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Disneyland Resort Photo Trip Report, January 2015 - including "Frozen Fun" and "Disney Viva Navidad"
DisneyDan  Friday, January 9, 2015 7:13:03 PM
Hello everyone,

Last weekend we were in Disneyland to see the end of their holiday offerings and the start of Frozen Fun.

This post is photo heavy so be warned if you have a slow connection speed!

Let’s start with Disneyland Park, and work our way around the lands.

On Main Street USA we met Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto in their Christmas outfits. In the past Chip and Dale wore them too, but they either were not out, or when they did come out they didn’t have their sweaters on, which was disappointing.

Character fun on Main Street

Character fun on Main Street

Character fun on Main Street

Character fun on Main Street

Character fun on Main Street

Mickey and the Disneyland Band were also out, and Mickey had a cute green addition to his hat for the holidays. The Dickens Yuletide Band played intermittently, and the Dapper Dans were in their festive red colours.

Mickey and the Disneyland Band

Dickens Yuletide Band

Main Street was also decorated for the season with its usual garlands and Christmas trees. Oddly, on our last day, the 4th, the garlands that hang across the street vanished before park opening. That means that with three whole days of the season left (4th, 5th and 6th), Disney had already started to dismantle.

Market House

Christmas in Town Square

Sleeping Beauty Castle was once again Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, and in the evening on two separate nights we watched the Castle lighting ceremony. We also watched the Christmas fireworks from Main Street, but didn’t take photos. I’ll add some additional Main Street photos here, too.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Main Street  Station

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Balloons

Market House

Market House

In Adventureland we rode the Jingle Cruise. In December we had rode the one in Walt Disney World, and I have to say I have mixed feelings. Disneyland’s definitely had more decorations on the attraction, but Magic Kingdom’s had more in the queue area. I felt the jokes were better in the Magic Kingdom too. However, apparently Disneyland had previously had more decorations in their queue, but again removed them before the end of season! Also, more of an observation about the general setup of the attraction, having rode both within a month of each other, I think that Magic Kingdom’s definitely has the advantage of being built later as it’s not quite so “lopsided”. Literally everything on the Disneyland version seemed to be on the right side of the boat… and of course we were on the left. Magic Kingdom’s seemed to be more evened out.

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

Jingle Cruise

In New Orleans Square we took a tour of the Haunted Mansion Holiday and I have to say, I was very impressed this year. The smashing portraits and the animated ceiling in the stretching room are really cool, and the addition of Zero down the interior queue hallway was a nice touch. Unfortunately I didn’t take photos inside as I wanted to enjoy it. Jon has photos, but he hasn’t uploaded them yet! Jack Skellington was also greeting in New Orleans Square, but due to time limitations we could not meet him this time.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

In Critter Country we met Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in their Christmas hats. Eeyore was there also, but he had to switch with Rabbit before we got to meet him, however, he did let us take a few quick snaps of him. In previous years the characters also had scarves here in Critter Country, as well as the hats. I’m not sure why this year they only had hats.

Meeting the 100 Acre Wood friends

Meeting the 100 Acre Wood friends

Meeting the 100 Acre Wood friends

DL Jan 2015 - Character fun in Critter Country

DL Jan 2015 - Character fun in Critter Country

In Frontierland we made multiple visits to the Jingle Jangle Jamboree. In the past we have always loved this place for its festive atmosphere and mellow feel. This year there were no Hillbillies, but instead a comedy troupe. It was a fun show, and featured Mrs Claus.

Jingle Jangle Jamboree Comedy Show

Jingle Jangle Jamboree Comedy Show

Jingle Jangle Jamboree Comedy Show

We managed to meet Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, Santa and Mrs Claus. What’s interesting is that since our last Christmas visit, Mickey and Minnie and Chip and Dale all got new outfits (Mickey and Minnie were last year I believe, and Chip and Dale’s were this year). In years gone by, Santa had also made post-Christmas appearances in a different outfit from his pre-Christmas one. When we went two years ago, Santa made no appearances after Christmas. This year he returned though. In years past the four Country Bears had also appeared at the Jamboree, but not any more. Overall I’d say our experience this year was fun. It was nice to see Santa after Christmas in a different outfit, but I wish that four bears hadn’t been cut at the expense.

Mickey Mouse

Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Character fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

DL Jan 2015 - Fun at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

In Fantasyland we rode the newly upgraded Alice in Wonderland, which was amazing! The new special effects really add something to the attraction, giving it more dimension. I don’t have any photos sadly as it’s very fast paced and dark, and I wanted to really try to take in the new effects. We also took a trip on the merriest cruise that ever sailed - “it’s a small world” Holiday. Inside and out, Disney do an outstanding job with this attraction every year. Everyone who knows me knows that “it’s a small world” isn’t my most favourite attraction, but the holiday overlay is really magical.

