Sunshine Villa Florida

Visiting Orlando With Pets? The Perfect Pet Daycare For Your Pet

Many people travel to Florida with their beloved fur babies but where do they go when you want to visit the parks?

Best Friends Pet Care is pet centre near Walt Disney World is a 27,000-square-foot pet care center offering boarding, daycare and grooming for dogs, cats and other family pets in a safe, healthy and fun environment. 

Choose from a range of accommodations and extensive menu of activities. While you explore the parks, your pet can enjoy playgroup, special treats and a movie!  After park-hopping, spend time with your pet playing in our private dog park or taking a walk around the grounds.

Best Friends Pet Resort welcomes all pets, regardless of where the family is staying. They do offer special discounts for Walt Disney World® Resort guests.  They are open 365 days a year and they follow Walt Disney World’s Extra Magic schedule for resort guests.

  • All Indoor Accommodations:These climate-controlled accommodations are up to 32 square feet, and provide a pet cot for your dog’s comfort. Dogs have unlimited access to their patio area, except during cleaning.

Accommodation sizes are 4’ x 7’ and 4’ x 8’. All rooms have 3 feet of clearance. The larger accommodations are comfortable for all medium sized breed dogs and some large sized breed dogs.

Our all-indoor accommodations include two potty walks with a staff member each day. Guests may visit to take their pet out into the dog park or the walking trail at any time during our normal operating hours.  $44 Standard/ $41 Resort Guest/ $37 Daycare

  • Indoor-Outdoor 2-Room Accommodations:These accommodations include a climate-controlled indoor bedroom with a pet cot, and an outdoor patio, which is protected from the elements. Dogs have unlimited access to their patios during the daytime for most of the year. During peak summer temperatures, however, to protect the dogs from the heat, the patio doors are opened four times during the day for access to the patio.

Bedrooms are 4’ x 4’ and 3’ x 4’. All bedrooms have a minimum of 3 feet of clearance. Patios are 3’ x 8’   and 4’ x 8’. Patios have more than 9 feet of clearance. The larger accommodations are comfortably sized for most dogs, except giant breeds.

All indoor-outdoor accommodations include one potty walk with our staff per day. Guests may visit to take their pet out into the dog park or the walking trail at any time during our normal operating hours.  $49 Standard/ $45 Resort Guest/ $40 Daycare

  • Vacation Villas:Our fourteen two-room villas provide an 8ft x 9ft (72 sq ft) tiled bedroom, with a raised platform bed and doggy-eye-level flat panel TV.  Each villa also has a private outdoor 4ft x 7ft (28 sq ft) relief patio.  The Vacation Villa boarding experience includes 1 Potty Walk, 1 Playgroup Session and Turn-Down Service each day all overseen by a personal pet concierge. $93 Standard/ $86 Resort Guest/ $93 Daycare
  • VIP Luxury Suites:For the ultimate in pampered pet boarding, we offer our four 226 sq ft super luxury suites.  These suites provide a 16ft x 9ft bedroom, with paw print floors and tile walls, glass doors, a raised platform bed and flat panel television, programmed for your pet’s entertainment.  Each suite also comes with a private covered outdoor play yard, where pets can enjoy private play time with their family, or with their personal “pet concierge”.  This all-inclusive boarding experience includes a wide range of daily complimentary activities: 2 Potty Walks, 2 Playgroup sessions and Bed Time Story each day, all overseen by a personal “pet concierge”.  Guests in our Super Luxury suites may also enjoy a complimentary “Go Home Fresh” bath after a 3-day minimum stay.  $109 Standard/ $101 Resort Guest/ $109 Daycare


  • a la carte for Doggies:
  • Play & Stay- $22  
  • (Four hours of play with other dogs)
  • Playgroup- $15    
  • (30 minutes of play with other dogs)
  • Playtime- $8    
  • (10 minutes of play with an associate)
  • Cuddletime- $8
  • Walk & Explore- $8
  • Bedtime Story- $6
  • Ice Cream Break- $4
  • Holiday Meal- $5
  • Premium Bed- $5
  • Kitty City is designed to be a sanctuary for our feline friends.  Housed in a separate wing of the building, it is protected from the sights, sounds and smells of dogs. We have accommodations for up to 24 kitty guests, who can relax in your choice of a two-room or four-room condos, and watch the world through their windows.  Each condo has a separate, private relief area; and all condos are individually vented to outdoors for the health of our guests.  Two Level Kitty Condo

$28 Standard/ $26 Resort Guest/ $26 Daycare / Four Level Kitty Condo $40 Standard/ $38 Resort Guest/ $35 Daycare

  • a la carte Kitties:
  • Playtime- $8
  • Cookies & Milk- $3
  • Tuna on a Ritz- $3
  • Activity Toy- $3
  • Deluxe Kitty Bed- $5

Pocket pets: facility provides a safe little haven for “pocket pets” such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets.  Pet parents must provide their own housing/cage and all supplies (food, bowls, litter, etc.) for their pocket pet. Small- $13 Standard/ $11 Resort Guest

Medium- $17 Standard/ $15 Resort Guest

Large- $22 Standard/ $20 Resort Guest

X Large- $25 Standard/ $23 Resort Guest

 Reservations are strongly recommended.  Visit their website for up to date rates, terms and conditions.

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras 2019

universal orlando mardi gras 2019

Florida’s biggest party – Universal Orlando Mardi Gras – kicks off February 9thOnce again Universal Orlando brings New Orleans to Central Florida until April 4, 2019.

Enjoy nightly parades with outrageous performers, colorful costumes and countless beads flying through the air. Catch some of the biggest names in music live in concert on select nights.

The star-studded concert line-up includes:

  • Saturday Feb 9 –       BUSH
  • February 16-              GAVIN DEGRAW
  • Feburary 17-              DAN + SHAY
  • Feburary 23-              MACKELMORE
  • March 9-                    BECKY G
  • March 10-                  SEAN PAUL
  • March 16-                  STEVE MILLER BAND
  • March 17-                  ZIGGY MARLEY
  • March 23 –                NF
  • March 24-                  PITBULL

If you plan on viewing any of these performances, keep in mind that there are no seats.  You will be standing therefore you should plan to arrive at least 2-6 hours before the concert starts- the more popular the act, the earlier you should arrive.  Checking out crowd calendars beforehand may help with your planning.

The nightly parade will entail 12 floats and the theme will be “Party Animals.”  The floats and performers will be dressed as their favorite spirit animals from all over the world like the Artic, jungle, ocean and more. It’s an elaborate affair giving guests the opportunity to dance along with street performers and collect beads by handfuls as you watch the fun, colorful floats pass by.

Parade times:

5:15PM:

February 21 & March 4th:

6:15PM

Feb. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Mar. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8

7:15PM:

March 3

7:30PM:

Mar. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Apr. 1, 2, 3, 4

7:45PM:

Feb. 9, 16, 17, 23
Mar. 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31

Enjoy authentic mouth-watering Cajun food available for purchase. Enjoy a variety of New Orleans dishes at the French Quarter Courtyard like beignets, frog legs, crab etoufee and crawfish.

universal orlando mardi gras kingcake

Additionally, you can enjoy authentic New Orleans bands each nigh.  Enjoy the beats of the Big Easy! Catch these authentic New Orleans bands performing daily in the French Quarter.

  • February 9-17:                 Dirty Bourban River Show
  • February 18-27:               Naughty Professor Brass Band
  • February 28-March 18:    Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister
  • March 19-April 4:             New Breed Brass Band

You can enjoy all set of activities FREE with as long as you have an admission ticket on the Mardi Gras event date.

Want a chance a riding on one of the floats and tossing beads into the crowd? Here’s how!

Annual Passholders:

There is a sign-up form that annual passholders can access, which formally requests a spot on one of the floats. There are a few things that you should be aware of first:

  • Space is limited, and signing up does not guarantee a spot
  • Must be 18 years of age (or accompanied by an adult)
  • Must be at least 48 inches tall
  • No bags or strollers
  • Floats can accommodate guests in push wheelchairs with advance notice

On-site Hotel Guests:

Universal has allowed a limited number of Universal Orlando on-site hotel guests to also participate in the Mardi Gras parade. The same restrictions as above apply here.

