s recent discovery that ducks are actually descendants of dinosaurs.  With special appearances by  Donald himself, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Launchpad McQuack, your favorite uncle- Scrooge McDuck, and Chip ‘n Dale!

 

iIncredible Summer Dance Party:  The Incredibles takeover Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom with a “Super” dance party.  Special guest appearances by:  Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, and Edna Mode.  Don’t forget to stop by PhotoPass for your chance to be in the movie with backdrops from this summer’s biggest SMASH hit!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Favorites!

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Like Olaf. we are really big fans of Summer.  But the Florida heat can be too much to handle.  If you are looking to stay cool…fashionably cool check out my Summer Favorites!

  1.  Dole Whip Minnie Ears from Bibbidi Bobbidi Loot ($28):  Just as delicious as they are sweet!  Show off your favorite Disney treat with these adorable ears.  Made of yellow and white yarn, a light weight headband for children of all ages (including the young at heart!) and adorned with a yellow bow topped with a pineapple (of course!) Sarah is an artisan with a great big Disney heart.  She originally designed  her ears  to celebrate the best part of being a Disney Princess – Princess Hair! They are styled to look like swirled braided hair formed into Mouse Ears showing off your favorite Princess, Character, or Treat!
  2. Rapunzel Choker from Clarke’s Geek Bowtique ($8.01):  Your princess will find happiness where the sun shines in this beautiful choker by Clarke’s Geek Bowtique.  Inspired by our favorite Tangled princess it is designed with soft purple velvet and embellished with a delicate sun burst charm.   Vikki, shop owner and designer is an aerial circus performer by day and by night you will find her delicately handcrafting jewelry and hair accessories for you! Another favorite from her shop is the Dole Whip Choker.IMG_20170707_213727_312
  3. Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Tee from Planet Orlando ($17.99)  I scream, You Scream, We all scream for Mickey Ice Cream!  Oh my Disney!  With three scoops of ice cream and topped with the most magical mouse ears ever; this tee is naturally sweet!  Also available in Donald Duck and Tangled flavors!  Perfect for the whole family.  We also love the Star Wars Mickey tee for boys!
  4. Animal Charm Bath Bomb from Georgia Charms ($5.25) Looking for a little R & R in between Disney Play Days?  Just drop a Georgia Charms Bath Bomb into your warm bath water and enjoy!  These bath bombs are full of luxurious fizz that give off lots of beautiful color, calming aromas, and a pinch of biodegradable sparkle.   Each bath bomb comes with a surprise charm.
  5. Pink Lollipop Minnie Mouse Ears from Shiny Sky Rainbows ($34.99) Oh the good ship Lollipop; It’s a sweet trip to the Candy Shop. These ears are sugary sweet and are perfect for strolling along Main Street USA.  Made with a hot pink and white satin ribbon swirled together they replicate the iconic swirl pops found in Magic Kingdom’s Confectionery.  lollipop2

 

 

When you Wish Upon a Wire

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When you wish upon a wire
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you

Have you ever wished upon a star with all your might only for your dreams to come true?  How about wishing upon a wire?  As mystical as it may seem,  magical things are conjured when you Wish Upon a Wire.   Anything your heart desires: Dole Whips, Mickey balloons, or Cinderella’s Castle- that’s right your dreams of the perfect Minnie ears have finally come true!  Jen is the fantastical wizard behind the wire Minnie ears.  She intricately designs and creates customized wire Minnie ears even the Blue Fairy fawns over.

There is nothing this gal cannot do!  Even I tried to challenge Jen, but she is a true master of the art and the end result of my customized ears ruffled some feathers. Before I reveal the whimsical ears that were designed for me; I’d like to share the ordering process.

To start Jen asked me what theme I wanted.  There was no doubt in my mind, I needed Dole Whip ears!  So, I requested something with a Dole Whip on one side and anything magical on the other.  I was very vague,  simply because it was too hard to decide.  I just love everything Jen creates.  I feel like I need one of everything!  It all started with an idea that turned into a sketch and finished with a little touch of pixie dust!   Throughout the design process Jen would send me magic mail to my gmail inbox teasing my ever wishing heart with sneakie peeks.

The whole process was spellbounding.  I felt connected to Jen and the fabrication of my ears.  Ordering from Wish Upon a Wire is truly a unique experience I hope to endure again, and again in the future.  Everything right down to the delivery of the finished product is simply MAHVELOUS!  I was thrilled to receive my ears in tact and in perfect shape after shipping.  Jen packaged the ears in bubble wrap and tissue paper which protected the shape of the ears.  Wire ears are incredibly delicate making it it very easy for the ears to bend;  so packaging is extremely important!

