6 Ways to Enjoy the 2018 Holidays at Walt Disney World
Are you like me? Are you currently planning or at least thinking about a holiday trip to Walt Disney World? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you should. Orlando is always magical in November and December, and it’s probably a great deal warmer than where you are, also. Since we’re already in October if you can believe that, it’s time for you to lock down your holiday plans. Here are several great reasons to enjoy the 2018 holidays at Walt Disney World.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Toward the end of the year, Disney throws a pair of special parties, ones that require tickets. For roughly $100 per person, guests who visit during November and December can attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This ticketed event is one of the most popular parties on the Disney calendar. In truth, the only one that rivals it in quality and reviews is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
During this event, Disney opens its parks to guests from 7 p.m. until midnight. Only people with special admission are inside Magic Kingdom at this time. You’ll have access to shorter lines at various rides and attractions. More importantly, you’ll get to watch unique holiday shows such as A Frozen Holiday Wish and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. There’s even a special parade called Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and a fireworks display named Holiday Wishes Fireworks– Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.
Tickets are on sale now for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. I want to alert you to the fact that these events can and will sell out. Interested parties should buy tickets as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk getting shut out of this coveted event!
Hollywood Studios Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
The best free holiday celebration at Walt Disney World takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Starting on November 6th, every night during the holiday season will close with a glorious display known as Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! This presentation is a fireworks display combined with a digital presentation of many classic holiday moments from Disney films.
The hosts of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! are Wayne and Lanny from Disney’s Prep & Landing, their delightful yuletide two-part series. Watching Prep & Landing has become a family tradition in many homes including mine. An entire nightly exhibition built around these lovable characters is a wonderful idea. Disney’s promised some tweaks from last year’s show, but you’ll get the gist by watching this video. At a minimum, it’s worth a watch for the stellar covers of holiday classic tunes.
New Character Meal at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
This suggestion isn’t time sensitive per se like the ones above it. The last day for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! is January 6th while Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ends on December 21st. At Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, a new character meal starts in November, but it will last far beyond the end of the holiday season. I’m including it here because it’s something that you will definitely want to do when you visit during the 2018 holidays.
The new character meal is Storybook Dining at Artist Point. During this character dining experience, you get to hang out with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You’ll even get to interact with the Evil Queen who torments them. Plus, the food at Artist Point is otherworldly. It’s almost the equivalent of a character meal at California Grill. At some point, you’ll want to do this character meal. You might as well do it over the next couple of months, right?
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
For many years, Disney fans asked for the company to extend the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival through the holiday season. A couple of years ago, Disney did something even better. They created an entirely new festival solely for the holidays. This six-week event is called the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and it’s the go-to place for sweet yuletide treats.
All 11 pavilions at the World Showcase participate in this event, and several other pop-up kiosks called Food Stations will dazzle you with their offerings. Seriously, google some of the dessert pictures from this event. It’s the best kind of food porn and will make your stomach happier than it’s ever been before.
You can double down at the World Showcase by attending the beloved Candlelight Processionals hosted here. These special nightly retellings of the story of Christmas run from November 22nd through December 30th and have celebrity narrators for each one. You can book a Candlelight Processional Dining Package, guarantee yourself a seat for the show, and spend your evening relishing in the combined euphoria of the festival and the processional. It’s a perfect holiday night at the World Showcase.
Christmas Overlay at Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land is the shiniest new themed land at Walt Disney World, the second high-profile one over the past couple of years. Disney’s really upgraded their parks with this introduction plus the one at Pandora – The World of Avatar. And they’ll build on this momentum next year when Star Wars Land arrives. I say all of this merely to get you excited for the future of Walt Disney World.
Right now, Toy Story Land is the pride of Hollywood Studios. The theme here is that you’re shrunk down to toy size and walking through Andy’s backyard as seen in the Toy Story film franchise. The new attractions here, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, play up this theme cleverly. Slinky Dog Dash is actually an incomplete toy set that Andy hasn’t found the time to finish yet, which makes your journey down the tracks thrilling and a bit scary.
During the holidays, Disney will add an extra bit of luster to the already gorgeous themed land. They’ll introduce a temporary holiday overlay at Toy Story Land. My favorite part of Disney’s announcement is that Alien Swirling Saucers will employ holiday music during this time! It already has an eclectic mix of several songs/ride iterations thus far.
Disney will ditch those during the holidays so that the saucers will spin to Let It Snow or Feliz Navidad or whatever. Plus, the visuals will be of the candy cane variety rather than the standard alien disco ones on display right now. Toy Story Land is already great, but Disney will make it that much better during the holiday season!
Decoration at Theme Parks, Resorts, and Disney Springs
I could do an entire article about this subject alone…and may do so at a later date. Suffice to say that the holidays at Walt Disney World are magical. During the witching hours after midnight on Halloween, cast members efficiently remove the gothic decorations and replace them with yuletide ones. By the time that the parks open on November 1st, they’re aglow in end-of-year holiday spirit.
During the ten weeks that follow, you’ll discover any number of dazzling displays that will imbue you with Christmas joy, even if you’re agnostic by nature. The Gingerbread House at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is particularly great, as is the Holiday Carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. I honestly don’t know how Disney constructs some of this stuff. It’s a subtle triumph of Imagineering. Guests who visit during the holiday season should visit several of the official resorts to appreciate the work artisans have done to improve the holidays for everyone.
A recent addition is the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. 2018 marks its third year, and Disney has already increased the number of decorated trees from 15 in 2016 to 25 this year. At this pace, they’ll have an entire forest by 2025. You can see some of the previous videos in this video. What I like about these designs is that you can use them as inspiration for your own holiday decorations, too!
Given the above, I don’t have to sell you on the idea of spending the 2018 holidays at Walt Disney World. In your mind’s eye, you already have your bags packed, don’t you? Well, contact one of my friends over at MickeyTravels to get a great deal on a Disney vacation. You will be so happy that you did.