Characters in Flight (at Downtown Disney):Now
open! Our guests are
a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort as they soar to new heights in a
whimsical attraction that is now open Downtown
Disney. Characters in Flight, operated by Aerophile, is a giant tethered
balloon that ascends up to 400 feet
into the sky every 10 minutes (depending on weather). Riders can catch
the flight daily for $16 ($10 for ages 3-9). To enjoy, just go the bridge on
the West Side near Planet Hollywood!! Here are a few photos of
our son and grandson enjoying the ride:
the Harmony Barber Shop at the Magic Kingdom!
*One of Lees Favorite Spots: If you
had just a little too much of the mouse, and need a relaxing break, why not go
back to your youth! Try the Harmony Barber
Shop at the Magic
back in a real barber's chair and experience a good old-fashioned haircut at Harmony
Barber Shop on Main Stree in the Magic
Located near the Emporium and with a signature candy-striped pole outside, the shop
transports guests to a simpler time when barbershop quartets entertained and getting a
haircut was and still is a real treat. If you want to take your little Mousekateer
along,"First Haircuts," the establishment's specialty, treats young'uns to pixie
dust, bubbles, Mickey Mouse stickers and an extra-special "My 1st Haircut" set
of Mouse Ears. Haircuts for children are $14; adults are $17; first-come, first-serve. You're right! Lee's haircut does not take a
lot of time.....not much there!
For more information, or to make reservations:
e-mail us at
A VacationEARS " by the
Month" 2013 Planning Guide for Disney World
First, a tip:
May is one of the very best months to visit Mickey. The lines at the parks
are minimal and the rates are the best of the year.
. Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival
- through March 6-May 19
Continues through May 19th (see March for
. Expedition Everest Challenge 5K -
Just after sunset, teams of two
take off on the exotic terrain of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a fun,
competitive 5K run, obstacle course, and scavenger hunt. The reward for
completing the challenge is an exclusive after-hours party at Disney’s
Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
. Star Wars Weekends - May 17-June 9 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Only)
Each summer Disney's Hollywood Studios turns into a giant Star Wars fan-fest
on the weekends. There are up-close meet-and-greets with your favorite Star
Wars characters and actors from the film series as well as interactive
games, parades, music and fun for the whole family.
Disney's Hollywood Studio's
Birthday - May 1, 2013
- Opening May 1, 1989, the park turns 24 this birthday.
• Cinco de Mayo - May 5,
2013 - Annual special family/kids activities at Mexico Pavilion at Epcot
• Mother's Day - May 12, 2013
Give Mom the royal treatment at Disney.
Remember, there are over 100 restaurants to choose from! We've yet to find
out specifics of this very special day but Disney always does something
• Norway's Constitution Day
- May 17, 2013 - Annual special family/kids activities at Epcot's Norway
. Star Wars Weekends - Continues through June 9 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Only).
. Car Master Weekend -
Anticipated dates are June 1-2
Attention all "Cars" fans! The gang from Radiator Springs is suppose to be
at Downtown Disney West Side for a fun, family-friendly event that
celebrates everything "Cars." There are to be meet and greets with Lightning
McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile, and so much more.
. Sound Like Summer Concert
Series - June 9-July 27
Like Paulette and Lee, you will be dancing to classic Rock 'n' Roll classic
hits under the skies of Epcot's open-air American Gardens Theater! Sounds
Like Summer is an annual live concert series at Epcot theme park that brings
together a talented collection of TRIBUTE bands which really do
authentically recreate the classic hits of legendary musical icons. There
usually are three shows nightly.
. Father's Day - June 16
Downtown Disney Restaurants
usually offer special meals for the best dad ever.
. Independence Day - July 4
Get ready for a treat as Walt Disney World celebrates Fourth of July with a
unique choice of fireworks shows at all theme parks.
.Bastille Day - July 4
Annual special family/kids
activities at France Pavilion at Epcot.
•Cotton-Top Tamarin Month
- August 1-31, 2013
Insiders tell us special
family/kids activities are to supposed to be held at Animal Kingdom
celebrating this very special creature.
