Photo used under Creative Commons from oneofthem
It is the most magical time of the year at Walt Disney World. Christmas is one of my favorite times to visit. Of course you do have to deal with the crowds but it is the atmosphere at that time of year which for me is priceless. The Christmas decorations are going to go up in November at Disney World so a great time to visit is just after the Thanksgiving crowds have left and before the Christmas guests arrive. Early December is one of my favorite times to visit.
One very popular Holiday event is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This is a separately ticketed event on select nights in November and December. So even if you have a park entry ticket for that day you will still need a separate ticket for Mickey’s party – so it might be a good idea to leave this to a day when you are not visiting the parks in the morning and afternoon.
If you really want to get into the Christmas spirit then Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a great family event at Magic Kingdom. They have the special Christmas parade,fireworks and even snow on Main Street. Mickey’s Party starts at 7pm and runs until midnight. Most of the attractions are open, but the event can be crowded. So don’t plan on this being a good way to save time in line as often it just doesn’t work out that way.
The cost of the ticket depends on the date that you want to go with the Premium Dates available at a ticket price of $55.95 plus tax (ages 10 and up) and $49.95 plus tax (ages 3-9). If you have a particular day in mind then buy your tickets as early as possible as some dates, particularly those closer to Christmas and at weekends, do sell out. Advance tickets can be purchased at a discount for certain dates and also Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members can get reduced rates for limited dates.
Another attraction not to be missed at Christmas is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios. This will run November 28, 2008 – January 4, 2009. Now an established Disney World tradition this Spectacle of Lights is an amazing display of Holiday lights. The Osborne Family display now has 5 million lights, and 66 snow machines! They were renamed the Dancing Lights in 2006 – some of the lights are now animated and appear to ‘dance’ to the music! The lights are located on the backlot of the Streets of America in Disney Hollywood Studios and are part of the admission price – no separate ticket is needed.
Now anyone who knows me knows that EPCOT is my favorite Disney park. I particularly enjoy visiting at Christmas time. Each country is decorated in World Showcase in the style of their own traditions. I particularly like the Christmas shop in the Germany Pavillion.
One very popular event held at EPCOT each year is the Candlelight Processional which is an outdoor concert with mass choir and orchestra.The event is free on a first come first served basis as there is limited seating in this undercover, but outdoor venue. If you can’t get a seat in the outdoor theater ( just in front of the United States Pavillion at World Showcase) then you can still see and hear the event by standing at the back.
If you do want to reserve seating then a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package is available by calling 407 WDW DINE. Seating in the Theater for the dining package is in 3 different tiers according to which restaurant you choose. You eat your dinner before the Candlelight Processional and reservations are available in all the World Showcase restaurants. Prices vary according to which one you choose.
The show runs 3 times a day starting on 28th November with the last performance on December 30th. There are 3 performances each evening at 5, 6:45, and 8:15 p.m. It is certainly an event not to be missed if you are visiting in the Holidays.
If you do plan to visit Disney World at Christmas and are wanting to stay in a Disney World hotel then you do need to book early. This is one of the most popular times of the year so as soon as you decide you are going to take a Christmas vacation at Disney it does pay to have your accommodation booked. I spend a lot of my time in the build up to Christmas having people contact me about my vacation homes. For Christmas they are usually booked up way ahead of time and I am now taking bookings for Christmas 2009 and Christmas 2010. So if you want the best places to stay either at a Disney resort or close by in a great vacation home then get booking!