Travel Tuesday: Time for An Old Time Christmas!

BY: - 11 Dec '12 | Travel

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Are you and your family ready for an old time Christmas celebration with dazzling lights, giant Christmas trees, caroling and great food? If you are, the family’s next destination should be the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri.

The 1880’s style theme park is transformed into a winter wonderland featuring the ‘Christmas on Main Street’ light and sound show, the ‘Holiday Light Parade,’ festival holiday foods and 4 million twinkling holiday lights. My favorite is the ‘5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree’ which is the star of the Christmas on Main Street light and sound show.   It comes to life with 1 million dancing lights. The tree is a spectacular sight to see as its lights dance in unison to favorite holiday songs like “Joy to the World” and “Sleigh Ride.” You’ll be amazed and your kids will love it.

Described as one of the top 5 holiday festivals in the country with its 4 million colorful dazzling holiday lights, “An Old Time Christmas” is also home to two Broadway style productions including “A Dickens Christmas Carol” and the newest production of the holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

What’s an old fashion Christmas without Santa? Santa comes thru nightly during “Kringles Krossing” from 2:30p-5p and 6:30-9pm (now thru 12/23). Kids can even have lunch with Santa on weekends throughout the festival. Weather permitting, guests will also enjoy the theme parks favorite rides. Rides like “Fire in the Hole, Flooded Mine, the Giant Swing” and the popular “Frisco Sing Along Steam Train.”

If you and the family can be in Branson Missouri before December 30th, this would be an amazing family fun holiday event. Make it a family fun holiday weekend with one of the lodging packages featuring one free night (based on multiple night booking/purchase). For more information, call 800-831-4FUN (386) or  visit www.silverdollarcity.com and click on Christmas Festivals. Park hours are 1pm-9pm daily with extended hours on Saturdays.

Happy Holidays!

By The Travelin Diva (Kirstin N. Fuller)

Follow me on twitter @thetravelindiva and @Passenger156!

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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5 Reasons Why I know Disney’s New Fantasyland is REALLY Enchanted

BY: - 12 Dec '12 | Home

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Grand Opening Celebration for Disney's New Fantasyland on December 6, 2012.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

Let me just get straight to the point…the kids and I HAD A BALL at the grand opening of  Walt Disney World’s  New Fantasyland last Thursday.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know who had a better time (me or the kids.)

New Fantasyland consists of the Enchanted Forrest and the Storybook Circus area. And contains new and “re-imagined” attractions such as the always popular Dumbo ride.  It brings your favorite Disney Stories and magical places to life, literally.  And, here are 5 reasons why I left Disney totally convinced the New Fantasyland is really enchanted:

#1. Because there is a fire breathing dragon flying over New Fantasyland.  I kid you not….. if you look into the sky, at night, you will see an actual dragon flying around New FantasyLand.  It’s hands down one of the most amazing things that I’ve seen in a long time.  (And I’m not just saying this because of my love for the Game of Thrones series….lol)  I literally stood looking up at the dragon with my mouth wide open for 5 minutes.  I don’t know how Disney pulled it off …..and I really don’t care to know because it would ruin the magical moment.

Dragon that flies around Disney’s New Fantasyland at night.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

#2.  Because I walked through an enchanted mirror. No Joke!!  One moment, I was standing in front of a mirror in Maurice’s Cottage in the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction….And, Pow Bang…it turned into a doorway that led us to the Beast’s library.  And that magical portal was just the beginning.  In that library, the kids and I were able to participate in an interactive storytelling experience.  We were able to play different characters from the Beauty and the Beast story, along side princess Belle, in the flesh.  Awesome!!!

Mirror that turns into a magical portal – Enchanted Tales with Belle at Disney’s New Fantasyland.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

The kids and I played characters from the Beauty and Beast Story at the Enchanted Tales with Belle Attraction at Disney’s New Fantasyland.
Photo Credit: Lamar Tyler

#3.  Because Disney has literally doubled the fun.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Ronnie…how in the world could they possibly do that.”  Well,  New Fantasyland is the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom’s history, doubling the size of the original Fantasyland. And with this expansion, Disney has done everything in their power to give the guests the ultimate experience while you’re there.  For instance, we all know that the lines could get long for Dumbo as it is such a popular attraction.   Well, in the Storybook Circus area, they’ve added a second Flying Dumbo ride attraction.  But wait it gets better….because while you are waiting in line for Dumbo, the kids can play in an air conditioned circus t tent hat has a play area!! In addition to that, they’ve added the Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station which is a water play area that will  allow the parents to take a break while the kids cool off and play.

Dumbo Ride at Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland.
Photo Credit: Lamar Tyler

#4. Because the imagineers must be wizards.  Disney’s imagineers have really out done themselves with this one, because there is no way that mere mortals can come up with such creative experiences.  (Ok..ok… so I watch too much Lord of the Rings.) But seriously, New Fantasyland has a flying dragon, a magical mirror……and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  With this multi-year expansion, they will be adding more magical experiences.  While there, we were given a sneak peak video of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  It’s a roller coaster that promises to take guests on a “rollicking musical ride into the mine where a million diamonds shine.”

#5. Because I could feel the magic in my heart.  There is nothing (and I mean nothing) more special than seeing your child so happy and filled with joy.  My kids were literally on cloud nine…and so was I.  I couldn’t even ride any of the rides (doctor’s orders.) But that didn’t matter.  I enjoyed myself just watching my kids being so happy.

During the grand opening celebration, Tom Saggs –  Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, stated:

“Walt Disney once promised that Disneyland, and by extension all of our parks, would never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world,” Staggs said. “New Fantasyland is a spectacular addition to the Magic Kingdom that delivers on Walt’s promise. We’re thrilled to take guests beyond the walls of Cinderella Castle to discover new worlds featuring iconic Disney characters and stories in ways that are more imaginative, more interactive and more immersive than ever before.”

Don’t take my word for it.  Make plans to visit New Fantasyland so that you can experience the magic for yourself. And 2013 promises to be a momentous year for Disney parks.  They will be having 52 weeks of magical experiences that will appear and then disappear each week.  Plus…you have to see that flying dragon for yourself!!!

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 478 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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