Friday, December 23, 2011

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report - EPCOT Wins Christmas!

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

EPCOT is the best park during the holidays. It is; they go all out in World Showcase. Every land has their own special decorations and... I am getting ahead of myself.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

The giant tree in EPCOT is in the walkway near the center of the park, where Future World transitions into World Showcase. I took this photo from near the bottom so you get a sense of the scale.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

The tree is decorated with greetings from all over the world.

"Christmas All Over the World" is the theme of EPCOT's holiday events, and each country has their "annual gift-person" equivalent do a brief performance and interact with the children. These presentations were worth going to the park on their own:

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Papa Noel from Canada: best Santa equivalent or BEST Santa equivalent?

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

His foklore-cousin Pierre Noel explains the Christmas traditions of France.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

We ran into the Daruma seller just as she was starting her show in Japan. (And incidentally, I didn't think of Darmanitan until the very end.)

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

LaBefana, the Italian Christmas witch, recounts her rather odd origin story.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

And then, there's Sun Hou-Kong. He rocked the house. (If you're curious, All Ears has a great report on all of the storytellers.)

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

"Yo-Ho YEE-OH! HO, a Viking's Life for Me!"

11.29.11 - Epcot Center

But among the various lands of World Showcase, nobody goes as crazy for Christmas as Germany.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Handmade glass ornaments on display.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

The glassblower creating a hook as the finishing touch.

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

Trees packed with handblown ornaments, and -yes!- peacocks and pickles!

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

And best of all, Gluhwein! I was informed of this wonderful mulled wine thanks to Party Through the Parks and it is amazing! I need to find some way to introduce it to my Christmas festivities at home.

11.29.11 - Epcot Center

But the signature EPCOT festivities begin at night with the famous Candlelight Processional. This show is beyond description; the picture above gives you a tiny idea of the scale. I'm glad we took the DisBoard forum's recommendation to spring for the dinner package. We got seats right near the stage...

11.29.11 - Epcot Center

As well as a fabulous view of Illuminations, which I am astonished my camera was able to capture even this one second of! For the holidays, you get the usual Illuminations show (not that this wouldn't be enough; it's my favorite fireworks in Disney). But at the end, Disney throws every firework they have in the sky to promote world peace. I love Disney. (Seriously, this is crap-your-pants amazing.)

Florida Holiday 2011 Trip Report

It's a little hard to see here, but one of my favorite "little moments" was at the very end of the show, when they projected images onto Spaceship Earth for the first time in, like, forever.

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The Blog is going on Christmas vacation for a while so I'd like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and good luck in the new year. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Until I start posting again next year, here are some

Links of Interest: Special Festive Edition!

* For the curious, Touring Plans has a good post on Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the kinds of things we missed.

* Take a look at this amazing memorabilia from the world premier of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".

* From my other website, it's Nessie's Annual Gift Guide!

* Via Comics Alliance, a short story that combines two Christmas traditions from Catalonia that I kind of want to adopt somehow...

* Dinosaur Tracking would like to remind us that as you are ritualistically devouring your Christmas dinner of goose/turkey/husky theropod of choice, raise a pint to Thomas Henry Huxley.

* Scott Sampson, better known as Dr. Scott, reflects on the curriculum of Season Two of "Dinosaur Train".

* ToughPigs makes a case for the all-but-forgotten Henson Company Dr. Seuss collaboration.

* Enjoy the latest in a long line of "Venture Brothers" Christmas Songs. (As an aside, I have the Henchmen version of "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" in place of the -uh- normal version in my holiday party mix and I strongly suggest you all do the same. It is worth it for the confused looks directed at your MP3 player.)

* The Orrs shared this adorable handmade felt Spinosaurus ornament. I suddenly want to make a bunch for next year's craft fairs.

* Hark! A Vagrant has a cute collection of festive mini-comics.

* And TetZoo has a festive card for all of us.

* There is also this thing you have probably already seen and this other thing you have probably already seen.

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