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2023 Holiday Options at WDW – PREP 383

2023 Holiday Options at WDW – PREP 383

Shannon recaps her 2023 holiday trip to Walt Disney World. Listen to hear her review of the new Jollywood Nights and why she thinks Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the best one in years. She includes tips on how to enjoy the holidays at Walt Disney World without paying extra for the parties.

Day 1

After landing at MCO and getting to French Quarter, Shannon and Heather stopped by the front desk. Shannon hadn’t done online check-in for this trip so they stopped by the front desk to check in.

Originally their room was very far away, but after the cast member offered to move them closer, they got a great room. On the way to French Quarter, they mobile ordered lunch from the quick service option at French Quarter.

They were disappointed to find out that you cannot mobile order the Cajun options. You can order them in person, but cannot mobile order.

The groceries they’d ordered from Amazon Fresh were delivered. After eating lunch and dropping their luggage in the room, they went to Epcot.

At Epcot the focus was to see the Moana attraction: Complete Guide to Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at Epcot. This was really beautiful and much larger than expected. Shannon thinks it would be really nice to do at night.

The next stop was La Cava del Tequila for avocado margaritas and chips with queso and guacamole. It was the perfect afternoon snack!

After walking around the World Showcase, they went to the Boardwalk for a Patron meet-up. The weather was lovely and it was a great day.

Day 2

After some work in the morning, Shannon had a reservation for a late lunch/early dinner at Steakhouse 71 at the Contemporary. The goal was to see the Christmas decorations at the monorail resorts before heading to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

After lunch, they took the monorail to the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. The Grand Floridian has Christmas decor up including the beautiful Gingerbread houses. However, the Polynesian did not have any holiday decorations up yet.

They arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 3:30 p.m. and the line to get into the Christmas party was already very long. By 3:50 p.m. they were starting to let people into the park.

They went to the bypass to enter the park and were blown away with the entertainment! There were nutcrackers with photopass photographers, snope, and other entertainment.

They were able to walk around to see what was available prior to the party starting. Seven Dwarfs were meeting at 6:45 p.m. The line began at 4pm.

The characters at the Dumbo tent will begin meeting at 7 p.m. but they will allow people in beginning at 6:30 p.m. Princess Fairytale Hall will not be open and princesses will be meeting with their princes around the park.

Frozen Holiday Surprise Show began at 6:15 p.m. This is available for all park guests, even without a party ticket. There is also a show at 8:15 p.m. for party guests.

Tomorrowland had a lot going on for the party including overlays at Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and the Mad Tea Party has an overlay. There is also a stage show and Disney Junior Dance Party at Cosmic Ray’s.

Fantasyland is much more character-heavy. The princesses are meeting with the princes, which is really fun.

There are also characters in Adventureland. Peter Pan is roaming in a festive scarf. Stitch is meeting in his holiday attire in the Tiki Room.

We do not recommend spending party time meeting characters that are the same as during regular park hours. This includes Captain Jack.

There are treat stations and Shannon recommends getting the hot chocolate but not the egg nog. Cosmic Ray’s is also a great place to stop for dinner. There are holiday party exclusive food options, a quieter room or the Disney Junior Dance Party room, and quiet bathrooms.

This evening we opted to watch the parade on Main Street. Thankfully, we were able to check most if not all of the things off our checklist! We will be back for the next party tomorrow night to complete the list and see the fireworks.

Day 3

The morning was spent doing computer work and resting because of the late nights. They left French Quarter for the second Christmas Party of the year.

The biggest things they needed to do was compare the second night to the first night and complete the list of things needed.

Because of an accident, buses were rerouted and it took a while to get to Magic Kingdom. It was dark as they entered, which was really neat.

The crowds are still reasonable this evening as well, which is nice. The weather is also very nice, just like last night.

They started the night meeting characters, including Abu in Adventureland and the Country Bears in Frontierland. The Country Bears are always out when the Reindeer Wranglers are out playing music.

There is a magic shot outside Haunted Mansion and you can find this near the Lightning Lane entrance. The ride is the same during the day.

Because dinner last night was so pleasant, they stopped again at Cosmic Ray’s for food, drinks, and a break before riding some rides.

After dinner, they went on the PeopleMover and Space Mountain, both were wonderful. After the rides, they watched the fireworks from the Hub area to see the projections and the fireworks.

Tomorrowland Speedway has a cute overlay for the party, so they went there after the fireworks. They got some snacks and then waited for the Tron boarding group to be called. The wait was long and not the best use of party time, but they didn’t have anything else to do at the party.

It was another great party night!

Day 4

Today Shannon had time to rest before a busy night. She also checked out the Holiday decor at the Beach Club and Boardwalk Resorts after a lunch at Ale & Compass.

This evening is the first night of Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios. The first stop at the party was to meet the characters. They arrived at 6:30 p.m. to get their wristbands and get in by 7 p.m.

The lines were so long to get the wristbands that many people inside the park asked for refunds because they didn’t want to wait in such a long line.

There was some confusion about the characters and you are only able to meet one at a time with several different lines. While waiting for the characters, they got on the virtual queue for Hollywood Brown Derby for dinner and drinks exclusive to the party.

Shannon went to the Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along which is in the Frozen Sing-Along theatre. There was a large Jack animatronic and Oogie Boogie comes out in the middle. The actors on stage do not sing, so it’s difficult to call it a sing-along.

There are also characters around Echo Lake with lines about 30 minutes or so. There are food and drink exclusives for the party, but all are an additional cost.

The rain caused them to leave before the party was over. The party was okay but definitely had long lines and it was disappointing that everything was an additional cost.

Day 5

Today Shannon and Heather took a boat to Disney Springs for the Christmas Tree Stroll. They wanted to be sure to check out the holiday things around the parks that do not have an additional cost.

There is a scavenger hunt at the stroll and it’s completely free. When you turn it in after the stroll you can get a free prize.

For lunch they stopped at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar because it’s so fun and themed for the holidays. They got ham and cheese Christmas trees for lunch. The presentation was amazing and they were delicious. The hot chocolate flight was also declicious.

After lunch, they took a Lyft to Animal Kingdom. The rideshare area at Animal Kingdom is so convenient.

They were there to see the holiday items at Animal Kingdom. Everything is the same as year’s past. Their next stop was Nomad Lounge before leaving for Hollywood Studios.

When it got dark, they went to Hollywood Studios to see if the holiday items were still as amazing as previously. And it is! They are thrilled to experience the Christmas decor around Hollywood Studios without a party ticket.


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