Christmas comes to Walt Disney World

Two of many family’s favorite holiday events at Walt Disney World begin tomorrow night, 8th November. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will brighten Disney’s Hollywood Studios while Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will transform Magic Kingdom into a winter wonderland.

At 6 p.m. each evening through Jan. 3, guests on the Streets of America can experience more holiday lights than they’ve probably ever seen in one place. Millions decorate the buildings, a large Christmas tree, a twirling carousel, flying angels and reindeer and more as Christmas music is played and “snow flurries” fall.

About every 10 minutes, the lights “dance.” For the last several years, the lights have been synchronized to blink to the upbeat “Mad Russian’s Christmas” by Trans Siberian Orchestra; “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24″ by Trans Siberian Orchestra; and “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano.

The tradition began two decades ago when Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne strung 1,000 lights as a Christmas gift to his daughter. After the exhibit grew too large for a private residence, it was brought to Disney World in 1995.

At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place from 7 p.m. to midnight Nov. 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 28, 30 and Dec. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19.

Two of the signature events are the holiday-themed parade and fireworks, which only can be seen at the party. (After the last party, the parade and fireworks are shown in the park with regular admission through New Year’s.)

“Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” — with dancing gingerbread men, roller-skating snowflakes, marching toy soldiers (my favorite!) and Santa and Mrs. Claus — is performed twice each night. “Holiday Wishes, Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” is a special fireworks show orchestrated to holiday melodies.

Guests also will see the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights, stage shows, special character meet-and-greets and shorter lines for popular rides. Snowflakes are always forecast for Main Street, U.S.A. and complimentary cookies, apple slices and hot cocoa are served.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party requires a separate ticket and costs $59.95 for adults ($53.95 for ages 3-9) on the day of the party. Advance tickets are available with $6 savings for most dates at

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