The holidays (and the crowds that come with them) are right around the corner and we’ve created a powerful planning tool just in time. Using extensive in-park research as well as data from our top-selling Disney World mobile apps, Leap’s Crowd Calendar gives you anticipated crowd levels and recommended parks for each day using our “Traffic Light System.” (You’ll also find each park’s opening hours.) Check it out as you plan your upcoming vacation.
It looks like perfect weather to enjoy the theme parks this weekend. Partly cloudy skies and daytime temperatures in the mid 70s are expected with nights cooling down to the high 50s to low 60s. For an up-to-the-minute Orlando weather forecast, click here.
Here’s What’s Happening This Weekend…
Macy’s Holiday Parade & Mannheim Steamroller @ Universal Studios
The 10th Anniversary of Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios kicks off this Saturday, December 3. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. and features floats and balloons direct from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Mannheim Steamroller, the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time, will perform on the Music Plaza Stage this Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller are included with regular admission to Universal Studios.
Grinchmas @ Islands of Adventure
Beginning this Saturday, December 3,The Grinch takes over Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure during the season-long special event, Grinchmas. Highlights include the heartwarming live show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular” and meeting The Grinch himself. Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure is included with regular theme park admission and continues until Jan. 1, 2012.
Holidays Around The World – Candlelight Processional @ Epcot
Listen to the Storytellers as they recount holiday customs from their countries during Holidays Around The World. From the Monkey King in the China Pavilion to Father Christmas in the United Kingdom Pavilion, this international celebration of Yuletide traditions is not to be missed. A perfect way to spend the evening is listening to a celebrity narrator tell the story of Christmas accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir during the nightly Candlelight Processional. Geena Davis is the guest narrator on Dec. 2 & 3; Edward James Olmos is the guest narrator on Dec. 4. The Candelight Processional takes place at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. Show times are 5:00, 6:45 & 8:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 6:45 & 8:15 pm on Sunday. Holidays Around The World – Candlelight Processional is included with regular admission to Epcot and continues until Dec. 30, 2011.
Click here for the Frog Family Guide to Holidays Around The World (blog) complete with the Storytellers’ show times.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights @ Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This breathtaking seasonal display continues this weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beginning at 6 p.m. each night, Mickey and Goofy ceremoniously “flip the switch” on the millions of lights which blanket the Streets of America and thousands more that form spinning carousels, a multitude of angels, and even Santa and his reindeer. Approximately every 10 minutes, the lights dim and then dramatically spring to life – perfectly synchronized to holiday music. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with regular theme park admission.
Take a look at pictures from the Frog Family’s night at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights here.
Watch a video of the lights as they dance here.
Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade @ Disney’s Animal Kingdom
After you’ve met a few of your favorite Disney Characters at Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village in Camp Minnie-Mickey, save your viewing spot for Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade which kicks off at 3:45 p.m. Both of these holiday events continue until Jan. 3, 2012 and are included with regular admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Watch this video to see what’s in store at Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village.
Preview Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade here.
See the Frog Family’s pictures from Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade and Santa Goofy’s Holiday Village here.
Festival of the Seasons @ Downtown Disney
Festival of the Seasons continues this weekend at Downtown Disney. Enjoy Latin, jazz and pop performances of cherished holiday songs throughout the day, but the real fun begins when the sun goes down. There’s costumed stilt walker and street performers, holiday carolers, a lively holiday dance party with a deejay and SANTA CLAUS! (And don’t forget all the wonderful shopping at Downtown Disney.) Festival of the Seasons continues until Jan. 8, 2012 and admission is free.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
Head over to SeaWorld this Friday, Saturday or Sunday for SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. This season-long special event is packed with holiday shows including Shamu Christmas – Miracles, A Sesame Street Christmas, Winter Wonderland on Ice, and the spectacular fireworks show Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale. Another highlight of the event is THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience when the beloved holiday classic comes to life as you and your family are immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until December 11; every night from December 16 to 30. The special event is included with regular theme park admission.
Holidays at Busch Gardens
Holidays at Busch Gardens continues this weekend. Highlights of the event include Christmas on Ice, a limited engagement ice show with a cast of professional skaters, Christmas from the Heart, an inspiring holiday gospel performance, and Christmas Celebration, a musical extravaganza featuring seasonal songs, tap-dancing toy soldiers and fun for the whole family. Holidays at Busch Gardens is included with regular theme park admission and continues until Jan. 1, 2012; buy discounted tickets here.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party @ Magic Kingdom
Mickey hosts his Very Merry Christmas Party this Friday, December 2 and Sunday, December 4 at Magic Kingdom. The festive celebration is filled with live entertainment, spectacular fireworks, your favorite Disney Characters and much more. Highlights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party include:
- Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade (watch the video)
- Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, an exclusive holiday fireworks extravaganza (watch the video)
- Celebrate the Season, a Castle Stage show featuring your favorite Disney Characters (watch the video)
- Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
- A magic snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. (watch the video)
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is from 7 p.m. until midnight and is not included with regular theme park admission.
Get helpful tips and information from the Frog Family’s night at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (blog) here. See pictures of the event here.
Crowd Calendar with Park Hours
Walt Disney World Resort & Universal Orlando Resort