• Great Irish Hooley Festival - August 30-September 2, 2013
This Labor Day weekend you can
party at Raglan Road at Downtown Disney which usually features top Irish
bands playing traditional and rock tunes, Irish Dance Workshops for the
whole family, structured set dancing, Celtic face painting and authentic
food and beverages.
• Mickey's Not So Scary
Halloween Party - Dates to be
announced..but last year from very early Sept. to just after Halloween.
WHAT IS IT? Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween
Party allows adults and children to trick or treat
their way through the Magic Kingdom while experiencing Halloween magic
throughout the park with Disney characters, special parades and fireworks
and more. The evening includes Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween
Parade; trick-or-treating throughout the Magic Kingdom at numerous
locations; and the special Happy HalloWishes fireworks. Lots of characters
are out in the park, wearing their favorite Halloween costumes and you're
encouraged to wear yours too. Yep, it's true,
guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween
costumes (some restrictions apply). The party usually runs from 7
p.m. to midnight, Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade is almost always at
8:15 and 10:30 p.m., and the Happy HalloWishes fireworks usually begins at
9:30 p.m. As we get more details from our insiders, we'll be sure to update
you. Remember, this is a special ticket event
occurring on select nights.
• The 31st Night of Joy -
The 31st Night of Joy,
an annual Christian music event
staged at the Magic Kingdom, is to be help September 6-7, 2013.
An annual celebration, the event features top
contemporary Christian music performers. As far as we can tell, the
line-up for this coming year is:
-- Friday, September 6: Mercy Me, Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W. Smith,
Skillet, Mandisa, Matthew West, Audio Adrenaline, Moriah Peters, We As
Human, City Harbor
-- Saturday, September 7: TobyMac, Francesca Batistelli, Newsboys, Britt
Nicole, Group 1 Crew, Building 429, For King and Country, Jamie Grace
• The 2013 Epcot International
Food and Wine Festival - Sept. 27
- Nov. 10
While the dates have been
announced, the finer details have yet to leak out - not even from our
insiders. It amazing, but we've yet to get the full culinary scoop! We do
know, you will enjoy wines and delectable cuisine during this very special
event. You will certainly "EAT YOUR WAY AROUNDTHE WORLD" as Lee does. This
very long festival always features live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary
demonstrations, seminars, winemaker dinners, and more. Here are few of the
activities from years past but do check back because we'll certainly update
our information as we gather more details from our insiders:
30 international food and beverage
Marketplaces to enjoy tasting plates from tons of countries around the lake,
signature dining experiences with celebrated chefs, culinary demonstrations
and wine seminars, and, of course, The Eat to the Beat concert series, with
nightly performances from popular hit-makers.
• The 13 Reflection of Evil
Trading Even - Sept. 13-15
To be held at Epcot, this event
is supposed to feature Villians inspired merchandise INCLUDING PINS,
Vinylmation, art and collectibles, and more. We'll post more information as
we get it.
• The Twilight Zone Tower of
Terror 10-Miler Weekend - Select
weekend in Sept.
While we've yet to find out the actual dates, we do know the
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend, certainly will take place at
Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler is a nighttime road race that
will end in the shadows of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at
Disney's Hollywood Studios. As in the past, you will have to brave dark and
ghostly streets haunted by Disney villains. Your run into the fifth
dimension will also take you to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex before
returning to Disney's Hollywood Studios where the course will surely feature
the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, then turn down New York
Street, wind past the Sorcerer's Hat and return you to an unforgettable
finish at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The race features Disney
Entertainment on-course and a Family Reunion Area with live entertainment
and characters. Finishers will receive a commemorative Finisher medal. Your
commemorative medal announces your towering triumph as you ride thrilling
Disney's Hollywood Studios attractions till 3:00 a.m.! Here is an example
of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler weekendevents:
Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo
Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo is a two-day celebration located at the ESPN
Wide World of Sports Complex that will be your one stop for everything
happening during race weekend. The Expo usually hosts a Speaker Series
featuring celebrity runner appearances and seminars on training, racing,
nutrition. Of course,a variety of race merchandise will be available for
purchase at the Expo.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler
Disney Family 5K Run
This is a fun-filled 5K that the whole family can enjoy. There's something
for everyone at the Disney Family Fun Run 5K where adults, teens and tweens
can be a part of this official The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler
Weekend event. Experience a 5K course that winds through the ESPN Wide World
of Sports Complex with an unforgettable finish! Disney Entertainment
on-course. Finishers will receive a commemorative 5K Finisher medal.
