WDW Parks Holiday Happenings Overview

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: separate ticketed event that runs from 7pm to midnight. There is a special parade, fireworks, hot cocoa and cookies, stage shows, and “snow” falls on Main Street!

Nightly castle lighting. Either the fairy Godmother or Elsa (on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights) bring the castle from it’s normal appearance to completely decked in lights! It really is a sight to see. 

The Jungle Cruise turns into the Jingle Cruise! The boats are renamed in holiday themes and there are some added jokes.

The Barbershop Quartet the Dapper Dans sing Christmas carols instead of their normal tunes.


Storytellers: Late in November cast members tell stories about their country’s traditions and legends. In addition there are some special holiday treats for sale!

Candlelight Processional: November 27-December 30th, 3 shows per night each with a celebrity narrating the biblical Christmas story featuring a choir and orchestra. These shows are VERY popular, lining up at least an hour in advance, if not much more, is a good idea if you want to see this show. One way to guarantee seating is the Candlelight Dinner Package at one of many Epcot restaurants for 2 Table Service credits.

Hollywood Studios

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Disney has announced this will be the last year due to construction and expansion of Hollywood Studios. Streets of America are covered(buildings, trees, lampshades, everything) in lights that “dance” choreographed to music . You can purchase “Made with Magic” items  Mickey Ear Hat, Minnie Mouse Headband, Mickey Mouse Glove and the Sorcerer Mickey Wand to add to the effect, they are programmed to light up at key points of the show (can also be used at Holiday Wishes and other shows year round).

Merry & Bright Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios is a new event this year. From November 6 through December 30, 2015, you can purchase a separate ticket at a cost of $69 per adult or $39 for children. This includes entry (you can come and go as you please) to dessert party, reserved viewing site and a keepsake stadium blanket.

Will you be able to see any of these special Holiday happenings? Which are you most excited for?

Podcast Episode 70: Christmas At Disney

Have you ever wondered what Disney has to offer for the holidays?  Wonder no longer because we’re giving you the scoop of what you can expect at Walt Disney World for Christmas!  We cover decor, shows, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and other events.

Happy listening

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Candlelight Processional 2015- Narrators Added

Disney has just released additional names of narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot. From November 27 until December 30 you can catch a lovely retelling of the Christmas story with a full orchestra and choir at the American Gardens Theater in Epcot. Showtimes are at 5:00pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm nightly.

  • 11/27 – 11/29 — Gary Sinise
  • 11/30 – 12/3 — Neil Patrick Harris
  • 12/4 – 12/5 — Whoopi Goldberg
  • 12/6 – 12/8 — Joe Morton
  • 12/9 – 12/11 — Ana Gasteyer
  • 12/12 – 12/14 — Meredith Vieira
  • 12/15 – 12/17— America Ferrera
  • 12/18 – 12/20 — Chandra Wilson
  • 12/21 – 12/23 — Daniel Dae Kim
  • 12/24 – 12/26 — Edward James Olmos
  • 12/27 – 12/28 – Blair Underwood
  • 12/29 – 12/30 — Amy Grant

Disney does have a disclaimer that they are subject to change without notice to be sure to check before you arrive.

And you can also purchase Candlelight Processional Dining Packages for lunch and dinner where there is availability.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing?

Candlelight Dinner Processional Review: After San Angel Inn (Part 2 of 2)

Candlelight Pro

So, hopefully you are keeping up and have read the review of San Angel Inn as part of the Candlelight Processional Dining Package that we reviewed. Now on to the main event…the Candlelight Processional. Because we enjoyed the dining package we were able to skip the LONG line (over an hour) and go to basically the fastpass line and head straight on in to the American Theatre. I love not waiting in line…It is worth the dining package because you have to eat anyway and yes, it is more food than normal people order but hey you get extra food and shorter lines – is not that the magic of Disney?

