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January 10, 2017

Three Kings' Day at Disneyland

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Three Kings Day

For a number of years Disneyland has celebrated Three Kings' Day - El Dia de los Reyes Magos. January 6 (Epiphany) is the official day, but this year the events took place January 5-8.

Three Kings' Day celebrates the visit of the kings to the Christ child on the 12th day after his birth. Traditionally it's three kings: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrrh.

The Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure was the site of this year's events.

Three Kings Day

There were several displays set up. On the night before children traditionally place their shoes out for the kings to fill with toys and gifts.

Three Kings Day

"Rosca de Reyes", or "King's Cake" is a traditional food. It's a sweet bread, round like a crown, and decorated with candied fruits, which resemble jewels.

Three Kings Day

One of the activities was face painting. No charge, and it was available to adults and kids.

Three Kings Day

There was also a craft area. Guests could color paper lanterns or decorate a crown with stickers. There were a number of tables and chairs there.

Three Kings Day

Three Kings Storytelling took place several times each day on the Paradise Gardens stage. This was different than what I expected, but I thought it was well done. I thought it would be more like the Epcot storytellers, with someone acting the part. Instead it was two musicians, who both spoke and sang about holiday traditions such as Las Posadas, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and Three King's Day.

Three Kings Day

Here's a video of the entire performance.

A few other things I noticed while wandering around the parks...

I'd never gotten a very good look at Skylar on Princess Elena's float. He is a magical talking jaquin.

Skylar Princess Elena

Since Santa Claus is taking a well-deserved vacation, Santa Goofy was greeting guests in the Redwood Creek "Holiday Visit" area.

Santa Goofy

In that same area one of the deer sported a Santa hat.

Three Kings Day

The Tower of Terror closed on January 2 and is under wraps during the conversion to Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT.

Tower of Terror


Tower of Terror

Over at Disneyland, Pocahontas was greeting guests along the Rivers of America near the exit to Big Thunder Mountain.

Pocahontas

In honor of the Moana movie, several locations in Disneyland are offering a special Pineapple Parfait dessert. It's pineapple, cake, and custard. The necklace is also edible. I tried it and thought it was pretty good.

Pineapple parfait




December 21, 2016

Disneyland Resort Update - 12/16/15

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I've been traveling a lot, but I wanted to make another visit to Disneyland during the holiday season. When I renewed my annual pass earlier this year I opted for the Signature AP, which is blocked out during the Christmas holidays - December 19-January 1 - so this weekend was my final opportunity before that. (I really don't WANT to be at Disneyland during those two weeks anyway!) Jason (Disneygeek) met me there on Friday afternoon and we wandered around for the rest of the day and evening.

We had a rare southern California rainstorm on Thursday and Friday, but according to the forecast the rain would be over in Anaheim by noon. When I left San Diego at 10:30 it was still raining there, but by the time I reached Anaheim the roads were dry and there was even a little bit of blue sky. As the day went on the clouds completely cleared off and we had a sunny day, though it was cool by southern California standards - only about 60 degrees.

Some major changes at Disneyland this week: most of the security checkpoints have been moved. Downtown Disney is now a "secure" area, so guests coming from the Mickey and Friends garage go through security before boarding a tram. I was surprised to see a fence up along the tram route where it goes through the garage. If you park on the first level then you cross the tram route inside the garage rather than from the Pinocchio parking lot as it was before.

Disneyland security fence

The bag check is still done manually, and then everyone goes through a metal detector. I wish they'd installed x-ray machines rather than the manual check. I arrived about 12:20, and things weren't very busy then, so I got through quickly.

Disneyland security

There are additional security checkpoints set up at the other entrances to Downtown Disney. From the Downtown Disney parking lot:

Downtown Disney security checkpoint

From the Grand Californian:

Grand Californian Security checkpoint

There's also one from the Disneyland Hotel, though I didn't get a photo of it. The security setup on the east side of the esplanade (for guests coming from the Toy Story parking lot and the hotels on Harbor Blvd) is unchanged. They still go through security on the east side of the esplanade.

From the tram I could see the demolition that's occurring at the former House of Blues location. According to a recent Disney Parks Blog post, Splitsville Luxury Lanes will be opening there in late 2017.

House of Blues demolition

When I got off the tram, it was great to be able to walk directly to the esplanade without going through security! And the esplanade looks so open now! Jason reminded me that the security tents at the esplanade had been in place for over 15 years. Wow.

Disneyland esplanade

This was the first time I'd been to DCA during the day this holiday season.

Festival of Holidays

My first order was to have something to eat, so I visited a couple of the Festival of Holidays Marketplaces. I never saw any lines at any of the booths except the Brews & Bites booth that sells beer. As I mentioned in my initial review of the Festival, I think the prices are just too high.

This time I tried the Harvest Puff Pastry with Leeks and Parmesan from the "Treats for Santa" booth. $4.25. I was surprised that it wasn't served warm. But it was pretty tasty, and I thought $4.25 wasn't a bad price, since it was a good-sized serving. Much more in line with the price I expect.

Festival of Holidays Harvest Puff Pastry

From "Mosaic Delights" I tried the Mini Falafel Donuts with Pickled Vegetables & Tahini Drizzle. This one was $7.00 - and it should have been $4.25. :-) Though it says "donuts", it's really a savory dish. I liked the flavor of the falafel and the pickled vegetables. It was just too expensive.

Festival of Holidays Falafel Donuts

I felt really badly for the cast members working the food booths - they had very little to do, and I'm sure that makes their shifts seem really long.

Jason and I met at the World of Color Fastpass machines. Even though it was almost 1:00, we were still able to get Fastpasses in the Blue section (the best of the non-dining package sections) for the 9:00 showing of Season of Light. Because of the rain there weren't too many people out and about yet. There was a second show scheduled for 10:15...I have a feeling it was very sparsely attended.

Since I'm writing this resort update instead of Jason there's going to be more words than photos, so if you're interested in Jason's excellent photos and construction update please visit his web site: www.disneygeek.com.

