Podcast Episode 80: Holiday Time at Walt Disney World

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Welcome to Episode 80 of the RetroWDW Podcast: Holiday Time at Walt Disney World– We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between. This is our last episode of 2022 and as always, we have a full slate of Christmas and Holiday content for you. Before you panic, stick with this one as we give you lots of blizzard and snow history before we get into the listener mail…

Listener Mail

We open the mailbag monthly and are ready to hear from you. Be sure to reach out with questions, stories, memories, and more. You never know if your letter will be read on a future episode: podcast@retrowdw.com

  1. Our first piece of listener mail, takes us back to a little conversation I had with our friend Steve about the very first Walt Disney World Marathon. Steve sent us lots of great content about this first runDisney event and we even converted the original commemorative VHS tape!  Enjoy this classic from 1994 as we gear up for Marathon Weekend 2023.
  2. Greg is up next, and he shared with us his creation – The Evil Five Legged Goat. Enjoy!
    RetroWDW Ornaments
  3. The next letter is from Jim, which opened a big can of worms. Jim is curious about the motivation to install the infamous sorcerer’s hat at the Disney Hollywood Studios. We go deep on this one and discuss our thoughts.
  4. Scott got his goat as well, and he sent us a great photo of his ornament collection. He also shared with us that his Carousel of Progress pumpkin made its way onto a Disney Cruise Ship. Check it out!
  5. Another runDisney participant, our friend Richard ran two races in RetroWDW shirts! This is super exciting, and we love to see this sort of thing. Get your favorite RetroWDW gear now!
  6. Our good friend Scott Jensen gave us some follow-up about his time being filmed for the ‘Must-Do’ list and Resort TV. If you remember, he was filmed riding the Haunted Mansion and ended up on every resort television fifty times a day.
  7. Finally, Christian sent us a great photo of his mini-tree setup where every ornament is displayed. Take a look!

Main Topic

Every December, we take a trip back in time as we always do, but we focus on the holiday season and how it took place at Walt Disney World. Christmas, New Years, and all the other December celebrations have always offered up unique experiences and sometimes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for resort and park guests. We begin with personal stories, traditions, and even gifts we received over the years. 

We really dig into ‘The Lights of Winter,’ which was a classic holiday attraction that was showcased at EPCOT Center. For this episode, Brian is taking the lead and is using a fantastic resource, Holiday Magic at the Disney Parks. A fifteen-pound book that is loaded with tons of great information. Page 178 is where we refer to when discussing The Lights of Winter. We really get into this attraction, discussing how it was set up, what was done at the time, and How even gets into how he was able to learn how it worked back in the 90s. This Gallery has quite a few photos from 1994 that show these amazing holiday decorations at EPCOT. As we work our way around this display and EPCOT in 1994, we discuss some theories on why this left us and what has changed over the years. Believe it or not, the Lights of Winter sat backstage for a number of years and were finally disposed of around 2014/2015.

Throughout our episode, we discuss where the parks have gone and why the old attractions have left us never to come back. The synchronized light shows were once a staple for the Disney-MGM Studios and nowadays, you can put this in your own yard. As you listen, we take our discussions in many different ways, touching on a variety of things that we have all seen over the holidays. The Candlelight Processional is another classic that still occurs and has had a number of changes when we look back in time. How gives us some amazing pricing figures from the 90s that really puts things into perspective, but keep in mind these prices are not adjusted for inflation. We also get into the gone, but not forgotten tradition of selling roasted chestnuts at the parks and resorts. Here we have a photo from 1994 at the entrance of the Grand Floridian, where the roasted chestnuts were sold, amazing.

As always, we hope you enjoyed the year of episodes we put together for 2022. While this episode is always one of our favorites to kind of relax and discuss memories, be prepared for a full slate of great new episodes in 2023. We hope you have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year as we close out 2022. Be sure to keep in touch, send those pieces of listener mail, keep up with RetroMagic updates, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel. There is so much more coming next year and we cannot wait for you to join us on this journey.

RetroMagic Updates

2023 is upon us and that means we are working on our next event, RetroMagic: Celebrating EPCOT Center. Join us later this year on the weekend of 9/30 for another great celebration. Click Here for more information and to stay in the know!

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