The 2013 Holiday Season at Disney World and Disney Cruise Line

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Disney elves blend yuletide traditions and Christmas cheer to create a wintry wonderland ready for holiday visitors at the Walt Disney World Resort and on board Disney Cruise Line .

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have 19 magical nights between November 8 and December 20. For twenty five years, Walt Disney World Resort guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. The dates for 2013 include:

  • 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 holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. Plus, you can enjoy all of the new experiences and attractions at New Fantasyland.

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.

Jungle Cruise Goes ‘Jingle Cruise’: For the holiday season, the Jungle Cruise has been transformed into the “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a number of seasonal jokes from the Skippers to their passengers.

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.

Epcot 

Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the 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 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm, and 8:15 p.m. at the America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. (Show times on December 8 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only) Whoopi Goldberg and Ashley Judd highlight the list of narrators this season:

  • Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 – Gary Sinise
  • Dec. 2-3 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 4-5 – Ashley Judd
  • Dec. 6-7 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 8-10 – Sigourney Weaver
  • Dec. 11-13 – Dennis Haysbert
  • Dec. 14-16 – James Denton
  • Dec. 17-19 – Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 20-22 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 23-25 – TBA
  • Dec. 26-28 – Blair Underwood
  • Dec. 29-30 – Amy Grant

You can even 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.”

Holidays Around the World: You can become immersed in the festivities, as you 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 through January 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” through Jan. 2, 2014.

Downtown Disney

Get all your holiday shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. From Harley Davidson to gigantic toy stores like Once Upon A Toy, there’s something for just about every style and budget. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer through December 29 featuring live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.

Glow with the Show Ears Brighten the Holiday Season at the Walt Disney World Resort 

During the holiday season guests of the Walt Disney World Resort can enjoy a dazzling addition to festive favorites with Glow with the Show Ear hats.

Beginning in November with the premiere of Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom, the Glow With the Show Ear hats will place guests in the middle of the magic. With every dancing light, musical note and vibrant explosion in the sky, the Glow ears will illuminate, change colors and patterns to synchronize with every spectacular moment during these yuletide shows.

The new Glow With the Show Ear hats debuted at Walt Disney World Resort during the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and were added to Wishes and Celebrate the Magic castle projection show at Magic Kingdom.

These magical Ear hats glow in myriad colors, commanded with the latest technology to complement the imagery and beat of the fireworks and spectaculars. When not activated by these experiences, more surprises are in store for participants as the magical ears glow with other ears and settings around the park.

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.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, beginning early November through the new year, with Very Merrytime Cruises that include 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.

Adventures by Disney

A Wyoming Adventure awaits those dreaming of a White Christmas adventure together. This December, Adventures by Disney is taking a frosty trip to a true “Winter Wonderland.”  This five-day, four-night inspiring journey walks guests through a picturesque, snow-capped winter in the untamed terrains of Wyoming.

From the moment guests arrive, scenic views of glistening snow and the awe-inspiring Teton Mountain Range in Jackson, Wyoming, will greet them. Throughout the adventure, notable sights will follow, including a close-up view of Old Faithful in the Yellowstone National Park during its snow-covered season, complimented by both frozen and flowing waterfalls and a vast array of roaming wildlife.

As guests travel through your adventure, exciting seasonal activities await. Guests will learn the art of “mushing” through powdery white snow with a trusted team of eager sled dogs, guiding them through the Wyoming wilderness. After sledding, dip into the remarkable and relaxing Granite Hot Springs, a hidden oasis containing rejuvenating waters.

Throughout the trip, guests’ two Adventure Guides will take care of every detail.

New Year’s Eve Dining Across the Walt Disney World Resort

From lunches and dinners to a New Year’s Day brunch, there are more than a dozen spots for ringing in the New Year.

At Epcot World Showcase:

  • Biergarten Restaurant in Germany is offering both lunch and dinner celebrations;
  • La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico is offering a New Year’s Eve dinner;
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada has three seatings;
  • Monsieur Paul in France starts celebrating at noon with seatings throughout the day and evening.

In the Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dinner and dessert party.

In the resorts, special dining for ringing in the New Year is planned at:

  • Disney’s BoardWalk – Flying Fish Cafe
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Citricos, Victoria & Albert’s and Narcoossee’s
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – California Grill and Chef Mickey’s (New Year’s Day brunch)
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Boma – Flavors of Africa (New Year’s Day breakfast)
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Whispering Canyon Cafe (Lunch and dinner)

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your holiday vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information. 

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