There's an AP Corner for Annual Passholders set up in the Grizzly Peak Recreation area. It opened November 11 and is available through January 8. Pretty minimal offerings compared to some of these in the past. There's a button, a photo backdrop, and a coloring area. But no character greeting opportunity or refreshments like water and popcorn as there have been at previous AP areas. Also, there's only a single button for the event, rather than a different one each week (you can see my button on the left in the photo below). There were no guests there when we arrived, and the cast members looked pretty cold! The location is out of the way, and a little hard to find, though there were signs for it at the entrance.

Festival of Holidays

There were additional craft opportunities along the parade corridor. This one was Christmas-themed, but I saw one for Kwanzaa also.

Festival of Holidays

Our next destination was Disneyland, so that I could see the "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" for the first time this season. We went all the way back to the parade start at "it's a small world". Not real crowded, but there were more people back there than i expected. We still had a spot behind just one row of people, though.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

For some reason the toy soldiers were missing when the parade first started this holiday season, but they are back now. Always one of my favorite parts of the parade.

We left our viewing spot just before the final float appeared so that we could get in line for "it's a small world" Holiday before the crowds descended on it after the parade was over. We had a good view of that last float with Santa Claus from the line.

A Christmas Fantasy parade

"it's a small world" Holiday is celebrating its 20th holiday season this year. In recognition of that, some number of "hidden 20s" have been placed in the attraction this year. Jason is very good at spotting them and pointed them out to me, though the only one I was able to photograph was this one at the exit.

it's a small world holiday hidden 20

We went back to Frontierland to take a look at the Star Wars Land construction progress. This is the first time I've seen anything other than piles of dirt!

Star Wars Land

And this looks interesting. No idea what it is, though. There's still no official word out of Disney as to when Star Wars Land might open, but at least now there's actual construction underway. As I mentioned, Jason has a lot more (and better) photos available on his www.disneygeek.com site.

Star Wars Land

On Main Street we caught the end of the performance of the Dickens Yuletide Band. In the clip below they perform a medley from "The Nutcracker."

We were planning to see some of the holiday entertainment over at DCA, so went across the esplanade back over there. But first we went back to Hollywood to check on Fastpasses for Tower of Terror. After dark, the Tower of Terror offers "Late Check-Out", where the attraction takes place in the dark, with no soundtrack. Fastpasses were not originally available for the after dark part, but that changed recently. We were there about 3:00, and there was a sign out to that effect.

Tower of Terror Late Check-Out

And the Fastpasses themselves denote Late Check-Out.

Tower of Terror Late Check-out

We still had some time before the first holiday act, so we went for a spin on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, since it had a short line. For the holiday season there's a new song: Jingle Bells. We heard it as we were walking to the attraction, but it wasn't the song that played for our ride.

The Holiday Toy Drummers was the first entertainment offering we saw, and they are my new favorites. They were so much fun to watch - especially since they seem to be having so much fun themselves. This is a video Jason took of them several weeks ago - they don't have any variation in their sets.

Holiday entertainment takes place in a number of different locations around DCA. The drummers were near the Boudin Bakery in Pacific Wharf, and from there we went to Paradise Gardens to see Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. It was pretty well-attended. Elena sang several songs, including two Christmas songs.

Festival of Holidays Elena of Avalor

The Stilt Circus performs along the parade corridor, though both time we saw them they were in Carthay Circle.

Festival of Holidays stilt circus

To get to Downtown Disney we exited through the Grand Californian. I hadn't seen the gingerbread hotel in its finished state - they were still decorating it when I was there in November. Pretty impressive structure.

Grand Californian Gingerbread house

There's a new Pandora store in Downtown Disney now, right next to Jamba Juice.

Downtown Disney Pandora Store

I was surprised to see a very large outdoor seating area outside Tortilla Jo's. During most of the year that might be pretty attractive, but it was a chilly afternoon and we didn't see anyone sitting outside.

Tortilla Jo's outdoor seating

The tree in Downtown Disney is in a new location this year. No skating rink, probably because of the construction of the fence for the security perimeter.

Downtown Disney Christmas tree

We took the monorail back to Disneyland from Downtown Disney. It was very nice not to have to go through a bag check there. And there was no line for the monorail, in fact some of the cars were empty. Jason and I were the only people in our car. We saw the start of sunset on our ride.

Disneyland sunset

At the Star Wars Launch Bay cast members were distributing Rogue One - A Star Wars Story buttons since the movie had just opened. There were a couple of display cases with costumes and props from the movie - pretty much the same as what I saw in Florida the week before.

Rogue One button

The lights weren't on yet, but the castle was decorated for the holidays.

Sleeping Beauty castle

We had dinner at Village Haus, largely so that we could sit inside where it was warm. There weren't very many people in there, and it was so quiet that we could actually hear the background music! It was the same holiday track that is played on Main Street. It was very nice to hear it.

The castle lights were on as we walked through the castle after dinner.

Sleeping Beauty ice castle

The Jambalaya Jazz group has added some holiday cheer to their set.

After dark their last song is White Christmas, and it snows.

snow in New Orleans Square

When we walked by Tropical Imports in Adventureland we noticed a sign for a new dessert - a Pineapple Parfait. Layered pineapple mousse, vanilla cake and pineapple topped with whipped cream and a chocolate Heart of Tefiti pendant. Normally I would've tried this, but it was a cold dessert and I was already cold enough.

Pineapple Parfait

Back to DCA to catch some more of the Festival of Holidays entertainment. Starting at 5:30 there are four different acts in a row at the stage in Paradise Park. We missed the first one, but we saw RAISE - an acapella group, Mariachi Divas, and Mostly Kosher. The latter are pictured below. They were surprisingly entertaining.

Festival of Holidays

The wind had come up and it was quite chilly by the water after we'd been sitting there for almost an hour. I suggested we go "under the sea" to warm up. :-) We walked right onto the clamshell vehicle.

There was still over an hour until it was time to be back for World of Color. I was looking for warm places, and we went into the Animation Building. There were a number of other people with the same idea, but we lucked out and there was a sofa we could sit on. I always enjoy sitting in there and watching the animation clips and artwork and listening to the music. I saw something I hadn't noticed before - it looks like there was a "Coppertone moment" in Frozen during the "In Summer" song. Cute.

