By Marie Gilmore

Getting into the holiday season is easy in our house. We sit around the calendar and plan our annual family trips to Walt Disney World to get into the holiday spirit.

First stop has to be Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Pick one of the 19 scheduled nights between Friday, November 8 and Friday, December 20 and watch the park transform into a Winter Wonderland complete with falling snow, warm cookies, cocoa and a special parade and fireworks display to put the whole family in the Christmas spirit. Because a special ticket is required for these special nights and only a limited number of tickets are sold, lines are short and all major attractions are open. There is time between 7 p.m. and midnight to ride all of the major attractions and enjoy the parade and fireworks. This year’s dates include December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19 and 20.

Our second family tradition is another seasonal favorite, the Epcot Candlelight Processional, which is a spectacular of live choir, celebrity narration and the telling of The Christmas Story with a 50-piece live orchestra accompaniment. The processional runs from Friday, November 29 through Monday,  December 30 at 5 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. at the America Gardens Theater stage on select nights. (Show times on December 8 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only). The list of narrators this season includes:

Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 – Gary Sinise

Dec. 2-3 – Neil Patrick Harris

Dec. 4-5 – Ashley Judd

Dec. 6-7 – Whoopi Goldberg

Dec. 8-10 – Sigourney Weaver

Dec. 11-13 – Dennis Haysbert

Dec. 14-16 – James Denton

Dec. 17-19 – Edward James Olmos

Dec. 20-22 – Trace Adkins

Dec. 26-28 – Blair Underwood

Dec. 29-30 – Amy Grant

Guests can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package, which combines lunch or dinner at select Epcot restaurants with guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.”

And finally, another family favorite at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. This display features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. This takes place on the Streets of America, dazzling guests from Friday, November 8 to Sunday, January 5. Visit for a full listing of holiday events and activities.


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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!