It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at least according to that ubiquitous song) and there’s no holiday season quite like a Disneyland holiday. In the past, I’ve experienced Disneyland it all its seasonal splendor during Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Fourth of July. But until last week, I’d never visited the Happiest Place On Earth during Christmas time, and as an Orlando resident I was blown away by the quantity and quality of seasonal celebrations. As we enter the final weeks of the peak holiday season, here’s my personal top five favorite aspects of Disneyland’s 2013 special offerings to distract you from the epic E-ticket queues.
Seasonal Sweets and Treats
Christmas is no time to go to Disneyland on a diet, as I discovered an insatiable need to sample the limited-time seasonal snacks offered and nearly every quick-service counter.
Disney California Adventure is decked out for the holidays. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)
It may not have the six decades of cherished Christmas traditions of its older sibling across the Disneyland Resort esplanade, but don’t dismiss the Disney California Adventure holiday celebrations. The park has made great strides since its Cars Land-fueled rebirth last summer, and this year’s enhanced seasonal offerings are no exception. Once you’ve finished checking out my five favorite Disneyland holiday additions, tackle these top picks among DCA’s Christmas presents.
Buena Vista Street Decor and Shows
As soon as you step through Disney California Adventure’s Art Deco gates into the 1920′s era Buena Vista Street, you’ll notice the seasonal spirit in the shop windows. DCA has been criticized for redecorating the original Imagineer-designed window dispays with non-period merchandise, but the retail corridor’s holiday treatments for 2013 represent a return to form.
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One of the most popular holiday offerings in Disneyland is A Christmas Fantasy Parade. The parade has been around since 1994, and most of my favorite characters (Scrooge McDuck, Roger Rabbit, and Mulan) have been removed, but overall it’s still a great parade. Enjoy this full HD recording.
Heading over to Disney California Adventure, one of the highlights of the holiday celebrations in that park is the tree lighting ceremony on Buena Vista Street. The small show features the Citizens of Buena Vista Street, Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers, Mickey, and Pluto.
Remember in early 2013 how for Limited Time Magic Disney asked Disney Parks Blog readers to vote on a design to use for 2014 merchandise. Well, for this week’s Limited Time Magic event, (and this is the final one for the year), guests will now have the chance to be among the first to purchase art work with the design that was chosen.
Guests will find this new design adorning an assortment of keepsakes, including a mug, T-shirt, ladies tee, a watch, and a D-Tech iPhone case.
At Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, the merchandise will be found at the World of Disney in Downtown Disney.
This merchandise will be available for purchase starting on December 22 until quantities run out!
Part 3 of a 3-part special edition of Ask Jim Hill! Join Len Testa and Jim Hill as they discuss various pieces of Disney theme park memorabilia. In this episode, Len and Jim take a look at memorabilia and share stories about Fantasmic!, Disney Pogs, Videopolis, and more! Enjoy this mega-sized 17 minute episode!
Tomorrow we will be recording a new batch of Ask Jim Hill episodes! Submit your questions to AskJimHill@TouringPlans.com and the guys will answer them on YouTube!
If you were at Disneyland Resort this last weekend you probably saw a lot of this. Crowds. This particular picture was taken during the 5:30 PM performance of A Christmas Fantasy Parade. The entire area of the park from the hub up to town square was gridlocked with people coming and going in every direction. This is what a 10 out of 10 on the Crowd Calendar looks like.
During the downtime, Disney says that the Tomorrowland lagoon will be drained and the coral rockwork will be made more colorful. The subs, which were (in their original non-Nemo incarnation) added in 1959 as one of Disneyland’s first E-ticket attractions, have limited carrying capacity and are notoriously expensive to maintain. Here’s hoping that the submarines do return by the end of next year, and that this isn’t the first step towards the attraction fading into Yesterland.
Part 2 of a 3-part special edition of Ask Jim Hill! Join Len Testa and Jim Hill as they discuss various pieces of Disney theme park memorabilia. In this episode, Len Testa and Jim Hill take a look at memorabilia and share stories about from Main Street Electrical Parade and Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Play It!
For this week’s Limited Time Magic event at Walt Disney World, Disney is once again offering special tours. During this tour, called A Walk in the Park, guests will be able to partake in a walk through the Magic Kingdom with none other than the Vice President of the Magic Kingdom himself, Phil Holmes.
This unique tour is scheduled for:
Monday, December 9
Tuesday, December 10
Wednesday, December 11
Wednesday, December 18
Friday, December 20
Check in will begin at 7 a.m. and the tour will begin at 7:45 a.m. The tour is scheduled to last one hour and will have attendees learning about how the park still gains it’s inspiration from Walt Disney. There will be 25 guests selected each day.