DCA Animation Building

On the way back to Paradise Bay we stopped at Award Weiners so that I could get some hot chocolate. That tasted pretty good - and it felt good in my hands. :-)

Jason knows the spots, and found us an excellent location to watch World of Color - Season of Light. We were just behind the dessert party area, so there was no one standing in front of us.

It was windy, but not enough to cancel the show. It made for some interesting effects on the fountains. I was surprised at how clear the projections still were, despite the wind.

World of Color - Season of Light

This is such a good show. All of the effects work so well together.

World of Color - Season of Light

We made the right decision to choose to see World of Color and not the fireworks show at Disneyland - it was canceled because of the wind.

That was the end of our day. When we arrived back at the Mickey and Friends garage I was surprised to see that almost all of the security check lanes were still open. It was almost 10:00 - not too many people arriving at that time of night.

It was a good day - I was able to see all of the entertainment that I'd wanted to see. And thanks to the rain and the cool weather the parks weren't very crowded at all.







December 6, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 12/03/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, December 3, 2016 .

A look at the Star Wars Construction site this crisp morning (it was about 50 degrees out).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016


A video look around the site. For a more detailed set of photos check out my full picture set on disneygeek.com



Work continues on re-configuring the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop to move security screening out here.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Canopies and rigging are being set up on a portion of the former Pinocchio lot.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday was a Candy Cane day at Trolley Treats. So guests rushed to get in line for wristbands to buy handmade candy canes. They are $12.99 each this year and wristbands are distributed on a first come first serve basis. The line is on the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Bugs have reclaimed their theater for the time being. The Moana preview has concluded.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

At Disneyland Town Square was set up for the Candlelight Processional that evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

First attraction of the day for me, the Jingle Cruise. Wait time was only a couple minutes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Doughnuts are available for purchase at the Coffee stand in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Those are chocolate chip cookies on top

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Peanut butter cups on top of these.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A look at the new rock formations taking shape along the Rivers of America.Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Moana was greeting guests near the Oasis. Hard to get a picture without waiting in line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mickey was in front of the fire house.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Back at Trolley Treats the first batch of Candy Canes were being worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

For the holidays a new song has been added to the rotation at Luigi's. Jingle Bells. Here is a video clip of it.

A look at the Tower of Terror as it becomes Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A line of guests for the Visa photo this morning.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Award Wieners has a new menu.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Caught the 12:05 performance of the Holiday Toy Drummers. Video of the Holiday Toy Drummers show.

Princess Elena of Avalor Meet and Greet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Three Caballeros

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Disney Viva Navidad! time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

RAISE performing at the Pacific Wharf Stage as part of Disney Festival of Holidays They perform a variety of songs. Here is a clip from their Lion King Medley.

Grand Californian Gingerbread Houses for sale.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stopped by Storytellers and was greeted by a friendly face.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A gingerbread house inside Storytellers Cafe.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The main lobby Christmas tree at the Grand Californian.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A large gingerbread replica of the hotel is on display in the lobby.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of the fireplace in the gingerbread hotel.

The back side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

In Downtown Disney the Pandora signage is now up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Back to Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Candlelight preparations were in high gear with less than 3 hours till show time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

My plan was to go watch the 3:15 parade and then find a spot but the first rows were already filled so I went to sit for Candlelight 2.5 hours before the show. Time for the Flag Retreat. Due to the Candlelight they just played a recording.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

At about 5:25 Nancy started the orchestra for the procession.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

The start of the procession entering Town Square at 5:30pm, then the cermony got underway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Here are some video clips from the Candlelight.

The guest narrator this year was Ginnifer Goodwin

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A young girl performing a solo, I missed her name and only invited guests get programs.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Silent Night sung by Drew Tablak

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Main Street USA after the performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of Main Street.

Looking back.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

On the weekend they are having a Holiday Celebration on the Rivers of America. It features the Jambalaya Jazz performing.The finale features snow fall during White Christmas.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Guests gathered in the snow.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A couple video clips of the Jambalaya Jazz performing at Rivers of America Holiday Celebration.

The Royal Swing Big Band Ball at the Royal Theatre

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A couple video clips from the end of Main Street and walking down Main Street during the Candlelight, notice the audio is piped into the area.

Returned to DCA to close out my evening. A video of Luigi's Jingle Bells at night.

At night the Grizzly Bear Holiday sweater lights up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

A video clip of the sweater in action.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Show time for World of Color - Season of Light.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka Segment

Goofy decorating segment is a highlight of the show.

That wraps up my long day at the Disneyland Resort.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.






November 20, 2016

Disney California Adventure Celebrates the Holidays with New World of Color - Season of Light and More

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World of Color - Season of Light

There's a new version of World of Color for this holiday season: World of Color - Season of Light. It combines favorite holiday musical numbers with heartwarming scenes from Disney and Disney-Pixar movies, choreographed with fountains, lasers, lights and even flames.

World of Color - Season of Light

We saw it Saturday night, and I have to say that it's my favorite version of the show. The fountains are not so much the main focus of the show now, and all of the different effects are much more integrated and complement each other. I thought the lasers were used especially well.

And I loved the music. I'm old enough to remember my parents playing Christmas albums by Nat King Cole ("The Christmas Song"), Bing Crosby ("Mele Kalikimaka"), and Dean Martin ("Let it Snow"), and I enjoy hearing them again. But it's also great to hear contemporary artists such as Michael Buble and Idina Menzel ("Baby It's Cold Outside"), and Amy Grant ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"). And Pentatonix's version of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies", followed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizard in Winter", had everyone cheering.

World of Color - Season of Light

The animation clips were very well chosen. Who can forget the heartwarming moment from "Lady and the Tramp" when, on Christmas morning, "Darling" opens the box and Lady's head pops out?

World of Color - Season of Light

And I had to laugh when Sadness from "Inside Out" appeared - to the music of Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas." :-)

During the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth", giant soap bubbles, shaped like hearts, rise into the air and float away.

World of Color - Season of Light

My camera battery died partway through, but here's the first 16 minutes of the show, including the Pentatonix and TSO numbers.

As I mentioned, we thought it was a terrific show. In reading Disney's "Fact Sheet" about it, I found a few items that explain some of the new aspects.

