Magic Kingdom Gets Even Merrier

You can look at this week at Disney World as "the more, the merrier." It's one of the busiest weeks for Orlando theme parks, and they are packed with people and holiday hubbub. It's especially true at Magic Kingdom, which has incorporated elements of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party into the everyday schedule.

You'll have to navigate through crowds to do it, but this week and next, guests can see attractions that had only been performed this year during Very Merry, which is an after-hours, extra-ticket event. Chief among those are Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and the "Holiday Wishes" fireworks display.

Right now, the Christmastime parade -- which features Disney characters in holiday garb (including Duffy the Disney Bear), marching toy soldiers, skaters, floats, prancing (costumed) reindeer and more -- slides into the 3 p.m. slot normally occupied by the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade. "Holiday Wishes" goes off at 10 p.m.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 25, it gets more congested with two rounds of the Christmastime parade in the day, plus two rounds of the Main Street Electrical Parade after dark.

But wait, there's more. On Friday, Dec. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 31, there are those four parades, plus "Holiday Wishes," plus "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks at 11:50 p.m. Sound like a full day? With Extra Magic Hours, the time periods reserved for Disney hotel guests, the Magic Kingdom will be open from 7 a.m. on Dec. 30 until 3 a.m. on Dec. 31. Then it closed for four hours before Extra Magic Hours kick in at 4 a.m. on the 31st, staying open until 2 a.m. Jan. 1.

It goes back to close-to-normal operations on Jan. 1, with the return of Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at 3 p.m., one Electrical Parade and the regular, non-holiday "Wishes" fireworks.

Other holiday-related activities at Disney World parks include Candlelight Processional at Epcot, Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade at Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios.