Christmas coming early to Disney World

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Stitch stars in "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas," part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom.
Stitch stars in "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas," part of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom.

Kids might still be gobbling their Halloween candy on Nov. 8, but that won't stop the Walt Disney World parks and hotels from kicking off the winter holiday season with a number of events and promotions.

The Magic Kingdom will be all decked out for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, a specially ticketed event on select nights starting Nov. 8. The Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular as well as performances of "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade," "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas" and "Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration" stage show will all be features of the after-hours party.

At Disney's Hollywood Studios, two holiday-themed evening shows will spread the season's greetings. Sunset Seasons Greetings returns to the park with new laser effects and state-of-the-art projection mapping, which will transform the Hollywood Tower Hotel into a winter wonderland. The park's nighttime show, "Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!" will combine projection-mapping technology, fireworks, special effects and music. Guests will be able to visit with Santa from Nov. 10 until Dec. 24 at the Once Upon A Time shop and with Santa Goofy when he steps in for St. Nick on Dec. 25.

On Nov. 18, Epcot's World Showplace pavilions will offer special holiday tastes from around the world at Holiday Kitchens located throughout the park area. One of the most celebrated traditions at Epcot, the Candlelight Processional, will return from Nov. 22 to Dec. 30. Celebrity hosts for the run of the show have not been announced. The fireworks show, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, will also feature a holiday-themed finale.

Disney's Animal Kingdom will incorporate a new celebration this winter: the Indian holiday festival of lights known as Diwali. The new live show, "Up! A Great Bird Adventure," will include Diwali in its presentation of the world's most exotic birds, accompanied by the stars of the hit 2009 animated film "Up," Russell and Dug.

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