  • Five newly installed barges in the lagoon erupt in a brilliant lighting effect to punctuate the grand finale.
  • More than 800 individual light fixtures are needed to illuminate the show.
  • Six laser projectors are deployed to create a variety of entertaining effects.
  • Nearly 20 high-definition projectors convey imagery to the screens of water.

You'll need a Fastpass to access the viewing areas for the show. These are available at the entrance to Grizzly River Run beginning at park opening. Fastpasses for the areas that are more centered are distributed first, so go early. There is some standby viewing, but it's further back and tends to fill up early.

World of Color - Season of Light

In addition to the regular Fastpass option for the show, there are options for Premium viewing experiences. Lunch and Dinner packages are available at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Wine Country Trattoria, and a Dinner Package at Ariel's Grotto. The newest option, introduced earlier this year, is the Sparkling Dessert Package. Lee and I did that one on Saturday. It's unique because you actually get to sit for the show - everyone is seated at small tables. A plate of cheese, fruits and desserts is served to you, along with beverages. At $79 plus tax it's the most expensive of the viewing options, but it's my favorite way to see the show.

World of Color Dessert Package

We have more information on Dining packages on our World of Color page.

We took a quick look around the park at some of the other holidays options. This year Santa Claus has moved from his Elias and Co. department store Santa setting to a more rustic area along in the newly named "Redwood Creek - Santa's Holiday Visit".

Redwood Creek Santa's Holiday Visit

Santa is tucked away in the Ahwahnee Circle (the small amphitheater). I was wondering if guests would be less interested in visiting him there, but the line was long, so that's apparently not an issue. Without standing in line there was no way to get a good view of Santa Claus, so this is not a very good photo.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

I thought it very amusing that this is the roof of Santa's greeting area. :-) A place for the reindeer - but only eight of them - to hang out.

Redwood Creek Reindeer Landing  Zone

The Redwood Creek area itself has decorations, which I don't recall seeing in the past. The Jingle Bridge is hung with bells that ring when people bounce on it.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

The "challenge" aspect of the Redwood Creek area is now "Elf Games". Some additional elements have been added at some of the apparatus, like a sack of gifts at the slides for the "Pack the Presents" game.

Redwood Creek Elf Games

There's also a meet and greet spot with Chip and/or Dale.

Disney California Adventure Chip

Guests seemed to be enjoying the area - as I mentioned the line for Santa was fairly long and there were a number of kids enjoying the various challenges.

This isn't a holiday thing, but right now DCA is showing an extended preview of Moana in the Bugs Land Theater. Using all of the available effects. Including lots of water. We really enjoyed the preview - the movie looks very good.

Disney California Adventure Moana preview

The rest of the park seems to be decked out in its usual holiday style. The Christmas tree is in Carthay Circle, and there's a tree lighting show every night. The residents of Cars Land have also decorated the town of Radiator Springs - Seasons Speedings to all! :-) (I'm certainly enjoying the Passholder benefit of free downloads of PhotoPass photos!)

Cars Land Seasons Speedings

Here's the new popcorn buckets being sold in both parks. The Santa Mickey was VERY popular and we saw lots of people carrying them around. Getting them before they sell out.

Disneyland 2016 Santa Mickey Popcorn Bucket

I believe the Elf Mickey Stein is only available at Disneyland. That was also popular.

Elf Mickey Stein

There's also a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs refillable mug that seems to be available resort wide.

Snow White Holiday mug

To close, even though this isn't DCA, either, the construction of the enormous gingerbread house in the Grand Californian was underway. This year it's a gingerbread version of the hotel itself. There's even a fire in the fireplace.

Grand Californian Gingerbread House

Grand Californian Gingerbread House

A smaller version of the gingerbread house is available for purchase - $85.

Grand Californian Gingerbread House







November 15, 2016

New Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

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Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure gets a holiday makeover this year with the presentation of the first Festival of Holidays at the park. The Festival celebrates holiday traditions around the world with food, beverages, and entertainment. Princess Elena of Avalor makes her Disneyland debut in Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. The popular ¡Viva Navidad! street party also returns to Paradise Pier along with special food offerings and a character meet and greet.

Also new for the holiday season is World of Color - Season of Light. The show combines water, animations, projections and laser effects choreographed to both classic and contemporary holiday music. Selections range from Nat King Cole performing "The Christmas Song" to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Pentatonix.

World of Color - Season of Light

Santa Claus has moved to the Redwood Creek area this year - his greeting spot is tucked away in the Ahwahnee Circle. The elves have been busy setting up Elf Games for guests, such as the "Jingle Bridge" and the "Pack the Presents" slide.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Our weekend visit to DCA was much too short for us to experience everything that the park has to offer now. We concentrated on the Festival of Holidays - more specifically some of the fourteen Festive Food Marketplaces.

This aspect of the Festival is a food and wine festival - and there are even more marketplace booths (14) than there were for the return of the Food and Wine Festival to DCA earlier this year. The holiday booths also have much more of an international flair, with offerings inspired by Asian, Mexican, Jewish, Indian, Middle Eastern, German, and Swedish traditions as well as American favorites like sliders, Southern specialties and the classic turkey dinner. There's even a "Treats for Santa" booth with cookies and cookie decorating, peppermint bark, fudge, and panettone.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

All of the booths have special beverage offerings, also. There are booths dedicated to both beer (Brews and Bites) and wines (Making Spirits Bright) which offer flights or selections by the glass. Other choices include holiday eggnog cocktail, pomegranate margarita, iced mint tea, cranberry sweet tea, and chocolate beverages such as pumpkin spice hot chocolate, white hot chocolate, and frozen chocolate milk.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Our first taste of the Festival was Friday night - it opened on Thursday. We were surprised that the food lines were short/non-existent. Very different than the opening weekend of the Food and Wine Festival back in April. The only real lines were at the beer and wine booths.

First Lee tried the Brisket Potato Croquette with horseradish cream from Nosh and Nibbles for $7.50. He said it was very good.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Next we went to Good Fortune's Feast and tried two items. First the Adobo Pork Bao, $8.00. It was excellent, though I thought it a little heavy on the pickled onions. I didn't taste much "adobo" in it, though.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

The Smoked Duck and Vegetable Spring Roll with cabbage and sweet plum sauce was really good! But at $8.75 it was very expensive for the serving size.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

We were at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival the week before, and I think we understand why the lines at the booths were so short. The prices for food booth items in California are significantly higher than those in Florida - where most Florida items are in the $5-$7 range, most of the California items are $7-$9.

