About Me!

My photo
Welcome! I am Jane-Ellen (JE) I'm a travel agent and I am happy to share with you my love of travel. I am not a journalist, I simply enjoy traveling. My favorite travel destinations are Walt Disney World, Cruises and anywhere on our Harley. My husband, Steve and I are out on our Harley when time, work and weather permit. We try to take weekend trips whenever possible.
Walt Disney World has been a favorite spot to vacation since our first trip in 1983. We have had over 30 weeklong vacations and now living in Florida we visit monthly, although recently I find myself there weekly. Hey I am doing research!
Cruising is another passion. We have been on many cruises, predominately in the Caribbean. A seven day cruise is the best way to really unwind and relax; but if a three or four day cruise crosses our path, we set sail. I am an Accredited Cruise Councilor, and a Certified Travel Councilor. I have the highest level of education from all major cruise lines.
Many clients have asked for insider tips for Disney World and cruising. That is my goal to offer insider information on Disney, Cruises and biking.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Disney's Style

Christmas at Walt Disney World

Delight in the sounds and sights of the season at Walt Disney World’s celebration of Christmas. There are many dazzling reasons to visit the parks over the holidays! The great decoration are not just in the parks, be sure to visit the hotels for beautifully themed decoration. The Grand Floridian has a life size gingerbread house that doubles as a shop to purchase homemade cookies. You can also find chestnuts roasting at the Grand Floridian.

Here are some of the highlights at the parks.


The Candlelight Processional is special holiday event that runs three times nightly. A celebrity narrator retells the story of Christmas, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and a full mass choir.

Holiday’s Around the World, gives us a peek into the traditions from around the world as each of the eleven countries show us their Christmas traditions.  Visit each country to meet “santa” and hear their special story of Christmas. Meet Pere Noel in France, La Befana in Italy. The American Pavilion offers a look at Chanukah and Kwanza.   

Mickey's Tree Lighting, Mickey and friends light a Christmas Tree in the World Showcase Plaza nightly.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth has a special finale for the holiday season, including classic song "Let There Be Peace on Earth".

Animal Kingdom
Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade, the afternoon parade takes on a Christmas inspired jungle theme.

Disney Hollywood Studios

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Millions of sparkling lights shine in falling snow in this theme park, in the Streets of America backlot area.
The history of this display goes back to Little Rock Arkansas in 1986, when businessman Jennings Osborne strung up 1000 red lights for his 6-year-old daughter. The display grew every year, so much so that-- by the time it reached 3 million lights-- the neighbors took legal action, and it found a permanent home in Walt Disney World.
Appearing at dusk nightly from mid November until just after the new year. The Spectacle of Lights is included in regular admission to the theme parks. Since 2006, the Spectacle has had "dancing" lights: every 15 minutes, choreographed lights swirl to a medley of classic holiday music; snow flurries, too.

The Magic Kingdom

        Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party includes a special Parade, snowfall on Main Street, character greetings and character stage shows, cookies and hot cocoa, special Holiday Wishes fireworks, and popular Magic Kingdom Park attractions. The party happens on select nights in November and Decemeber; hours are 7 pm to midnight, and only party guests, with special tickets are in the theme park during that time. Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as this is a sell out every year. (these tickets are not included in your regular park passes)
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade has holiday themes including a sleigh ride, Fairy Tale Christmastime, toy soldiers, snowflakes, dancing deer, and Santa and Mrs. Claus in a grand finale. This Parade is part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party; after the Party dates are finished, in past years the Parade has rolled for everyone in the afternoon (instead of the usual Disney's Dreams Come True Parade) until the end of December. tree lighting ceremony, most nights on Main Street
Mickey's Night Before Christmas, in the Galaxy Palace Theater, several times daily
Holiday Wishes Fireworks is set to the music of classic holiday songs
Castle Dream Lights: every night, a Castle Dream Lights show, with Disney characters, lights up Cinderella's Castle with 200,000 twinkling lights.

Disney World Fantasyland expansion announcement & makeover concept art

Disney's Magic Kingdom Expands Fantasyland

Walt Disney World has broken ground for the expansion of Fantasyland. Fantasyland, one of the 7 themed lands of the Magic Kingdom, will double in size by 2013.  This is the largest project the Magic Kingdom has seen since its inception in 1971.

In order to accommodate the new venues, Mickey’s Toontown will be closing February 11th. Mickey, Minnie and their pals will be relocated to the Exposition Hall on Main Street. Tink will move to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  You will, of course, still have character interactions throughout the park. The WDW railroad will remain open during the construction.  

The new Fantasy Land will include an interactive storybook adventure with favorite Disney Princesses.  Little Mermaid will have her own ride (similar to the clam mobiles in Epcot’s The Sea’s Nemo and friends ride). Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty will all have their own attractions. There will be additional dining choices and shops. Visitors will be able to visit Tink’s Pixie Hollow. UPDATED January 19, 2011~~Pixie  Hollow will be located in Disney Hollywood Studios!

Dumbo will take center stage with his own expanded area. This area will include a big top tent area with more fun and adventure.

Everyone has such fond memories of Toon Town and will miss it dearly but I suppose that is progress. I am still a bit upset they replaced Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!

Epcot Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional brings alive the story of Christmas with its celebrity narrators, choir and full 50 piece orchestra. It a moving experience that will leave you with a feeling of contentment and the real meaning of Christmas.

The Processional, as you can imagine, is very popular. The American Gardens Theatre is an open air theatre and the show goes on rain or shine.  The show runs nightly at 5:00 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:15 pm.

If you plan on enjoying the show you have two choices for seating. The first option is a preferred dinner seating package that offers dinner and reserved seating. The other option is the standby line. The seats are not actual reserved seats but reserved seating area in the lower portion of the theatre. You should arrive a few minutes early to get the best seats, at fifteen minutes prior to the start of the show; the seating is opened to the standby line.
If the standby line is your choice, get there early, folks start lining up 45 minutes early (or more closer to Christmas).
This not to be missed performance runs thru December.
The guest narrators are:
·  12/10 - 12/11: Whoopi Goldberg                                                              ·  12/12-  12/15: Steven Curtis Chapman
·  12/16 - 12/18: Thomas Gibson
·  12/19 - 12/21: Trace Adkins
·  12/22 - 12/23: Brad Garrett
·  12/24 - 12/27: Edward James Olmos
·  12/28 - 12/30: Marlee Matlin (interpreter: Jack Jason)

Restaurant Information:
For Disney Dining Plan Guests: Candlelight Dining Packages will require 2 table service entitlements.

Lunch Packages range from $32.99-$51.99 per adult and $12.99-$17.99 per child.

Dinner Packages range from $46.99-$61.99 per adult and $15.99-$23.99 per child.

Participating restaurants include:
Rose & Crown
Le Cellier
Coral Reef
Nine Dragons
San Angel
Teppan Edo 
Tokyo Dining
Chefs de France
Tutto Italia

Your lunch or dinner package includes: appetizer, entree, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage (or full buffet where applicable); guaranteed seating at the Candlelight Processional show. You must arrive more than 15 minutes prior to the start of the show as they open seating to everyone at the 15 minute mark.

NOTE: Candlelight Dinner Packages do NOT include theme park admission.