Holidays at WDW

All posts in the Holidays at WDW category

What’s New at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2013

Published November 7, 2013 by Disneyways.com

very merry

Are you ready to find out what’s new at this year’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? New information about offerings and changes for this year’s party are exciting and I couldn’t wait to share them with you. Our thanks to WDWNewsToday.com for this information!

New This Year:

Jingle Cruise! That’s right – Disneyland is no longer the only place you can see cool attraction “overlays” themed for the season. Check out all that’s coming to the Jungle Cruise (I mean JINGLE Cruise!) beginning this Friday.

Mary Poppins, Bert, and Penguins will meet guests in Fantasyland!

This year treat stations will be marked with new giant, inflatable Candy Canes. They won’t actually talk, but they will look something like this:

candy cane

Never before seen merchandise.

tshirt

ornament

A new Photopass Option is coming too! The Rose Garden Photopass Stop will have a real red Christmas Ornament with the event name on it. Below you will find concept art, but at the party the ornament will actually be real.

photo

For the first time ever – the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas backstory!

story

Check out the least crowded dates to visit the party HERE. Dates and pricing for the party can be found HERE.

Update! Everything You Want to Know About Epcot’s Candlelight Processional 2013

Published July 17, 2013 by Disneyways.com

candle

When it comes to Candlelight, you have to plan ahead! There is a good, better, and best way to enjoy Candlelight. That’s why we’ve got everything you want to know about it for you here – and you can decide what works for you.

Epcot’s Candlelight Processional is  a Disney tradition now in its 43rd year! It is absolutely a must-do included in our top 5 ways to get in the Christmas spirit at Epcot! Candlelight Processional is a moving presentation of the Christmas story in readings by a celebrity narrator and music by a Mass choir and 50-piece orchestra. This event takes place in the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase in Epcot. It is an outdoor (uncovered, not climate controlled) setting and is not cancelled due to inclement weather. It is recommended that you dress accordingly – some years we actually need to wear our warm coats!

The Processionals begin on November 29, 2013, and runs every evening until December 30.

Shows are approximately 40 minutes. Each evening there are three shows — the times are 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

2013 Tentative Narrator Schedule

Neil Patrick Harris

The tentative schedule of those who will appear as narrators for performances of Epcot’s 2013 Candlelight Processional, the annual retelling of the story of Christmas that features a mass choir and a full orchestra (subject to change):

Gary Sinise November 29 to December 1, 2013

Neil Patrick Harris December 2 to December 3, 2013

Ashley Judd – NEW! December 4 to December 5

Whoopi Goldberg December 6 to December 7, 2013

Sigourney Weaver – NEW! December 8 to December 10, 2013

Dennis Haysbert – NEW! December 11 to December 13, 2013

James Denton December 14 to December 16, 2013

Edward James Olmos December 17 to December 19, 2013

Trace Adkins December 20 to December 22, 2013

Steven Curtis Chapman December 23 to December 25, 2013

Blair Underwood December 26 to December 28, 2013

Amy Grant December 29 to December 30, 2013

There is no charge to see the Candlelight Processional (show) – it is included in your admission to Epcot. There is, however, a dinner package available for purchase. The Candlelight package includes a ticket to a guaranteed reserved seating SECTION for the Candlelight Processional (show) at American Gardens Theater  –  lunch or dinner at a select Epcot restaurant, and pre-arranged fireworks viewing.

Previously a mystery to most of us – YOU CAN NOW JUST CLICK HERE TO GET AN IDEA OF YOUR DINING TIME FOR EACH SHOW!

To book call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or visit HERE. Be prepared to hold your package in advance with a valid credit card number. You don’t have to pay for your dinner package until you arrive at the location.

Again, you do not get a reserved seat at the show with the package – you get to sit in the reserved section. The reserved section is front and center, behind any VIP seating. Within the reserved section, seating is on a first come, first serve basis, so if you want your choice of seats, you should still arrive 30-45 minutes early.  

Seating without the dinner package is on a first come, first serve basis for each show. This means lining up 45 minutes (longer as you are closer to Christmas) before show time. 15 minutes prior to the show, seating is then opened up to those who are standing in line. Also, keep in mind if you wait in line for the 2nd or 3rd show of the night, that you will be hearing the show before yours as it is performed.

Don’t want to stand in line? You can always stroll by the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase to listen to the music and wonders of Christmas with out any sort of planning ahead.

candle1

The Candlelight Dinner Package includes a great meal (there is a link to the menus below) – and here’s what every meal includes – no matter where you eat: 

• Appetizer • Entree • Dessert • Non-alcoholic beverage (OR one full buffet where applicable!)

