Magical Blogorail – Dreaming of a Disney Christmas

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Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Green. Enjoy the ride as we discuss Dreaming of a Disney Christmas.

Walt Disney World at Christmas

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

For so many people, Walt Disney World at Christmas is the perfect time to visit.  Since I’ve not been fortunate yet to be able to visit during the Christmas season, I’m dreaming of a Disney Christmas — and perhaps adding a few touches here at home to allow my family to have a bit of a Disney Christmas without leaving home!

My friend Andy is the creator of the Facebook Page WDW Shutterbug, and it is thanks to his wonderful talent and generosity that I’m able to share with you many of the sites that I could picture in my minds eye, even before he sent me these photos.  At the top is one of my favorite pictures of all time, featuring Cinderella Castle nestled at the end of a lit up Main Street, U.S.A.  For this post, I’m going to share with you some of the wonderful scenes you will be able to enjoy when you visit Walt Disney World during the Christmas season!

Magic Kingdom

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Cinderella Castle is all decked out in twinkling lights. This year, they have added a Frozen motif to it, and it looks incredible.  The picture above is from last year, but is still just as incredible to me.

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

One of my favorite ways to take photos at Walt Disney World is by including the reflection in the water in the shot, as my friend Andy did here.  Stunning, that’s all I can say about this shot…

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

As you can see, it’s not all Christmas lights at the Magic Kingdom.  Here, a Toy Soldier is proudly on display among all the great Christmas decorations on Main Street, U.S.A.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

The Christmas Magic isn’t limited to just the Magic Kingdom, though.  Here, you see part of the scenery for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!  What an incredible display of scenes to capture the imagination with!

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

The picture of the Nativity Scene is, to me, what Christmas is all about, and I really like this picture.

Epcot

Image courtesy and ©Denny

Image courtesy and ©Denny

In many ways, though, I think the true Spirit of Christmas is on display over at Epcot with the Candlelight Processional that is performed throughout the Christmas season.  Each night, a celebrity guest tells the Christmas story with the help of musicians.  I think that this will be my favorite part of Christmas at Disney when we are able to experience it for ourselves.  Special thanks goes out to my friend Denny for sharing this picture with me.

Back at Home

Of course, a Disney Christmas doesn’t have to be spent at Disney — although, that’s the way I want to do it one year.  For us, since that isn’t in the cards this year, we have decided to add a little Disney right here at home.  My neighborhood is big on Christmas lights and decorations, so we have added two significant Disney characters to our “blow-up” collection.  Here are pictures of them for you to enjoy!

Minnie adorns our front yard this Christmas!

Minnie adorns our front yard this Christmas!

Olaf is one of the ways we celebrate a Disney Christmas -- at home!

Olaf is one of the ways we celebrate a Disney Christmas — at home!

His name is Olaf, and he likes Warm Hugs!  It’s not like being at Walt Disney World, but my neighbor Harry told me that Olaf is the talk of the neighborhood!  What is your favorite way to celebrate a Disney Christmas?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Heidi’s Head.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ My Dream’s of Disney – Dreaming of a Disney Christmas
2nd Stop ~ Heidi’s Head – Dreaming of a Disneyland Christmas
3rd Stop ~ Mommy To All Girls – Dreaming of a DCL Christmas
4th Stop ~ Frugal Mouse – Dreaming of a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Final Stop ~ Superheroes and Teacups – My Dream Christmas Trip to the Walt Disney World Parks

Magical Blogorail – Traditions of a Mexico Pavilion Christmas

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Welcome to those of you joining me from Rolling with the Magic and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Image courtesy and ©DISTherapy

Image courtesy and ©DISTherapy

When it comes to Christmas at Disney, I think my favorite part will be when I get to experience Epcot’s World Showcase.  I know that Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is over the top, and so is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, but to me, I think the true meaning of Christmas is seen most clearly at Epcot.  Did you know that each of the pavilions shares their own traditions with us on how they celebrate the Holiday season in their native land?

