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The Top 5 Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World

The Top 5 Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World

The Top 5 Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World

We may not be dashing through the snow here in Orlando, but it sure feels like the holidays thanks to the magical yuletide-themed events at Walt Disney World. Disney promptly transformed all four parks into respective winter wonderlands the night after Halloween for guests to enjoy the magic of this upcoming holiday season. Here’s a list of our top 5 holiday highlights at Walt Disney World that you won’t want to miss: 

#1 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

At the top of our list this year is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom. The park is closed to all but the event ticket holders for this special celebration. With Christmas carols ringing loud throughout the air, multiple holiday-themed performances, and a spectacular fireworks show, you’re sure to have an unforgettable night with friends and family. The party starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends at midnight.

The magic of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins right when you walk in the park with “snow” falling on Main Street, U.S.A. Cinderella’s Castle shines brightly off in the distance while you peruse the Christmas tree clad streets and enjoy unlimited complimentary Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. One of the highlights of the celebration is the incredible Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. With rows of marching Toy Soldiers, cartwheeling Gingerbread Men, dancing Nutcrackers, and even an appearance by the big man himself — Santa — in addition to all of your favorite classic Disney characters, you’ll be filled with holiday cheer as you watch your little ones wave and cheer them on!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019 Dates:

  • November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, and 24
  • December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, and 22

(Sold out dates: November 24th and December 22nd)

Tickets for Ages 10+ Start at $99-$139
Tickets for Ages 3-9 Start at $94-$134

#2 The Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The Candlelight Processional at Epcot holds the #2 spot on our holiday highlights list. Included with regular Epcot admission, the breathtaking show features a live 50-piece orchestra, massed choir, and celebrity narrator who retells the traditional story of Christmas in a stirring performance. This beautiful program evokes the true meaning of the holidays and has become a cherished part of the Walt Disney World holiday season. The Candlelight Processional is performed at the open-air American Gardens Theatre three times per night at 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 p.m.

The spectacular rendition is a part of Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays, which takes place starting on November 29th until December 30th of 2019. During this time, you’ll be able to enjoy festive park decorations, live holiday-themed musical productions, and a wide variety of sweet seasonal treats and speciality beverages. While you’re there, be sure to stop by each pavilion at the World Showcase to learn about all the holiday traditions. Each country has its own special theme and storytellers that will delight you with tales of how the holidays are celebrated in their homeland. 

Celebrity Narrators Line-Up
  • Ming-Na Wen – 11/29-12/1
  • Neil Patrick Harris – 12/2-12/5
  • Whoopi Goldberg – 12/6-12/7
  • Isabella Rossellini – 12/8-12/10
  • Chita Rivera – 12/11-12/12
  • Gary Sinise – 12/13-12/15
  • Pat Sajak – 12/16-12/18
  • Warwick Davis – 12/19-12/21
  • Steven Curtis Chapman – 12/22-12/24
  • Edward James Olmos – 12/25-12/26
  • Marlee Matlin – 12/27-12/28
  • Lisa Ling – 12/29-12/30

#3 Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios

Another notable Disney World holiday experience that you won’t want to miss is Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios. This impressive yuletide projection show transforms the facade of the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into precious seasonal scenes with amazing laser effects. Enjoy falling “snow” on the festive street of Sunset Boulevard and watch as you favorite characters come to life — from Mickey and Minnie reminiscing about a hometown Christmas to Woody and friends wondering which new toys are coming this holiday season, you’ll be filled with holiday sentiment during the show. This stunning experience is a part of the Flurry of Fun holiday events at Hollywood Studios and runs continuously starting on November 8th, 2019 until January 5th, 2020.

#4 Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights at Animal Kingdom

The newest addition of Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights at Animal Kingdom holds the #4 spot on our holiday highlights list. As you wander through Asia, you’ll be able to see how the residents of Anandapur have decorated the theatre district in celebration of Diwali. Glowing flowers, lanterns, and brightly strung lights will illuminate the square between Anandapur Theater and the waterfront stage this holiday season with authentic cultural performances.

The celebration of Diwali will also be included in the live show, Up! A Great Bird Adventure beginning November 8th, 2019 until January 5th, 2020. In addition to dazzling birds of all shapes and sizes, the show features beautiful authentic clothing worn by the handlers and a festive musical score. Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights is a part of Animal Kingdom’s new holiday entertainment and decor. 