If you don’t have a dining plan – here are your prices per person for the meal included in the package (pricing etc. is credit wdwinfo.com):

*Price includes tax, but not gratuity and are subject to change.*

Biergarten – Germany

  • Lunch: $35.14 (Adult)  $19.16 (Child)
  • Dinner: $55.37 (Adult)  $28.75 (Child)

Chefs de France – France  

  • Lunch: $59.63 (Adult)  $15.97 (Child)
  • Dinner: $74.54 (Adult)  $21.29 (Child)

Coral Reef– The Living Seas

  • Lunch: $57.50 (Adult)  $14.90 (Child)
  • Dinner: $69.22 (Adult)  $19.16 (Child)

Garden Grill – The Land

  • Dinner: $57.50 (Adult)  $29.81 (Child)  

La Hacienda de San Angel – Mexico

  • Dinner: $69.74 (Adult)  $17.58 (Child)

Nine Dragons Restaurant – China

  • Lunch: $41.53 (Adult)  $13.84 (Child)
  • Dinner: $53.74 (Adult)  $18.10 (Child)

Restaurant Marrakesh – Morocco

  • Lunch: $42.59 (Adult)  $14.90 (Child)
  • Dinner: $53.24 (Adult)  $18.10 (Child)

Rose and Crown – UK

  • Lunch: $46.85 (Adult)  $13.84 (Child)
  • Dinner: $59.63 (Adult)  $19.16 (Child)

San Angel Inn – Mexico

  • Lunch: $51.98 (Adult)  $15.18 (Child)
  • Dinner: $65.82 (Adult)  $17.58 (Child)

Teppan Edo – Japan  

  • Lunch: $63.89 (Adult)  $17.03 (Child)
  • Dinner: $74.54 (Adult)  $20.23 (Child)

Tokyo Dining – Japan  

  • Lunch: $63.89 (Adult)  $17.03 (Child)
  • Dinner: $74.54 (Adult)  $20.23 (Child)

Tutto Italia – Italy

  • Lunch: $58.57 (Adult)  $15.97 (Child)
  • Dinner: $71.35 (Adult)  $10.23 (Child)

Via Napoli – Italy

  • Lunch: $43.66 (Adult)  $14.90 (Child)
  • Dinner: $56.44 (Adult)  $19.16 (Child)

Here’s a tip: If you are already planning to dine at one of the restaurants in the package, take a look at the menus from around the World – and see if the price of a ticket works out better for you.

If you have a Disney Dining Plan – it will be accepted as follows: 

Magic Your Way Plus Dine – 2 TSR entitlements
Magic Your Way Plus Deluxe Dine – 2 TSR entitlements
Magic Your Way Quick Service Dine – Not eligible
Magic Your Way Premium Package
Magic Your Way Platinum Package

Christmas at Epcot

Guests are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes early to their dining reservation to check–in. Guests will receive Candlelight Seating badges at the restaurant for guaranteed seating at the America Gardens Theatre for the booked show time and for viewing of IllumiNations: Reflection of Earth (Epcot fireworks).

Click here to check out a FREE Disney holiday activity – seeing all the resort decorations!

Least crowded dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2013

Published July 8, 2013 by Disneyways.com

christmaspicfont

It’s like Christmas in July!

Tickets have been on sale for quite some time for the 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and I know some of you out there are already making plans to come celebrate your holiday here in Walt Disney World! If you prefer wide open spaces to walk and shorter lines for attractions, you may be wondering what some of the best dates are to come and party. In researching the best date for the Disney Parks Podcast team to get our holiday on – I stumbled on some great information from TouringPlans.com that I wanted to share with you today.

According to the site –  last year’s crowds indicate that Tuesday Christmas parties are less crowded on average than parties held on any other day of the week. Friday is the next-best day to attend a Very Merry Christmas Party.  We can enjoy lower crowds for the Christmas parties right between the Thanksgiving and Christmas busy periods. Four of the five parties between December 3 and 10, 2013, are among the TouringPlans.com top 7 least-busy parties – but they expect Sunday, December 8th to be a bit busier. While there are no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties during Thanksgiving week, the parties just prior to and just after that break are traditionally busy. Thursday and Sunday are the busiest days – and many November dates rank among the most crowded. You may also want to avoid the last few parties before Christmas, because they are also quite crowded.

parade

In general the wait times during the Christmas parties are quite low, averaging only about 9 minutes. The Christmas parties may be your best bet to enjoy some of your favorite attractions.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for the least crowded, best day to visit Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2013…

welcome

Touring Plans says to circle Tuesday, December 10, 2013 on your calendar.

That Christmas Party, on a Tuesday in early December, was the least-crowded event in 2012’s schedule. If that date doesn’t work for you – just refer to the recommendations above for help. Don’t forget – Epcot and Hollywood Studios have SO much to offer as well during this time of year.  I hope you’ll consider coming “home” for Christmas – and we will see soon!