If you listen to our podcasts you will know this story but I am going to tell you anyway so you will understand my mindset going into the show. I have no idea why I thought the CP was telling the Christmas story with Santa coming down the chimney and Rudolph and all the other propoganda…but I did. So, when our narrator for the evening, James Denton (who I said? but he was a Desperate James DentonHousewife I hear) began reading the Biblical version of the Christmas story, well for some reason this left me off track for a hot minute. I am very familiar with both versions so I adjusted well. The setting was beautiful with the choral singers in beautiful rows, sparkling lights and a beautiful backdrop. I could not wait to start singing. Wait? What? It is not a sing-along (truth be told I only found this out as I was singing along with Silent Night and my neighbors kept giving me mean looks).

So the night was not as I thought or planned so I had to go with the flow. I am very good at that so I did adjust but to the merriment of my group of people that had attended with me as they watched me belt out some good Christmas songs.

I do recommend the Candlelight Processional, and I hear it is even better if the narrator is someone that is into the show and having fun. Unfortunately, James Denton seemed bored and had his hands in his pockets and just reading the story. So, if you can go with a Neil Patrick Harris type narrator is hosting then you are ahead of the game. I do highly recommend the dining package as it was nice to not wait but to walk right in and I am not sure how I would have felt at the end of the show if I had waited an hour or more. One recommendation to Disney…engage the audience – a little Christmas caroling as a group never hurt anyone.

Candlelight Dinner Processional Review: San Angel Inn (Part 1 of 2)

Candlelight Pro

Disney has so much to offer all year round and Christmas is no exception. In fact, all the extras around the holidays actually makes this time of the year more special for many families. Some are inclined only to come during the holidays to take advantage of the many different “extras”. Yes, I know it feels like the holidays JUST ended but it is time to start thinking about taking a Disney trip and deciding between Spring Break, Summer, Food and Wine (or Fall as it sometimes is called) and the Holidays.

If you are thinking about visiting Walt Disney World during the 2015 holiday season you will want to think about the Candlelight Processional and if you are considering the Candlelight Processional I highly recommend the dining package. Typically the Candlelight Processional (“CP”) runs from the end of November through the end of December. It runs only on certain nights and the schedule will start coming out around the beginning of July. Last year, the lunch and dinner packages went on sale July 9th. Now, the schedule of dates may be out then but the celebrity narrators at each date’s performance are not confirmed until closer to the actual dates. The CP is open to everyone (with park admission) and takes place in
Epcot at the American Gardens Theatre. There are three shows a day: the American-Gardens“lunch” show was at 5pm and the “dinner” shows were at 6:45pm and 8:15pm. What I mean by this is if you purchase the lunch CP dining package then you will get reserved seating at the 5pm show and if you purchase the dinner CP dining package then you receive reserved seating at either the 6:45pm or 8:15pm show, depending on your reservation time.

epcotWe had visited Walt Disney World many times during the holidays and had considered going to the Candlelight Processional but every time we passed by the extremely long line for general seating it was always such a turn off we never made time for it. We kept getting recommendations to go but to purchase the dining package – and so in 2013 (a little over a year ago) we decided to bite the bullet and try it out. Basically, you purchase a reservation at one of the participating Epcot restaurants and with that package it is a ‘pre-set’ price in which  you receive an appetizer, entree, dessert and a non alcoholic drink (or one full buffet depending on the restaurant type). Now, first I will admit it is a lot of food. It is more than the dining plan and it is more than most would order if on their own. But, remember this dining package could save you hours of time waiting in line. I am serious about hours, especially as you get closer to Christmas and more locals come out. I have seen and heard where people line up and wait up to two hours! I personally, would pay a few dollars just to not wait so to get a little extra food and try some different options for my money seemed like a good idea (and it was)! We decided to make our dining package reservation at San Angel Inn which is located inside of the Mexico Pavilion (it had been a few years since we had visited this restaurant so it was good that we got to try it out again). We made our reservations so we could see the 8:15 pm show (which meant our dinner was around 4:30pm, so early for us, but we had a light lunch and hey it is vacation we can always cap off our night later with some ice cream if needed). So, we purchased the package (for those wondering it was about $68 per person/adult and $18 per child) or if you are a smart cookie (or work with a great travel agent like one of us Dole Whipped agents then you may have a Disney Dining plan and for 2 Table Service credits you are all set and paid up – minus the tip!)