#5 The Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs

The last holiday highlight that you won’t want to miss is the charming Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. Discover 23 spectacularly decorated Christmas trees — each inspired by a particular Disney character or theme — during a walk-through experience featuring music, falling “snow,” and delicious seasonal food and beverage offerings like frozen hot chocolate. This fun experience is available starting on November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

The trail starts in the Disney Springs Marketplace, where you’ll spot an alluring pathway towards rows of trees with the following Disney-inspired themes:

  • Walt Disney World Parks
  • Mickey & Minnie Mouse
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Aladdin
  • Frozen
  • The Princess & The Frog
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Mulan
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Snow White
  • Pinocchio
  • Toy Story
  • Disney Villains
  • Dumbo
  • Cinderella
  • Robin Hood
  • Star Wars
  • Peter Pan
  • Tangled
  • The Lion King
  • Mary Poppins
  • Fantasia

During your journey along the Christmas Tree Trail, be sure to check out the multiple food and beverage kiosks and special merchandise from select shops. You’ll be able to meet the old jolly elf himself — Santa Claus — halfway through the trail in his very own chalet now through December 24th, 2019. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time at Disney Springs this holiday season.

Whatever you decide to experience this holiday season, the team at My VIP Tour is dedicated to creating the best memories for you and your loved ones. Let your Disney VIP guide customize the ultimate holiday tour just for you!

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Navigating the Airport & Plane Rides with Kids

Navigating the Airport & Plane Rides with Kids

Navigating the Airport and Plane Rides With Kids Like a Pro

If you are anything like me, the idea of traveling with little ones can be daunting. Navigating an airport by yourself can be intimidating. Throw in a few small children and all the extra gear into the mix and no wonder why more families don’t travel often. Thankfully, a lot of airlines and airports have caught on, and done a great job at becoming more family friendly. Additions such as mobile apps for the airports, mommy & me nursing pods, and kid play spaces have made traveling a little more manageable. 

Since I am not a native Floridian, myself, my husband and our two children do a lot of flying back and forth between Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida to visit family. Along the way, I have learned a lot (mostly by trial and error) about how to make traveling with small kids as stress free as possible. Here are my top 5 suggestions

#1 Pack the car as much as possible the night before

     My family and I tend to book flights early in the morning. This way we get to our destination as early as possible to have more time to enjoy our trip. We always make sure our car is packed the night before with as much as we can to avoid the chaos of packing everything in the morning. We also have our kids sleep in the outfits they will be traveling in. This way mom and dad wake up first, pack up just the last minute essentials, get the kids in the car and go. No one likes getting a cranky toddler dressed in the morning!

#2 Baby Wear through Security

     My ErgoBaby carrier has been a lifesaver when traveling with my little ones. TSA allows parents to go through security screenings while carrying their babies, as long as there isn’t any metal on your carrier. If you chose to do this (which I highly recommend you do) a TSA agent will just swab your hands. (Sidenote: some lotions and hair product residue on your hands may cause you to test false positive for explosive material, trust me, I learned the hard way in Newark International Airport!).  

     Nursing and formula feeding mom’s rest assured that formula, water bottles (for formula) and breastmilk do not have to follow the liquid limit guidelines for TSA. Just notify the agent that you have it with you, and they will take it aside to screen is separately. 

#3 Invest in TSA Precheck

     It was reported that in March of 2019, 92% of TSA Pre Check members waited only 5 minutes or less to get through security! This is a HUGE perk especially if you are traveling at peak times throughout the year. For a yearly fee of $85, you can gain access to a special security line and not have to worry about removing your shoes, belts and laptops from your bags. You can learn more or sign up at https://www.tsa.gov/precheck.

#4 Run Laps Around the Airport

     I am talking hypothetical laps here. My 3 year old has an amazing amount of energy. From sun up to sun down, he can run circles around us. Once we have settled in at our airport gate, my husband and I usually take turns walking around the airport terminal with him. The goal is to let him shake all the sillies out and use as much energy as possible before we make him sit still for a few hours during the flight. 

     You can also bring your little ones carseat on to the plan with you. According to the FAA it must be placed in the window seat. We did this for my son when he was about 2. He was familiar with his car seat, so he had no issues being buckled in for a few hours, and it helped us retain some sanity knowing he was in 1 spot instead of running up and down the isles of the plane. 

#5 Use a pacifier, bottle or nursing session to help with take off & landing

     Take off and landing can be the toughest portion of the flight for both adults and small children due to the changing air pressure in the airplane cabin. As an adult, we know the tips and tricks (ie: popping your ears, chewing gum etc…) it is much harder to explain this to a child. I’ve found that using a pacifier, giving a bottle or nursing is a very helpful ways to get a child’s ears to pop an adjust during those time. For toddlers, things like lollipops and juice boxes can do the trick as well.

     These are just a few of the things that help my family survive traveling and help make our trips more stress free. What are some of your favorite tricks?

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