There and Back Again: A Land and Sea Disney Christmas Tale! *DECEMBER TRIP - UPDATED 2/18*

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by AMusicLifeForMe, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    - I haven’t seen inside those rooms. So, I was easily tempted. I just knew I didn’t want so much space when I knew I wouldn’t be in the room much anyways.

    - I have been on the safari several times when I have seen them roaring and playing. Usually around sunset or early evening.

    - I was happy I was able to get my dental work done on the first night of the trip instead of being worried about it for 2 weeks before I got home.
     
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  2. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: An Afternoon In EPCOT!

    Welcome to Day 2 of my trip to Walt Disney World!

    I would spend the morning driving around Orlando, and I would arrive at EPCOT in the afternoon. I was really looking forward to this day in EPCOT.

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    After parking and walking to the gate, I would arrive inside EPCOT.

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    I always enjoy walking past this fountain!

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    The EPCOT Christmas Tree!

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    Since I had a trip planning blunder the previous day, I was anxious to get to the American Adventure and hear my first Voices of Liberty Dickens Caroler sets of this trip!

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    I really like how the American Adventure is decorated for Christmas!

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    These gingerbread displays are awesome!

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    During the Festival of the Holidays, the Voices of Liberty change their music sets to sing our favorite Christmas Carols and other songs from other holidays during this season.

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    After a great afternoon of listening to the Voices of Liberty, I would walk around World Showcase.

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    I was mostly trying to kill some time before meeting @Lesley Wake for dinner.

    Eventually, I would make my way to the Japan Pavilion to meet her.

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    Lesley had set up for us to eat at Tokyo Dining with the Candlelight Processional Dining Package. This would be my first time eating at this restaurant, and I was excited to give it a try.

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    The menu looks really nice.

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    The Dining Package includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and a soft drink.

    For my appetizer, I would get the Spicy Calamari Tempura. I would really enjoy this dish. I like spicy food. It was definitely nice and crunchy. However, it was a lot of food for an appetizer. I was practically full by the time I was finished eating my appetizer, and I still had my entree and dessert coming.

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    Lesley and I had a window seat with a great view of EPCOT.

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    For my entree, I would get the Grilled Miso-Yaki Salmon with a side of white rice. The salmon was good. However, it wasn’t the best salmon I have ever had. I enjoyed the sauce that the salmon came with. The presentation was nice. There was just something off about this dish, and I couldn’t really figure out what it was.

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    We had an interesting view of the construction for the new Japan Restaurant from our window.

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    As we were eating, Lesley and I would watch as the Candlelight Processional line got longer and longer for our scheduled performance. So, we would leave dinner early, get our dessert to go, and go get in line for a show that I was really excited to see!

    My thoughts of Tokyo Dining…I won’t eat at this restaurant again. Definitely not worth it to eat at for the Candlelight Processional Dining Package, and I wouldn’t pay out of pocket to eat at this restaurant. If you want to eat at a restaurant in Japan, I would go to Teppan Edo or Katsura Grill (quick service).

    More in my next post!
     
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  4. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    VIDEOS: Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers!

    The Voices of Liberty during this time of the year turn into the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers where they sing some of our favorite Christmas Carols and songs from other Holidays.

    Here are many videos of the Voices of Liberty from this day.

    Make sure you watch my videos in HD.

    Voices of Liberty - “The First Noel!”

    *MUST WATCH!*

    One of my favorite Christmas songs, and this is probably my favorite Christmas song that the Voices of Liberty sing!



    Voices of Liberty - “O Come All Ye’ Faithful!”

    *MUST WATCH!*

    Another favorite song that the Voices of Liberty sing.



    Voices of Liberty - “French Chorale of Praise!”

    I really enjoy this song a lot!



    I hope that you enjoyed the videos!

    More in my next post!
     
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  5. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    VIDEOS: Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers!

    The Voices of Liberty during this time of the year turn into the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers where they sing some of our favorite Christmas Carols and songs from other Holidays.

    Here are many videos of the Voices of Liberty from this day.

    Make sure you watch my videos in HD.

    Voices of Liberty - “The Christmas Song!”



    Voices of Liberty - “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer!”



    Voices of Liberty - “Jingle Bells!”



    I hope that you enjoyed the videos!

    More in my next post!
     
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  6. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Candlelight Processional With John Stamos!

    Lesley and I would get in line and this is what the Dining Package line looked like with about 45-60 minutes before showtime.

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    We had a ticket to the 6:45 p.m. show.

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    We would finally get let into the theater, and this is where I would finally have the opportunity to eat my dessert from Tokyo Dining. I would get the Ginger Mousse Cake. It was ok. I wouldn’t get it again.

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    Lesley and I would have great seats for the Candlelight Processional!

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    @Lesley Wake and I getting ready for the show!

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    The Candlelight Processional is a show where there is a live orchestra, choir, and a special guest narrator. The special guest narrator reads the Christmas Story and the orchestra and choir perform some of our favorite Christmas Carols in-between readings from the special guest narrator.

