For many fans Walt Disney World has two seasons, the winter holidays and everything else. There is no question that the parks, resorts, and surrounding areas look all the more magical with the Christmas decorations. Guests are often in a better mood too as they share some special family time in the parks. This year the holiday season starts building on November 9th and Walt Disney World has lined up some extra merry for good measure.
In fact, here is a video from Disney showing how preparations are already underway for this year’s decorations.
Here are some of the highlights from around the resort:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will have its longest-ever run with 20 magical nights from November 9-December 21. For a quarter century, Walt Disney World guests have been mesmerized by this must-see event, a grandly festive tradition immersing families in the holiday spirit. Dates for 2012: Nov. 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30 and Dec. 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21. 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 favorite holiday traditions including complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. NOTE: this is a hard ticket special event after regular park hours; purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.
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 nighttime spectacular: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks, plus live entertainment with Disney characters all dressed up for the holidays.
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.
Candlelight Processional is a timeless holiday offering at Epcot that combines seasonal music with the poignant reading of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a mass choir performing seasonal melodies, and a 50-piece live orchestra. Actress/Singer Olivia Newton John makes her debut as one of a dozen narrators to take to the stage at this year’s event, performed nightly November 23 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Crowd favorites Neil Patrick Harris, Isabella Rosellini and Gary Sinise all return to America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. Guests can 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: Storytellers from around the world share traditions and lore from their homeland 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 from Nov. 9, 2012 to Jan. 4, 2013.
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.”
Get all your Christmas shopping done at Downtown Disney during Festival of the Seasons. The shopping mecca is draped with yuletide cheer, plus live entertainment, holiday carolers, a lively street party, plus photo ops with Santa and Santa Goofy.