The link to register is advertised as UniversalOrlando.com/MardiGrasFloat; however, this link does not seem to work. Some guests have had success visiting the ticket counter at their on-site hotel or stopping by Guest Services at Universal Studios Florida, so that’s what we recommend you do.

 Standby

Each night, two hours prior to the parade time, there is a standby line that forms outside of A Day in the Park with Barney in Woody Woodpeckers Kid Zone. Should there be spots on the floats due to the previously-outlined guests not showing up, a limited number of those in the line may be allowed to ride a float. We hear this is most likely to happen on a weekday.

Got kids? The Little Jester’s Parade Viewing Area located in front of the Brown Derby Hat Shop offers an unobstructed view for petite partygoers.  Access is available beginning one hour before the parade starts.

5 Tips For Planning Your Orlando Vacation

5 important tips to plan your orlando vacation

Plan

It’s impossible to fit everything in one visit. There just isn’t enough hours in a day to squeeze in all the fun to be had in Orlando. Draft an itinerary outlining what and when you and your party would like to accomplish during your visit and try to stick to the plan. If you Google “theme park itineraries” you will find plenty of sites dedicated to help you plan your trip.  There are also websites dedicated to predicting theme parks busiest times and crowds. It may be a good idea to check these sites before booking your park days.

Flights and Transportation

In my experience, booking flights well in advance yields the best price.  I used to wait close to the travel date but found that doing so ended up being more expensive.   Most airlines offer domestic and international travel to Orlando so it’s important to shop around and find the best deal. Hopper is a handy app that will show you fares from several airlines and you can even set an alert for price drops.

There are plenty of transportation and ride share services available in Orlando, but if you are like me and don’t like waiting to get somewhere, then I highly recommend renting a vehicle.  Again, booking your car rental in advance is likely to get you the best price.  Sign up for reward programs like Alamo Insiders who periodically will send special offers to your inbox.  If you have a Costco membership you can get a discount on a rental car through Costco Travel.

Theme park and attractions

Booking theme park tickets in advance is usually cheaper than buying them at the gate and also eliminates wasting precious ride time waiting in ticket lines.  Check for discounted pricing on sites like Mousesavers or Undercover Tourist.

Dining Reservations

While there are an abundance of restaurants in Orlando, there are 100 times as many travellers.  And there is nothing worse than being “hangry”. It’s a good idea to reserve dining in advance.  This tip is especially important if you are travelling with a larger party.  Booking in advance is vital if you want to experience character dining or special restaurant experiences like T-Rex, Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest.  Disney has made it very easy to book dining reservations at their restaurants through the My Disney Experience App.

Down time

There is so much to do and see in Orlando. Your days will be jam packed with fun and excitement. One important tip I have is to also schedule in some downtime, particularly if you are travelling with children.  Plan a pool day, or movie night to help refresh and rejuvenate.

Whether you’re a planner or not, visiting Orlando will be an experience the entire family will enjoy!

For some extra tips be sure to read our blogs like our list of 8 must have dollar store items to bring with you to the parks here or 5 places to recharge at Walt Disney World here.

How staying in a vacation home on your next Disney vacation will save you money (and your sanity)

saving money in a vacation home

Walt Disney World can be described as many things: Magical, whimsical, delightful, fun, exciting, exhilarating to name just a few.   But cheap is not one of them. Especially when it comes to travelling with families.  We’re here to tell you how you can save money (and your sanity) by staying in a vacation rental like Sunshine Villa Florida.

Booking direct

Booking direct is the sure fire way to yield our lowest rates. Big travel sites charge the guest and owners booking fees.  Why give this money to those sites when the booking fees you will save by booking directly can go towards other things like parking, souvenirs or snacks. Always #bookdirect

Space

More space = less money? You may be surprised to learn that this is accurate.  You can find vacation homes for less than the cost of a value resort. Why is a home better? To me, spending my downtime after a long day at the parks in a cramped hotel room with kids is not my idea of relaxation or fun. With a vacation home, children and parents will have their own rooms and bathrooms. Some homes are even large enough to fit 2 families (like ours) allowing families to share in the rental costs.