    This evenings special guest narrator was John Stamos!!! As a Full House fan growing up, I was very excited to see him in person!

    The Candlelight Processional would finally begin!

    Here are some pictures of the show:

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    JOHN STAMOS!!!!

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    The Herald Trumpets are one of my favorite parts of the Candlelight Processional!

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    John Stamos did an awesome job at reading the Candlelight Processional! Definitely one of my favorite narrators that I have ever experienced. What was really nice is that after the show, John Stamos walked down the stage and was supposed to walk straight backstage. There was someone that I am guessing had a case of down syndrome yell out his name as he was walking. John Stamos stopped in his tracks, walked over to the person in the front row that yelled his name, and gave him a hug. This happened right in front of Lesley and I, and it was a great thing to witness.

    This performance of the Candlelight Processional was awesome, and I was looking forward to experiencing this show 2 more times on this vacation.

    Stay tuned for my Candlelight Processional Highlight Video that will be posted later in this Trip Report.

    After the show, Lesley and I had a fastness for Frozen Ever After. So, we made our way to Norway!

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    The EPCOT Christmas Tree with the lights on!

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    More Christmas decorations in EPCOT.

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    We would then have a fastpass for Spaceship Earth. So, it was time to go back in time and experience some history!

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    Lesley and I would then go our separate ways for the evening.

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    I would leave EPCOT and head towards my next adventure for the evening!

    Stay tuned for more updates from my Walt Disney World adventure!
     
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  7. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    You forgot that I showed up for one of the Dickens Caroler sets! And I totally didn’t realize you had a view of the construction!

    Oh and Spaceship Earth-the hilarious end photos! I’ll have to include that in my TR!
     
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  8. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    That is true that you did. I can't remember everything LOL! :D

    The end photo on Spaceship Earth was the best!!! Make sure all of you follow Lesley's Trip Report!
     
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  9. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Love the little Mickeys on top!

    Good to know! I won't waste time and tummy space there.

    WOWZA

    Ahhh that's why...

    What a cool thing to see!

    Sounds like a great day at Epcot. Glad you and @Lesley Wake had a good time together! It's so cool to see how the boards bring people together in real life, and not just on the internet.
     
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  10. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    I knew they did this, but somehow have never stopped in to see it!! So cool!

    I ADORE John Stamos!!!! The first time I ever saw the CP with my Mom we had John Stamos and he was just incredible. My Mom screamed out, "We love you, Uncle Jesse!" and he replied, "Love you, too." :) He also performed with the band for part of it, which was awesome!
     
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  11. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    - I thought the little Mickey was a great touch to the top of the Washington Monument! :)

    - I find the price to be about the same for Tokyo Dining and Teppan Edo. At Teppan Edo, I have enjoyed the food a lot more, and you also get a show on top of that.

    - John Stamos might be a popular person. :D

    - This website has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible friends, and I am grateful to be apart of this great Disney community. :)

    - You should totally stop in there during the Festival of Holidays to see the display and the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers if you are ever there for the Festival of Holidays again. :)

    - That is awesome!!! I would have loved to see him perform in the band. It was just really cool to see him in person.
     
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  12. JenMac10

    JenMac10 Earning My Ears

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    Just now reading your trip report. Loving it! Cannot wait to read more.
     
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  13. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for joining in! :)
     
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  14. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: California Grill For Dessert And Fireworks!

    After a nice evening in EPCOT, I would make my way back to my rental car.

    I would then make a drive to the Contemporary, because I had reservations at California Grill!

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    I would make it to the resort with plenty of time to check-in.

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    My plan for this evening at California Grill was to only eat dessert and watch Holiday Wishes from the observation deck.

    Here is the dessert menu:

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    I had a nice table setting.

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    The dessert I would order was the Pear Creme Brûlée. This is probably my favorite dessert at Walt Disney World. I’m not that big of a fan of pears, but I somehow enjoy them with this dessert.

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    My waiter was awesome as well. I had a “blue name tag” Cast Member. He was also from the area that I am currently living in. So, it was nice to share stories and reminisce a little bit with him since he hasn’t lived where I currently lived for a few years.

    Eventually, I would finish my dessert and make my way to the observation deck. It’s an absolutely beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon from the California Grill.

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    Holiday Wishes is absolutely breathtaking from this vantage point!

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    Ending my evening at the California Grill was absolutely perfect!

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    The Contemporary Christmas Tree is beautiful!

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    I would then make my way to the Boardwalk, because Lesley had some items for me that I needed to pick up.

    When I got to the Boardwalk, I would take a minute and look at the Christmas Gingerbread display.

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    I would pick up the items from Lesley, and I would make my way out of the Boardwalk.

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    It was time to head back to All-Star Music to rest for the evening.

    More in my next post!
     
  15. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    VIDEO: Holiday Wishes Finale From California Grill (Repost)!

    Here is a repost from my November part of this Trip Report.

    This is a video of the Holiday Wishes Finale from California Grill. This view is absolutely breathtaking for this show!