At Spice Salutations we sampled the Carrot and Chickpea Fritters for $6.25. They were served with a coriander almond sauce, but they really didn't have very much flavor.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

We also tried the Chicken and Potato Curry, with kefir cream and grilled naan for $6.50. This was a more generous serving than anything else we'd tried, and it was very tasty. The curry was not too spicy. And the naan was good.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Lee sampled the Holiday Bright Seasonal Beer Flight from Brews & Bites. Spaten Brewery Oktoberfest from Germany, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Celebration, 21st Amendment Brewing Fireside Chat, and Karl Strauss Seven Sharks A-Circling. He wasn't wild about any of them.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

From Winter Sliderland we tried a Roasted Turkey Slider. It was expensive - $8.00. The turkey was nice carved slices, and it also had dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. It was very good, but it's not that much different than Earl of Sandwich's Holiday Turkey, which is twice the size for less money.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

We also tried the Kalua Pork Slider. $7.50 for this one. Pieces of nice roasted pork topped with pineapple jam and cider slaw. I liked this one better than the one that they have at Epcot.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

By then we were ready for some dessert at the appropriately named Yuletide Yummies. We chose the Gingerbread Bundt Cake, but requested that they leave the orange-vanilla sauce off of it. It was a dense gingerbread but very flavorful and we both liked it a lot. It was served cold but I think it would have been better served warm. For $4.25 I thought it was a decent-sized serving.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

We also tried the Mocha Yule Log for $4.75. This one definitely gets the award for the prettiest dessert! It was really nicely decorated. And it was also a generous serving. Lee didn't care for the cream, but the cake was good. I mostly liked it, but it was a little too sweet. We couldn't finish it, and ended up taking half of it back to the room with us.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

One word of advice - you'll need to get a knife to cut both of these - they are too dense for a fork by itself.

For the Food and Wine Festival the booths were set up on the parade route between Carthay Circle and the Pacific Wharf. But with the additional six booths they extend all the way to the Golden Zephyr, with one booth location next to Grizzly River Run near the restrooms.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

The Yuletide Yummies booth was in front of Ariel's attraction, and there were some metal tables - some of them with chairs - set up next to it. It was a very nice spot to sit and enjoy some of the entertainment that takes place in Paradise Park. We heard parts of performances from the Mariachi Divas and the Blue13 Dance Company.

The Food and Wine Festival had covered "arbors" with bar-type counters so people could stand and eat. Those aren't out - instead there are the typical round black metal standing tables like we see at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, along with a few lower tables and chairs. There seemed to be more low tables than there were chairs to go with them. It didn't seem to me as though the tables offered as much space for people to eat as the arbors did.

Saturday evening we went back to try more of the food offerings. The park was pretty busy, so I was expecting longer lines at the food booths, but that was not the case. We asked cast members if it had been busy that day and they said not really. I definitely think the prices are an issue. Just across the parade route from a couple of the food booths is a hot dog cart where you can get a hot dog and chips for $7.00 - more food than you'll get at the neighboring booths.

From Abuelita's Kitchen we sampled the Chicken and Cilantro Tamale with roasted tomatillo salsa. That was quite good. $7.50 for it.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Lee also tried the Chorizo Bean Sope with Cotija cheese and crema for $7.00. He enjoyed that, too.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Back at Yuletide Yummies again I had the Mini Turkey Pot Pie with cranberry drizzle for $8.00. I was disappointed that it was mostly crust. It was a nice flaky crust, but there was way more of that than there was the turkey and vegetable filling. Not worth $8.00.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Lee wanted to try their Joyful Flavors Beer Flight, but they were out of one of the beers (and of course the one they were out of, Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar, was the one that he really wanted to try). And rather than substitute the cast member said they weren't allowed to sell the flight at all. We though that was odd - they substitute at Epcot all the time.

From Fiesta en Familia we tried the two pozole dishes. The Green Chile Pozole was a vegetarian dish, and was $6.25. It was very good and we both enjoyed it.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

The Red Chile Pozole contained tender chunks of pork and was $6.75. It was also very good. Both pozoles had quite different flavors - it was interesting to taste what a difference red versus green made. I wish they had been more generous servings or that the price had been $2 less.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Lee tried the Southern Mac and Cheese from Southern Home Holidays for $7.50. It was topped with jalapeno cornbread crumbles - he said it needed more of that. He liked it. I had a taste but thought it was just ok - I'm not much of a mac and cheese fan, though.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

From Winter Sliderland we got another Kalua Pork Slider, which was much more generous with the pork than the first one.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

This time we also tried the Praline & Bourbon Whoopie Pie for $4.25. The whoopie pie was bigger than I expected and had a pretty good flavor - lots of cream inside.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

We made pretty good progress in sampling the food offerings, though there were still five of the booths we never got to. Still, I think we sampled almost everything that really sounded good to us. In addition to the food booths, there are full-size seasonal offerings at Paradise Garden Grill: Torta al Pastor, Street-Style Tacos, and Chicken Mole. I like chicken mole, so maybe next time.

There is entertainment going on at multiple locations during the Festival of Holidays. In addition to Paradise Park, there's also groups performing at Paradise Gardens, Pacific Wharf, and Sonoma Terrace. The latter was a surprise to me, but we heard part of a performance by Raise, an R&B a cappella group, and they were very good.

There's several entertainment offerings that we did not get a chance to experience - like Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. There's also the Stilt Circus, and the Holiday Toy Drummers. The latter sounded like they might be a lot of fun to watch.

There's also some craft tables - the one we stopped by had Diwali paper lanterns that you could make. Diwali is the Eastern Festival of Lights.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

In the Festival areas there was really interesting music playing - it was modern and upbeat arrangements of songs for celebrations like Hanukkah. The loop was too short, though - we heard the same songs multiple times.

We found a cart that had some Festival of Holidays merchandise. Not much of a selection - there were t-shirts, including one specifically for Annual Passholders, and hats.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

I was disappointed in the designs. All of the food booths and parade route banners had the Mickey-head logo below, which I really liked! I would've bought something with that logo on it.

