In this fourth and final part of my trip report for our visit to Walt Disney World during Christmas 2016 I am going to share with you some more of our adventures at the Magic Kingdom.
Let's start on Main Street USA where we met Santa Claus before he set off on his magical deliveries on Christmas Eve.   [ Read More... ]
Christmas season is nearly upon us which means that the Disney Parks are gearing up for another spectacular season of holiday magic and wonder!
I thought we could take a look at what the Disneyland Resort in California has to offer this holiday season. Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort will run from 13th November 2014 until 6th January 2015 inclusive this season.
We shall start with Disneyland Park.
At Disneyland Park you immediately find yourself in a winter wonderland as you step onto Main Street USA and discover their huge Christmas Tree and all the garlands, leading to the beautifully snow topped Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Walt's apartment gets a Christmas Tree in its window for the holidays, too.
Whilst on Main Street, you should stand and listen to the Dickens Yuletide Band play some classic Christmas tunes.
You should also stop by Town Square to give a warm hug to all your favourite Disney pals as they celebrate the season in their cute festive clothes!
As you head off of Central Plaza and into Adventureland you should take a cruise on the rivers of the world, aboard the Jingle Cruise! (Note that this is not yet confirmed on the Disneyland Resort website for this year).
Heading out of Adventureland and into New Orleans Square, visit Jack Skellington and all his creepy friends from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas at the Haunted Mansion Holiday. This epic holiday overlay features exclusive scenes and awesome effects. This attraction is extremely popular though, so be sure to get a FastPass or be there early (FastPasses aren’t normally available for Haunted Mansion, but during the holidays they are due to the popularity of this overlay).
If taking a ride through the worlds of Christmas and Halloween collided wasn’t enough, you can also meet Jack Skellington and Sally Stitches near the Haunted Mansion.
From New Orleans Square, wander down to Critter Country where you can meet Winnie the Pooh and friends in their festive clothes.
In Frontierland you should definitely visit the Jingle Jangle Jamboree where you can meet Santa Claus himself (Santa only meets until Christmas Eve)! Some of your other favourite Disney pals might just show up too!
Fantasyland’s classic attraction “it’s a small world” becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday for the festive season, and is decked out with an incredible display of colour changing lights, which look awesome at night! Inside, the attraction celebrates holidays from around the world with festive costumes and scenes.
The must-see event at Disneyland Park is of course 'A Christmas Fantasy Parade'. Filled with all the most magical sights and sounds of Christmas, as well as the Disney characters, this parade is truly fantastic.
As night falls watch in awe as Sleeping Beauty Castle Becomes Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle, a wondrous snow capped ice palace.
To top it all, the skies high above Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle become an array of colour in the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular.
As well as all these exciting happenings, don’t forget to check out the beautiful decorations around the park, and of course watch snow fall on Main Street USA!
Of course, no day at Disneyland during Christmas would be complete without some treats!
Be sure to try some of the world famous Disneyland candy canes, too! These are very popular, and tickets are usually distributed first thing in the morning. (Note that the candy canes may also be made at Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure - check on the day of your visit.)
Now let us take a look into Disney California Adventure’s holiday offerings.
Buena Vista Street celebrates a classic Christmas of days gone by, with period decoration and their splendid Christmas Tree.
While on Buena Vista Street why not stop and listen to the Community Bell Ringers as they celebrate the holidays with some seasonal sounds?
The Elias and Co. department store is the home to Santa Claus up until Christmas Eve.
Also, you can catch Mickey and friends, and the Citizens of Buena Vista Street, in their period costumes which have been given a Christmas twist.
At Paradise Pier, in previous years you were able to meet Duffy and Donald in cute Christmas outfits. It is not known yet if they will return this year, but I’ll share some of our photos nonetheless. It could be that other characters take their place.
Cars Land resident Tow Mater also joins the festivities, wearing a giant Santa hat!
As night falls on Buena Vista Street, the Community Bell Ringers, the Citizens of Buena Vista Street and the Disney characters all come together for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Over in Paradise Bay, the magical World of Color becomes “World of Color - Winter Dreams”, a seasonal holiday version of this now classic nighttime spectacular.
Just like at Disneyland Park, don’t forget to check out all the decorations throughout the park.
You should also try some delicious treats, available from Trolley Treats Candy.
In previous years Disney California Adventure has also featured a special screening of Prep and Landing at the Muppet’s theatre, and a holiday version of the Phineas and Ferb show. There is currently no confirmation of either of these though, and they are not listed on the Disneyland website. However, I’ll share some photo below for reference.
Disney California Adventure also celebrates Navidad, however we have no photos of this currently, sadly (we shall soon though!).
At the Disney hotels you can also meet Santa Claus at select times, up until Christmas Eve.
In previous years on Christmas Eve, Mickey and friends have appeared on Main Street in their cute PJs ready for bed as they anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. They usually appear for very limited set times in the evening of Christmas Eve only, so be sure to look out for them!
For New Year’s Eve the parks put on special entertainment offerings, including mind blowing fireworks at the turn of the year. We were at Disney California Adventure for New Year two years ago, so I will share some of our photos and video from that, however, be aware this year’s offerings may differ.
Will you be visiting the Disneyland Resort this holiday season? What are you looking forward to the most?
Happy Holidays everyone!
