If there was a best time for the world of “Frozen” to have a presence at Walt Disney World Resort, it would be during the holiday season. And that time is quickly approaching.
Starting in early November and through the weeks that follow, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna add their special royal touch as the Florida Vacation Kingdom hopes to delight guests with yuletide traditions and holiday cheer. Fans of the most popular animated motion picture of all time will have a sleigh-full of “Frozen” entertainment choices.
Here’s a look at the holiday cheer awaiting Disney guests all around Walt Disney World in 2014:
• Transforming Cinderella Castle
New this year, starting Nov. 5, Queen Elsa from “Frozen” will use her incredible powers to transform Cinderella Castle into a glistening 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 Dream Lights” celebration and “A Frozen Holiday Wish” stage show. The show is available for all park guests to see.
• Entertainment, Fireworks and More
Santa’s elves will transform Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland with festive wreaths, bows, garland, sparkling lights, parades and towering Christmas trees. The fun includes Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.
• Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: On select nights from Nov. 7 to Dec. 19, 2014, guests with tickets to this special event, after park hours, can enjoy for the first time Princess Anna, Queen Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” joining the festive procession, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” along with a flurry of skaters, skiers and ice cutters from the Kingdom of Arendelle.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party presents a night of holiday splendor with lively stage shows featuring Disney characters in their holiday best, a unique holiday parade and favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A.
The fun continues with a holiday “Celebrate the Magic” castle projection show and Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks spectacular. Tickets for this event may be purchased online at WaltDisneyWorld.com or by calling 407-WDW-7679.
• Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
From Dec. 20-31, “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” is presented to day guests in the park in place of Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
• Jungle Cruise Goes ‘Jingle Cruise’
For the holiday season, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a slew of seasonal jokes from the Skippers. This seasonal takeover of the attraction debuts Nov. 7 in Adventureland.
• The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
This massive seasonal display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3D effects synchronized to holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Nov. 7, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015.
• Candlelight Processional
One of the most beloved holiday traditions Walt Disney World Resort, featuring a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Among new celebrity narrators this year is Jonathan Groff, who voiced the rugged mountain man Kristoff in “Frozen.” Candlelight performances are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre. (Show times on Dec. 7 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only)
– Jodi Benson: 11/28 – 11/29
– Neil Patrick Harris: 11/30 – 12/2
– Jonathan Groff NEW!: 12/3 – 12/4
– Whoopi Goldberg: 12/5 – 12/6
– LeVar Burton: 12/7* – 12/9
– Edward James Olmos: 12/10 – 12/11
– Joe Morton NEW!: 12/12 – 12/14
– Chita Rivera: 12/15 – 12/17
– Ana Gasteyer NEW!: 12/18 – 12/20
– Marlee Matlin: 12/21 – 12/23
– Isabella Rossellini: 12/24 – 12/25
– Blair Underwood: 12/26 – 12/27
– Steven Curtis Chapman: 12/28 – 12/30
Guests may purchase Candlelight Dining Packages to reserve a seat at the Candlelight Processional. These packages, available on select nights, include a meal, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and a pre-arranged location for fireworks viewing. Guests may call 407-WDW-DINE for reservations or at disneyworld.com. Availability is limited.
• JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season
A performance which blends the soulful expressiveness of Gospel and inspirational music with the sounds of jazz, R&B and urban music daily from Nov. 28 to Dec. 29 at the Future World Fountain Stage.
• IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
The World Showcase Promenade comes alive with a unique finale celebrating the season. The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and a “to be determined” narrator will offer a special message of peace and good will nightly at 9:30 p.m.
• Holidays Around the World
Celebrate each country’s holiday traditions with storytellers
– Canada – The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs
– United Kingdom – Father Christmas
– France – Père Noël
– Morocco – Taarji, a Moroccon drummer and the holiday of Ramadan
– Japan – Story of the Daruma Doll and the Japanese customs of the New Year
– American Adventure – Mr. & Mrs. Claus, Hanukkah traditions and Kwanzaa celebrations
– Italy – La Befana, the kindhearted witch who grants gifts to good children
– Germany – Helga and the story of the First Christmas tree and her first Nutcracker
– China – Monkey King tells tall tales celebrating Chinese New Year
– Norway — Sigrid and the story of Julenissen, the Christmas Gnome
• Other festive holiday offerings include the Gingerbread Village at The Land pavilion, which showcases sweet recreations of Walt Disney World Resort’s theme park icons, plenty of holiday merchandise and food and beverage offerings around World Showcase.
Starting in November, Festival of the Seasons returns to Downtown Disney with joyous holiday entertainment and festive décor, as well as a meet and greet with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus. The resort hotels are all glittery for the season, as well, with merry décor, gingerbread houses and more. Guests will find a sugary showcase of holiday displays throughout resort hotels. From enhancing visual feasts created from all kinds of sweets to refreshing stops offering tasty beverages and treats, each display has its own charming features.
Stay tuned to this website and Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show for more information on offerings at Walt Disney World this holiday season. For videos of these events, visit the Christmas in Orlando playlist on our YouTube Chnnel.