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

I'm sure the main idea behind the Festival of Holidays is to pull guests from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure - and especially to convince guests to buy a one day ticket to DCA rather than Disneyland. We were in Disneyland on Saturday and it was very busy. DCA was less busy, but to me it still felt busier than it would on a typical Saturday. The standby line for Soarin' was longer than I've seen it for a long time. While the marketplaces were not particularly busy (except those that specialized in alcohol), there still seemed to be a lot of people enjoying the other holiday offerings in the park.

We enjoyed the parts of Festival of Holidays that we experienced - I would like to see more of the entertainment. My only real complaint is the prices at the Festival Marketplaces - I think they are just too high.








November 18, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, November 14, 2015. These pictures take a look at what's new around both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure this holiday season. For a more in depth look at all of the decorations and holiday festivities visit my full picture set on disneygeek.com

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort the parking toll booth wreaths have blue bows.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A Ghirardelli store has opened in Downtown Disney. This is only a temporary location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A look inside, it was not open for the day since it was only 8:30am when I walked by.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Grizzly Peak Airfield has received some decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Notice the wind sock.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The large trees by the fire tower have been decorated too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The lamp posts along the walkway to Grizzly River Run have decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Over at Disneyland on the Jingle Cruise the African Veldt has more props this year including snowflakes, and plastic snowmen.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Mint Julep Window has candy cane beignets this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa has been relocated to Critter Country taking over the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet Location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Winnie and Piglet are around in snow form.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa in his new location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On Main Street USA the garland and wreaths all have blue ribbon and other diamond touches. Also no garland over the street this year or snow on Sleeping Beauty Castle.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Main Street Christmas Tree has blue ribbon and seemed like more blue ornaments this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In "A Christmas Fantasy" parade the Green Army Men have taken over the Toy Factory float. The Pinocchio characters are no longer in the parade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure has new decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On the bridge leading into the area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In the water a decorated buoy.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf Cafe


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A closer look at the bread garland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Lucky Fortune Cookery


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







November 14, 2015

Holidaytime Returns to the Disneyland Resort

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Starting November 13, 2015 and going on until January 6, 2016, the holidays have arrived at Disneyland!

[Unattributed photos/video courtesy of Disney.]

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As is tradition, Disneyland kicked off its season with the ceremonial lighting of "it's a small world." This year's honored guest was U.S. Marine Sgt. Juan Valdez, a recipient of the Purple Heart, with his wife and service dog.

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Joining Valdez was Disneyland Ambassador Allie Kawamoto, Mickey Mouse, and Pluto.

Fun facts: the holiday facade of "it's a small world" includes more than 60,000 LED lights, with almost 30,000 miniature LED lights in the surrounding landscaping. The European scene in "it's a small world" Holiday is scented with pine near the 20ft Christmas tree.

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Of course, that's not all nearly all the holiday offerings at the Disneyland Resort--coming back for its 21st season is "A Christmas Fantasy Parade."

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More recent to the lineup is the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay complete with new gingerbread house...

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...And the return of "Jingle Cruise:" The Skippers' attempts to make a Merry Christmas for themselves, deep in the Jungle.

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Missing from last year is the "Jingle Jangle Jamboree" in Big Thunder Ranch, due to that area's incipient closure, and "Believe..in Holiday Magic" fireworks, replaced by the 60th Anniversary "Disneyland Forever" pyrotechnics and projections.

Over at Disney California Adventure, "World of Color" will be running two different versions each night--the first show will be "World of Color--Winter Dreams," and the second show will be "World of Color--Celebrate!"

Back this year is the high-energy favorite "Disney ¡Viva Navidad!"

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"Olaf's Snow Fest" has also returned, with appropriate seasonal decor, befitting the snowy land of Arendelle.

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If sledding and snow fun isn't energetic enough for you and yours, Olaf has more in store for you over in the Downtown Disney Winter Village, where you can skate on "Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink." For those who'd rather just get in their Christmas wish lists, Santa also has multiple locations (he moves fast) over in Critter Country in Disneyland, and in Elias & Co over in Disney California Adventure.

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But wait! We haven't even gotten to the brand new stuff! In our next installment, we'll talk about Star Wars Season of the Force which has given a whole new emphasis to Tomorrowland.

Happy Holidays!

November 30, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

I started off my long holiday weekend spending the afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. First stop today, Disney California Adventure. On Buena Vista Street Oswald joined the Community Bell Ringers. I arrived as they were wrapping up the last song.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

After retrieving a FastPass for World of Color I headed for Disneyland.

Every Wednesday until July there is an Annual Passholder promotion called Wednesdays with Walt where they have a presentation and screening in the Opera House several times in the evening.

This week they are showing Classic Disney Holiday animated shorts. I picked up a wristband for the 5pm showing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Main Street transportation rounding the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

First stop for me the Jingle Cruise. A posted half hour wait and it took about that this week. A snowman in the queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Mark Twain has returned to service and looks like new again.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A look around the Mark Twain. No substantial changes jumped out at me. Just a lot of new paint and touch up work. The boat looks great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

New signage for the souvenir sippers...now Fantasmic! vs Halloween Time. Not sure why you would want a glow cube in a sipper :-)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Haunted Mansion Holiday time.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Anna and Olaf passing by in A Christmas Fantasy Parade (I was on my way to Small World Holiday).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The curtains appear to be gone for good so you can now get pictures of Baymax and Hiro without waiting in the long line, if you are quick or the groups slow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing at the nightly Flag Retreat in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Lights set up for the Candlelight Ceremony in a little over a week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Next I headed to the Main Street Opera house for Wednesday with Walt. This was my first of the series since I usually cannot make it down to the park on a Wednesday.

Baymax floating up from the front row.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Stacia Martin introduced the four shorts which were Mickey's Good Deed, Winter Storage, Santa's Workshop and Donald's Snowball Fight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

At the end she gave away a drawing that she had made to one lucky guest.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

As you exited everyone received an Annual Passholder ornament.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Fun to see the Elias and Co windows on Buena Vista Street after just seeing the short they were inspired by (Santa's Workshop).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The hub cap tree has been removed from near the court house. I read it had some wind damage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Time to visit the three hotels and see their Christmas decorations...first up the Grand Californian.