All information in this article is subject to change or cancellation at any time, without prior notice by Disney. We offer this information purely as a guide to some of the things that may be experienced during Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort.
As the Halloween Season draws to a close this week, I can't help but think about Christmas!
This year Jon and I will be at Disneyland Paris just after Christmas itself, for the Christmas Season and New Year's celebrations at the Resort.
We are both really excited to be going back to Disneyland Paris this year for Christmas, as there will be many new things, which only Disneyland Paris offer.
I have been to Disneyland Paris for Christmas Season at least five other years of the past ten, so let's take a look back at some of what has been offered over the year, before we come back to the new offerings this year.
This is a very photo heavy post, so be warned that it may take a while to load all the images below.
For the longest time Disneyland Park had a Christmas addition to its regular day parade, usually just tacked on at the end. This happened during the old Wonderful World of Disney Parade, and the Once Upon a Dream Parade. There was never a Christmas parade, per se. There was a Santa's Sleigh, Toy Soldiers, and more recently Duffy.
Other long running entertainment included the enchanting Mickey's Winter Wonderland show at the Chaparral Theater in Frontierland, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Town Square.
Mickey's Winter Wonderland remained unchanged for many, many years, but was a firm fan favourite every holiday season.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony was also incredibly popular, and always starred Mickey and Friends lighting the big Christmas Tree in Town Square. Some aspects of the show changed slightly over the years, but it basically remained the same.
Disneyland Paris also pioneered the beautiful Christmas lights that now adorn the other Disney Castles of the world. Disneyland Park would present a special Castle Lighting show. As with the Tree Lighting, the way in which this was done changed slightly from year to year, but overall the concept remained the same.
Character greetings have included Santa Claus, Elves, and of course Mickey and Friends in seasonal costumes at both parks. Other characters in Christmas costumes have included the Winnie the Pooh friends, and Duffy the Disney Bear. Some years back, Belle also used to meet in a pretty red jacket.
For 21 years, the Christmas Tree in Town Square was the same. Last year they added some 20th Anniversary ornaments to it, but it remained identical otherwise.
Some years ago, the park used to also feature the stunning Lights of Winter (which EPCOT also used to have) along Main Street USA, but these were sadly retired nearly 10 years ago now.
After the lights of winter the Princess Crowns graced the street for a couple of years, but were quite unpopular by all accounts.
Like the other parks, snowfall on Main Street is a regular occurrence, although in Paris, as we have personally experienced, it isn't always just the magical Disney snow that can fall across the park!
In Fantasyland guests used to be able to discover a Christmas market, straight from the world of Beauty and the Beast, 'Belle's Christmas Village'.
Finally, a staple of the holiday season for some years has been the "it's a small world" overlay, becoming "it's a small world" Celebration during Christmas Season.
Now we fast forward from our trip through the past, to 2012. Last year Disneyland Paris took a giant leap away from previous Christmas offerings.
Mickey's Winter Wonderland did not return, the Princess Crowns were ditched, brand new garlands graced Main Street, there was a new live entertainment offering starring Mickey, and a fantastic new Christmas Cavalcade was launched.
Unfortunately we were unable to attend last year (although we were in California for their Christmas Season, so that was a great substitute!).
That means that this year will be our first year seeing the new offerings, and what's more, there is set to be even more this year than last year!
Of course, some old favourites will still be there too.
This year the park has got a brand new Christmas Tree, which is really exciting for me, as I love Christmas Trees! As well as the new Tree, last years there were brand new garlands all along Main Street and giant character snowmen in Central Plaza. This is as well as all the beautiful decorations that find their way throughout the resort, with nearly every restaurant, store being decorated inside and out. The Disneyland Hotel also has a yearly traditional giant gingerbread house.
The Cavalcade is said to be receiving some extra characters, making it better than last year, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony has been changed again, this time being narrated by Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio.
Santa and his Elves will still be at the Ranch, snow will still fall on Main Street USA, and "it's a small world" Celebration has been reinstalled.
The Jingle Bell Boys are set to return too. That's a live band that also stars Mickey Mouse showing off his dance moves at the Videopolis in Discoveryland.
I have also heard that Jack Skellington is sticking around after Halloween Season ends, but will be putting on his Sandy Claws outfit! Now that would be really awesome!
One of the biggest things that the park is doing this year is a brand new version of Dreams especially for Christmas!
Disney Dreams! is the most spectacular nighttime show ever created by Disney Imagineering, and for the holidays it'll switch to featuring scenes from the new Disney movie Frozen, a Toy Story Nutcracker tale, and much more!
If all that wasn't enough, there are a few more things that are continuing some Disneyland Paris traditions.
For many years, the Disney Hotels have offered special meals during the holidays, some of which are character ones.
On the 29th December we are planning to attend the Christmas Brunch with the Disney Characters at Inventions, in the Disneyland Hotel, and on New Year's Eve there is a special character dinner at the Hotel New York, which we are also attending.
Usually on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, the Disneyland Hotel puts on special entertainment too. We really hope that this returns this year also, as we've really enjoyed this in the past. And speaking of New Year, both parks and Lake Disney all will continue their annual New Year's Fireworks. Two years ago we saw them in Disneyland Park, this year we plan to see them on Lake Disney due to our meal at the Hotel New York.