When I opened up my Disney travel agents portal this morning, I was delighted to find all kinds of new information about special events, treats, celebrity appearances and nighttime spectacular shows coming to Walt Disney World Resort for the holiday season later on this year. I know, it's only the beginning of the summer season, and already we're talking about Christmas! But that's the way it is in the travel industry, and the Disney Destinations are no exception.
Here's a brief list of what's new for the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort in 2019!
Dates for this year's Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party are: November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24 as well as December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22.
In January, I had the pleasure of dining with some of my Pure Magic Vacations colleagues at Tusker House, a buffet restaurant in Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Tusker House offers character interactions with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy. We headed to Tusker House following the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular. It had been a chilly evening, so walking into the cozy atmosphere at the restaurant was certainly wonderful!
No matter what time you plan to eat at Tusker House, you can find it fairly easily by heading into Harambe Village. The restaurant is fairly close to Festival of the Lion King and tucked in behind the Dawa Bar, a busy, covered outdoor patio where you'll find guests enjoying a cold drink on a hot day. Reservations are highly recommended for Tusker House as it's a popular restaurant in this park.
The menu at Tusker House is quite varied, and there is likely to be a lot of options to please everyone, from carnivores to vegetarians, and from folks who enjoy simple meat and potatoes-style meals to more adventurous eaters. There are several vegetarian dishes offered at the buffet, as well.
Sample dishes include roasted pork or chicken, mashed potatoes, salmon, tabouleh and hummus. Children will enjoy mini corn dogs, macaroni & cheese or any of the other offerings available. The full menu is found on the Walt Disney World Resort website here.
The buffet space itself is quite large, with plenty of space to walk around and choose the dishes you'd like to eat, with the dessert station in the middle of the room. One of the features I especially love is the child-height section of the buffet, perfect for kiddos to reach and choose their own meal.
As we began to enjoy our dinner, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy began to visit the table, taking time to interact with us and take photos with anyone who wanted to do so. Their safari-themed outfits were especially cute! As usual, Daisy was jealous of the attention Donald paid to any of us!
I recommend this restaurant for families who would like to experience a character dining experience within a theme park, and with a variety of foods they may not find in other dining locations at Walt Disney World. The pace of the meal was not rushed, and the food really was delicious! The value for this meal is wonderful, since the meal is all-you-care-to-enjoy and casual.
For more information about how to reserve your dining reservations at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, please reach out to Amy at Pure Magic Vacations.
It's your problem-free philosophy!
The next time you and your family visit Disney's Animal Kingdom, stop by Discovery Island to check out the Hakuna Matata Dance Party! Characters from Disney's "The Lion King" will show up to dance along with everyone. When we stopped off for a quick dance on our way over to Expedition Everest, Timon and Rafiki were on hand to celebrate with guests as well as Baloo and Meeko, Pocahantas' sidekick. The dance party DJ and hosts were really engaging, getting kids and parents alike into the action! You couldn't help but join in for a little dance. Timon was especially engaging.
You'll enjoy hearing animal-inspired songs from "The Lion King" performed in a World Beat style. Look out for fun photo spots, including a three-dimensional scene that looks like it jumped right out of "The Lion King" film. Later on this summer, you can also watch the Tree of Life awaken in the evening with a brand new story as a tribute to Simba's journey, set to the score of "The Lion King."
You can enjoy all of these celebrations at Disney's Animal Kingdom through September 30, 2019.
Amy is a former Disney Cruise Line cast member, Certified Cruise Counsellor and Vacation Specialist at Pure Magic Vacations.
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