NEW MUSICAL – THE BEST THING ABOUT CHRISTMAS – DEBUTS DECEMBER 10-18 – Nashville-based songwriter Derek Hinckley brings new musical to Salt Lake City-
SALT LAKE CITY – Wide-eyed and full of big dreams, talent, and passion, Derek Hinckley moved to Nashville with dreams of becoming a hit songwriter. Fast forward 13 years and Derek has fulfilled many of his goals, including becoming a prolific songwriter and performer in a band with his brothers – The Hinckley Brothers. But beginning in 2018, Hinckley decided to pursue another dream: writing and staging a full-fledged musical production. Hinckley has partnered with talented Director Dana Durbano Pearson to bring to audiences, for the first time ever, “The Best Thing About Christmas,” on stage at the Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center in Taylorsville.
The musical premieres Friday, December 10 and runs through Saturday, December 18. The show runs at 7:30 each evening (except Sunday) with a matinee at 4 PM each Saturday of the run. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1 at myarttix.org.
The story, inspired by many of Hinckley’s personal experiences, features an ensemble cast of 12 performers led by Hinckley starring as “Dylan.” Dylan moves his family to Nashville with dreams of people singing his songs by heart, but life takes a tragic turn one December destroying his love of Christmas. Needing just one hit to pull him from the brink, he decides to write a musical script in a last-ditch effort to save his dreams and matter to someone.
Dylan discovers that his little girl Sadie has an intuitive connection to Heaven and a familiar passion for music just like him. With a wisdom beyond her years, and help from a “special angel”, Dylan re-discovers a love for Christmas and peace concerning the past. With God’s grace, support from an amazing wife and family, and a gritty never give-up attitude, he realizes that his most important dreams are right in his own living room.
“It truly is a dream come true to premiere ‘The Best Thing about Christmas’ for audiences in Utah,” said Hinckley. “We feel the story and songs will resonate with audiences from young to old and help spread a timely message of hope, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas to people everywhere.”
Walt Disney World Resort is comprised of four separate theme parks, plus two water parks and Disney Springs, which is a shopping, dining and entertainment district. With so much ground to cover, I turned to my friends at Get Away Today for some of the must-do experiences during the holidays at Walt Disney World, which take place November 8, 2019 – January 5, 2020.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort
Today I’ll share some highlights of the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort so you can make your family vacation plans. And speaking of plans, when you book any 2-Night and longer vacation package to Walt Disney World with Get Away Today, you’re eligible for complimentary concierge services!
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The overall ambiance at all Walt Disney World kingdoms is full of holiday magic. Seasonal decor, treats and limited-time attractions delight guests of all ages. Here’s a look at some of the holiday experiences you will find in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings: New in 2019, this festive celebration features projections, lights and music. After dark, every ten minutes or so, the Tree of Life ceremony dazzles guests with scenes and music inspired by The Lion King.
Discovery Island: Arctic creatures can be spotted on Discovery Island in the form of life-sized puppets. When night falls, luminaries and lanterns light up the sky.
Donald’s Dino Bash: Participate in the festive party hosted by Donald in DinoLand U.S.A..
Village of Harambe: Celebrate the holidays with influence from African culture.
Christmas at Pongu Pongu: Pandora – The World of Avatar celebrates Christmas with Earth-inspired decor mixed in with their own take on the holidays.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Magic Kingdom
If you’d like to celebrate wintertime with everyone’s favorite dynamic duo, head to Magic Kingdom for a party and fireworks show hosted by Mickey and Minnie.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This separately-ticketed Walt Disney World event is hosted select nights November 8 – December 22, 2019. Cinderella’s Castle shines with thousands of twinkle lights, and Santa is known to make an appearance. Holiday-themed overlays, Character meet and greet opportunities and more fun is available during this holiday party.
Attractions open during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party:
Frontierland – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain
Fantasyland – Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world,” Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Liberty Square – Haunted Mansion
Tomorrowland – Space Mountain
Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show: In the midst of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is Minnie’s fireworks show. Starting around 9:30pm, there is only the one showing, and is best viewed from the north end of Main Street, U.S.A..
Mickey’s Once Upon a Time Christmas Parade: Catch the Kringle Crew, festive floats, Disney Characters in their holiday attire and a toy soldier marching band during the parade.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Epcot
To celebrate cultures from around the world, be sure to visit Epcot at Walt Disney World. Known for food and experiences inspired by lands near and far, Epcot offers a number of wonderful wintertime attractions.
International Festival of the Holidays: For live productions, holiday-themed food from various cultures and more, be sure to experience this seasonal festival in Epcot.
Candlelight Processional: From late November through the end of December, you can reserve a seat at Walt Disney World’s Candlelight Processional. Hosted on select nights by a celebrity guest, Candlelight is a retelling of the biblical Christmas story.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Be sure to include a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for holiday celebrations. Decked out with limited-time decor and offering seasonal menu items, there’s seemingly no end to the holiday fun.
Jingle Bell, Jingle JAM: Iconic Disney moments are highlighted during this nighttime spectacular. Projections, lights, music and snow will wow you along with scenes from classic holiday movies including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Pluto’s Christmas Tree and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Sunset Seasons Greetings: Billboards and buildings serve as the backdrop for this holiday projection show on Sunset Boulevard. The Hollywood Tower Hotel practically comes to life as holiday stories are told through imagery and music.
Holidays in Toy Story Land: See your favorite Toy Story characters represented throughout Toy Story Land in their holiday finest. Rex dons reindeer ears, while Hamm is made into a larger-than-life sugar cookie. Toy Story Land rides feature holiday overlays with decor and music that reflect the season.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Complimentary Concierge Service
When you book a 2-Night and longer stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel and include theme park tickets with Get Away Today, you can take advantage of complimentary concierge services. A travel specialist is available to help you make advance FastPass+ and dining reservations. Get Away Today will also help you set up and manage your My Disney Experience account, linking all travel members to the app and ensuring you know how to use it once on your vacation. Additionally, a Get Away Today travel expert will monitor your vacation to ensure you get the best price; if additional discounts come up after you’ve already booked, they will make price adjustments for you.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – Book Now and Save
As mentioned, you’re never penalized for booking early with Get Away Today. Plus, their services are completely free! That means you can get quotes and book your vacation with no additional costs or fees. Find Walt Disney World Resort vacations at www.getawaytoday.com, or call 855-GET-AWAY to speak directly to an agent. When you book with Get Away Today, be sure to let them know My Book a Day sent you!