In the Mexico Pavilion, the Three Kings greet you and tell you how they celebrate the Holidays.  The Mexico term for Christmas is La Navidad, and the main celebration is known as Las Posadas (Posadas is Spanish for “inn”).  The story revolves around the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, and their attempts to find a room at the inn.  Included in the celebration in Mexico is Three Kings Day, which takes place on January 6th, the day traditionally known as the day that the Three Kings arrived to see the Baby Jesus.  In our country, we sometimes call that day “Old Christmas”.

I’m a real fan of all of the lights that you can find at the Magic Kingdom and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but as I’ve gotten older — notice I didn’t say wiser — I really appreciate the traditions of Christmas, and I think that the World Showcase does the best job of reflecting what the true meaning of Christmas is.

What is your favorite part of the Holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Home is Where the Mouse Is.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic – Germany Pavilion
2nd Stop ~ My Dreams of Disney – Mexico Pavilion
3rd Stop ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is – Holiday Treats from Around World Showcase
4th Stop ~ Journeys from a Follower – Holiday Happenings: How to Bring EPCOT’s Holiday Celebration Home
Final Stop ~ Mommy to All Girls – Candlelight Processional

Disney Magic

23 Days: Celebrate Disney Magic

Disney Magic

Disney Magic is found in seeing Mickey & Minnie riding Dumbo with special guests!

Disney Magic.  The stuff of legends, Disney Magic is, quite likely, the biggest reason why so many people come back to Walt Disney World and Disneyland each and every year.  It is found in so many different ways, that I thought the best way to share what it means to me is to show you with my photos.  I hope you enjoy!

Disney Magic

…can be found in the joy of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party…

The joy on Sophie’s face is a site to see!

Disney Magic

…is having your picture taken with your cousin and Snow White!

The picture of Snow White was taken on September 30, 2011, the day before the 40th Birthday of Walt Disney World!

Disney Magic

…is being first in line to see Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar!

Disney Magic

…is the joy of seeing your favorite character, Donald Duck, and dancing with him!

Disney Magic

…is telling Princess Jasmine a secret, and being able to chat for 5 minutes with no one waiting to see her.

Disney Magic

…is celebrating your 7th birthday with your best friend.

Disney Magic

…is seeing your niece proposed to in front of her Castle by her Prince.

Disney Magic is the reason I have this blog, the reason I help families plan trips to Walt Disney World, and the reason why we love going to Walt Disney World and Disneyland so much.  For me, no two words have more meaning at Disney than that.  What do you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

My Very First Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

{Editor’s Note: My friend Alicia is back with a post recapping her joy at seeing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!  Even though it’s been a month since Christmas, let’s enjoy her photos and get her take on the event!  Thanks, please give Alicia a warm welcome!}

As I get older it is getting harder and harder for people to get me birthday and Christmas presents (my birthday is 12 days before Christmas).  So this year my sister, who I share my birthday with, told me when I mentioned that I wanted to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that she would make that my joint gift if I wanted.  And I hesitated for oh about a nanosecond before saying, “OKAY”

The next thing was finding a partner in crime to go with me to the event. I wanted to take my niece who is a Disney lover like myself, but she had school and midterms, so that was out. There were a handful of friends I asked and there were other commitments, and blah blah blah, but eventually I found a Disney loving soul to join me. And as fate would have it this was also her first time going to MVMCP as well.

Let the planning begin!

I originally wanted to go on a Tuesday or Thursday night since I happened to be on vacation the week before Christmas, but due to scheduling conflicts we were not able to go until Friday, 12/20. Since the event lasted until midnight, we decided to spend the night. We drove up early Friday afternoon checked into the “offsite” hotel and then headed over. It was super cool being able to get in at 4 knowing that people that were there would be leaving in a few hours and the park would be ours!!