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Jen’s design intermixed my love for Adventure, Dole Whips, and the Enchanted Tiki Room.  I just couldn’t wait to take my ears on their first adventure…and when I did cast members and park guests couldn’t help but ask where I got my ears from.  Wish Upon a Wire’s work is literally breathtaking.  I had one park guest chase me down Main Street USA to inquire the craftsmanship of the ears and she could hardly catch her breath.  The brightly colored flowers caught her eye, but when she saw the delicate wire work of Pierre and Collette she was amazed.

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And you can be too!  I have so many beautiful words for Jen and her wire talent.  She is just the sweetest and her ears will bring so much added magic to your Disney Day.  Check out Wish Upon a Wire on Instagram.  Don’t forget to give this shop a follow to stay updated on new designs and the official store opening!

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Forget the star, make your next Wish Upon a Wire

Celebrate Christmas at Walt Disney World

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Happy HOLLYdays!!!!  Christmas is here!  I just love all things Christmas and I truly cannot get enough of all the beautiful lights, smells, and sounds of CHRISTMAS that flood the streets of Disney World.  Christmas is the best time of the year!!!  I am so excited that I can’t stop saying Christmas!

Here are just a few of my favorite Disney Christmas Traditions that you must experience this season.  Make sure to bring your family to share all the Christmas magic with!

EPCOT:

Candlelight Processional:

“A spectacular and wondrous pageantry that unites people from around the globe.

Spellbound audiences will experience pure holiday magic as special guest stars recount the biblical tale of Christmas interwoven with rich orchestral music and song that’s nothing short of heaven sent. An American Sign Language interpreter will translate on stage so hearing-impaired.” (Disney, 2016)

Candlelight Processional, November 26, 2016; Narrated by Steven Curtis Chapman

Holidays Around the World:

“Discover a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of our 11 World Showcase nations. Holidays Around the World surrounds you in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season as celebrated by cultures near and far.” (Disney, 2016)

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian:

Gingerbread House:

The most delectable house is viewable in the lobby of the Grand Floridian.  It takes about 2 months to build and it smells so sweet!

 

Magic Kingdom:

Jingle Cruise:

Ride the world famous Jingle Cruise with new jokes that will make your yuletide gay!

 

The fun doesn’t stop there!  Check out Jingle Bell Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios and Cinderella’s Castle all decked out in lights!  There is so much Christmas fun to make your season bright!

Wishing your and your family a Blessed Christmas season!

The Mystery of the Purple Wall

is-2Of all the beautiful photo spots throughout Disney World, one of the most popular today is the Purple Wall. The purple wall stretches from the Tomorrowland Terrace and into Tomorrowland.  It is part of a hidden walkway leading guests from Main Street to Tomorrowland. When I first heard of the purple wall I was intrigued and thought there must be something special about this wall. Before knowing where it was located within the park of Magic Kingdom my children and I searched and searched. One day we stopped to take pictures at what we thought was the notable  wall,  just outside the bathrooms near the Tomorrowland Speedway. I couldn’t understand why so many people would stop to take pictures outside the entrance of the women’s restroom. It was quite awkward with very little space to pose while guests where going in and out of the restroom.   Just the same we managed to snap a few pics and felt very strange doing so.  A few visits later we walked past a much longer purple wall and realized we had found it!   It stretched for what seemed like miles but I’m sure was more like 1/4 of a mile.   The joy that we felt over this accomplishment!  It was  exhilarating!

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After taking some pictures, laughing at how silly we were before, and how exciting it was to finally find this hidden treasure I sat to watch the passersby. Many walked past not noticing the beauty of it while others stopped to pose making a funny face and some with props.   I could only wonder what made this wall so special?  After all, it has been the backdrop for thousands of pictures and has it’s own Instagram page!

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Sadly, according to cast members there is nothing special about it.  It is just a wall that was painted purple in 1998.  The color purple is a bright color used to express the future and replaces the old yellow of yesterday.  It is a contemporary color and matches the color scheme used at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.  When asked about the popularity, cast member Ricky stated, “It is an Instagram trend.  Guests will take pictures for the trend.”

Trend or no trend…this wall is making history!  So grab a camera and put on your best smile and join the “Instagram Trend”!  Think of it as a little added magic!