Category Archives: Christmas at Walt Disney World

Jingle Cruise 2013 Caution your experiences may vary!

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Christmas, Jingle Cruise, 2013

The other day my kids and I ventured over to the Magic Kingdom to check out the Jingle Cruise on its first day of operation.  We took in the experience twice, once using Fastpass+ and once using paper Fastpass.  I was excited to see that the Magic Kingdom is attempting to do Christmas overlays again.  We used to enjoy the Country Bear Christmas version until it was eliminated.  We arrived to find a one hour wait for standy by guests.  The Jungle Cruise usually has a little longer wait than may other attractions due to its low capacity, but it was obvious that many guests wanted to take in the new version.

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Christmas, Jingle Cruise, 2013

 

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Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with photos and videos

The Osborne Lights are one of our favorite Disney World traditions. We’ve been attending since the days when they were just static and didn’t have special music and lower crowds. I took the family out for the first public night performance on November 8th and we enjoyed the lights, music and some special treats.

To get to the Lights, you’ll need to go to Hollywood Studios, then go all the way to the back to the Streets of America. You’ll need to go down beside Star Tours, by Mama Melrose’s and turn right. You can’t enter by the Writer’s stop. There’s signs and helpful Cast Members directing you to the back.  You can also enter by coming around by Toy Story Mania and passing the Backlot Tour.

Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Christmas Lights

Continue reading Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with photos and videos

Meeting Christmas characters at Walt Disney World resorts.

A great way to meet characters in unique costumes during the holidays is to meet them at resorts.   I had to travel to every resort on Sunday, December 16th in order to get each resort’s schedule for the week.  Saratoga Springs Coronado Springs and Old Key West didn’t have their schedules, even after multiple days trying.  Evidently, they were released later in the week.  My daughter and I tried to meet as many as we could before we left.  We missed Santa Mickey by 5 minutes at Old Key West because we didn’t have that schedule.  The resorts don’t check id for meet and greets, so anyone is welcome to meet the characters.  We just told the security person at each gate that we were “visiting the resort.”  Only one asked further information.  He didn’t even know the resort had characters for Christmas week.  The characters appeared December 17th-December 24th at the resorts on varying schedules that I previously posted here.  My daughter’s Orchestra commitments kept us from meeting resort characters until the 19th.

We started off at the Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian,  Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts on December 19th.

At the Wilderness Lodge, we were first in line to meet Mickey and Minnie.   (Later in the week Pluto and Goofy visited)

Mickey and Minnie at Wilderness Lodge Christmas 2012

Mickey and Minnie at Wilderness Lodge Christmas 2012

Mickey and Minnie at Wilderness Lodge Christmas 2012

We traveled from the Wilderness Lodge to the Contemporary to find Chip n Dale in these awesome nutcracker/toy solder costumes:

Chip n Dale Contemporary Resort Christmas 2012 Toy Soldiers
Salute!

Chip n Dale Contemporary Resort Christmas 2012

We moved on to the Polynesian via monorail thinking we’d see Mickey and Minnie, but found a great surprise:

Lilo and Stitch Polynesian Resort Christmas 2012

Lilo and Stitch Polynesian Resort Christmas 2012

We moved on to the Yacht Club to see which characters were appearing.  We had about an hour before the characters would appear, so we took in some dinner and ice cream at Beaches and Cream.  We had NO WAIT!  How cool was that?  After dinner, we found Snowflake Donald and Daisy meeting by the tree.

Donald and Daisy Yacht Club Resort Christmas 2012
Forgot to turn on the flash, sorry 😦

Donald and Daisy Yacht Club Resort Christmas 2012

We ventured on from the Yacht Club to the Boardwalk resort to finish off our evening to find Mickey meeting alone.  We waited a few minutes and just before we were to meet him, the CM said it was time for some cheesecake, so Mickey disappeared briefly, only to bring Minnie back with him!