We walked around for a bit. She bought my FIRST ever pair of ears (EVER….I know bad Disney fan) as a birthday present. And of course being the sparkle lover that I am I got the black and red Minnie sequined ears. HEE HEE!! Totally in love with them and managed to keep them on all night long!!! We ate a little and found our first Holiday Treat location. The small serving of hot chocolate and cookies were just the right amount of sweetness after dinner. I wish it had been colder though so it would have felt more seasonal or more like Christmas. But what can you do, it’s Florida!

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Like any good photographer, I made sure that I had my camera on hand. I mean who goes to Disney at Christmas without their camera? Only crazy people! I can not even tell you the level of excitement and anticipation that I was feeling about the pictures I was going to get to take. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Walt Disney World at Christmas time. It becomes even more magical, if that is even possible.

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Despite the fact that the event was sold out we were able to walk around with ease and not feel crowded. If only every day that the Magic Kingdom could be like that… I can dream can’t I? We leisurely strolled through the park and had rode a few rides here and there and eventually made it to Main street USA for the SNOW!!!! OMG…. I felt like a little kid. It was so neat. Despite that fact that it wasn’t real, that didn’t take away the wow factor for me. I still very much enjoyed the “snow” in Florida….. and I was still able to be in shorts!!!

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We didn’t feel the crowdedness until we went to Main Street to watch the parade. It was hard to find a spot to see the parade with ease and not have to do some kind of bending and twisting to take pictures. But I got a few good ones. My FAVORITE part of the parade were the toy soldiers. I was watching them with my mouth gapping open like I a little kid. They walked like soldiers and their shoes had to have some sort of metal on the bottom because they made a “clacking” noise as they moved down the street.

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My least favorite part of the parade were the reindeer… sorry they were a little creepy to me… hence no pictures.  I wish I could have gone back and watched the parade again, and maybe get some better pictures. Maybe next year when I go back, because BELIEVE me I WILL be going back!

Immediately following the parade we went to get in place to watch “Celebrate the Magic” at Cinderella’s Castle.  We got as close as we could but it was crowded there also. We managed to land a spot in front of, or rather close to, the Partners statue. I love that statue.

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 I had no idea what to expect when the show started. I was in awe of all the images that came across the castle and the way it was transformed. As the scenes changed I was ooing and aahing like a 5 year old. It was so unique and well cool how they managed to mesh all the movies together and add the music in there too. I never would have thought that could be done. This was HANDS DOWN my favorite part of the party. And then the fireworks started…. How I LOVE me some fireworks! And not only were they behind the castle… they were all around us, encompassing us and lighting up the night sky. It was … MAGICAL!!!!

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Then sadly our night came to an end. We took our time leaving the park to try and take it all in. It is always hard to leave Disney, but it is even harder for me during Christmas.  Of course, there is comfort knowing that it is there and I can always go back. It really is my happy place.       

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Love

Alicia

Hollywood Studios Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Hello everyone, and welcome to our special series where we focus on the beauty of Walt Disney World during the Christmas season.  Thanks to my friend Andy from WDW Shutterbug, we are able to share with you some of the incredible beauty that you will experience the day you are able to visit Walt Disney World during the Christmas season — or, if you aren’t able to be there, you can get an idea of what it will be like when you are there!  You may remember that last week we brought you a Magic Kingdom Virtual Christmas Tour, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this look at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Millions of Lights!

Millions of Lights…all synchronized to music…that is the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!  What started at the home of Jennings Osborne, in Arkansas, grew and grew and grew until there was too many lights to handle.  That’s when the Osborne Family donated the lights and music to Walt Disney World — in 1995 — and Disney’s Hollywood Studios became the home to this treasure.  The best thing of all, perhaps?  It’s built into the cost of your admission when you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy our photographic tour, thanks to Andy from WDW Shutterbug!

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

Image courtesy and ©WDW Shutterbug

So, what do you think?  For those that have been to Walt Disney World during the Christmas season, which park do you like better?  Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios?  If you haven’t been before, which park do you think you will get more enjoyment out of — and keep the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party out of the equation for the moment.  Think it over, and let me know in the comments!  Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!