What’s New, What’s Next: Disney World – November 10-11, 2011


There’s a lot going on at Disney World! The holidays have arrived.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The entrance to Epcot has garland up.


The tree is up at the entrance to World Showcase.



The Canada pavilion is still being worked on.


France is decorated for the holidays.


Work is still ongoing at Yakitori House at Japan.


The American pavilion has their tree up.


Some turnstiles at the entrance at Epcot were walled off.


The tree at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is up.


The light poles at the entrance at Studios were also decorated.

Light poles

The stars are out on Sunset Boulevard.

Sunset Blvd

There’s a sign up for the Osborne Lights near the Great Movie Ride.


Santa is arriving near Pizza Planet.


We went over to the Streets of America to see the Osborne Lights display during the day.

Santa- Osborne

Signs like this one are up and down the street with fun facts and trivia about the Osborne Lights.


The library has their tree out.

Library tree

The Voyage of the Little Mermaid has some decorations up as well.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid

After dinner, we made our way to the Streets of America so we could watch the Osborne Lights be turned on for the first time this year. The lights are turned on at dusk — the ceremony started at approximately 6:10 the night we were there.


The Lights were, and always are, gorgeous. They have switched out a lot of the strands for LED strands and they were much brighter than last year. Also, they shimmer this year which I don’t remember them doing last year.

The Lights danced immediately after being turned on. Later in the evening, there was a song dedicated to Jennings Osborne who passed away this year. I thought the song they chose was very appropriate.

Also, the Halloween cat is very well hidden this year. If you’re unfamiliar with the story: When the Osbornes donated the Lights to Disney World, they accidentally included their black Halloween cat. The Imagineers hide the cat every year in the display. It’s become a tradition for many to try to find it.

There’s a window near the New York facade that shows some of the history of the Osborne Lights. Here’s a quick video:

Enough talk and on with the pictures! 🙂



Mickey and Goofy posed for pictures with the family selected to help turn the lights on for the evening.

Mickey and Goofy



The Osborne family has stockings in the display.



The windows on this building are screens for the Osborne Lights. The images that go across are very neat to watch. We spent quite a bit of time standing off to the side to watch them.



Santa and Mickey


The Minnie window is up at the Celebrity 5 and 10.

Minnie window

The Studios tree is very pretty at night.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Downtown Disney has a new tree this year.


Festival of the Masters was going on at Downtown Disney. Check out Jack Spence’s blog on it here.

The walls were down around the exterior of World of Disney and the Lego Store.

World of Disney

Lego Store

This tree near Portobello’s is new (or new to me):


The tennis courts at the Grand Floridian have been completely torn up.

Tennis courts

Signs are out near the monorail beams for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.


The train station has been decorated for the holidays.

Train station

Some work is being done on the top of the Newsstand.


Main Street looks beautiful.

Main Street

Light pole

Main Street

The side of Crystal Arts is being worked on.

Crystal Arts

Main Street

Every time I see the progress on Storybook Circus, I’m amazed at how quickly it’s coming together.



Enchanted Grove has been renamed Cheshire Cafe. I knew something was different, but didn’t realize they had painted it until I got home and looked at my pictures.

New sign

Work on the rest of the expansion is also coming along nicely.

Little Mermaid

Beauty and the Beast

A photo-op with the soldiers and the castle has been set up near the flagpole.

Photo op


Candy Cane Garden

We saw Cinderella’s Holiday Wish from Main Street. It was difficult to get pictures of the characters so I concentrated on the castle.

Holiday Wish


The castle does change colors periodically.


That’s all for this update. Have a great day. 🙂

Deb Wills, founder of AllEars.Net, is an internationally recognized expert on Disney vacations ranging from Walt Disney World to the Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland and Adventures by Disney. For many years she participated in events designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer, which she herself survived in 1986. She now raises funds for FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, to increase awareness of hereditary cancers.

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27 Replies to “What’s New, What’s Next: Disney World – November 10-11, 2011”

  1. I too went and missed finding the Halloween kitty…can you email me where it was, without posting to the blog and spoiling it for others? Do you have a photo you could share with those of us who’ve been, but missed it or is there a website somewhere that posts those details after the holiday season has passed? Thank you.

  2. Wow I just love seeing all the Christmas decorations at WDW. It is absolutely my most favorite time of the year to visit. Had to do my trip a little early this year so I won’t be able to be there during the holiday season. But my godson and I are already discussing our trip next year. When I asked if he wanted to go again during the holiday season I got a quick “yes” followed by “Can we go to the Christmas Party again”. Of course, that will be on our agenda this time next year as well as the Candlelight Processional. Thanks for all the great pictures.

  3. I can’t wait to go to Disney this year! This trip will be my 20th and my daughter’s 5th. We are going for a plethora of reasons and we need the break. I love the lights at Epcot and my daughter will be doing a school project to go along with the countries and their Christmas activities.

  4. I have spent the last two years at Disney for Thanksgiving. This year I didn’t go 🙁 Thanks for the photos…I almost felt like I was there!