DL Jan 2015 - it's a small world holiday

DL Jan 2015 - it's a small world holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

"it's a small world" Holiday

The Storybook Land Canal Boats had just reopened with their new Frozen section, which replaced the Old Mill. I have to say, they did a good job of it, but there is a lot of empty space in the attraction, so I’m not sure why they needed to remove the Old Mill completely. We also stopped by to watch Olaf daydream on top of the old Tangled/Frozen meet ‘n’ greet hut.

Olaf

Olaf

Storybookland Canal Boats

DL Jan 2015 - Arendelle comes to the Storybook Land Canal

Storybookland Canal Boats

DL Jan 2015 - Arendelle comes to the Storybook Land Canal

DL Jan 2015 - Arendelle comes to the Storybook Land Canal

We also met the Fairy Godmother and the Genie in Fantasyland.

The Fairy Godmother

Genie

View from the DL Railroad

We wandered into Toontown briefly, but there is not usually anything going on there, so we wandered out again. In Tomorrowland however we met two characters that we had been waiting a long time to see since we hadn’t visited this past year. Captain America and Thor awaited us at Innoventions! Thor’s meet ‘n’ greet room is very elaborate, but Captain America’s could do with a little more inspiration.

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Captain America

Meeting Thor

Meeting Thor

Meeting Thor

Meeting Thor

Meeting Thor

Meeting Thor

We also met Hiro and Baymax. We had met them in December at Walt Disney World but were of course excited to see them again. What is actually shocking is that we met them on the Saturday and then discovered that they would be leaving to go back to San Fransokyo the following Monday! I’m glad we managed to get them again before they left the parks!

DL Jan 2015 - Meeting Hiro and Baymax

DL Jan 2015 - Meeting Hiro and Baymax

Finally for Disneyland Park, before we head to Disney California Adventure, we watched the wonderful A Christmas Fantasy Parade three times during our trip. This year Max and all seven Dwarfs had been removed, the Christmas Bear was back, and Anna and Elsa were added. Also, Mickey and Minnie were now on the front float, and while it’s a cute scene with the Christmas tree, they lost their unique Christmas parade outfits and now wear the same sweaters you can meet them in on Main Street USA (and are also used at Animal Kingdom in Florida during the holidays for greetings, too).

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

At Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street of course was celebrating the holidays too, but like the numerous things I mentioned in the Disneyland part, for some reason, despite us visiting several days before the end of their season, some offerings had already ended. The Bell Ringers, the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Santa Claus had all already departed!
With that said, we did meet Mickey and friends in their festive clothing, and the Citizens of Buena Vista Street with their holiday additions, too. Although he didn’t have a Christmas costume, we did also meet the super cute Oswald the Lucky Rabbit on Buena Vista Street.

Meeting Oswald

Meeting Oswald

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Character fun on Buena Vista Street

Phi Phi takes a selfie!

Molly and Milly the Messengers

Donna the Dog Lady and Officer Calvin Blue

DL Jan 2015 - Morning on Buena Vista St

Over at Paradise Pier Daisy Duck was greeting in a special holiday outfit - the same one as the Christmas parties at the Magic Kingdom in Florida no less.

Daisy Duck

In Cars Land we met Tow Mater wearing his giant Santa hat, and saw Red who oddly enough was at the Cozy Cone Motel for a change.

Red

Tow Mater

The Paradise Gardens area of Paradise Pier had been decked out with decorations for the Disney Viva Navidad celebrations. Since we were there at the end of the season, Dia de Reyes was also going on, which was virtually the same, except for the addition of some storytellers. I have to say, I was very impressed with the Viva Navidad Street Party. It was very colourful, the musicians were good and it was very lively and energetic. Of course, the absolute best part was the characters from the street party also greeted guests between shows! Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Panchito and Jose were all in special Viva Navidad costumes - yes, even Panchito and Jose had some alterations! Additionally, Goofy was greeting a special outfit too, but he wasn’t in the street party.

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

DL Jan 2015 - Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

DL Jan 2015 - Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

DL Jan 2015 - Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

Dia de Reyes

Dia de Reyes

Dia de Reyes Storytelling

Dia de Reyes Storytelling

In Hollywood Land we met the always adorable Doc McStuffins. We also saw Jake and Sofia out, but due to time constraints we didn’t meet them this trip.

