Christmas

Festive Fun Facts About Walt Disney World

No place does Christmas quite like Walt Disney World, and this year the resort has plenty of festive fun in store for resort guests. I am eagerly counting the days until my visits in anticipation of all of the seasonal experiences and decorations. Here’s a brief run down of some festive fun facts to get you in the holiday spirit, courtesy of Disney:

Magical holiday experiences and beloved traditions await Walt Disney World Resort guests during the most wonderful time of the year. Starting today, theme parks, resort hotels and Disney Springs come to life with holiday charm and excitement as dazzling décor and a flurry of fun immerse guests in a festive fantasy.

Check out these holiday fun facts and discover how Walt Disney World Resort becomes a winter wonderland!

Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV SpecialWalt Disney World Resort

  • The Walt Disney World Holiday Services team provides décor for 780 locations within 41 different properties, including Disney theme parks, resorts, Disney Springs and recreation and shopping areas. The team also decorates Disney Cruise Line ships and Disney Vacation Club resorts in Florida and South Carolina.
  • 41 cast members work year-round to make the holiday transformation a reality, with an additional 119 cast members added during the installation period.
  • Décor installation begins Halloween night and is finished by Thanksgiving.

Magic Kingdom Park           

  • During the holidays, Magic Kingdom is home to 40 trees, 147 wreaths and 590 garlands that measure a total of 5,188 feet.
  • Guests can celebrate the season at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on 23 select nights from November 8 to December 22. This year’s celebration welcomes the dazzling new nighttime spectacular, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.”
  • Tomorrowland Speedway joins in the merriment of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time this year with a new holiday overlay that glimmers with thousands of lights and stylized décor. It’s one of Magic Kingdom attractions to feature holiday overlays.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the holidays in full for the first time in its history, with enchanting entertainment and décor in new locations.
  • 148 animal-inspired luminaries will cast a warm and festive glow throughout Discovery Island as a merry menagerie of 10 artisan-sculpted puppets resembling winter animals roam and interact with guests throughout the land.
  • 2,600 light bulbs will adorn the DinoLand U.S.A. water tower, giving the land a festive new look for the holidays.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • The Christmas tree on Echo Lake is 65 feet tall, with a 25-foot-wide base.
  • Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios includes 12 high-definition projectors used to visually transform the façade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel with holiday scenes.
  • 21 palm trees along Sunset Boulevard illuminate with programmable, color-changing LED fixtures.
  • Dinosaur Gertie is dressed in her finest holiday attire. Her hat is so big, four people could stand inside it!

Epcot

  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays takes place November 29 through December 30 and celebrates holiday traditions from around the world through storytelling and music presented throughout World Showcase.
  • Holiday treats are also part of the festival, which includes 13 Holiday Kitchens serving more than 50 bites from around the world and 60-plus specialty
  • The Candlelight Processional will be performed 96 times at Epcot this holiday season with a 50-piece orchestra, mass choir and 12 different celebrity narrators.
  • The Candlelight Processional stage at America Gardens Theatre features Christmas trees that are each 18 feet tall.

Resorts

  • Guests will find a life-size holiday gingerbread house in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This elaborate 10-foot-wide,15-foot-long and 14-foot-tall structure is covered with more than 10,000 pieces of gingerbread and is the perfect place to pick up holiday sweets and treats.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its iconic gingerbread Cinderella Castle. This 18-foot-tall display is crafted from more than 5,000 gingerbread shingles, 47 pounds of rolled fondant, 38 pounds of modeling chocolate and much more!
  • This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Holiday Carousel gingerbread display at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This life-size spinning carousel features 20 “Hidden Mickeys,” Peter Pan-themed horses and handcrafted gingerbread shingles.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to the tallest Christmas tree at Walt Disney World. This 70-foot-tall tree is adorned with 16,000 lights and more than 200 custom ornaments.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to a 45-foot-tall tree featuring authentic African décor and reproductions of traditional African masks.

Disney Springs

  • Disney Springs is the epicenter of holiday shopping at Walt Disney World. It’s also the largest of all of the decorated Disney locations, with more than 2,000 pieces of individual décor, including a 45-foot-tall tree.
  • Each piece of décor was custom designed to fit the classic Florida town theme that carries throughout the entirety of Disney Springs.
  • Disney Springs is also home to the Christmas Tree Trail, a walk through wonderland featuring 23 unique Disney-themed trees.

Merry Christmas, and I hope to see you there!

501 WaysHeading to Disney World this holiday season?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World this holiday season?
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New Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Experiences Just In Time For Spring

If you have a trip to Walt Disney World planned soon, get ready to check out several brand new experiences debuting this year at select Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. With so much to try, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s everything you need to know, courtesy of Disney!