Downtime

Day after day, hour after hour in the Walt Disney World parks can take its toll on the little ones- not to mention the adults! We’re exhausted, it’s hot, everything is sore and kids will have meltdowns. The easiest way to combat the meltdown is to take time away from the theme parks. In the past, we have left the park mid-afternoon to come back home to recharge either by taking a nap, or cooling down in the pool before heading back for the fireworks.  Taking an entire day away from the parks is also a good idea.  With all the onsite amenities that we have to offer, like the slide and lazy river the kids won’t complain they aren’t at the parks.

Meals

Remember, unless you score free dining food comes at a premium price when staying onsite. Don’t waste your precious time waiting in line ups to get you & your family food. Prepare and eat breakfast in our fully equipped kitchen before you head out to the parks.

Buying food in the parks is costly.  With a fully equipped kitchen you can prepare & pack snacks/sandwiches and drinks to take with you to the parks. Yes they allow it! We even provide you with a cooler & ice packs if you choose to use one.  Groceries can be purchased online and delivered to the home or purchased at the local grocery store within walking distance.

Tip: Freeze water/juice bottles in the freezer the night before so it can thaw gradually throughout the day and remain cold.

Transportation

I don’t like being tied to a schedule. Especially when kids are involved. When travelling with children, it’s nice to leave when you need to leave. While Disney transportation is free, we have waited hours for buses and ferry’s, especially during peak times and when the parks are closing- everyone just wants to get home.  We always search the internet for the best price on car rentals and rent a vehicle. You can find discounts through Costco, and sites such as Hotwire. Sign up for reward programs like Alamo Insiders to get the lowest rate.

Child Equipment:

When travelling with children there are loads of things we need to bring. You shouldn’t have to worry about where your children will be sleeping and how to get them around.  Many vacation home owners provide free use of items such as cribs, play pens, bed rails, strollers and safety gates (we do!).  Some resorts have these items available at a daily cost when staying on property.

Tickets:

Of course you can purchase your tickets directly through Disney, but normally base 1 day tickets are not discounted. You can find some deals online through websites like Undercover Tourist, Mousesavers and even purchasing them through our Expedia counter situated at front reception when you check in.  Other discounts may be available through CAA/AAA, Military discounts, and multi-day tickets.

Don’t forget to read our guide of dollar store must have items to take to the parks with you. Being prepared in advance will save you money in the end.

We hope we have provided you with some insight as to why we feel staying in a vacation home is in many ways a better option for families.  Whichever you choose, we wish you a magical vacation!

After sharing all our money saving tips, what would you spend your savings on?

Orlando’s Natural Lazy River – Beyond The Parks

kelly park

While you have endless choices of man-made lazy rivers at hotels and amusement parks, there’s a natural lazy river right here in Orlando that’s perfect for escaping the Florida heat.

Kelly Park is a 248 acre park built around one of Apopka’s crystal clear springs.  It features a free-flowing natural spring (Rock Spring) that is a chilly – but refreshing – 68 degrees Farenheit year round. A great way to find refuge from the oppressive Central Florida heat and humidity.  Along with the swift moving run, there are swimming areas and shallow wading areas to enjoy. Beneath the shade of mature oak and palm trees, natural rocky “cliffs” and lush, green foliage surround shimmering pools of aqua and sapphire blue. The water is some of the clearest and bluest that you’ll find in Florida.

The wildlife in and around the park is abundant. Below the surface the water is alive with fish and plant life living in and around the beautiful rock formations.  Pack your goggles as the water makes this fresh water habitat worth exploring.  Don’t be surprised to see deer grazing the trails, turtles or otters playing in the water.

The park features a full-service concession, picnic pavilions and playground. Tent and RV camping are also available at this park.

This park fills up quickly on summer weekends, and closes when it reaches maximum capacity, so plan to arrive early.  There is no re-entry so pack a cooler and make it a day trip. If you plan to float down the river, bring your own, or rent tubes from private outfitters located just outside the park.