Mickey and Minnie Boardwalk Resort Christmas 2012

That concluded our busy evening resort meet and greets for December 19th. It took us about 4 hours to meet all the characters, most of it was travel time.

On the 20th, in the evening, we moved on to the Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani to see who we could find and it was Santa Stitch.

Santa Stitch Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Christmas 2012

Santa Stitch Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Christmas 2012

Santa Stitch Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Christmas 2012

We waited around for 30 minutes to meet Donald.  The CM wasn’t sure what costume he’d be wearing that evening.  It was the same costume as the Yacht Club, but there was no line, so we went ahead with the meet.

Donald Duck Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Christmas 2012

Donald Duck Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Christmas 2012

We headed over to Anaimal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House to find Mickey and Minnie in the same costumes that we saw at the Wilderness Lodge AND a long line, so we chose to just move on.  The only other resort meet that we attempted was at the Grand Floridian.  By the time we had arrived, the line was already cut for the night and there was a LONG line.  So arrive early!

Here’s a picture I snapped of Mickey and Minnie’s costumes at the Grand Floridian.

Mickey and Minnie Grand Floridian Resort Christmas 2012

Our only regret was not getting to meet Santa Mickey at Old Key West.  It sure would be a LOT easier, if WDW would have made the resort character meets public in some way other than travelling to each resort to gather the information, but we enjoyed meeting characters in unique costumes as our schedule allowed.  If you’re going to be in Walt Disney World the week before Christmas, I encourage you to schedule some time with the characters at the resorts!

Walt Disney World Christmas resort character and resort Santa Claus meet and greets

Updated 12/19/2012

One of the nice things about coming to Walt Disney World during the week of Christmas is the bonus character meet and greets that are offered at many of the resorts.  Last year a variety of characters were offered including Daisy, Mickey, Minnie, Lilo, Stitch, Goofy, Pluto, Chip n Dale, Donald and Scrooge (rumors point to Scrooge not meeting at Contemporary this year).

I’ve traveled to every resort to gather each resort Christmas Activities Guide and found the following information:  (Boardwalk, Coronado Springs, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs didn’t have one printed yet.)  I will update this information if it changes in any way.

Disney World Resort Christmas Character Schedules

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
Daisy and Donald in the Lobby
Dec 18, 20, 22, 24 4:30-8:15pm
Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village
Stitch or Goofy in the Lobby
Dec 19, 20, 21, 23 4:45-8:30
Beach Club Resort
Daisy & Donald in the Lobby
Dec 19-22 4:30-5:00 5:30-5:45
Boardwalk Resort
Mickey & Minnie in the Lobby
Dec 19-22 5:00-9:00pm
Caribbean Beach Resort
at Old Port Royale
23-Dec 5:00-8:45pm
Contemporary Resort
Chip n Dale: 4th Floor North End
Dec 17, 19, 21, 23 5:15-9:00pm
Fort Wilderness
at Crockett’s Tavern
24-Dec 4:45-8:30pm
Grand Floridian Resort
in the Lobby
Dec 18, 20, 22, 24 5:00-8:45pm
Polynesian Resort
Lilo & Stitch in the Lobby
Dec 17, 19, 21, 23 4:45-8:30pm
Port Orleans – French Quarter
in the Lobby
24-Dec 10:30-11:45am
Port Orleans –  Riverside
in the Lobby
24-Dec 8:00-9:15am
Wilderness Lodge
 Mickey & Minnie in the Lobby
Dec 19-22 4:30-8:15pm
Yacht Club
Daisy & Donald in the Lobby
Dec 19-22 7:00-7:30 8:00-8:15

Santa Claus will definitely meet at the following resorts:  (I will confirm  Coronado Springs, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs later)

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House
Art of Animation Resort
All Star Resorts
Beach Club Resort
Boardwalk Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort
Contemporary Resort
Fort Wilderness
Grand Floridian Resort
Polynesian Resort
Pop Century Resort
Port Orleans –  Riverside
Wilderness Lodge