The tree in Whitewater Snacks

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

They now have Coke Freestyle machines in Whitewater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Elf Mickey Stein available for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The tree in the lobby of the Grand Californian

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

This year there is a large gingerbread house in the lobby. It's 7-1/2 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Here are some other stats on it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The gingerbread house looks like the hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

There are seven hidden Mickeys.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The back side of the creation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A snack and drink location was set up near the gingerbread house.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A quick video clip of the tree and lobby while I waited for a photo to upload.

The trees out front of the hotel have their Christmas lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Deer out front of the hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The tree in the lobby of the Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Walked over to the Disneyland Hotel next. This is the Frontier Tower Lobby.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

As I was walking toward Trader Sam's a pair of live musicians there were wrapping up with a Hawaiian Christmas song. Here is a clip of it.

The E-Ticket pool was closed this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

A tree outside Goofy's Kitchen

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Santa's meet-and-greet area near the convention center is all ready for Santa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The "gingerbread" Castle is back at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Olaf's Ice Rink was open for business at the Downtown Disney Winter Village.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The Winter Village in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

This is the last weekend for the Mad T Party. So stopped by for one last performance from the band.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

The snow finale...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Arrived on Main Street as the 8:30 Wintertime Enchantment moment was happening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Goofy showed up to take some pictures in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Found a spot for Believe in Holiday Magic....Disney warned then cancelled the show. The announcement said due to winds at upper elevations. I did not see anything moving. So had to settle for just snowfall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Arrived in Paradise Pier about 20 minutes before World of Color was to begin and found spot in the blue section using my FastPass.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Since I was in a good spot again decided to re-record the Do You Want to Build a Snowman opening with the SLR camera. So here it is. Interesting that it featured images from some of the holiday animated shorts I had seen earlier.


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Here is the Frozen Medley then finale of World of Color Winter Dreams.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/26/14

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 22, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14, Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 14, 2014, the first weekend for all of the holiday decorations and activities at Disneyland.

Returning to Disney California Adventure. The window of Off the Page.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Inside the Animation building the Character Close-up area is closed. Internet rumor is the Frozen sisters will be moving in here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A couple clips from their performance.

One more clip from their performance.

Viva Navidad! has returned to Paradise Gardens. The Street Party was in full swing when I arrived in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Viva Navidad offerings

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Goofy was out for pictures when I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The 2014 logo on merchandise.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This Route 66 sign along the parade route seems new to me. It is hung like the snow flakes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the lights and neon to come on along Route 66. This week Winter Wonderland was played.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This evening Santa Mater rolled by as the event was happening.

The setting sun and new Route 66 sign, notice the snow flake lights in the background.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The citizens of Buena Vista Street gathering for the tree lighting.
The event was the same as the last couple years.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video from last year of the Tree Lighting.

The Christmas tree in Town Square lit up.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A Christmas Fantasy Parade making its way up the parade route.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

If you were interested here is a look at this section from the old Very Merry Christmas Parade. I recorded this in December 1993.

As expected the jungle does not have a lot of lights...so the pictures are not very good.

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The villagers had the generator they found going so their lights were on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The projection show from last year has returned to Small World Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

I returned to Main Street for Sleeping Beauty Castle Wintertime Enchantment. Here is a video I took last year of the show. It appeared to be the same this year.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Some Hanukkah items for sale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Over to Buena Vista Street and Trolley Treats. Holiday cookies.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A look around Carthay Circle this evening.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Mad T Party Band was performing when I arrived. They are concluding their sets with holiday/snow songs and snow fall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Mad T Party Band finale from 2012 leading to snow fall.

Snow Flakes lead the way to Paradise Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Time for the 2014 edition of World of Color Winter Dreams.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

It now features more Frozen. Included is Do you want to build a snowman?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video clip of the opening.

Olaf is still the host.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

There seemed to be more of Tinker Bell and her friends in the video this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A clip from the middle of the show.

Big Hero 6 made the clips package this year. Here are Baymax and Hiro.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

In Summer has a new finale

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Santa Mater

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video clip of the new Frozen additions and it runs through the finale.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

After the finale for the exit music they use a studio recording of Glow (the song that opened the show last year)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A brief clip as I was exiting the park.


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 21, 2014

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14, Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 14, 2014, the first weekend for all of the holiday decorations and activities at Disneyland.

There is a lot going on, so this update has been split into two parts.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort before park opening Friday and spent a full day, staying until after World of Color, so I clocked in around 14 hours at the parks.

First stop today Disney California Adventure. I was in the park just after 8:30am, it did not open until 9:00am so had some time to roam around Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Walked through Condor Flats. Soarin' was open, with a 10 minute posted wait, no signs of a line yet and the area was nice and quiet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Picked up a FastPass for World of Color Winter Dreams then made my way over to Disneyland. The Christmas tree and garland are both up this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Main Street was alive with activity. Cars, people, horses all moving about.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The sky looked threatening.. it drizzled on the drive to the park, but no rain the entire day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A video of my ride through Snow White's Scary Adventures.

Next up Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Passed through Frontierland on my way to Adventureland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Jingle Cruise has returned for its second year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Signs up in the queue explaining the reason for all the jingle in the attraction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Looking up river this year there are more decorations. Here you can see garlands in the jungle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Here is a video of our trip.

A couple pictures from the trip, the tiger has gotten into some of the shipment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

More of the lost shipment down near the elephant bathing pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The family of baboons found the hats and boots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Down in the camp the gorillas were trying to bake some holiday treats

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The African Elephants managed to decorate themselves a little.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The outdoor decorations found their way into Africa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The lions enjoying the reindeer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The villagers found Christmas lights.

And a generator.

As well as some Christmas sweaters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Trader Sam ready to celebrate the new year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Went for a cruise on Small World Holiday. Here is the Europe room.

A video clip of the Latin America room - Feliz Navidad

Hiro and Baymax are now greeting guests in the Starcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey and the gang arriving in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Some of the characters boarded the fire truck for a ride to Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Big Thunder Ranch is hosting the Jingle Jangle Jamboree again this year.

