Now that Halloween's out of the way, the Disneyland Resort has begun its full swing into the Christmas Holidays.
This week, David Caranci, Manager of Resort Enhancement at the Disneyland Resort, gave us a quick walking tour of the all the new holiday decorations abounding in Buena Vista Street (BVS) and Cars Land.
The main goals they had when designing the decorations for BVS (a process that started some eighteen months ago,) were to be accurate to the time period and to hide the existing infrastructure. Because the era overlaps with the Great Depression, they reasoned people would be decorating with a degree of restraint dictated by the economy.
The garlands on the buildings are brand-new cedar garlands they had made for them, with a seven year life expectancy.
Pretty much all their ornamentation was custom made for DCA--the Mission Bells and even the wrapping paper. A distinct effort was made to make the decor here stand out from anything that would be found at the other Disney parks, and Disneyland in particular, to avoid having guests feel that they had already seen it all on the other side of the Esplanade.
One particularly cute display series shows Silly Symphony scenes in a pop-up book fashion.
The tree decorations were similarly custom designed, the ideas from which came in large part from everyone on the team polling their grandmothers about their trees. The tinsel garlands have apparently never been done before at Disneyland.
Around the bottom of the tree are many Walt references, including a replica of the train Walt took to Los Angeles, and the Carolwood Barn, along with re-manufactured toys from the 30's.
Meanwhile, over in Elias and Co, a genuine department store Santa holds court.
Surrounding the tops of the displays inside the store are storybook depictions of "A Night Before Christmas," which continue outside on the storefront windows, as well.
Inside Carthay Circle, a miniature Seven Dwarves gingerbread cottage sits inconspicuously in the lounge area.
As far as the holiday musical loops, Caranci said they worked closely with both WDI and Pixar who each had approval over the music in BVS and Cars Land, respectively.
Speaking of Cars Land, Caranci talked about the process they went through to come up with holiday concepts that Pixar (and John Lasseter in particular) would sign off on. The first pass they made was rejected on the basis that it looked like what humans would do to decorate Route 66--Pixar wanted it to look as it would if the cars themselves were in charge of the decorating.
While they had many different iterations of Snowy the Snow Car, the final one seems to be a success, as people line up to take photos with it day and night.
Each car's area has a different tree, suited to their distinct personalities. Fillmore has the only car angel, fitting his hobby of making lawn art.
Sarge has "Fourth of July times ten," with thousands of lights hidden under a scrim during the daylight--a huge improvement over the construction-zone look of the Streets of America under the Osborne Lights wiring each year.
Over at the Cozy Cones, Sally has a whole gingerbread replica of the Cozy Cones Motel inside the lobby...
...While Flo decorates the stacks of oil cans she stocks for hungry cars.
Stanley got a carefully-sculpted santa hat and sack for the season, while the tree next to him was inspired by one Lasseter saw and liked out on Route 66.
While that certainly only represents a small fraction of the holiday touches adorning DCA, it was then time for us to regroup down at "it's a small world," where Marine Corps. Staff Sergeant Mark Plummer and family were to flip the switch and officially start "it's a small world" Holiday for the season. Disneyland Ambassador Jolie Hales was on hand to officiate.
Of course, if you want to see really good photos of the holidays at Disneyland, I advise everyone to check out Jason's photo blogs both here and at his site, disneygeek.com
I'm sure we'll have more to share from the parks as the season progresses, but Disneyland and DCA look to be off to a jubilant start to the Holidays.
The previous post in this blog was Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend - Part 2.
The next post in this blog is Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disneyland Christmas .