With Disney's Hollywood Studios in the middle of a rather epic transition, Flurry of Fun has it once again feeling like the place to be.
Anyone who has ever experienced Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom park can attest to that ticketed event's rather overwhelming size and scope; even the most eager attendee risks making themselves rather unmerry, trying to get to everything that's on offer—the shows, the two parades, not to mention navigating all the lines and waits for the snacks that come included with admission.
Want to get into the festive spirit, but also very much okay not turning it into a whole thing? That's easy—over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, now undergoing a multi-year transition (Star Wars is coming!), there's a much easier, much more relaxed Christmas party going on, and you don't need a special ticket to get in, either.
Called Flurry of Fun, the special event, which runs now through December 31, is, in stark contrast to that other event, an entirely mellow—well, as mellow as a Disney park can be—experience, but with plenty to offer on the entertainment and decoration front, not to mention plenty of seasonal food and drink.
We took a spin around Hollywood Studios the other evening in order to experience the event, and also to get a closer look at the holiday treats—here's what you need to know.
Yes, there's really snow. Well, okay, it's soap bubbles, but they really do create a mood—as you stroll down a beautifully-decorated Sunset Boulevard, that lively avenue running right through the heart of the park, it does truly feel like you're in some kind of winter wonderland, or as close as you can get to it along a street that looks like Ye Olde Hollywood, but is actually in Central Florida.
The new projections on the Tower of Terror are, well, kind of magical. A series of shows rotating non-stop throughout the evening use the tower as their canvas—there's Mickey and Minnie getting nostalgic about Christmas past, characters from Toy Story guessing what toys will be joining them this Christmas, Olaf being Olaf (plus, northern lights!) and the Swedish Chef (you know, from The Muppets) turning the whole thing into a gingerbread house, which is kind of the best. (Don't worry, the ride will still function as normal.)
There's an Olaf Sundae. A snowman made from ice cream, resting on top of a jelly doughnut—what's not to like? You can get it, along with a more classic apple and cranberry cobbler (served warm!), at the Hollywood Scoops shop; part of the fun of these events is finding all the seasonal foods, and Flurry of Fun is definitely not skimping on the good stuff. From classic German stollen—here served up as one-and-done, sugar-frosted bites at the park pretzel carts—to the simple but very cool gingerbread men on sticks, to flavored hot cocoa flights at Fairfax Fare, you won't go away feeling like they skimped on the holiday edibles. Unlike at Mickey's party over at the Kingdom, you'll have to pay—if you saw the lines people wait in just to get a cookie and some cocoa, you'd probably pay double to have someone come bring it to you. At least we would.
They even have a "Frozen" drink for grownups. Frozen (get it?) blue raspberry + Svedka vodka + glow cube. Sound fun? Kind of? They're selling it at a few spots around the park; that and a Peppermint White Russian, and a slightly less insane Winterberry Cooler—a vodka cranberry, zipped up with Chambord.
Book tickets to the special dessert party that gives you front row seats to the biggest event of the night. A predecessor of the big party, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! is the biggest happening of the night, capping off your park day with another projection show (this time, the Chinese Theater is the screen) and, naturally, a ton of fireworks. Guests who want to do it up right are able to reserve seating at the Holiday Dessert Party; not only will this place you in a prime location to see this most impressive show, there will also be, ahem, a veritable flurry of sweets, not to mention wine, beer and more kid-friendly drinks, along with a visit from a VIP Disney Character. Slightly less of a big deal, but also a great deal of fun, is the Minnie's Holiday Dine event at Hollywood & Vine restaurant, another bookable event featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Santa Goofy, all dolled up for the holidays.
But wait, there's more! A gigantic Christmas tree at Echo Lake, video billboards (one showing that much-talked-about Frozen short they were running at screenings of Coco, up until this week), plus a Santa meet-and-greet—the park may be running at half mast while we wait for Star Wars and more Toy Story fun to come, but when it comes to throwing a party, Hollywood Studios shows it still knows how to fire on all cylinders. Ready to go see for yourself? Get all of the details, here.