This is one of the many great options that Florida has to offer when you want to take a break from the busy Orlando theme parks. Check out all our Beyond the park articles for many more experiences.

Park Activities

  • Concessions
  • Hiking/Nature Trails
  • Picnicking
  • Swimming
  • Tubing

The address for Kelly Park and Rock Springs Run is 400 E Kelly Park Rd, Apopka, FL 32712.

Hours for the park are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday during the summer, unless the park reaches capacity. The waterfront closes one hour prior to the park closing. There is a park admission fee of $3 for 1-2 people and $5 for 3-8 people and $1 for additional person.

Quick Guide To Walt Disney World

quick guide to WDW

For some a Disney visit is a once in a lifetime trip. Others try to visit as many times as they can.  For us it’s definitely the latter, but we have come to learn that many of our guests are visiting Disney for the first time. For those of us who are Disney veterans, its quite simple to make plans to visit Disney but for the first time visitors, it can get overwhelming.

What is a Fastpass? How many parks are there? What is the difference? Which park(s) would my children enjoy more?

We try to provide you with as many Disney tips as possible like what to bring to Disney and free games at Walt Disney World. So we thought we would help simplify things for those visiting for the first time by creating a Quick Guide to Walt Disney World.  We’ve included some of our favourite must see attractions and food. You can save this for your future trips and even print off a copy and take it with you. Don’t forget to pick up your free “First Visit” button that you can sport around the parks proudly.

We certainly hope this makes things a little easier for those newcomers to Disney and get them returning year after year for some Disney magic. After all, it is the happiest place on earth.

.quick guide to wdw

Pick Your Own Christmas Tree

Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest is a family business that started in 1987 when founder Jack Ewing discovered the little known Florida Christmas tree. Jack planted 1000 Virginia Pine trees but the Virginia Pine would not grow in the deep sandy soil prevalent in the area.

Jack then discovered the Choctawhatchee Sand Pine, which he planted the following year. By 1989, the Ewing’s had a small selection of 5-foot choose and cut Christmas trees. By 1990, Jack built the iconic red and white A-frame building, dubbed Santa’s Workshop, which was filled with attractive hand-crafted ornaments and gifts.  A petting zoo was created and stocked with a variety of farm animals, and a tractor-pulled hayride transported customers through the field.  Their children, and eventually their grandchildren, helped with the operation as the farm grew into the family venue that it is today.

Since then, the farm has grown to offer different types of Christmas trees (16 acres of choose and cut, northern grown pre-cut, and potted) and pumpkins in October.  Guests may rent the facilities year round for parties and events, and children visit from all over the area for field trips.  Activities expand every year and now include zip lines, barrel tram rides, a giant bounce pillow and visits from Santa.

Today, you can visit the Christmas Tree forest and choose the perfect tree for you and your family. You even have the option of cutting it down yourself if you choose.  You can see their calendar of events here

General admission includes entry to the farm, the Christmas tree field and lot, photo ops, hayride, and the farm animal petting zoo (viewing only).

While we do provide you with an artificial tree at Sunshine Villa Florida, this is a great experience to check out the farm and enjoy the activities they have to offer.

Help Name Giraffe Calf Born At Animal Kingdom

baby giraffe

A giraffe calf was born to parents George & Kenya at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and she needs your help with a name!  The parents were paired together as part of the Species Survival Plan by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The team at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums oversees the responsible breeding of endangered or threatened species.

Born Oct 1 she is already 5 feet tall.  This new calf will join the rest of her family and will be spotted in the Savanna portion of the Kilomanjaro Safari before the end of the year but she needs a name before that happens.

This is where you come in!  Disney is asking for help narrowing down her name from the options below:

  • Dafina (Treasure)
  • Milima (Mountain)
  • Amira (Princess)
  • Naima (Graceful)

These names are Swahili – the native language of Kenya. Which one is your favourite?

You can cast your vote here.

 

Your Ultimate Guide To Holiday Events In Orlando

orlando holiday events

Christmas is the Orlando area is simply spectacular. It sparkles with magic and cheer!  Holiday traditions and joyful celebrations transform Orlando into a Christmas wonderland. Here is your ultimate guide to Orlando holiday events.