runDisney Kids' Races-
runDisney Kids' Races will get your little one warmed up for The
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend. Sign up for any of the Kids'
Dashes to participate in the fun! Children ages 8 and under can participate
in these races and earn their very own finisher medallion. Races event is
limited and takes place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex.
Races by ages groups include:
12 months and under
- Diaper Dash for crawlers
1-3 years old -
4-6 years old -
7-8 years old -
Disney Villains Hollywood Bash
Runners and Guests can party in the shadow of The Twilight Zone Tower of
Terror at the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash where you will enjoy Rock 'n'
Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star
Tours, Muppet vsion 3D, The Great Movie Ride, and Toy Story Mania!, in
addition to DJs and character meet & greets with your favorite Disney
Villains. Admission to the Disney Villains Hollywood Bash is included in The
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler race registration.
• The 2013 Epcot
International Food and Wine Festival - Entire month to
Nov. 10 (See above -
• Mickey's Not So Scary
Halloween Party - Entire month to
just after Halloween (See above - Sept.).
And, at Downtown Disney the
Halloween/Fall season is celebrated the entire month of October with special
photo spots, pumpkin patches, an Oktoberfest band and more.
• Epcot's Birthday -
October 1, 2013 - Opening Oct 1, 1982, the park turns 31 this birthday.
• Magic Kingdom's Birthday
- October 1, 2013 - Opening Oct. 1, 1971, the park turns 42 this birthday.
• The 2013 Epcot
International Food and Wine Festival - Entire month to
Nov. 10 (See above -
• Old Spice Classic -
Nov. 28, 29 & Dec. 1
This Division/Men's Holiday Tournament will feature eight college basketball
teams and 12 exhilarating games played over Thanksgiving weekend at the HP
Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Each team will compete in
one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format. If memory
serves, Old Spice Classic bragging rights for 2012 go to the Gonzaga
• The Osborne Family
Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Mid Nov. - Early Jan.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing
Lights on the Streets of America at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a
breathtaking Christmas display featuring millions of glittering lights
perfectly synchronized to holiday music. Last year, the spectacle began on
Nov. 9 and concluded on Jan. 6. The lights are so extensive it is hard to
comprehend. Entire buildings are blanketed in sheets of multi-colored
lights, and thousands more lights form twirling carousels, heavenly angels,
and even Santa and his reindeer. Approximately every 10 minutes, the lights
dim and then dramatically spring to life — dynamically choreographed to
traditional holiday music. You have to see the effect to believe it and some
nights, if you truly believe in holiday magic, the show is capped off with
an enchanted flurry of snow (artificial of course).
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing
Lights started modestly in Arkansas as a single home's annual display.
The spectacle was originally the creation of
Arkansas businessman and philanthropist Jennings Osborne. It began 20 years
ago when Jennings strung 1,000 red lights as a Christmas gift to his
daughter Breezy. Soon, their 22,000-square-foot home was covered in millions
of lights ... and the display continued to grow and glow. Every
year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of
holiday lights and over the years, the collection of lights grew, and
grew... and grew! After the home exhibit grew
larger over several years, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered the display to
be turned off . In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their
magic with the world, and Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become
the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.
The Streets of America backlot area sparkles
with millions of twinkling lights during the Osborne Family Spectacle of
Dancing Lights. Some of Osborne's original creations still sparkling
brightly at the park today are a giant Mickey Mouse light, dozens of flying
angels and Santa Claus light designs. In 2006, the lights took a high-tech
turn... with a light-show synchronized to holiday music (hence the addition
of the word "Dancing" to its official title!). The Osborne Family
Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with standard admission to Disney's
Hollywood Studios theme park.
