Christmas Around the World

Magic Kingdom

The first signs of the Christmas Holiday season at Disney World take place each year at Magic Kingdom.  Soon after the final Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party of the year (usually around Nov. 1), the park is transformed overnight from this…

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…to this.  

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The Jungle Cruise becomes the Jingle Cruise…

And the Castle is decked out in its Holiday Bling…

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Not only does the castle look different during the holidays, but there’s a little ceremony that precedes the lighting of the castle.  From early November to early January, Queen Elsa from Frozen appears twice each evening to get the Castle Dream Lights lit up for the night in a 7 minute show called “A Frozen Holiday Wish.” On non-party nights, this occurs at 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. On Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party nights, the times are 6:15 and 8 p.m. (Information as of 2016)

And speaking of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party,  this is a hugely popular event (actually a series of events) held at the Magic Kingdom during the two months leading up to Christmas. These parties are held after-hours and are separately ticketed events which are scheduled several times per week in November and December. They usually start the first full week in November and run 2-3 times per week through the week before Christmas. The party ticket prices vary, with some of the parties held in November being  less expensive ($89 for 2017) and the last parties held in December  being the most expensive ($109 for 2017).  The average price though for 2017 will be about $95 for adults and $90 for children (ages 3 – 9).   Also the 2017 ticket prices are about $3 – $10 than they were in 2016 when the prices ranged from $86 – $99, so the increase ranged from a little more 3% to 10%.  

Here is the link for the review of  December 2016 party which my son and I attended: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party held on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016

Additionally on our December 2016 trip we enjoyed seeing the festive holiday decor at Be our Guest Restaurant during our dinner there…

Epcot

 

The Christmas tree at the entrance to World Showcase…

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And a night view…

Beginning at the end of November and continuing nightly throughout the month of December each year, the outdoor American Gardens Theater in the American section of the World Showcase hosts the Candlelight Processional.   Guest celebrity narrators read a presentation of the Christmas story backed by a huge choir and a 50-piece orchestra.  This 40 minute show takes place 3 times a day with show times at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

I’ve attended 5 of these shows during my trips to Disney World during the holiday season.  My favorite was the December 2013 Candlelight Processional show with guest narrator, Whoopi Goldberg…

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Whoopi added her own unique “flavor” to the readings…think Sister Mary Clarence in Sister Act. ;)

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Follow this LINK for more information about the Candlelight Processional, including its history at Disney and photos from the other four shows which I’ve seen, etc.

Also during the holiday season each of the countries in World Showcase has a story teller.  Here is the Daruma storyteller in Japan…

And the storyteller in America telling about Kwanzaa…

Also inside the American pavilion are The Voices of Liberty performing Christmas carols…

And outside are Santa and Mrs. Claus…

And a beautiful Christmas tree…

 

Animal Kingdom

 

The Animal Kingdom-themed tree at the entrance to the park…

 

Disney Springs

The beautiful tree at the Town Center…

And a photo from the holiday drone show (Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration) which was held twice nightly over the water at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. from Nov. 20, 2016 – Jan. 8, 2017…

There were more than 300 drones lighting up the sky, accompanied by a recording of classic holiday songs performed by a full orchestra.  This was the first time a drone show of this scale had ever been performed in the U.S….but hopefully it will not be the last.  Very impressive!!

 

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

The lobby Christmas Tree is 4 stories tall and is decorated in traditional African decor…

Beach Club Resort

Just inside the lobby entrance to the Beach Club is the carousel made of gingerbread…

The spinning carousel includes ponies made of chocolate and fondant.  Pastry chefs use 100 pounds of icing, 50 pounds of dark chocolate and 36 pounds of honey.  Also, 100 pounds of confectioner sugar and 96 pounds of bread flour go into the structure. Very impressive!  

I also liked the beach-themed wreaths which could be found in various places around the first floor public areas of the resort…

Contemporary Resort

Photo taken from inside the Contemporary’s signature restaurant, California Grill (located on the 15th floor), showing some of their holiday decorations, plus the beautiful view of Cinderella’s Castle (with its holiday bling)…

 

Dolphin Resort

Some photos of the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Dolphin…

 

Fort Wilderness Resort

The Christmas Tree displayed outside by the Trail’s End Restaurant and Pioneer Hall…

 

Grand Floridian Resort

Here is a photo of the Grand Floridian Christmas tree from above…

 

Polynesian Village Resort

Here is a photo of the tree which sat just outside the front entrance to the lobby of the Polynesian Village Resort in December 2016…

And then the one inside the lobby…

 

Wilderness Lodge Resort

The 60 foot tall Christmas Tree and other decorations from the resort’s lobby…

 

 

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Photo Pass photos are available in front of the Christmas tree…

And then there are the beautiful Native American-themed ornaments which adorn the tree…

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As you can probably tell, my favorite ones are the teepees.

Then looking beyond the tree to above the lobby’s main entrance door…

…where they have lighted reindeer and trees.

 

The 82-foot tall stone lobby fireplace had a simple lighted wreath, plus the wooden railings of every other floor of the lodge was decorated with a lighted wreath.

And if flowers are your thing, you would enjoy the beautiful red gladiolus and roses arrangements which sat on the lobby’s sofa tables…

 

 

Another area of the lobby which was beautifully decorated was along the back glass wall of windows…

 

And last this smaller decorated tree, which was located in a corner by the stairs near the Whispering Canyon Cafe…

 

 

Yacht Club Resort

Christmas tree and other lobby decorations from December 2013 trip…

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And then from my December 2016 trip…

The nautical-themed Christmas tree there is always beautifully decorated with miniature boats/ships…

Flowers and wreaths…

 

But my favorite is the Train & Village display…

 

 

– To be continued –

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