Channel your inner Ariel and learn to be a mermaid. Get artful and create your very own Disney masterpiece on canvas or on a wine glass. Sign on to Captain Hook’s band of buccaneers and see if you have what it takes to be a pirate. Indulge in the comfort and privacy of a private poolside cabana.

In time for spring, Walt Disney World Resort is launching new recreation offerings and activities at select resort hotels, treating guests of all ages to even more ways to live out their Disney dreams and create vacation memories to last a lifetime.

New Pirate Experience

Ahoy, mateys! Reservations are open for a new group experience that invites young recruits ages 4-12 into the world of pirate feasting and treasure seeking, high-energy sailin’ and swashbucklin’ fun. The new Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is the latest chapter of immersive experiences for kids at Walt Disney World Resort. Captain Hook will be lookin’ for a new band of adventurers to learn the pirate code and follow clues leading to hidden treasure. As part of Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew, these young buccaneers will comb through the resort and set sail on a pontoon boat around Crescent Lake, in the latest seafaring adventure at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Once the treasure is unearthed, all join in a Pirate Feast that includes selections such as Cannon Meatballs with marinara or macaroni and “gold” sauce for entrees, along with a treasure chest treat or fruit for dessert. Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is priced at $55 (plus tax) per child; the adventures begin April 28. For more information or to book a reservation, call 407-824-KIDS.

Mermaid School

Guests will feel like they are part of Ariel’s world during the Mermaid School at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Guests ages 4 and older will enjoy an hour-long class where they’ll be fitted with a swimmable “tail” and led through activities teaching them how to swim in a pool like a mermaid. The Mermaid School will be offered at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Classes are $50/person (plus tax). Bookings (select dates per resort) will open mid-March through 407-WDW-PLAY.

Cabanas at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Reservations are open for rentals of the new poolside cabanas at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, where guests can indulge in the lap of luxury. These private hideaways exclusive to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts provide guests with a bevy of services, including:

  • Padded furniture (chairs and couch)
  • Dedicated Disney Cast Member service
  • Cocktail service
  • Mounted television with cable access
  • Complimentary sunscreen and other skincare products
  • Mini-refrigerator stocked with complimentary soda and water
  • Complimentary fruit tray
  • Plush towels
  • Lockable cabinet
  • Charging outlets for mobile devices

These new cabanas are exclusively for guests staying at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Reservations for half and full day rentals are now open for dates beginning March 17 through 407-WDW-PLAY.

New Art Programs

All-new master classes led by professional artists at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have guests creating their own masterpieces. Classes range from $35 (plus tax) to $50 (plus tax) per person, offered to ages 12 and older for most experiences. The artful lineup:

  • Win, Paint, Show at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Wild About Painting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Painting on de’ Bayou (adults), Painting by the Lagoon (kids), Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter Resort. NOTE: children’s painting class is $30 per person (plus tax); designed for ages 6 and older; accompanying parent required.
  • Painting in the Vineyard, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
  • Canvas and Wine Glass Painting on the Boards, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Bookings (select dates per resort) are available through 407-WDW-PLAY.

Fishing Excursions

Whether a seasoned sportsman or amateur angler, guided excursions or dockside fishing in the waterways of Walt Disney World Resort are great fun for guests of all ages. Aboard a 21-foot SunTracker pontoon (up to five guests) or a tournament-style NITRO bass-fishing boat (for one or two participants), teeming Disney waters are an angler’s dream. Outings (two or four hours) are catch-and-release. The fleet has been joined by a new NITRO ZV21, operating out of the Magic Kingdom marinas. For more information or to book an excursion, guests can call 407-WDW-BASS.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Which new offering are you most excited to try?
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New Sense Of Africa Tour At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

AKL Senses Tour 2

If you’re an animal lover looking for something a little unique to try while you’re in Walt Disney World next time, Disney is offering a brand new experience that you might want to check out; the Sense of Africa tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

AKL Senses Tour 1This three and a half hour tour was created to give guests an up close and behind the scenes look at all that goes in to this world class resort. Filled with history, culture and animal encounters this one of a kind experience is sure to be a hit with guests that love the spectacular Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The tour begins with breakfast at my favorite dining location in all of Walt Disney World: Boma – Flavors of Africa. With so much delicious food to choose from, there is certain to be something there everyone will enjoy. You can check out my full breakfast review by clicking here.

After breakfast, engage the rest of your senses as you make treats for the red river hogs, learn about the care of the creatures from your animal keeper guide, and enjoy up close encounters with the okapi, giraffes, and ostriches.

Sense of Africa is offered on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and is $249 per person. For more information or reservations, please call 407-939-8687. Being a resort guest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is not required to participate in the tour.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be taking the Sense of Africa Tour?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!