Generally once we go on an adventure, I usually do a write up and post it. I answer some questions here and there from readers and may even go back for another adventure to the same spot. I rarely take the time to write about it again unless there have been very significant changes. Shows may change, times, or even details change. It’s not very often that there have been sweeping and drastic changes. That’s exactly the case with the Festival of Seasons at Downtown Disney.
While we have been to Downtown Disney quite a few times, we have only been to Downtown Disney two other times for pictures with Santa. While we enjoyed out pictures this year, there were quite a fe changes I need to let everyone know about. For starters, the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons is much more than just pictures with Santa!
As soon as we arrived we were surprised to see that the new Downtown Disney parking garage was open and ready for business! It’s certainly not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but many of the floors are open for parking. An interesting side note, is that it appears that their parking garage will be very high-tech. above each of the parking spaces appears to be some sort of parking sensor with red, green, and blue lights. I’m assuming that when it comes online, red will be if the spot is taken, green if it’s open. Blue would be for a handicapped spot. It will be pretty cool to know if there is an open spot down a row before you actually turn down it. For now they are just flashing red and green. It’s actually a nice Christmas touch to the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons!
So the main goal of our visits to the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons was to take some pictures with Santa. So far we have made it a family tradition, and we have always had a great experience. Since we went the weekend right after Thanksgiving we were expecting quite a long line to see the big guy himself. What we found was that this year Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons actually had a different method for pictures with Santa. We went up to the line and were surprised that there were only a few people ahead of us. It turns out, we actually were in line to get a pager to enter the line for pictures with Santa. It seemed there was approximately a 3 hour wait for photos! We went early in the afternoon so it wasn’t a big deal. We had some lunch and did some Christmas shipping with the boys so it wasn’t all that bad. If you plan on snapping some pictures, be sure to stop by early to get a pager.
Once we were paged, we quickly got in line and prepped our little guys for their big photo opportunity with the big man himself. The pager system worked very well, and once we were in the real line for Santa, it went very quickly. Waiting only 10 minutes or so, our little ones had their big photo opportunity! Much to our surprise our little ones didn’t have any meltdown, or fits or baby rage. When we were ready to setup on the photo stage, the photographers gave us quick instructions. They wanted to take their professional photos then they would let us take our with our own camera. They even snapped a few photos of the entire family with our own camera! Once we were done, we were given a photo pass and we could checkout all the pictures that were taken at the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons at the Guest Services desk or at home online. We opted for the second voice as the line was pretty crazy. You don’t have to purchase their photos and the ones we snapped with our camera actually came out just as good as the professional shots.
The Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons is quite a bit more than just pictures with Santa! It seemed like at every turn there was live entertainment or something to stop and watch. We saw some great Nutcracker stilt walkers, living statues and some great stage entertainment! Right in front of the picture area, there is a fairly large stage that had a constant stream of audience participation with hula hoop contests, dance contests, and even a few local dance studios and groups that put on a great show! No matter where we turned, there were live musicians and even one of the greets caroling groups I have ever heard!
With FREE parking and FREE pictures with Santa, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to check out the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons. While there is certainly no pressure to purchase anything while at the Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons, little things can really add up. A great idea would be to bring your own bottled water and snacks to save some cash.
Downtown Disney Festival of Seasons Details:
|Date(s):||11/14 – 12/29||Time(s):||Varies|
|Address:||Downtown Disney Orlando|
|Estimated Cost For A Family of 4:||FREE|