• Holidays Around the
World and Candlelight Processional - Late November - Late December.
During the holidays, Epcot is transformed
into an international celebration of Yuletide traditions filled with festive
decorations and live entertainment. From Holidays Around The World to the
Candlelight Processional, you can delight in the sights and sounds of the
Showcase is home to international holiday lore and legends during the
Holidays Around the World celebration. Guests can not only meet Santa Claus
in the American Adventure showcase, but they also have the opportunity to
hear storytellers detail the adventures of Père Noël in France, La Befana in
Italy and other legends from around the world.
Throughout World Showcase, storytellers share
customs and lore from their heritage from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30. Strolling
around the promenade during the Holidays Around the World celebration may
put you face-to-face with the good-hearted witch La Befana, known in Italy
for filling children’s shoes with treats, or the jolly gift-bearer Father
Christmas in the United Kingdom. There are meet and greets with Santa and
Mrs. Claus in The American Adventure, plus other legendary icons who share
messages of goodwill. At nightfall, Disney
characters host a giant tree-lighting ceremony, complete with music and
storytelling, in World Showcase Plaza. "Illuminations: Reflections of
Earth," completes the celebration with a magical holiday finale.
The Candlelight Processional is a special
holiday event held nightly at the American Gardens Theater as part of
Holidays Around The World. The event retells the stirring story of Christmas
with a special celebrity narrator accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a
mass choir. The Candlelight Processional is a terrific way to get in the
Christmas spirit and to share the real reason for the season with your
family and friends. The event has become an essential family tradition for
many Guests — once you experience it, you will be inspired to share it every
year with the ones you love. This unforgettable spectacle is held on select
nights during the holiday season and, due to its popularity, often fills up
quickly, so arrive early. Based on our experience, we do not recommend you
sign up for the Candlelight Dinner Packages.
• Mickey's Very Merry
Christmas Party - Select nights mid-Nov. - late Dec.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a
special event held each "winter" on select nights at the Magic Kingdom, but
purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required to attend.
This festive celebration is filled with live entertainment, spectacular
fireworks and an oh-so-jolly Christmas holiday parade. Celebrate the magic
of the season in the holiday wonderland of Magic Kingdom which began last
year on Nov. 3! Gather with loved ones for a festive sight and sound-filled
special event that is sure to make you merry! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas
Party features: The enchanted Castle Dream Lights of Cinderella's Castle,
Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, complete with a special
appearance by Santa Claus himself, and an exclusive holiday fireworks
extravaganza — Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season. There is
also plenty of live entertainment featuring Disney Characters, meet and
greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom with some of your favorite
Disney Characters, and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. There is even a
very magical snow fall on Main Street (pretend snow of course) and more!
The official hours of Mickey's Very
Merry Christmas Party are 7 PM to midnight. However, guests attending the
party are admitted as early as 4 PM. Tip: the turnstiles on the right hand
side are used for party guests and the turnstiles on the left are used for
day guests. Note, even though you may enter the park before the party
starts, the special events do not begin until 7 PM. Here are some features
of this great evening:
- Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella
Castle: -- When daylight has passed during the holiday season, Magic Kingdom
guests can behold a breathtaking transformation during the Castle Dream
Lights ceremony. Each evening, Cinderella and favorite characters decked out
in holiday garb take to the stage and magically transform Cinderella Castle
into an ice palace aglow with 200,000 white lights – a perfect centerpiece
to a park all decked out with wreaths, bows, garland and towering Christmas
- Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade: celebrates the many festive
moods of the holiday season, showcasing a series of holiday themes including
a Friends and Family Christmastime Party, a sleigh ride through a Winter
Wonderland, a romantic Fairy Tale Christmastime, a scrumptious display of
Christmastime sweets, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus in a grand finale.
