[B][I]Disney World in November & December[/I][/B]
[B]November and December Information for Disney World [/B]
Magic Kingdom - General Public Early Openings announced for November. The Magic Kingdom will open to everyone (not just Disney hotel guests) at 8:00AM on November 2 - 18. They only do this when they’re expected peak level crowds so plan on arriving no later than 7:45AM to enjoy the lowest crowds and shortest lines of the day. On days like this, it is much better to take a mid-day break - when crowds are heavy - than to arrive late. We expect to see early opening announced for December and we’ll send an update as soon as they do.
New Free Activity! - Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality (Now through December 1) - There’s a new virtual experience for Downtown Disney guests. You line up in a themed area and, when it is your turn, you enter a fenced area to interact for a few moments with the Phineas & Ferb characters on a large screen before getting your photo taken. There are 20 different pre-programmed scenarios. Your photo can be retried and shared online. For full details, click here or watch this YouTube Video from Disney.
Almost all of the Disney World Resort Hotels now feature nightly outdoor movies. You can find out what movies are scheduled at your resort at Walt Disney World Resort Outdoor Movie Schedule for the Disney World Hotels The schedule is updated on the first day of each month.
Fantasmic! (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) - Yea! Hooray! Fantasmic! is being offered every evening this November, except for November 9, and every night in December. There will be two performances of Fantasmic! on November 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 17 - 25, 30 and December 1, 25 - 31. The second performance will be less crowded than the first. I think we’ll see more Fantasmic performances added to December’s schedule and, based on past years, we might even see a third performance added for several nights around Thanksgiving and Christmas. This show is included in the cost of admission.
Main Street Electrical Parade (Magic Kingdom) - This wonderful nighttime parade is not offered every night because the park will close early (7PM) on nights with the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties (separate ticket required). This means that the Magic Kingdom will be more crowded on days featuring a Main Street Electrical Parade. The Main Street Electrical Parade will be presented on November 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18 -24, 26, 28, and December 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22 - 31, 2012. One nights with 2 parades, the second parade is always less crowded than the first - they currently have 2 parades scheduled on November 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 17, 18 -24, 26, 28, and December 1 but I expect to see more dates with 2 parades added to the December schedule. The Main Street Electrical Parade is very impressive and worth seeing so plan your visit to the Magic Kingdom on a day it is offered, arrive a bit before park opening in the morning, and use a good touring plan to keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.
Extra Magic Hours - (Special hours only available to Disney resort hotel guest) ! We recommend that everyone avoid the Extra Magic Hour park of the day. Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms and no one goes to Disney alone - that means too many people are pointed in the same direction at the same time. You’ll have a much nicer time by going to a less busy park. This is doubly important if you are not staying at a Disney resort - you don’t want to get to the theme park and find a bunch of Disney guests in line in front of you.
Periwinkle has joined Tinker Belle in the Disney Fairies Meet-and-Greet. Periwinkle is a new fairy from Secret of the Wings - a direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie being released on October 23, 2012.
Disney World Special Events for November and December 2012 [/B]
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (Magic Kingdom) - 7:00PM to Midnight - November 9, 12, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30; Decmeber 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 2012. This special event is a lot of fun for families a special parade, fireworks, holiday shows, cookies, snow on Main Street, and more. These nights require a special event ticket - you cannot enter using your Magic Your Way or Park Hopper tickets. Ticket prices vary with an advance purchase discount offered on select nights. Warning: The Magic Kingdom will close to the public at 7:00PM on party nights. Magic Kingdom resort area restaurants (Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare, Whispering Canyon, etc.) will fill their reservations early as people look for something nearby to enjoy after the early park closing.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights ~ November 9, 2012 - January 4, 2013. Millions of christmas lights in the Streets of America area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are choregraphed to coordinate with holiday music every 15 minutes from dusk until park closing. There is no extra cost to enjoy this incredible display - it is included with park admission. Tip: Both Fantasmic and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights take place after dark, making it hard to enjoy both events if you also have a sit-down dinner reservation. Book a sit-down lunch, instead of dinner, during this season or dine late (after park closing).
Epcot Holidays Around the World Storytellers - November 23 - 30, 2012. Enjoy special storytellers who share holiday traditions from their country in the World showcase country pavilions. Check your Epcot times guide (available near the park entrance, by the park maps) for times and locations.