    Make sure you watch my video in HD!

    California Grill - Holiday Wishes - Finale!



    I hope that you enjoyed the video!

    Stay tuned for more updates from my Walt Disney World adventure!
     
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  16. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    I've never seen this one but it looks awesome!! Hopefully when we're there at Christmas next (who knows when that will be) we'll have plenty of time to resort hop and check out all the displays.
     
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  17. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Holiday Wishes is my favorite!! I hope they don't ruin it when they change up the format this year. The view from California Grill is incredible!
     
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  18. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    You should totally plan to resort hop! That is part of the fun of visiting at Christmas. Most of the resorts decorate really well.

    What do you mean by change up the format? I haven't heard any rumor of Holiday Wishes going away.
     
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  19. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    A friend of mine on the DIS mentioned they were changing up the HalloWishes and Holiday Wishes shows to include more projections, etc. I was shocked when I heard it, too!! Maybe she's wrong and they will leave those shows alone awhile longer :)
     
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  20. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    Day 3: EPCOT And Candlelight Processional With Neil Patrick Harris!

    Hello everyone and welcome to day 3 of my Walt Disney World adventure!

    My day would start off-property, but as I was driving past Blizzard Beach, I noticed some work being done on one of the slides.

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    After a great morning/early afternoon around Orlando, I would stop at my favorite smoothie place, Jamba Juice. This is located right off property in a shopping center.

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    I would make my way to EPCOT, park int he parking lot, and take the tram to the front entrance.

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    I would eventually make it inside of EPCOT to this view of Spaceship Earth!

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    Donald and Goofy topiaries for Festival of Holidays!

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    It was time to meet @Lesley Wake for another Candlelight Processional Dining Package that she set up for us. This time we were having lunch at Les Chefs de France. Last time I ate here, I wasn’t a big fan of it. Would my opinion change?

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    Here is the menu:

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    The Dining Package includes an appetizer, entree, dessert, and soft drink.

    The appetizer that I got was the lobster bisque. Definitely a strong bisque, but it was really good. It took me a little longer to finish unlike most soups or other lobster bisque’s I have had before due to how strong it was.

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    For my entree, I would order the steak frites. Basically steak and fries. I thought the fries were really good. I found the steak to be ok, but I thought the dish was good overall. I’m very particular about steak when I do order it.

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    For my dessert, I would order the creme brulee. Now, if there is a dessert I’m very particular about, it is a creme brûlée. I’m just not a basketball player that can make one (please tell me other people understand this reference :D ). The first time I received this, my creme brûlée was warm and runny underneath the crunchy aspect of it. I would actually send that one back and the waiter would bring a new one. This one was a little colder and not as runny, but I wasn’t going to be “that guy” who is a problem. So, I was able to manage through this creme brulee.

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    The restaurant definitely improved in my mind. I also don’t think I will be running back to go here, but I would definitely eat here again. I would just want to try some other places first.

    Lesley and I would then split up for a little bit. I would make my way to my favorite location in EPCOT. That is to sit around the red circle and listen to the Voices of Liberty.

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    In between one of the performances, Lesley and I would join together again and get in line for the Candlelight Processional. We would then trade-off saving our spots as I would go listen to a Voices of Liberty set and Lesley would go and experience more of Festival of the Holidays.

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    We would eventually make our way into the America Gardens Theater for tonight’s performance of the Candlelight Processional.

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    It was eventually a good thing that we waited in line. That is because we got a spot under the overhang. Eventually, a large rainstorm would role through. It was amusing to watch, but Lesley and I were really happy to be dry.

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    It was now time for the Candlelight Processional with tonights special guest narrator, Neil Patrick Harris!!!

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    It’s NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!!

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    Here are more pictures of the show:

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    Due to the rain storm this evening, the herald trumpeters were positioned to the left of the orchestra instead of on the sides of the theater.

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    This performance of the Candlelight Processional was very good. It was really cool to see what is arguably the most popular Candlelight Processional narrator, Neil Patrick Harris, read the Christmas Story. However, I think I prefer Jodi Benson and John Stamos a little more as my favorite Candlelight Processional Narrators.

    After the show, I would say farewell to Lesley for the evening and make my way out of EPCOT.

    I would come across the EPCOT Christmas Tree.

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    It was time to leave EPCOT and make my way to my next destination.

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    More in my next post!
     
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  21. AMusicLifeForMe

    AMusicLifeForMe DIS Veteran

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    VIDEO: Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers - “God Rest Ye’ Merry Gentlemen/Sweet Little Jesus Boy!”

    The Voices of Liberty during this time of the year turn into the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers where they sing some of our favorite Christmas Carols and songs from other Holidays.

    Make sure you watch my videos in HD.

    Voices of Liberty - “God Rest Ye’ Merry Gentlemen/Sweet Little Jesus Boy!”

    Here is a video of the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers performing one of their many songs during this season.



    I hope that you enjoyed the video!

    Stay tuned for more updates from my Walt Disney World adventure!
     
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