Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland Park

When the holidays descend upon the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park, something very bizarre happens inside those gates. Jack Skellington and his crew of comrades from Halloween Town have taken up temporary residence in the classic attraction and given it a Nightmare Before Christmas makeover. From the jack-o-lanterns and candelabras trimming the exterior of the mansion to the pumpkin-bedecked Christmas tree, gingerbready ballroom, and ghostly white snow in the graveyard beyond, it’s a darkly enchanting collision of the two holidays.

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“it’s a small world holiday” at Disneyland Park

Need a bit of a reprieve from one of the most infectious, yet overplayed songs in the world? Note to self, schedule your next trip to Disneyland Park during the holiday season when the famous peace-promoting theme song is interspersed with a perky version of “Jingle Bells” (sung, of course, in a perky variety of languages and beats). Bonus: “Deck the Halls” is also thrown in for good measure.

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Last chance for the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

MH osborne lightsTwenty years after the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights first blinked on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios), they will flicker their final farewell when the 2015 holiday season comes to a close. Due to the upcoming construction of Star Wars and Toy Story-themed lands at the park, the light extravaganza has received its eviction notice from the Streets of America (whose days are numbered as well). (more…)

Meet: Santa & Mrs. Claus at American Adventure Pavilion

To me there is no better place to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus than the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. The backdrop is perfect — the jolly duo seated on plush thrones surrounded by trimmed trees and wrapped gifts — we just have to get past the Minnesota kids incongruously meeting the Clauses dressed in T-shirts and sandals instead of parkas and snow boots. The Christmas characters are the American contribution to Epcot’s Holidays Around the World.

MH santa american advThe shiny bow on the package was “O Holy Night” performed by the Candlelight Processional choir on the America Gardens stage in the background. What more could the kids ask Santa for?


Location: Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus in the gazebo of the America Adventure Pavilion, Epcot Theme Park, generally between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Check your Epcot Times Guide to plan a visit.


A taste of the Grand Floridian gingerbread house

MH grand floridian gingerbreadIt’s a delicious tradition dating back to 1999: the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa’s gingerbread house in all its iced-shingled, snowflake-spangled, Disney character-adorned glory. The edible little cottage sets up shop — literally, as sweet treats are peddled from inside — every holiday season in the hotel’s lavish lobby. Our family paid a special visit to the Grand Floridian on a recent Christmas trip to admire the house and get a gingerbread fix. (more…)

Christmastime at the Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

Twice each night during the holiday season at the Magic Kingdom, Queen Elsa employs her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into her sparkling ice palace. A Frozen Holiday Wish was near the top of our own wishlist on a visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We were down in Walt Disney World in early December thanks to the casual suggestion of my dad, who was planning to attend a convention in the area, that our family might meet him there. Of course, being the Disney nut that I am, I immediately took that to mean, “Buy your tickets and pack your bags”. (more…)

Highlights of the Holiday Season at the Walt Disney World Resort

Could there be a more magical place to celebrate the holiday season than the Walt Disney World Resort? The theme parks and resort hotels are simply at their merriest! We’ve highlighted some of our favorite traditions throughout the parks and resorts that really speak the season to us: (more…)

4th of July at Walt Disney World (plus a week at the beach!)

4th of july walt disney worldThough I’ve long been a total Disney junkie, I always vowed I wouldn’t go near the place during the month of July. The combination of the heat and crowds I’d heard so much about just sounded too daunting. And after having taken numerous trips during the temperate, much less attended months, I had no interest in making sweaty, miserable memories while trying to convince the kids to wait in yet another everlasting line. (more…)

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World

MH july fourth epcotFor years I claimed I would have nothing to do with Walt Disney World — or anything in Florida, for that matter — during the month of July. I have never been one to have a high tolerance for heat, humidity, and crowds. The horror stories from folks who had dared visit Disney during the peak of summer had completely turned me off from doing it myself. (more…)

Trick-or-Treat throughout the Magic Kingdom

My suspicions were confirmed the first year we attended: if we had let the kids have their way, we would have been purchasing an additional suitcase to tote their haul of candy home from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I was not up for doing that. I also wasn’t up for eating three meals of candy a day for the remainder of the trip just to get rid of it. Therefore, limits had to be set, right? A few tips to pass along if you’re planning to trick-or-treat your way around the Magic Kingdom  during the Halloween party:
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