Disney Springs Christmas Events

Disney Springs is always on our list when visiting Orlando. But the magical decor during the holidays makes it extra special. Disney Springs offers a variety of seasonal entertainment during the Holiday Season.

From November 8th 2018 to January 6th 2019

  • Christmas Tree Trail– From November 8, 2018 through January 6, 2019, discover 27 holiday trees—each inspired by a Disney character or theme like Mary Poppins, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, among others. New this season is Star Wars and Toy Story.
  • Santa’s ChaletCelebrate the spirit of the season during an enchanting visit with Santa Claus—at the Disney Springs Marketplace from Nov 28-December
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt– Solve clever clues to help everyone’s favorite galactic rascal track down gifts for his ‘ohana.

There’s plenty of live entertainment, carolers, stilt walkers, holiday sweets and treats, a live dj and dance party.

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom explodes with holiday magic & cheer during Christmas. No other park sparkles quite like this.

  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
    22 select nights November 8th to December 21st 2018

    Join family, friends & Mickey too for an oh-so-jolly holiday celebration! It’s the party of all parties during Christmas in Orlando. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is packed with live entertainment, a spectacular festive parade, a new fun, musical stage show and an explosion of thrilling fireworks.
  • A Frozen Holiday Wish 
    Every night, Anna, Kristoff and the irrepressible Olaf join Queen Elsa on stage where she uses her icy powers to transform the Castle into a glistening ice palace.
  • Jingle Cruise
    Jungle Cruise is transformed for the Holidays into a holly jolly Christmas cruise. All the regular props sprinkled with holiday cheer. Even the boats get new names.
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
    This parade is exclusively for guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Celebrate the season with Disney friends as they stroll by in a festive procession featuring jolly St. Nick on his sleigh.
  • Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Season
    The Holiday fireworks are reserved for guests attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We’ve highlighted Magic Kingdom, but there’s lots of other holiday events going on at the other Disney resorts and you can see them all here.

Universal Orlando Resort Christmas Events

Universal Orlando unwraps a resort wide celebration.  Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are transformed with holiday cheer.  Treat yourself to Universal’s Holiday Macy’s Parade and watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale starring the Grinch in the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.  Holiday events run from November 17th 2018 to January 6th 2019.

Universal Studios Florida

  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
    Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in an incarnation of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a holiday favorite that also features characters from Madagascar and Shrek.
  • Mannheim Steamroller The best-selling holiday artist of all time visits Universal Studios as Mannheim Steamroller returns for live performances.
  • Blues Brothers Holiday Show is a hit with all ages with songs like ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Blue Christmas’.
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Diagon Alley is transformed with festive décor & lighting

Islands of Adventure

  • The Grinchmas Holiday SpectacularExplore Seuss Landing™, filled with the Christmas charm and cheer of Who-ville. Delight in The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™. Plus, meet the maven of mischief himself for an autograph and photo.
  • The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
    Choose from irresistible entrees and get your camera ready. The Grinch™ himself will make the rounds, stopping to pose for photos and share hilariously snarky small talk.  Reservations
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
    With its buildings already covered in snow it’s the perfect backdrop for its holiday transformation. Don’t miss Hogwarts Castle fabulously lit by a projection-mapping show.

 

LEGOLand Christmas Bricktacular

December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-31 2018
Thousands of LEGO and DUPLO bricks create a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree with dancing lights and songs on until December 25th.  Build Lego trees, mail a letter to Santa and don’t miss the nightly 3D fireworks!

This jolly time of year features a combination of seasonal shows, special treats, twinkling lights and more during Christmas Bricktacular and Kids’ New Year’s Party! These events are included in general admission – no extra ticket required.

 

Christmas in Celebration Florida

Now Snowing in Celebration

November 24th through Dec 31st 2018 Celebration, Florida is the town that Disney built.  Now Snowing, Central Florida’s original and premier “Snowing” event, offers one of the area’s only synthetic ice rinks, special community performances by some of the area’s top young talent, and special concert events throughout the season. Now Snowing is a month-long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens style Carolers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, ice skating, train rides, and nightly snowfall at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM. It’s a true throwback to the traditional family style holiday. Festivities kick off on Nov 24 with the Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5.30 – 9.00pm.

