Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pop Goes Chanukah! By: @tperlmutter

Pop Window 2009

When I sat down to do this post I really set out to think just what it is that I feel connects Disney and Chanukah for me.  What I keep coming back to is one thing - Disney’s Pop Century Resort.  Now I’m sure you’re thinking right now, “Yes I too get that Chanukah feeling when I visit Pop Century.”  Okay... maybe not.  However, the connection is there for me.  For the past few years, my wife, Cheryl, and I have been spent a long weekend at Pop during the Reunion event put on by the WDW Today podcast and MEI-Mouse Fan Travel.  And since it occurs in December, it has either been during or close to Chanukah.  

If you’re not familiar, the rooms at Pop have external doors, meaning they open to the outside rather than an indoor hallway.  Each room also has a single window next to the door.  It is very common for people staying at the resort to decorate their windows and sometimes doors as well.  Each time we’ve stayed at Pop in December, because it’s the holiday season, we’ve decorated our window to with many Chanukah decorations, and even some Disney ones.

Here’s where things get fun.  While staying in 2009, back when Twitter was fairly new to the Disney community, I saw a tweet.  It was from @LoriLAbramson.  She wondering where in Walt Disney World she could find some decent Chanukah decorations to see with her daughter.  I made a few suggestions, which I’ll get to in a moment, but I also suggested she just stop by our room at Pop to see some.  I sent her a direct message with the info.  And now, 2 years later, Lori, Cheryl and I are still great friends.

Some other places you can now always find a Chanukahiah (Hanukkah Menorah) at WDW is behind every hotel check in counter.  I can assure you however, that they never use these Menorahs, as I’ve asked at several desks if I can say the prayer and light the candles and always been told, “No.”   There’s a Star of David and a Dreidel formed out of lights that can always be found on the Streets of America during the Osborne Festival of Lights.  And each year the American Adventure Pavilion hosts an exhibit of Menorahs and Dreidels.

In 2010, Reunion had scheduled a night for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  So to offer an alternative event for those not going, Cheryl and I held a Chanukah Party in Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge.  We brought Latkes (potato pancakes) and I taught folks how to spin Dreidels and they all played for m&m candies.  What happened next was both surprising , surreal, and unexpected.  The party was abruptly paused as many in attendance for Dreidel spinning got up and moved over to a Wishes Cruise boat.  This was completely unplanned.  The family that had originally purchased the cruise didn’t show up, and the driver still had to take the boat out as planned.  

And finally there is the now infamous Piglet debate.  For many years the Winnie the Pooh characters have been featured on items put out by Disney to celebrate Chanukah.  Unlike the big mugs and plates found in various Disney shop that I’m fairly certain have zilch to do with Chanukah.  A few years ago Piglet was always included, but now he’s nowhere to be found on these items.  You see, Piglet is a pig.  Well okay... not really, he’s a cartoon character that happens to be a talking stuffed animal pig.  In other words he’s twice removed from an actual pig - three times if you separate out the talking part.  However someone has it in their head that since Piglet is a pig (again... not so much) he’s not Kosher and therefore should not be depicted on a Jewish item.

As you can see there are a number of things that I feel connect Disney and Chanukah for me.  What about you?  Are you Jewish?  Have you celebrated Chanukah at WDW?  Would you like to?  50 ways to spin a dreidel...

Hanukkah Cruise Fireworks

Hanukkah Cruise

Lori and Todd

Osborne Lights

Pop Window 2010

Pop Window 2011


Roaring Fork Hanukkah Party

Roaring Fork Hanukkah Party

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to Todd, Disney & Hanukkah will forever be synonymous. I can't imagine celebrating this holiday without a trip down to Orlando.

    While the Best Hanukkah Cruise EVER, truly was just that, I think the greatest Hanukkah miracle for me was gaining you & Cheryl as friends.


Welcome to the Dragyn's Lair!