Dates & Pricing for MNSSHP, NOJ, and MVMCP! Tickets Available Now!

Published May 1, 2013 by Disneyways.com

TouringPlans.com just released information and pricing for all hard ticket events coming to Walt Disney World for the fall and winter season 2013! Tickets go on sale tomorrow and will sell out for the more popular dates, so don’t delay if you are thinking of attending any of these fun events! (Information, dates, pricing etc. are always subject to change without notice from Disney.)

Official Dates and Prices for 2013 Fall/Winter Hard Ticket Events at Magic KingdomPinterest

We now have the official dates and prices for Night of Joy,Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2013. Tickets for all three events go on sale May 1, 2013.

Night of Joy

Described by Disney as a “contemporary Christian music festival,” Night of Joy will be held on September 6 and 7 from 7:30pm to 1:00am. Prices are $55.00 for one night in advance, $65.00 if bought the day of the event, and $99.00 for both nights if bought in advance.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

The 2013 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dates are:

  • September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, and 29
  • October 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
  • November 1

Pricing for the Halloween parties is as follows:

Advance Sale Tickets

Tickets may be purchased in advance (starting May 1) from Disney’s website or by calling 407-939-7211.

  • September dates (excluding September 29): Ages 10 and up: $59.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $54.00 plus tax.
  • September 29 and October/November dates (excluding October 31): Ages 10 and up: $62.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $57.00 plus tax.
  • Advance sale pricing is not available for the October 11, 18, 25, and 31 parties.

Day of Event Tickets

  • September dates (excluding September 29): Ages 10 and up: $65.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $60.00 plus tax.
  • September 29 and October/November dates (excluding October 31): Ages 10 and up: $67.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $62.00 plus tax.

Premium Night Tickets

  • October 31: Ages 10 and up: $73.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $68.00 plus tax.

Military Discounts

This year Active and Retired U.S. Military, including members of the U.S. Coast Guard and active members of National Guard or Reservists, may purchase discounted Halloween party tickets for select event nights. They may also purchase additional tickets for up to five family members or friends.

  • These dates are: September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27.
  • Prices are $41.30 for ages 10 and up. Children ages 3-9 are $37.80 plus tax.

Military purchasing tickets at Shades of Green receive the same discount, but tickets purchased there are exempt from sales tax.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

The 2013 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are:

  • November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 21, and 22
  • December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 20

Tickets may be purchased in advance (starting May 1) from Disney’s website or by calling 407-939-7211.

Pricing for the Christmas parties is as follows:

  • Advance sale tickets: Ages 10 and up: $62.00 plus tax. Children ages 3-9: $57.00 plus tax.
  • Advance sale pricing is not available for parties on November 22, December 6, 13, 19, and 20.
  • Day of Event tickets: Ages 10 and up: $67.00. Children ages 3-9: $62.00.
  • Premium Night (December 20): Ages 10 and up: $71.00. Children ages 3-9: $66.00.

There is also a military discount on select nights for the Christmas party. Dates are November 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, and 21. Prices are $43.40 plus tax for ages 10 and up. Children ages 3-9 are $39.90. Military purchasing tickets at Shades of Green receive the same discount, but tickets purchased there are exempt from sales tax.

****All of the above information was re-posted from TouringPlans.com

More from Disneyways…

Click here to see information about 2012 Halloween events

Click here to see more on Christmas 2012

Click here to see more on Night of Joy 2012

 

World Secrets! Beyond the Birthday Basics: Grown-ups Like to Celebrate at Disney too!

Published April 5, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Alicia is a Disneyways subscriber and avid reader who has a WONDERFUL “predicament”. She is celebrating her 27th birthday in Walt Disney World this year. This is her first time ever to blow out her candles in the most magical place on earth. Alicia was so sweet and persistent in asking me for some tips that might help her to make the day extra wonderful.

So…Alicia…this one’s for you…and everyone else reading this post who has wondered the same thing!

Thanks for your great question!

Alicia

Can you tell Alicia is just a kid at heart?

This is definitely one of our longer posts, and I want to respect your time. If you are too busy to read all this – stop right here and call my friend Ramon from ThemeParkConcierges.com. (407-257-9973)

Ramon has been helping families and individuals create magical Disney birthday moments for years and he is VERY affordable for the amazing value he provides. Like some sort of Disney wish granter – Ramon has access to special meet and greet opportunities, VIP seating, holiday tours, and all sorts of things that he can customize just for you, and that are probably not even listed here. He can save you a ton of time and make your birthday celebrations a breeze!

Now let’s get the ball rolling and think out side the box for a little inspiration! We’ve got free, cheap and pricey ideas for grown-up birthdays!