The main event is the nightly “snowfall”  Who says it doesn’t snow in Florida? Nightly Snowfalls are at 6.00, 7.00, 8.00 and 9.00 pm.

There’s also Santa in his chalet, horse drawn carriage rides, and the Celebration Express Train.

Celebration Holiday Home Tours

The Celebration Holiday Home Tour is held December 1st 2018 from 3-9 p.m. and December 2nd 2018 from 1-5 p.m.  This self-guided tour takes visitors on a journey through several of the town’s fabulously decorated homes. Visitors can enter each home to see beautiful decorations and custom New Urbanism architecture by the Walt Disney Company. Visitors will also enjoy extravagantly decorated trees and tablescapes in the expanded Winter Wonderland.

ICE! At Gaylord Palms

November 16th 2018 to January 6th 2019
ICE! is back at Gaylord Palms with an all-new theme featuring the beloved classic holiday movie A Christmas Story. Watch this hilarious family tale come to life through interactive ice sculptures and displays. Experience iconic scenes such as The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare and the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole. Everything is hand-carved from two million pounds of ice.

Features include:

  • ICE! Featuring A Christmas Story
  • Dreams of Christmas Light Show
  • Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
  • Atrium Christmas Tree Trail
  • Frostbite Factory
  • Alpine Rush Snow Tubing
  • Santa’s Snow Throw
  • Photo’s with Santa
  • Claus Christmas Traditions and Story Time Sing-a-long

Space Coast LightFest

Nightly throughout December

More than 3 million twinkling holiday lights will ignite the night sky at Wickham Park. The Spac Coast Lightfest is a holiday themed drive through event. This event attracts over 15,000 cars.  Over 2.7 million twinkling lights create this dazzling wonderland.

When: From 6.30pm to 10pm November 19th 2018 – January 1st 2019
Where:
Melbourne, Florida

Mount Dora Christmas Events

Nov 3 – Dec 30 – Polar Express Train Ride
Dec 1- Dec 2 – Mount Dora Holiday Homes Tour
Dec – Thurs/Fri/Sat – Mount Dora Food Tours

Daily in December:

  • Mount Dora Christmas Lights Tour
  • Mount Dora Christmas Light Cart Tour
  • Take the Polar Express from Tavares train station to the North Pole.
  • Rusty Anchor Christmas Lights on the Lake Tour – twice nightly.

Happy Planning!

Photo credit: Disney Photo Snapper, Universal

 

5 Places To Recharge At Walt Disney World

Theme parks are full of fun, sometimes too much for the little ones. They can get tuckered out fairly quickly, especially in the warmer weather. And let’s face it, so can we!  Don’t worry, you can find quiet places in many areas of Walt Disney World parks for a little rest and re-energizing and we’ll share our tips with you.

Tomorrowland People Mover- Magic Kingdom

Sit back, relax and enjoy a 10 minute tour of Tomorrowland aboard a moving tram. The soothing motion is perfect to lull little ones to sleep if they need a rest. It will also allow you to rest your feet and re-energize.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress- Magic Kingdom

Refresh and unwind when you take a plush seat inside this air conditioned revolving theatre and glimpse at a fascinating audio-animatronics show celebrating the evolution of past and present technology.

The Seas with Nemo and friends – Epcot

In this cool, calming environment just made for recharging batteries, climb aboard and venture into the sea to join Nemo and friends on their aquatic journey.

The Hall of Presidents Magic Kingdom

Dim lights and comfy seats are all you need when you cool off in the main theatre to watch a dramatic presentation celebrating the leaders of America.

Spaceship Earth- Epcot

Enjoy a gentle journey through time that explores mankind’s technological advances over the centuries and rest while exploring the history of communications.

Finding Nemo- The musical- Animal Kingdom

Yes, it’s a musical so not very quiet, but you can take a load off in the air-conditioned theatre and sit back, relax and enjoy the live show.

And of course, you can always find a quiet comfortable space to feed, change, and nurse your little ones in the many Baby Care Centres located throughout all parks.