We’ve already discussed the ways you can enjoy celebrating the holidays without ever setting foot in a Park. What about the many, many ways to celebrate if you DO want to head in to one of the Parks? You happen to have a ticket for the day and you are ready to use it! A show? A Parade? You are ready for action! There are way more options than 10 but I have decided to narrow it down to my top 10 holiday festivities in the Parks. Let’s take a look!
1. Candlelight Processional– I’m going to start with the reason for the season. The candlelight processional is the story of Christmas… but it’s not just the story. It’s the story being narrated by a celebrity and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a huge choir. The lines start long before the show starts most nights and get especially long depending on the celebrity narrator. The celebrity changes and the schedule comes out far enough in advance that many people plan their vacations around the celebrity. Best of all, it’s included with your park ticket into Epcot! Go! It is a must see!
2. The Jingle Cruise– I know that even I am guilty of passing by the Jungle Cruise from time to time because I feel like I could recite the jokes, I know the attraction so well. However, during the holidays, I try not to miss it. The attraction is transformed in to a holiday cruise spectacular. There is holiday decor in the queue and on the ride itself and the jokes of a holiday twist! It’s an old favorite turned fun, holiday surprise.
3. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party– I know this event costs money but I do love the Christmas Party! With the cookies and hot cocoa and the snow on Main Street, I really feel like I am back home (remember I’m from Canada). There’s a special holiday show and a special parade, as well. I love the character dance parties and really feel like you get a little more extra special time with all your favorite Disney friends.
4. A Frozen Holiday Wish– This is a brand new show that features Anna and Elsa and many of our Frozen friends. It takes place in front of the castle at Magic Kingdom. I don’t want to ruin it for everyone but I can guarantee that Cinderella’s Castle gets an extra special make over, courtesy of Elsa.
5. JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season– This musical celebration is only around from November 28- December 29 and it can be found at the Future World Fountain Stage. It is just a fantastic blend of Gospel and inspirational music, perfect for the time of year. It’s worth taking some time out of the hustle and bustle of the day and listening for a bit.
6. Oaken’s Frozen Funland– Okay… I know this isn’t a holiday attraction BUT it’s Christmas! They have snow! They have an ice rink! You can go skating!! For all these reasons, I think this is a fabulous stop during the holidays. I can get my skate on and build a snowman, something I can’t do a lot of in the south.
7. Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights– I know many of you may think this should be number one but the list is in no particular order AND this one is so obvious! It’s simply amazing to walk around Hollywood Studios Back lot area and see all the amazing lights and even have snow falling! There was a crazy, vicious rumor that this was not to return this year but I am so pleased that it is back. It will take place from November 7th- January 4th, 2015. Another amazing attraction included with your park admission… and it’s a hop, skip and a jump from #6!
8. Illuminations– I know this show runs year round at Epcot but, during the holidays, they alter it and give it a holiday twist! There is a holiday finale at the end of the show with “Peace on Earth” and it is spectacular. If you haven’t seen the show for a while, or you have never seen it during the holidays, make sure to schedule it in one evening. You’ll be happy you did.
9. Holiday Wishes! – Many of us have seen Wishes multiple times and can probably sing the song in our heads. Holiday Wishes is shown at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party but it is also shown to regular park guests on days around Christmas Day. You would need to check with the Magic Kingdom or Guest Services to check and see when it is actually shown this year. The fireworks are actually performed to Christmas classics and it is such a fun holiday twist on an otherwise well known and beloved fireworks show.
10. Holidays Around The World Showcase– There are way too many things for me to list around the World Showcase that I decided to put them in one category. Each country displays how they celebrate the holiday season. Their traditions are shared with us through performances, story telling and even seasonal treats. I love learning about all the different traditions and customs from around the world. I could spend a few days touring the World Showcase alone! Expand your horizons and soak up the culture. It’s well worth it.
That pretty much covers my favorite things to do during the holidays in the parks. I used to enjoy the Jammin Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom as well but they didn’t bring it back this year, to my knowledge. I hope all of you have a fabulous holiday and, if you are celebrating at the Parks, enjoy some of the festivities for me.
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