The holiday season is a magical time of the year* when Christians and non-Christians alike can revel in the gorgeous twinkling lights that are on display every December and through the New Year.
Christmas Lights in Brooklyn's Dyker Heights, photograph by Valerie Champagne
This year, I indulged in the Christmas spirit by visiting Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights neighborhood which is famous for its extravagant Christmas light displays. Every December, Dyker Heights homeowners bedeck their luxurious manses in outrageous and elaborate displays that include thousands of lights, oversized nutcrackers, spinning carousels, and animatronic Santa Clauses. Some of the homes are elegantly decorated and others are garishly overdone with front yards overflowing with lighted reindeer, plastic candy canes, and inflatable snowmen – too many to count.
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If you are visiting Epcot this fall, make sure you come hungry.
This year, the 16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival begins on September 30th and runs through November 13th. The 45-day festival is a celebration of food and wine from around the world, including the eleven countries represented in Epcot’s World Showcase: Canada, Mexico, Norway, Morocco, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
A view of Epcot's World Showcase, photograph by Valerie Champagne
When my husband and I visited Disney World for our honeymoon last fall, we were disappointed to discover that we missed the beginning of the Food & Wine Festival by less than a week. The food and wine tasting booths were already in place and the event flags were hanging, but alas, we were not able to eat.
If you plan to attend this year’s Festival, you can pick up a Marketplace Discovery Passport at the Festival Welcome Center, and whenever you eat at the international marketplace, you will receive a unique stamp on your passport. At the end of your stay, you can take your passport home as a fun keepsake and a memory of the exotic and delicious foods that you sampled.
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Halloween is more than a month away, but you can get into the holiday spirit early by visiting your favorite Disney theme park. Every year, Halloween kicks off three months of fall and winter celebrations that run through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Below are some of the fantastic ways to experience this very special, spooooky holiday with Disney.
Princess Minnie Statue appears at the Magic Kingdom in time for Halloween, photograph by Valerie Champagne
Haunted Mansion Holiday – Every September, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland gets a dramatic seasonal makeover courtesy of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. In Haunted Mansion Holiday, two holidays collide when Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie take over the Haunted Mansion and decorate it for Christmas, Jack’s new favorite holiday. The Haunted Mansion will feature the seasonal overlay through the end of the year and is scheduled to return to normal again in January. See pictures of the transformation here!
Read More: http://www.disney-blog.com/?p=2061
When I was twelve years old, my family visited Walt Disney World during its 25th anniversary celebration. That year, Cinderella’s Castle was dramatically transformed into a giant pink candy cake topped by candles and gummie lifesavers. I rode Space Mountain for the first time (and almost lost my glasses on a sudden track drop), and I rode Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the last time before it closed two years later to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Walt Disney World Entrance, photograph by Valerie Champagne
Now, fifteen years later on October 1st, 2011, the Walt Disney World Resort is celebrating another milestone: its 40th Anniversary!
When the Magic Kingdom Park first opened in 1971, there were 23 total attractions in six themed lands: Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrow Land. Over the years, attractions have come and gone, and many have been renovated to keep up with technological advancements and the sophistication and diversity of park visitors.
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With limited (if any!) paid vacation days, most families can’t afford to take more than one vacation a year, and one of the toughest decisions to make is where to go. How do you choose between a tropical paradise and a Disney adventure? What if you don’t have to?
Aulani Resort & Spa, image from resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/
Yesterday, Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa celebrated its grand opening in Ko Olina, Hawaii, welcoming its first guests with a special sunrise ceremony and visits from popular Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Stitch. Aulani is Disney’s eleventh Vacation Club Resort and the first Disney property located on the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
Read More: http://www.disney-blog.com/?p=1839