• November in the Theme Parks

    By: Shelley Caran

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - We are coming off of a super busy October in the parks, but things aren’t slowing down in November as we kick off the holiday season and have some new and returning events to talk about!

    Walt Disney World

    The holidays are kicking into high gear at the Walt Disney World Resort, but there will also be a celebration for Mickey’s 90th Birthday!

    Mickey’s 90th

    It was all started by a mouse, and this year Mickey Mouse will be celebrating his 90th Birthday this November.

    Walt Disney World will celebrate Mickey’s birthday from November 16-18 with special merchandise and food & beverage items as well as the chance for guests to celebrate at Magic Kingdom Park during the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party, sing “Happy Birthday” along with the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A., and join in a special birthday dance party at Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. 

    Then in 2019, the World’s Biggest Mouse Party, a limited-time celebration of Mickey and Minnie, comes to the Walt Disney World Resort. While we don’t have a lot of details yet, we do know that other Disney parks around their world will celebrate with new nighttime spectaculars, merchandise, specialized food and beverage offerings, and more.

    Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

    Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special hard ticketed event, meaning it’s not included with regular theme park admission, that takes place in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on 22 select nights in November & December beginning November 8th.

    During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party guests have the chance to meet with some of their favorite Disney friends in their holiday finest, enjoy holiday entertainment, exclusive fireworks, a high-energy parade, complimentary treats throughout the park, and more topped off with a 'snowfall' on Main Street U.S.A.

    We’ll be talking more about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party soon, but keep in mind that you will save money by purchasing your tickets in advance. 

    Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

    Discover a festival like no other, featuring the joyous holiday traditions of Epcot’s 11 World Showcase nations from November 18th through December 30th. 

    The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, included with admission to Epcot, surrounds guests in the wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the season, as celebrated by cultures near and far.

    During the festival guests can enjoy stirring live musical productions, savor seasonal food & beverage specialties at the expanded Holiday Kitchens, and take a festive global tour as costumed performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase.

    Candlelight Processional 

    The highlight of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays is the moving Candlelight Processional. 

    Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of a savior born to a virgin in Bethlehem. While gorgeous choral pieces are woven into the production as a 50-piece live orchestra and choir provide an inspirational backdrop with songs of hope and joy.

    This dazzling presentation happens each night with multiple shows from November 22nd through December 30th at the American Gardens Theater, and does not require an additional ticket to attend. 

    Here is a look at the narrators and dates:

    • Chita Rivera – November 22 to 23, 2018
    • NEW! Helen Hunt – November 24 to 25, 2018
    • NEW! Alfonso Ribeiro – November 26 to 27, 2018
    • TBD – November 28 to December 2, 2018
    • Neil Patrick Harris – December 3 to 6, 2018
    • Whoopi Goldberg – December 7 to 9, 2018
    • NEW! Bart Millard – December 10 to 12, 2018
    • Blair Underwood – December 13 to 14, 2018
    • Gary Sinise – December 15 to 17, 2018
    • Pat Sajak – December 18 to 20, 2018
    • NEW! Auli'i Cravalho – December 21 to 23, 2018
    • Edward James Olmos – December 24 to 25, 2018
    • Jodi Benson – December 26 to 27, 2018
    • Cal Ripken Jr. – December 28 to 30, 2018

    Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    It is a Flurry of Holiday Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as their holly, jolly celebration is brimming with magical merriment! 

    Delight in festive shows, enchanting “snows”, holiday décor, Toy Story Land cheer, and so much more from November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

    You definitely won’t want to miss the colorful projections on The Hollywood Tower Hotel during Sunset Seasons Greetings. This year the show has new laser effects and “snow,” plussing the returning favorite that includes stories, songs, and holiday cheer brought to you by friends like Mickey, Minnie and Olaf. 

    But starting a few days earlier on November 6th, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM will end each day with a Santa-sized spectacular that is jam-packed with holiday music, fireworks, special effects, and state-of-the-art projections. 

    Holidays at Disney Springs

    Disney Springs will once again be filled with Christmas cheer and fun in addition to their great shopping and dining experiences from November 8, 2018 until January 6, 2019.

    I especially love the Holidays at Disney Springs, because parking and most of the activities are free!

    During the celebration guests at Disney Springs will enjoy seasonal tasty treats and beverages, seasonal entertainment, a Christmas Tree trail featuring some of your favorite Disney character, a join Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt to help experiment 626 find his Ohana’s lost gifts, and even meet with the big guy himself at his Chalet.  

    Universal Orlando Resort

    Holidays are Universal as you celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit all the Whos down in Whoville with Grinchmas, and watch some of your favorite characters in the new Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s from November 17, 2018 until January 6, 2019.

    Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is back. Revel in a dazzling projection of holiday spirit nightly in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

    While in Hogsmeade, take in the festive décor, listen to the Frog Choir sing holiday themed songs and grab a Hot Butterbeer. 

    Then head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida to see more stunning holiday decorations throughout London and Diagon Alley.

    And you won’t want to miss the talented Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees singing their holiday hits.

    Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

    Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is returning to the streets of Universal Studios Florida. This colorful parade fills the streets with music, confetti, and some of your favorite characters, including the Despicable Me Minions, Shrek and Fiona, King Julien, the Penguins of Madagascar, and more!

    And, of course, there’s a visit from Santa as he rides high in the sky on a beautiful float, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

    Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

    Grinchmas is returning to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Hear the tale of the Grinch and help the Whos down in Whoville save Christmas during a wonderful live stage show. Sing along to all your favorite songs and get into the Grinchmas spirit.

    You can even start your morning off with breakfast with the Grinch himself (reservations required). Then stroll through Seuss Landing, all decked out for Christmas by the bustling Whos as they get their final preparations in order for Christmas.

    Mannheim Steamroller

    Fan-favorite Mannheim Steamroller will also be returning to perform live on the Music Plaza Stage. Their performances will take place on select night during the months of November and December.

    SeaWorld Orlando

    This November, the event lineup at SeaWorld Orlando offers something for everybody with three unique opportunities to add value to a visit to the park and events taking place every Saturday and Sunday.

    Jack Hanna Weekend 

    World-renowned animal expert “Jungle Jack” Hanna is back for another weekend of excitement and storytelling at SeaWorld Orlando on November 3rd and 4th. The internationally-known conservationist, author, television personality and lifelong adventurer will share animal facts and his travel tales during captivating and interactive presentations at 1pm & 3pm inside the Nautilus Theater.

    In addition to shows included with park admission, SeaWorld will have several additional opportunities for guests to personally interact with Jack Hanna at the park including meet-and-greets, autograph signings and exclusive dining packages.

    • Jack Hanna Reserved Show Seating (Saturday and Sunday November 3 - 4) – Save time and enjoy one of the best seats in the house for Jack Hanna. Prepare for Jack to entertain with animal facts, stories and answers to questions from you. Pricing begins at $20 per person and Pass Members receive a special discount.
    • Up-Close Dining at Shamu Stadium Jack Hanna Dinner (Saturday, November  3rd) - Enjoy a delicious dinner and mingle with Jack Hanna at Up-Close Dining at Shamu Stadium. The package includes a buffet dinner and a meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna. Dinner is at 5pm. Pricing begins at $49 per person. Pass Members receive a special discount on all dining package purchases.

    Craft Beer Festival

    Calling all beer connoisseurs, SeaWorld Orlando has a brand-new festival worth raising your glass over. The SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival will feature 100+ brews on draft at 18 locations around the park on from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites on November 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th.

    Park guests can enjoy brews from local breweries such as Orlando Brewing Company, Crooked Can, and Dead Lizard Brewing. In addition, the event will also feature a variety of beverages from Florida based craft breweries in Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg.

    The festival will also feature 20+ unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the event brew selection. Enjoy unique renditions of some bar food staples as well as a few new concepts designed to complement the festival’s draft beer selection. Some festival exclusive items include:

    • Infused Bacon Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese - Buttery Pretzel Bites Infused with Bacon and Smothered in Beer Cheese
    • BBQ Brisket Mac-n-Cheese - Jalapeño Cheddar Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce and BBQ Brisket Topped with Spiked BBQ Sauce and a Parmesan Garlic Crust
    • Bison Slider- Served with Lager Bacon Onion Jam and Minorcan Mustard
    • Jumbo Chicken Wings - Chicken Wings Tossed in a Pilsner Buffalo Sauce Served with Tangy Slaw
    • Fish and Chips- Traditional Fish and Chips with Beer Battered Haddock and Sea Salt Fries
    • Chorizo Potato Skins - Topped with Queso Fresco, Onions, Cilantro, and Avocado Crema
    • Candied Bacon Lollipops - Sweet and Savory Candied Bacon Served on a Wood Skewer
    • Buffalo Burger Quesadilla - Pepper Jack Cheddar Cheese Blend, Balsamic Onions, Baby Arugula, Crème Fraiche, and Roasted Tomato Salsa

    Guests looking to taste their way around the Florida craft beer scene can take advantage of SeaWorld’s sampling packages designed for the most adventurous beer fans.

    SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

    SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is where holiday traditions are made, with delicious food, stunning live shows, delightful holiday shopping and joyous entertainment. 

    SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration brings together family fun and holiday traditions on select nights from November 17 – December 31, 2018 and is included with park admission.

    I am really excited for the official start of the holiday season in the parks, and can’t wait to share all the latest news and reviews of the celebrations with you.

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