Epcot - Candlelight Processional ~ November 23 - 30, 2012. The annual retelling of the story of Christmas that features a mass choir and a full orchestra will run November 23 – December 30, at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. There is no extra cost but this beloved event is extremely popular and seating is limited. You can get a Candlelight Processional Dining Package from several Epcot restaurants that gives reserved seating at a performance - call 407-WDW-Dine for details. Candlelight Processional Dining Packages will take two (2) table-service credits per person, for those using a Disney Dining Plan. General public guests will line up early for spots at this show. If you don’t have guaranteed seating, line up no later than 4:00PM for the first performance for your best chance at getting a seat. This year’s celebrity Narrators:
– November 23 - 25: Geena Davis
– November 26 - November 29: Neil Patrick Harris
– November 30 - December 1: Whoopi Goldberg
– December 2 - 4: Andy Garcia
– December 5 - 7: Blair Underwood
– December 8 - 9: James Denton
– December 10 - 13: Jodi Benson
– December 14 - 16: Lea Salonga
– December 17- 19: Alfre Woodard
– December 20 - 22: Trace Adkins
– December 23 - 25: Gary Sinise
– December 26 - 28: Amy Grant
– December 29 - 30: Marlee Matlin
[B]New Year’s Eve / December 31[/B]
At Epcot, DJs will be stationed at select pavilions throughout the evening. “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will salute the new year at 7 p.m. and 11:42 p.m. A buffet dining experience inspired by Disney’s classic animated films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will take place at World ShowPlace, with reservations available from 4:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Priced at $68.67 for adults and $44.37 for children. Park admission is required.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Year’s Eve Spectacular will take place on a specially built stage in front of the Sorcerer Hat icon. The four concert sets will feature pyrotechnics and special effects and lead up to ringing in the New Year with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears playing live accompaniment to a full-scale fireworks spectacular.
At DisneyQuest, located at Downtown Disney, there will be a family-friendly cyber celebration from 8 p.m. -1 a.m. including a DJ Dance Party, character meet and greets, plus unlimited access to games and DisneyQuest attractions. There will be a confetti drop and festive party favors as the clock strikes midnight. Partygoers also will get a coupon for a quick service entree, side and drink. Tickets go on sale soon at 407-934-7639.
At Cirque du Soleil, located at Downtown Disney, all guests attending the December 31 performances will receive a limited-edition Walt Disney World/Cirque trading pin. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. For pricing contact 407/WDW/SEAT .
Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to music and entertainment. At Narcoosee’s restaurant (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), for instance, there will be a four-course dining experience for $161.85 for adults and $77.19 for children, plus DJ, balloon artist and special fireworks viewing.
Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort offers a special-ticket New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. with a video DJ and limited viewing of Epcot’s Fireworks.
Disney World Refurbishments and Closures for November & December 2012 [/B]
Epcot - Test Track closed from April 16 - December 6, 2012.
Epcot - Bistro de Paris (restaurant) closed August 1 - December 6, 2012
Epcot Character Spot closed October 21, 2012 - mid-February 2013.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - Studio Backlot Tour closed October 8 - November 16, 2012
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - American Film Institute Showcase and AFI Showcase Shop closed October 8 - November 16, 2012.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios - No Fantasmic! on November 8, 2012.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park closed from October 28, 2012 to January 5, 2013.
Disney’s Palm, Magnolia and Oak Trail Golf Courses closed October 29 - November 11, 2012 due to the PGA Tour Children’s Miracle Network Golf Classic.
Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course will be closed November 12 - 18, 2012.
Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course will be closed November 26 - December 2, 2012.
Disney’s Palm Golf Course will be closed December 3 - 9, 2012.
Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course will be closed December 10 -14, 2012.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort - the Spa is closed but but a temporary fitness center location is open. Gasparilla Grill & Games (food court) is closed from August 24 - December 17, 2012. The Courtyard Pool is closed from August 24 - December 2012 but the Beach Pool will be open. Sandy Cove Gifts & Sundries closed August 21 - November 17, 2012. The Courtyard Pool & Bar closed September 10 - Late December 2012, though The Beach Pool will remain open. Ivy Trellis Beauty & Barber Shop closed October 20 - December 3, 2012.
Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resorts - The Ship Shape Health Club and Periwig Beauty & Barber Shop are closed from August 26 - November 16, 2012. A temporary fitness center has been set up in the Beach Club’s Solarium. Hurricane Hanna’s closed from August 27 - December 18, 2012. A temporary hot dog / drink cart has been sut up near Stormalong Bay (pool). Lafferty’s Arcade will have a temporary grab & go food sales section.
[B]Travel Agent Tips for November & December Travel to Disney World: [/B]
Get our top tips for avoiding crowds and lines here: Avoid Long Lines at Disney World - Our Top Tips.
Expect Epcot to be busier than usual on weekends as locals and annual passholders come to enjoy the Food and Wine festival. You may have a better time by visiting Epcot on a week day.
Crowd Warning! Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks are two of the busiest weeks at Walt Disney World. Crowds are at their lowest for the first 1.5 - 2 hours of the day. Arrive at the theme park of your choice at least 20 minutes prior to opening to enjoy the shortest lines and lowest crowds of the day. It is better to take a mid-day break than to arrive late during peak crowds.
Having trouble booking a character meal for the holidays? There are several non-Disney hotels at Disney World that offer character meals on select days. These restaurants don’t participate in the Disney Dining Plans so you’ll have to pay for them out of pocket but, because Disney doesn’t promote them, most people don’t know they exist which means you may still be able to get a reservation. They’re all located on Disney property and can be accessed using Disney transporation. For a list of locations, see: Disney Character Meals Outside The Disney Theme Parks and the Disney-owned Resorts