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Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Yuletide Tour?? in the Vacation Planning forums; Has anyone done this and is it worth the money?? Mom and I are thinking about doing it in December and just wanted some opinions. Lori...
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    Yuletide Tour??

    Has anyone done this and is it worth the money??

    Mom and I are thinking about doing it in December and just wanted some opinions.

    Lori

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

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    Kellie19891992's Avatar
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    Lori - We did (Pat and I) did the yuletide fantasy tour two years ago (2005) during mousefest and it was really neat. Trying to find the link for you of my trip report

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    Yuletide Fantasy Tour which was 3.5 hours long it started in Epcot and told you about Morocco's, Japan's and US holiday customs, then off to MGM and they should how movies influence our holiday's, then we made our way to the Christmas warehouse which was huge with on going holiday projects. We also went to the Grand Floridian and the gingerbread house.

    We didn't go to the magic kingdom on the tour because they were filming the xmas parade that day. The guides were great telling us about all the different themes and stuff



    http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...th-2005-a.html

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    princessariel's Avatar
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    ohhh that sounds so cool!
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    thanks Kellie

    http://wewantstheredhead.blogspot.com

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    MayBWeRMnt2B's Avatar
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    I have wanted to do the Lori. It's one of the BEST tours to take!
    - Jeanne

    Engaged at Sunset Point - July 17th, 2008
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    'Cause that my friends is where the magic lives

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    Kellie19891992's Avatar
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    The cast members were awesome on this tour like they really enjoyed telling about their holiday traditions and WDW

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    Politzania's Avatar
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    Detailed Review of Yuletide Fantasy Tour

    Here's my review from December 2004 --- very detailed, so I'll leave a bit of spoiler space... do plan on it taking up at least 4 hours - eat a good breakfast & maybe even bring some snacks with you.











    This was the largest group I've seen on a tour – they can take up to 40 people & I think we had 30-some at least. We had two guides: Cammi and Maggie. We got checked in & given our holiday nametags. One woman forgot her ID (despite "Bring Photo ID" being mentioned several places in the literature) & another CM took her back to her room while we started the tour. We had our bags checked & were waved thru the turnstiles (no park admission needed) and went backstage behind The Living Seas.
    Because the tour is so large, acharter bus took us from place to place – even within Epcot! We rode around backstage to Germany and started the World Showcase portion of the tour there. The group split into two & we were in Maggie's group. She's originally from Venezuela and shared some of her family & cultural traditions as we went through the day. In Germany, she talked about the many traditions that come from this culture to the US celebration: the Christmas tree itself – which was originally a Paradise Tree as part of an Adam & Eve church play. It was decorated with apples, hence the red color predominating in the décor of the pavilion. Glass ornaments are also originally from this area and of course, she recounted the story of "Silent Night". Maggie did a pretty good job of keeping the tour members involved with lots of Q&A opportunities. Next was Italy & the discussion focused on nativities and the novena: 9 days of prayer before Christmas Eve. The décor of this pavilion was from the Renaissance: cherubs, flowers and gilded ornaments.


    The American pavilion was next. A bit of trivia: the first state to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday was Alabama in 1836. Maggie talked about community trees & decorations, as well as the history of the poinsettia (named after Ambassador Joel Pointsett, who brought it to the States from Mexico). The pavilion also had displays for Hannukah and Kwanzaa, and she talked a little about them both. Somewhat surprisingly, we stopped in Japan, as the Japanese have adopted Christmas as a holiday of romance and kindness towards others. Maggie also told us about the New Years' tradition of cleaning the home of the "stains" of the previous year. Quite often, household items are replaced at this time of year, and once the cleansing is done, a twisted rope decoration (I forget its name) is hung above the door to let the gods know the rituals are complete. She also told us about the daruma dolls – you make a wish or resolution and color in one pupil, then keep the doll until the end of the year. If the wish or resolution is fulfilled, you color in the other pupil and throw it away. We paused briefly in Morocco to talk about Ramadan, which had already happened this year. We went backstage to board the bus – next stop: MGM.


