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Everything that’s happening for the holidays at Walt Disney World

by Banks Lee

Walt Disney World Holidays

Celebrate the holidays with family, friends and your favorite Disney characters as Christmas cheer meets Disney magic at Walt Disney World this season.

THANKSGIVING

Guests can enjoy menu options for Thanksgiving Day meals at Walt Disney World featuring a classic turkey dinner, such as the hearty all-American eats and traditional family-style Thanksgiving feast at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. For guests looking for a special spin on the traditional turkey dinner, try some of the more unique options, such as traditional Norwegian meatballs and pan-seared salmon at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall or roasted heirloom beets with candied walnuts and mulled apple cider at Artist Point.

Holiday menus also are offered at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom; Hollywood & Vine, 50’s Prime Time Café and The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Planet Hollywood, Portobello Country Italian Tattoria, Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Fulton’s Crab House and Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs; and in resort hotels throughout Walt Disney World.

Availability is limited. For information and reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE.

HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS

Magic Kingdom

Add some very to your merry at the veriest, merriest Christmas party of the season. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom hosts 20 nights of yuletide cheer from Nov. 8 – Dec. 18. From 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. during select nights, this annual ticket event will bring Christmas joy to guests of all ages with festive decorations, towering Christmas trees, and wintry entertainment.

Guests with special event tickets can enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. Special holiday entertainment during the event includes Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Dance Party, “Celebrate the Season” musical stage show starring favorite Disney characters, and “Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks spectacular.

New this year in Tommorrowland, the acclaimed contemporary a cappella group VoicePlay gives guests an unforgettable holiday concert experience. VoicePlay, who appeared on the TV show “The Sing-Off,” will share their vocal harmonies and holiday cheer between performances of “ A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas” at the Rockettower Plaza Stage.

Disney characters dressed in their Christmas best will be available for meet and greets throughout the park. In addition, don’t miss Queen Elsa from “Frozen” as she uses her powers to transform Cinderella Castle nightly into a glistening ice palace for the holidays during “A Frozen Holiday Wish” castle lighting show.

Also for the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” for Magic Kingdom guests. Festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse gives guests a bit of Christmas cheer. The Jingle Cruise boats each are given a unique holiday name, and the Skippers share a slew of seasonal holiday jokes throughout the tour.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit DisneyWorld.com/ChristmasParty. Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 can be purchased for the following dates:
• Nov. 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 29
• Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 18

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A light display boasting millions of glittering lights, this is the last year to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. This magical display of Christmas lights can be seen on the Streets of America from Nov. 6 through Jan. 3, 2016.

Guests can add more sparkle to the holiday celebration at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the Merry & Bright Dessert Party, which includes a view of the Streets of America, festive treats and delicious drinks from Nov. 6 to Dec. 30. For an extra special holiday experience, the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception, offered Jan. 1 to 3, 2016 gives guests a memorable evening with views of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The reception includes an exclusive, reserved viewing area, snacks, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a themed gift to commemorate the holiday season. For reservations, guests can call 407-WDW-DINE or visit DisneyWorld.com/Dining.

Epcot

The Candlelight Processional inspires guests and instills the Christmas spirit through the retelling of the Christmas story by celebrity narrators, accompanied by an orchestra and choir. The Candlelight Processional is performed three times each evening, 5, 6:45 and 8 p.m., from Nov. 27 to Dec. 30. For more information and to make reservations for a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package, visit DisneyWorld.com/Holiday. The list of celebrity narrators for this season includes:
• 11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
• 11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
• 12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
• 12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
• 12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
• 12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira – New
• 12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera – New
• 12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson – New
• 12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim – New
• 12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
• 12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
• 12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

Guests become immersed in holiday festivities while experiencing holiday traditions from various countries throughout World Showcase during Holidays Around the World Nov. 27 to Dec. 30. Share in the sights and sounds of the nations of World Showcase as each country’s holiday heritage comes to life amid music, interactive storytelling and time-honored traditions.

Epcot features special holiday merchandise perfect for every shopper’s Christmas list. Santa’s Village in American Adventure and Christkindlmarkt in Germany feature extra special shopping experiences with unique Christmas ornaments and holiday items.

While shopping, guests can stop by the Future World Fountain Stage for a joy-filled performance by “Joyful!” This ensemble uniquely blends the soulful expressiveness of gospel and inspirational music with the sounds of jazz, R&B and urban music. This holiday performance features classic Christmas tunes with a soulful spin.

The merriment continues with meet and greets with Santa, plus the nightly “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – Holiday Edition,” a laser, light, fireworks display capped with a seasonal finale.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost in Disney’s Animal Kingdom during the holiday season for a special photo opportunity. Mickey and Minnie dress in their holiday best, which makes for the perfect Christmas card photo.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs will be decked with holiday décor to bring Christmas cheer to holiday shoppers and guests. Disney Springs offers many unique holiday gift ideas, from custom phone cases at D-Tech on Demand to the new Disney Parks Castle Play Set at the recently expanded World of Disney store. And don’t forget to whisper your Christmas wish to Santa at the Marketplace!

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

All of Walt Disney World shines brightly with merry décor during the holiday season, including Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is a favorite holiday stop with its 16-foot-high Victorian gingerbread house located in the lobby. Disney’s Beach Club Resort hosts a gingerbread carousel display, accompanied by the sweet smell of Christmas treats wafting through the entryway. Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Boardwalk Resort have their own festive gingerbread holiday displays for guests’ delight. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge showcase Christmas trees towering inside the resorts.

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