Jake

Doc McStuffins

As part of the new Frozen Fun offerings, you can now meet Anna and Elsa at their new location inside Character Close-Up. You need to get FastPasses to meet them, but this wasn’t really an issue as we went over there early and there didn’t seem to be a rush for them. Also, it should be noted that for some reason, it would seem that earlier in the morning you get both sisters together, but later in the day you might only get one! We went through several times at different points during the day and we did indeed only get one sister! It’s actually amazing what a good job they did of converting that small area where the zoetrope was into a meet ‘n’ greet room.

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Meeting Elsa and Anna

Meeting Anna and Elsa

You can also learn to draw Olaf at the Animation Academy inside the Animation building (next to the Character Close-Up area), but we didn’t do that this time.

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Frozen Fun continues across the street in the courtyard area where Monsters Inc is located. The area has been transformed from its Mad T Party days, and now hosts Freeze the Night. At night the area comes to life with a DJ and lighting effects, and vendors who sell Frozen themed drinks. I have to say, we were a little disappointed with the new line-up here. Dance parties aren’t really our thing anyway, but at least Mad T Party had a live band, the Tweedles and the flamingos. Now it’s pretty much the DJ and then a singer who comes just for the “Let It Go” number. Marshmallow also appears at night, and he was supposed to be a puppet like the flamingos, but after just a couple of days Disney dropped the puppeteers, and now he’s just a statue, bolted to the back wall of Hollywood Land. Overall, it was a little underwhelming. It’s worth noting that the small merchandise kiosk that was there before has now turned into Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Freeze the Night!

Freeze the Night!

Marshmallow

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

The soundstage to the left of Monsters Inc that has sat empty for years (the same one that briefly hosted the dance party featuring Clara Cluck two years ago) has now been transformed into Olaf’s Snow Fest. In here you can literally build a snowman from real snow (and the snow falls from the ceiling, too!), sled down a snow covered hill, grab some tasty Frozen treats and drinks (the white chocolate hot chocolate is divine!) There is also a small merchandise location and a bandstand for a musical group to play (but, like with everything else this trip, they weren’t there whenever we were…). I have to say they did a really excellent job of transforming this space, especially compared to how barren and empty it was before!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Olaf's Snow Fest

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Olaf's Snow Fest

Olaf's Snow Fest

DL Jan 2015 - Frozen Fun!

Of course, the highlight of Olaf’s Snow Fest is being able to meet Olaf himself! They have a bit of a long winded setup to meet him, but it actually works out well. You have to get in line to get a pager, and have to come back to the building once the pager goes off. Lines to get the pager can vary wildly in our experience, but if you go first thing, there is virtually no line. Most people seemed more concerned with the big attractions than the new Frozen stuff, which was an interesting change from Walt Disney World. Anyway, grab a pager, and you can explore the rest of Hollywood Land while you wait. Once you get buzzed you can then check-in at the desk and join the line to actually meet him, which again, in our experience, was very short. If you go later in the day the longest wait you’re likely to have is for the pager itself, but if you go early you’ll pretty much be in and out.

DL Jan 2015 - Meeting Olaf!!

Meeting Olaf

Meeting Olaf

The final Frozen Fun offering is the For the First Time in Forever Sing-Along in the former Muppets 3D theater. Now I know this is potentially controversial, but they actually did a very good job of converting the theatre into the new Crown Jewel Theatre for the new show. They did a lot more to it than I had expected, which was nice. You need a FastPass to see the show, which you should get early in the morning. The first showings are usually quieter.
Having said that, the show itself was not as good as I had anticipated, having seen the Hollywood Studios version just a few weeks before. For some reason with the Disneyland version they have cut a lot of the jokes and tried to force this convoluted storyline about one of the storytellers needing to pass his royal historian assessment. The Florida version simply presents the story, aided by some corny jokes, and it just works. There doesn't have to be a reason as to why sometimes - and of course Disneyland have done just the opposite. Storyline aside, I also think that the grand finale is better in Florida, with the much more visible falling snow, confetti and (for want of a better term) smoke cannons. The effects in Disneyland rely almost completely on digital projections or screens, whereas Florida has greater physical impact, and somehow it just works better.

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

For the First Time in Forever A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Due to time constraints we didn’t get to see World of Color this time around, or the PIXAR Play Parade. We will be back in March though, so hopefully we’ll catch them then.

So, that’s it for our trip! We had an awesome, action packed 3 and a half days at Disneyland Resort. I was a little sad that so much of the holiday stuff had ended already since we arrived on the 1st January and Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort is supposed to run until the 6th. I find that quite odd. Frozen Fun was interesting, and meeting Olaf was great,. The minimal waiting time for the Frozen shows and characters compared to Florida is a lot nicer, but there is room for improvement, from meeting one sister, to the sing-along being a much lesser version, and Freeze the Night being nowhere near on par with Mad T. Nonetheless, we had an awesome trip, and cannot wait for March!

Dan.
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