    One small issue I have with this tour – it's advertised (some places) as a 3 hour tour & ours ended up closer to 4 and a half! Lots of grumbling stomachs by the time we were done, plus we were kind of pooped out the rest of the day. We entered the park from a backstage area near Rock & Roller Coaster. The group divided in half again and we walked towards the market area – attempting to stay together as a group. Scott's a pretty tall guy & his Tigger Santa hat on made him even easier to spot in a crowd; I think Maggie half-jokingly asked him to stay up front for the rest of the tour! The focus of this part of the tour was how Hollywood portrays the Christmas season. Maggie started by asking us about our favorite Christmas movies. Scott said "Die Hard" – it IS set at Christmastime, ya know… She said that's the first time anyone's even mentioned *that* movie! We then went over to Hollywood Boulevard, where the decorations were in the style of the late 1940's & 50's, with lots of glitz & glitter. Maggie also shared with us that WDW uses over 62,000 poinsettias each year as bedding plants, trees & other greenery. Next stop was New York Street, where she delved a bit into the story of the movie "Miracle on 34th Street", and also told us the background behind the Osbourne Spectacle of Lights.


    Back on the bus again, this time to one of the resorts. The Grand Floridian is lavishly decorated for Christmas in the style of the turn of the 19th century. According to our guides, the new LED lights (which use 1/10 the power of standard lights) allow them to plug the HUGE center tree into a standard outlet; they used to have to run cables out to the middle of the lobby & camouflage them with rows of poinsettias. The gingerbread house – large enough to be used as a stand to sell gingerbread – was lovely as well! They had posted an ingredients lists – 600 lbs of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour… and of course, Tons of creativity! The lobby was somewhat crowded, especially around the gingerbread house, so our guides gave us about 10 min to wander about & take pictures, then we met back at the entrance. They brought us some of the roasted chestnuts the GF staff occasionally hand out this time of year. I kinda liked it; but Scott didn't.


    On the road again, to our last park visit – The Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, this was the day that ABC was filming the Christmas Day parade; so Main Street was PACKED! We took quick glances at the tree in front of the train station & wove our way to the first side street on the right side (Scott was definitely a useful guide during this!) and stopped there to talk about the décor. The theme is early Victorian – mid to late 1900's, with lots of fruit and ribbons. Maggie & Cammi told us that each "store" is decorated a little differently, just as if actual storekeepers were selecting their own decorations. Since Main Street is mostly a "pass through" area – most of the decorations are up high and at more of a surface level; compared to the detail of decoration you'll see at the resorts. If it hadn't been for the parade (and running pretty late), I imagine we would have walked up Main street to the hub, which had several evergreens & poinsettia trees decorating it.


    Last stop: Holiday Services. 25 employees work year round in a very, very large warehouse to supply not only the WDW parks and resorts with holiday decorations, but they also take care of the cruise ships and the East Coast Disney time-share properties in Hilton Head and Vero Beach. Of course, they hire extra help in November. Near the entrance, I spotted a calendar that said 354 days til Holiday Deployment… :^). The department staggers their decorating schedule so each park and resort basically gets decorated overnight sometime between mid-Nov and the beginning of December. To avoid issues like the cables across the floor in the Grand Floridian, the latest resorts (like Pop Century) were designed with decorating in mind; planning where the trees would be placed & putting heavy-duty electrical outlets in those locations, for example. The decorating scheme for each resort and each park is also updated every 3-5 years, and planned out that far in advance. This explained why the warehouse wasn't completely empty; retired decorations were being examined for possible re-use; and the supplies & materials were starting to arrive for the next scheme. Most of the decorations are purchased from various sources, but quite a few of the more unique items are made in house by this department. As the employees weren't working on Saturday, we didn't get to talk with anyone who worked there (though we still had to wear safety glasses!), but Cammi & Maggie were quite well-informed.



    We rode back to Epcot, and on the way, Cammi & Maggie handed out ornaments; bead covered "Mickey heads" in bright red; just the thing for our trees! We also got a limited edition Christmas Card pin. I would definitely recommend this tour; however, plan on it taking at least half a day & bring some snacks & drinks along with you, as no food was provided, other than the chestnuts!
    Tracey - Co-Host of the Disney, Indiana Podcast (www.disneyindiana.com)
    Next Disney Trip: 23-27 Jul DLR - Friends of the Magic!


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    princessariel's Avatar
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    That sounds awesome! I can't wait to go back at X-mas time.
    Summer '83-Off Site

    Dec '95- Shades Of Green

    March '03-All Star Movies

    March '06-All Star Movies

    October '07-POFQ

    March '10-POFQ

    March '13 POFQ

    June '14 POFQ

    Nov'14 All Star Sports-F&WF W&D 1/2 Marathon!


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