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?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks And More At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

If you love Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party like I do or if this is your first time experiencing the event, I bet you’re excited to check out the new Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Beyond the new fireworks show, there is so much to enjoy all night long.

Here are just some of things to check out on party night courtesy of Disney:

The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life this holiday season as visions of fireworks dance in the air during an all-new nighttime show – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Hosted by Minnie Mouse, the holiday extravaganza invites guests to come together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas. The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates November 8 – December 22, and nightly December 23 – 29.

This holiday season will also see Magic Kingdom transformed into an enchanting wonderland with dazzling decorations, holiday treats, a shimmering ice castle and more. Holiday favorites include:

  • With glittery Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece, Magic Kingdom shines its brightest during the holidays. Guests will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters in their festive finery and fireworks bursting above. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
  • Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. Dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, please click here or call 407-WDW-DINE.
  • Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime ParadeA Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience holiday enhancements to favorite attractions, such as Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Mad Tea Party. There’s also an all-new holiday show at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and when you get behind the wheel at the Tomorrowland Speedway, you’ll find yourself cruising a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor. Guests can also savor complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
Dates in 2019 for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are:
  • November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24
  • December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party start at $99 (plus tax) and can be booked by clicking here or calling 407-939-5277. 

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:

Are you excited to see Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Helpful Information For Your May 2020 Disney World Vacation

So you are planning a vacation to Disney World in May 2020?
May is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World!

Weather

The weather in Disney World during May is beautiful. The average high is about 89 degrees, the average low is about 65 degrees and the average rainfall is only about 3.1 inches. By traveling in May, you are getting your vacation in just before the rainy season begins. But don’t forget to pack your poncho just in case!

Crowds

May typically has moderate crowd levels. You can anticipate crowds to pick up Memorial Day weekend and beyond. Epcot will also see slightly higher crowd levels over the weekends as many locals enjoy visiting the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

Magic Kingdom Welcome ShowMay 1 – May 2
Average Crowd Level 5.0 out of 10
May 3 – May 9
Average Crowd Level 4.6 out of 10
May 10 – May 16
Average Crowd Level 5.4 out of 10
May 17 – May 23
Average Crowd Level 4.1 out of 10
May 24 – May 31
Average Crowd Level 6.0 out of 10

Magic Kingdom ClockPark Hours

Magic Kingdom
Open most days from 9am – 9pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Epcot
Open most days from 9am – 9pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Hollywood Studios
Open most days from 9am – 9pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Animal Kingdom
Open most days from 9am – 8:30pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)

For specific hours on each day during May, please click this link. Remember that park hours are subject to change and are often adjusted two weeks prior.

Events

Epcot International Flower And Garden FestivalA wonderful part about visiting Disney World in May is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. In 2020, the event runs from March 4 through June 1 and features over 100 topiaries, interesting gardening demonstrations, beautiful flowers, weekend music concerts and several outdoor kitchens serving delicious foods and beverages.

Refurbishments

Periodically throughout the year, Disney closes attractions for refurbishments and enhancements. Here are the currently scheduled closures during May (subject to change without notice):

Magic Kingdom
TRON Lightcycle Run: Opening in 2021
Walt Disney World Railroad: December 2018 – TBD

Epcot
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind: Opening in 2021
Journey of Water: Opening in 2021
Mary Poppins Attraction: TBD
La Creperie de Paris: Opening in Summer 2020
PLAY! Pavilion: Opening in 2021
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: Opening in Summer 2020
Wondrous China: TBD

Hollywood Studios
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: Opening in Spring 2020
Roundup Rodeo BBQ: Opening in 2020

Animal Kingdom
No Scheduled Refurbishments At This Time

Water Parks
No Scheduled Refurbishments At This Time

Disney Springs
No Scheduled Refurbishments At This Time

Planning Tips

If you are traveling to Disney World in May 2020, your planning is probably well under way at this point. Here’s a checklist to make sure you are on track:

  • Make sure you have created your My Disney Experience account. If you haven’t, click here to sign up now.
  • If you haven’t already made your dining reservations, be sure to make them now by clicking here.
  • If you are staying on site, be sure to customize your MagicBand on your My Disney Experience account by picking the color and adding your name. And if you really want to make your MagicBand special, personalize it with your own custom designed MagicBand Skin from Magic YOUR Band. Click here to get started!
  • Now is a great time to research what attractions you and your family would like to see at the Magic KingdomEpcotHollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Because Walt Disney World is so large, it is very difficult to see everything during one trip, so be sure to get everyone’s top priorities. This is also a great time to begin looking at menus for counter service restaurants so that you have an idea of which locations serve foods that your entire family will enjoy.
  • Whether you are staying on site or off-property, be sure to purchase your admission tickets and link them to your My Disney Experience account.
  • 501 WaysOnce your tickets are linked and at exactly 60 days in advance of your check in date (7am EST time) if you are staying on site or 30 days in advance for all other guests, login to your My Disney Experience account and book your Fastpass+ reservations.
  • If you are staying on site, be sure to check in online at 60 days out from your arrival date.
  • Double check your flight times and if you will be using Disney’s Magical Express for your airport transportation make your reservation at least 60 days in advance by clicking here.
  • It’s never too early to start creating a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • Need more help planning? Please check out my book 501 Ways to Make the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation, for hundreds of insider tips and secrets for having the most magical Disney World vacation possible!

Special Offers

If you haven’t already made your May 2020 reservations, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save money:

Join The Fun

I have created a Facebook Group called Disney World Enthusiast! It is the perfect place to talk about your next Disney vacation, ask your questions, get them answered, and share the magic. Everyday you’ll find posts, photos, trivia, tips, and more that we find all throughout the Disney Universe. If you’re counting the days until your next Disney vacation or just dreaming of one, we would love to have you join in the fun! Please click here to be a part of the group!

Have a magical vacation!