  5. Getting to spend part of the Holiday season at WDW a few years ago was one of my dreams come true. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos. It was a great trip down memory lane.

  6. We just got back from a trip to the World, and I spent absolutely ages looking for the black cat – but never found it! Can you give me a clue (without spoiling it for anyone yet to go) please?

  7. The pictures are beautiful! I have never been over the holiday season…and now I see why that time is so popular. Great coverage/blog!

  8. Can I second the comments asking for technical-but not too technical-tips for taking photos of the lights and the castle. I’d love some photos half as good as yours!

  9. Love the photos! We’re coming this year, and I have to say it’s making me tear up a bit. It’s the last “official” Christmas at home as my daughter goes to college next year. Thanks for the photos! We can’t wait!

  10. Really beautiful pictures. I haven’t been to Disney at Christmas time since 1998. We attended the last Jolly Holidays dinner show and the family picture from the dinner always makes me smile. Someone commented that there isn’t going to be a tree at the Magick Kingdom this year. Is that true and does anyone know why? To everyone getting ready for their trips I hope you have a wonderful, magical time.

  11. We were at DW last year for the holidays. We didn’t go this year, and thought about going someplace else next year. After seeing the pictures, I will go on-line today and make my reservations for next Thanksgiving again. Can’t wait. I can’t seem to find any vacation that compares to the holidays at DW.

  12. Hi Ashley!

    10 days and counting! I was wondering how you set the camera for the Osbourne pictures? I am hoping to get great pictures like you did and know that I won’t have time to “mess upand start again” once the lights are on and dancing. Any good tips? Flash on or off for the building pics? Any tips would be great, thanks in advance!

  13. Wow! Thank you so much for the magical pictures of the christmas decorations…I will be at Disney on january 3 for a week, do you think I have a chance to see the christmas decorations and the gingerbread house at Grand Floridian before they come down??? I hope it’s not too late or else I will have to come back another year…

  14. I have gone to WDW every year for Christmas since 2007 (and a few times before that). I never get sick of seeing the decorations. The highlight for me is seeing the characters dressed in their holiday costumes. I LOVE to see Pluto with antlers. Thanks for sharing photos. Only 36 more days! 🙂

  15. Great pictures Ashley! Can you share any tips for taking pictures in the dark at Disney?? We are visiting the week after Thanksgiving and would love to get some great shots in the dark! Thanks!

  16. The pictures are soooo blurry, oh sorry that’s my tears. I love going to WDW at Christmas time. I go every other year just after Thanksgiving for two weeks.

    I could hear the Fairy Godmother saying “bippity-boppity-boo” with the lights and remember all the dancing lights at Hollywood Studios.

    My Granddaughter fell in love with the Monkey from the Holiday presentation at China. We have her picture with him, she was so excited.

    This was a wonderful Christmas gift, refreshing my memories of WDW at Christmas. Only 1 yr and 10 days til I’m there again.

  17. May I ask what the song was that they played for Mr. Osborn during the dancing lights? I won’t get to WDW for the holidays until I am old and not in retail any more.

  18. Love your posts…we will be there in 11 days for two weeks and this is our first time during Christmas time. We have always gone during Halloween, however we wanted to switch it up this year to see at Christmas. Your posts and pics are making it so exciting for my family & I. We can’t wait and thanks so much for all the information you gather to share with us.

  19. This is beautiful! Someday I am going to WDW at Christmas time just to see the decorations. You guys always do a great job of getting great pictures and and letting people know what’s going on in the parks!

  20. We look forward to seeing all the wonderful pictures you post on your blogs.We are coming next year for another visit but we couldnt decide on Halloween or Christmas. The Castle lit up with all the color changing icicle lights always take my breath away,I made our decision,Christmas it is!

  21. Thank you for the great pictures of the Holiday decorations and Osborne Light!! Brings back great memories of when I was down to WDW over the Christmas Holidays last year..Makes me feel like I have “returned again” to the Parks for this year:):)

  22. Thank you so much for the lovely pictures! I’ll be there for the week of dec. 4th, ALONE !! and I was a bit nervous thinking of going alone and thought that I might get lonely for my husband who can’t make the trip this year. But seeing these photos got me pretty excited and I’m realizing that I might not have much time to be lonely!! thank you again!

  23. Ashley, Thank you so much for the preview of what we will see on our vacation in 22 days! It isn’t Christmas to us without a trip to our “happy place” in December. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

  24. Thank you so much for the update! We leave on Thanksgiving Day (10 to go!) for our first holiday trip to The World. I am looking so forward to seeing the Magic Kingdom all decked out for Christmas and cannot wait to see the Osborne Lights! Your blogs have helped ease the anticipation for this trip and have given me just enough doses of Disney to hold me over until I can actually be there! Keep up the good work!! 🙂

  25. I have been lucky to spend the Holidays twice at WDW and was just amaizing…
    Your blog bring the great memories back and I have tears in my eyes (I almost here the music from the dancing lights…=P)