My favorite time in the Disney Parks has always been the holiday season. It is simply amazing, not that there is anything simple about it. Disney magic decked in mistletoe and holly is my kind of scene, and luckily the entire family feels the same. Disney in the holidays is full of splendor and wonder.
Over the years we have spent more than a few days at Disneyland enjoying the holiday season, and we have the Disney souvenirs to prove it. Lots of them.
And now Disney is shipping the holiday season out to sea (is that putting the sea in season?). That’s right, Halloween isn’t the only holiday getting the special treatment from Disney Cruise Line—the entire Thanksgiving through New Years bundle of cheer and joy is being wrapped in big, ship-shaped boxes, and put under the tree of your choice (actual trees may vary).
If you know anything about Disney Cruise Line then you know it is the best, in my humble opinion, family vacation sailing today. Combine that with Disney’s attention to holiday magic, and there’s the WOW!
Frankly, it’s all I want for Christmas.
There is a lot of information to share, so here it is straight from Disney Cruise Line:
This holiday season, give a gift that’s both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, all decked to the “raft-ers” with holiday cheer. Starting early November, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to each ship, with traditional “turkey day” fanfare, Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.
To kick off the holiday cheer, special Very Merrytime Cruises begin Nov. 9 with a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy and a seven-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Wonder, followed by a five-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic and a four-night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream departing Nov. 10.
During these voyages through the new year, special stem-to-stern holiday events include:
- “King Triton’s Tree Lighting Ceremony” in the atrium lobby on the first night of the cruise, where a young guest helps Disney characters light the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
- Family holiday activities including building gingerbread houses and meeting Santa Claus and his elves.
- Youth holiday crafts such as decorating stockings and gingerbread men cookies, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
- Holiday storytellers sharing tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Plus, a story just for Disney Cruise Line guests about the magical feeling of the holidays on a ship.
- “Deck the Deck Holiday Party,” a tropical celebration with Disney friends leading games such as hula hooping and limbo under oversized candy canes, along with dances for the whole family like the “Yuletide Slide” and a conga line around the pool.
- “Til We Meet Again” features a special holiday edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise with beloved Disney characters and the ship’s crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.
On Thanksgiving Day, guests will enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire and a special turkey towel animal in their stateroom upon turndown. Also during the special Thanksgiving voyages, big NFL football games will be broadcast live on the ships’ outdoor, jumbo LED screen Funnel Vision located near the family pool.
Christmas morning at the atrium lobby tree Santa Claus and his elves will have surprises for all the kids. Later in the day, guests will enjoy caroling from the crew choir plus a special musical performance from the children. A traditional Christmas Dinner will be served that night in the dining rooms.
Christmas services will be held on Christmas Day with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Hanukkah services will be held each day, Nov. 28-Dec. 5.
When the ships stop at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, during the holidays, the celebration continues with “snow flurries,” a decked-out Christmas tree, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday island music.
For an extra sprinkle of holiday joy, mini Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, red berries, mini carnations and a bow topper, in addition to special holiday-themed gift packages and treat baskets, are available for purchase prior to the voyages for stateroom delivery. Plus, during the holiday cruises, Disney Cruise Line’s holiday merchandise collection, along with the ever-popular Disney Cruise Line ornaments, will be available onboard in the gift shops.
To celebrate the new year, voyages include a special New Year’s Eve party to ring in 2014, complete with music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes and a midnight countdown with balloon drops.
As you know, Disney Cruise Line vacations always offer more to do than can ever be done, not to mention an endless supply of fun regardless of the season, but these holiday cruises have taken it to a new level. And then some. Take a look:
The Lobby 1 of 7
The Disney Fantasy boasts a nearly three-deck tall tree in the atrium lobby. But it isn't alone in sharing the holiday cheer, Disney Cruise Line adds seasonal touches to all of the ships, with stem-to-stern holiday fun. (Ali Nasser, photographer)
The Gingerbread House 2 of 7
Everyone knows that holidays look magical, but aboard the Disney Dream they smell pretty wonderful, too. Each of the Disney Cruise Line ships boasts its own over-sized gingerbread house which was handcrafted by the crew. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Winter Wonderland at Castaway Cay 3 of 7
The winter holidays take on a tropical flair at Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, complete with "snow flurries," a decked-out Christmas tree(s), and festive music. Also, Disney characters. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Mickey and Minnie Enjoying Castaway Cay 4 of 7
It isn't all work for Mickey and Minnie! They like to stop at Castaway Cay for some holiday fun, too. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Chip and Dale: Holiday Rangers 5 of 7
This might be my favorite photo in the group. Chip and Dale are the perfect blend of tropical fun and holiday dapper. They make it work. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Santa Goofy Lights It Up 6 of 7
If I have learned anything from the assorted works of Goofy, it is that he has a huge heart. The holidays are his time, and Castaway Cay is his place! (Disney)
Very Merrytime, Indeed 7 of 7
How's this for holiday fun? Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and the rest of the gang really love the season, and you will, too! 'Tis the season for sailing! (Disney)