And, for longtime Disney Christmas parade fans, the toy soldiers, snowflakes
and dancing deer are all still in the parade. The parade features original
music as well as both classic and current holiday tunes. Here is just some
of the fun:
- Holiday Wishes Fireworks
- A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show
- Celebrate The Season Show
- Meet and greet opportunities with Disney Characters
- Character Dance Parties
- Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
- Magical snow fall on Main Street
- Many of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions
Here is even more about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party:
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party,
which kicks off at 7 p.m. on select evenings (after regular Magic Kingdom
closing), is pure, time-honored Disney magic. Holiday revelers can sip
cocoa, catch a "snowflake" on a fingertip, and catch the spirit of the
season through enchanting entertainment that includes live shows, fireworks,
carolers and special character meet and greets. Dancing gingerbread,
marching soldiers and Santa's sleigh parade down Main Street to seasonal
melodies during the twice-nightly "Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime
Parade". Cinderella Castle is draped radiantly with 200,000 glistening white
lights and "Holiday Wishes, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season" fireworks
lights the night sky during a pyrotechnics show orchestrated to holiday
melodies. The night wouldn't be complete without the forecasted flurry of
snowflakes along Main Street and a warming cup of cocoa in hand (Tip-it is
pretend snow and you certainly won't need cocoa to keep you warm....this IS
Florida! Party-goers can also enjoy complimentary cookies and apple slices
and enjoy unlimited admission to favorite attractions. Holiday stage shows
include Celebrate the Season at the Castle and Totally Tomorrowland
Christmas Show in Tomorrowland's new theatre.
A separate admission ticket is required.
Hours – 7 p.m. - midnight
In previous years, the park would close and then reopen. Now the park stays
open through regular closing time. Be sure to get a special MVMCP wristband
before 7 p.m. Cast Members will direct guests without the bands to leave the
• Thanksgiving - Nov.
Something unique happens this
time of year at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – a ceremony performed in the
lobby called the Blessing of the Four Directions. November is Native
American Heritage Month and every year visiting interpreters James Hansen
(Black Wolf) and Anita Hansen (Quick Silver) perform a short ceremony,
symbolically driving out negative energy and purifying the resort for the
year ahead. Also, as Thanksgiving Day nears, chances are you will have
turkey on your mind too. We do, and we’ve found some interesting facts to
share before you enjoy your big turkey meal. It’s estimated that guests
consume more than 1.6 million turkey drumsticks every year at the Walt
Disney World and the Disneyland – that’s 2.5 million pounds of turkey. So,
how much of the total are you responsible for?
Thanksgiving is one of the
favorite time for people to visit Walt Disney World. The magic of the
holiday season combined with the magic of Disney brings warmth and happiness
to visitors far and wide. Many dining locations at Walt Disney World create
special meals for guests who would like to share a holiday meal with their
loved ones on Thanksgiving. Some locations offer a special Thanksgiving menu
just for this day while other locations offer additional Thanksgiving
specialties in addition to their regular menu.
First, a tip:
The time BETWEEN Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks is one of the best times
to visit Mickey. The lines at the parks are minimal and the rates are among
the best of the year.
• Pop Warner Championship
Tournaments - Early Dec.
Each December, Pop Warner
championship tournaments are held at ESPN's Wide World of Sports for
football in the Pop Warner Super Bowl and in Cheer & Dance National
Championships. Some public exhibitions may be scheduled and guests can
expect heavy bookings by youth groups. However, early Dec. is just
wonderful at ALL the parks since ALL the Christmas Shows are in full swing.
It is a great time to visit. The rates are among the lowest of the year and
there are hardly any lines at the parks.
• The Osborne Family
Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Continues through early Jan. (See Nov.
• Holidays Around the
World and Candlelight Processional - Continues through December. (See
• Mickey's Very Merry
Christmas Party - Continues through late Dec. (See Nov. above)
If you have ANY questions, or if there is ANY
thing we can do to help as you plan your trip to Disney and all the
attractions of central Florida, simply email us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>or
call 407-351-9530. We’ll look forward to
hearing from you. In fact, we’ll be all EARS!
SUN-cerely…..Paulette and Lee
Paulette & Lee Herron
"Next to Disney and Close to Perfect!"
Great Family Vacation Homes by VacationEARS!