San Angel InnFor those of you that have never been to San Angel Inn – go! Run! It was wonderful and you can not beat the ambiance (unless you are at Blue Bayou in Disneyland and it runs head to head). What could be better than eating in a restaurant that is right next to a boat ride and eating while watching the beautiful boat and happy families floating around with the Three Caballeros.

My meal started with a beautiful Ensalada Cesar (also know as a Caesar Salad). Other appetizers served at our table in the group include: Sopa Aztexa (Tortilla Soup) served with fried tortilla strips, avocado, cheese and pasilla pepper and the favorite Tlacoyos de Chilorio which are corn cakes topped with black refried beans, pork chilorio, queso fresco, sour cream and green tomatillo sauce.

For the main attraction I could not resist the carne asada which was so well done I carnebelieve it may have been my all time favorite carne asada and just thinking about it makes my mouth water! My carne asada came with a cheese enchilada,mexican rice, black refried beans, guacomole, onions and red bell peppers. We also had at our table Mole Poblano (because who does not need a little Mole sauce in your day?) and came out to be roasted chicken served with poblano rice and a wonderful mole sauce. Last I will mention the table favorite (as well as a chefs favorite) the Lomo de Puerco en Pipian which translates to pork tenderloin served over roasted vegetables and “pipian” ( a mix of pumpkin, chiles and almond sauce). Does it all not sound amazing? Well, if you think it sounds amazing then you will love it.

And yes, we should have all ordered and shared different desserts but we all wanted the Helado De Dulce De Leche (caramel ice cream). We had it before and were fighting over who got to order when we realized we could all order it and get it…no one needed to share. So, that is what we did and no one regretted it!

San-Angel-Inn-Epcot-DiningSo basically – if you have not been to San Angel Inn then I hope you go and if you are planning on going around the holidays it is a great time to save some waiting time for CP and get a lot of great food.

Because this event review is for both the Candlelight Processional and the dinner package and San Angel Inn it is a two-part series. I know your anticipation to hear about CP might not be as heightened as it could be because now you are crazy hungry but I promise you there is a lot more to come – including funny stories, beautiful people and a potentially wonderful experience and future memory for you and your family. So keep reading Dolewhipped.com to find our exactly why you should (or should not) make CP a priority for your next holiday trip.

Podcast Episode 34: WDW Holiday To Do List

Join us this week as we discuss some of the great things you can do at Walt Disney World during the holidays!  We talk about fireworks shows, the Candlelight Processional, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and more!  If you’re thinking of a Disney trip during the holiday season you don’t want to miss this!

Happy listening

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Candlelight Processional 2014

Disney has released the dates and celebrity narrators for the 2014 Candlelight Processional at Epcot. Candlelight Processional takes place in the American Gardens Theatre and is a narration of the Christmas Story. It is accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and choir and is sure to get you in the spirit of the holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Celebrity narrators tell the biblical story of the birth of Jesus to a packed audience starting November 28 and ending December 30, 2014. There are also American Sign Language interpreters so that all may enjoy. On days that the show is on there are 3 different showings at 5pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm.

  • Jodi Benson- November 28 and 29, 2014
  • Neil Patrick Harris- November 30 to December 2, 2014
  • Jonathan Groff- December 3 and 4, 2014
  • Whoopi Goldberg- December 5 and 6, 2014
  • TBD December 7 to December 8, 2014
  • TBD December 9 to December 11, 2014
  • Joe Morton- December 12 to December 14, 2014
  • Chita Rivera- December 15 to December 17, 2014
  • Ana Gasteyer- December 18 to December 20, 2014
  • Marlee Matlin- December 21 to December 23, 2014
  • Isabella Rossellini- December 24 and 25, 2014
  • Blair Underwood- December 26 and 27, 2014
  • Steven Curtis Chapman- December 28 to December 30, 2014

As the rest of the narrators are announced we will update the list. In addition you can purchase the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package. Similar to the Fantasmic Dinner Package you will pay the price for your dinner or lunch and get preferred seating with no extra cost. This saves having to get in line early for the Candlelight Processional as seating is first come first serve. A large number of the restaurants in World Showcase participate in this dinner package. To see a list go over to Disney’s website to check availability.