Hanukkah (Chanukah) is a Jewish holiday that will begin this year on this evening and end on December 18th. Celebrating the holiday through lights, tradition, food, candle lighting, blessings and stories/music are part of the celebrations. In our home, we enjoy incorporating Disney magic in any form into most of our holidays, and Hanukkah is one of them. In Walt Disney World, you can also find Hanukkah being celebrated. Let’s count the EIGHT ways we can celebrate Hanukkah with Disney themes for all EIGHT days!
Day One: The Meaning of Hanukkah
If you are interested in learning about the holiday itself, you can read about it here.
Day Two: Part One - In the Parks
If you are in the parks in Florida over the holiday season and want to celebrate Hanukkah, you can find it at the International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot. Located between France and Morocco in the World Showcase, the L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen will serve you up traditional Hanukkah foods of Sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts and latkes) as well as some other non-traditional Hanukkah snacks such as cookies (for the Holiday Cookie Stroll) and sandwiches as well as beer and cocktails for a Disney spin on the holiday! I'm hoping next year they will have Disney wrapped chocolate coins (Hanukkah gelt), which are my favorites!
Day Three: Park Two - In the Parks
I love watching previous Disney live retellings of the story of Hanukkah in the parks. We look forward to them next year!
Day Four: Shopping
Shopping in the parks and online, you can find lots of merchandise such as dreidel salt and peppers shakers, throw blankets and kitchen trays. In the parks, you can find Hanukkah merchandise at Ye Old Christmas Shop in the Magic Kingdom and online at shopDisney. Our Disney tradition each year is to purchase a new Hanukkah-themed pin as our special gift. This year, the pin is Winnie the Pooh-themed! What I find Disney misses the mark on is a lack of Hanukkah children's story books on the shelves (I only own one, which is Pooh-themed) and would love for the company to publish more young children's books with characters celebrating the holiday.
Day Five: Crafts at Home
Disney helps us celebrate with creating at-home arts and crafts. This menorah centerpiece can be downloaded to create a beautiful table decoration. Disney also provides the template for a great decoration, a spinning dreidel. Probably not the most ideal one to play the dreidel game, but it's still a great craft from the Disney Family activity site. They even provide instructions on how to play the game!
Day Five: Disney Streaming
Watching Disney+ Hanukkah episodes may not be as plentiful as Christmas ones, but it is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday. Elena of Avalor, Festival of Lights (Season 3, Episode 17) can be found seasonally (keep checking, hopefully it will air this season!). On Hulu, you may find Nina’s World, Nina’s Hanukkah Adventure (Season 1, Episode 27). Puppy Dog Tails on Disney+ has an episode entitled “The Latke Kurfuffle,” (Season 1, Episode 20). Full Court Miracle and Even Stevens (Heck of a Hanukkah) are also good movies and shows to find on Disney+ that are more Hanukkah-themed.
Day Six: Support Cast Members
The DIS Unplugged supports recently furloughed and terminated cast members by advertising their small businesses. How’s about supporting Jenna Rodriguez if you are on property or a local Floridian for the holiday?She can bake you up blue and white cookies, and perhaps specialty ones for the holiday. Or, how about supporting Threadful of Magic for a specialty item? You could also request a Disney Hanukkah face mask from State of Sunshine (doesn’t hurt to ask and see if they can create one!).
Day Seven: Disney in the Kitchen
Hanukkah in the kitchen would be great fun when adding Disney to the décor. Traditionally, jelly filled doughnuts or latkes are made in the kitchen (or bought). How’s about following Disney’s official recipe? What may be too challenging for me (Deni – help on this one!) is Disney’s Mickey Mouse Shaped Beignets filled with jelly. They'd be the perfect Sufganiyot treat, if you dare try!
Day Eight: Family
Blessings, happiness, safety, health and family are what holiday time is all about this year. No matter where you are in the world, celebrating your holiday with a splash of Disney and our community together is what is most important as we forge into the New Year ahead. Happy Holidays to all of you!