Drinking or Snacking Around World Showcase

Planning is crucial here – so be sure to check out THIS LINK before you attempting this idea. Now take it a step further. Create something tangible before you leave for yourself or the person who is celebrating their birthday. Look up the drink and food menus at the World Showcase pavilions and think about the items you or they would most prefer. Print a map of Epcot and write your choices on each country to represent your plan of action. Create t-shirts with the countries and all the drinks or snacks listed. Bring a sharpie to mark each one off as you go! You can buy alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and food at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom if you like those parks better – or do a snack crawl around Magic Kingdom!

Wear a HAT!

Any silly or customized hat can also be a great way to celebrate your birthday trip around the world, or any occasion really. Check out this photo my hubby took of Mike from MikeandTheMouse.com (and me!) from our last Disneyways meetup. Nothing beats a fashionable set of Mickey ears.

By the way…if you weren’t at the meetup these are the sort of shenanigans you missed. You need to come to the next one. The details will be revealed soon! 🙂

mike

Watch the Fireworks during Dinner 

Again, some planning ahead is important here. You’re going to need a list of restaurants where this is possible. Stay tuned to Disneyways for those. Better yet subscribe to get updates by email so you’ll never miss a post! Advanced dining reservations are also crucial! The good news is – fireworks viewing won’t cost you any extra if you are lucky enough to be seated for dinner in a good spot.

Take a Specialty Cruise 

Check out the options for specialty cruises at Walt Disney World here. Check out this page for the phone numbers to call. Don’t want to sit on hold? Hire Ramon to do this for you.

Pick the Plan

Here’s one that won’t add any expense at all. You or  the person celebrating their birthday gets to pick the general schedule for the day and maybe even invite a surprise guest.  The attraction and show choices are endless, and giving or having this kind of power is fuel for some wonderful birthday memories.

Set up a Small Private Event

There are a couple of ways to set up a small private event at Walt Disney World.

One is to call Private Dining at the Grand Floridian (407-824-2474) and arrange to have dinner somewhere in the hotel or at the marina during the Wishes fireworks. If you are staying in some other Disney resort – then the way to do a small private event at Walt Disney World is to work with Disney Catered Events (321-939-7278). My recommendation? Use a travel agent or hire Ramon to do all of this for you.

Beyond Birthday Cake

Sure you can get cake at Disney, if you prefer. But I hope you will go to Norway for School Bread. Get Zebra Domes from Boma or Mara in Animal Kingdom Lodge. Order Crepes from Chefs de France, ‘Smores from the ’50s Prime Time Diner, or the Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe. Bring your own birthday candle and your server will bring it out singing. Try to conquer the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream. Have Dole Whip or Mickey Bar at breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Sample every kind of fudge at the Main Street Confectionery. The more off-the-wall your sweet treat is, the more you or your special someone will remember the celebration.

Book some Extra Birthday Fun

Take the Characters in Flight balloon ride at Downtown Disney. Spend a day at the Saratoga Springs Resort spa or the new Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian. Take a backstage tour at the Magic Kingdom. Book a suite or stay in a different or nicer resort than usual. Plan a shopping spree. Stay at the park until it closes. Go parasailing or waterskiing at the Contemporary. Get tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Downtown Disney.

Decorate Your Room

A great way to add oomph to your celebration is to decorate your hotel room. You can do this with streamers and balloons brought from home. Don’t want to do it yourself? Enlist the help of the Disney Floral and Gift Basket team. Find them online or give them a call at 407-WDW-GIFT. They have a bunch of room decorating packages available. They can also customize a basket for you. If you have something very specific in mind, get on the phone and speak to someone directly. OR save time and money by…you guessed it…hiring Ramon to do it all for you. Do I sound like a broken record yet?

Another Freebie

Grab a blanket or extra towels and watch the Wishes fireworks presentation from the beach at the Polynesian.

Do the “Usual” but still Pretty Fantastic Disney Celebration Stuff

Of course Disney has their own official ways to make birthdays a little more magical in the World. Click here for more on that. Just don’t forget to come back to this page to reference all the cool extra stuff we’ve mentioned already.

I hope one or more of these ideas will help you get started. Let’s face it, you actually may not need to jump through any magical hoops to make a Disney celebration special. A trip to Walt Disney World is pretty special all by itself. Life really can’t get much better than feeling the wind in your hair on Test Track –  or getting a hug from Mickey Mouse. I promise, you aren’t the only one who gets sentimental at Disney.

Please send me your ideas, dreams and memories of your favorite Disney birthdays! We would LOVE to hear from you!

Christmas at the Yacht Club

Published December 25, 2012 by Disneyways.com

The Yacht Club has one of my favorite Christmas displays of all, a meticulously crafted Christmas village featuring a working train. It reminds me of the train set in Germany at Epcot. Every time I look through these pictures I see something different. I have a real soft spot for this display! The tree and wreaths at Yacht Club are also very neat, as they are themed with boats and other nautical items. I hope you enjoy seeing these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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