Here are a couple video clips of the new melodrama: The Plight Before Christmas.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mrs. Claus Tasty Treats menu

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey in his holiday gear.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Santa was back in his seat meeting guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Chip in his gingerbread outfit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Dale in his matching outfit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Pluto pulled up a bench to color for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Stopped for lunch at the Stage Door Cafe and picked a table with a great view of the Rivers of America.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Jack and Sally out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

A walk through Critter Country to check out the Christmas decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing on Main Street USA.

The Town Square Christmas tree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Mickey signing autographs in Town Square in his holiday sweater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Walked through Downtown Disney.

The winter village is set up in front of the AMC as well as Earl of Sandwich.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The Christmas tree sits in the middle of the ice rink again this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Olaf was stationed near his ice rink

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

The hat near the Disneyland Hotel received a new color scheme recently.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

This weekend is the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. This is the finish line.

The 5K was Saturday morning and Sunday is the half marathon. Laura will have a full report from the race festivities so I will skip them in this posting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/14

Part 2 features photos from Viva Navidad and some of the nighttime activities, like World of Color Winter Dreams, and Sleeping Beauty Castle Winter Enchantment.

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 14, 2014

Holidaytime at Disneyland

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November 13th marked this year's arrival of the holiday season to the Disneyland Resort!

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To kick it off, the ceremonial lighting of "it's a small world" took place, presided over by the Gallardo Family. Their daughter Maya had battled acute myelogenous leukemia when she was 16 months old, but was ultimately cured by a stem cell transplant from her older brother Aaron.

Afterwards, the family was joined by their Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Rosenthal.

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Later, the "A Christmas Fantasy" parade ran for its 20th year, celebrating its anniversary with the addition of "Frozen" princesses Anna and Elsa.

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Finally, over at Disney California Adventure, a newly-reworked version of last year's "World of Color - Winter Dreams" opened with an increased "Frozen" presence, as the songs "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and "Love is an Open Door" were added into the spectacle.

In addition to these holiday offerings, there is a plethora of returning entertainment around the two parks:

Disneyland
--Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch
--Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle
--"Believe...in Holiday Magic" fireworks
--Haunted Mansion Holiday
--Jingle Cruise
--"Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort" guided tour

Disney California Adventure

--"Disney ¡Viva Navidad!"
--Classic department store Santa at Elias & Co.
--Holiday version of "Mad T Party"
--Seasonal makeovers to Cars Land, "a bug's land," and Buena Vista Street

Downtown Disney
--"Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink"
--Downtown Disney Winter Village
--Gingerbread House in the Grand Californian

Happy Holidays!

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December 1, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13 - Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

Firststop today, Disney California Adventure. I walked down Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

In Paradise Gardens as part of Viva Navidad! Mariachi Espectacular performing at the Bandstand.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13


The arts and crafts area was not busy this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Goofy was at the meet and greet location.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Time for the Viva Navidad! Street Party

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

The Red Car News Boys have added a couple Christmas songs to their show. Here is a video of the finale and then the News Boys driving down Buena Vista Street.


Next stop, Disneyland. In Town Square preparations for the Candlelight Ceremony are underway. This year the performances are December 7 & 8th only.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Went for a cruise on Holiday "it's a small world".

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Caught a performance of Mickey and the Magical Map. They have made some tweaks to the show. The most obvious is Stitch is now part of the Hawaiian Roller Coaster segment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Then for the finale Mickey has a new outfit since he is no longer an apprentice.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

A video clip from the finale.

Santa Mickey at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Pluto

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Santa Goofy.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Minnie in a holiday dress

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Enjoyed a performance of Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies. Here is a video of a Hillbilly Guitar Lesson.

The Winter edition of the Buena Vista Bugle was hot off the presses Wednesday and hit news stands in the afternoon/evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

A closer look at the paper.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Walked through Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

The Pacific Wharf Cafe has holiday treats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

And of course Turkey shaped sourdough bread

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Spotted a light up Olaf on the way to Disneyland. ($15)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

XBoxOne has taken over Disney Infinity in Innoventions, there were a handful of XBox 360s in the corner with Disney Infinity still.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Elvis, Scot Bruce, was at the Tomorrowland Terrace and had a packed dance floor.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Caught a Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting moment on Main Street on my way to DCA.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Arrived a few minutes before Winter Dreams started and found a spot in the stand by area. I focused on the projections on Screamin.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Then I went and got in line to use my Fastpass for the second showing. The view this time was a little better.. this is from the Blue section.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Wish they had a rule you were not allowed to hold anything above your head... kids, iPads, cameras...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

What are the odds.. a kid up on shoulders right in the center of my picture.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

The wind was blowing a great direction and the snow flakes were floating over the show.

A couple were blown up by the water which was fun to see to (I did not get a good picture of that though).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13


A snowflake lifting off. This would have been a great shot if it the snow flake would have been rotated some..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/27/13

Video of Winter Dreams finale from the premiere night.


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 25, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13 - Disneyland Resort

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 22, 2013.

There was a steady drizzle as I arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure this afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Starbucks in Downtown Disney is moving along. Some new steel is visible around the entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

An Annual Passholder viewing of Winter Dreams tonight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Even though it was raining off and on a decent crowd at the park.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Soarin' was a walk-on as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

They had two lines for Winter Dreams Fastpasses. On the left Annual Passholders for the 9pm show, on the right anyone else for the 10:15pm show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

After you received your Fastpass you were given an ornament.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The ornament featured Winter Dreams on one side.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

And Frozen on the other. Wish it said 2013 too somewhere.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Today was radio day and they lined the parade route in front of the Little Mermaid.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Carthay Circle on this rainy afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Some new decorations this year line Hollywood Blvd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The flags were at half staff. Not sure if it was still in memorial of Diane Disney Miller or if it was for the anniversary of JFK.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


The Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Chip & Dale on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Over to Disneyland...Sleeping Beauty Castle, unobstructed.. the past few visits there have been stages set up in front blocking access

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Fantasy Faire received some garland and wreaths for the season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Oops.. hard to hold the camera steady and an umbrella.. but here are two cast members passing out Jingle Cruise posters near the exit to the attraction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Jingle Cruise ride-through


A Tiki Souvenir Sipper available at the Dole Whip stand.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Heading into the Big Thunder Ranch area, near the BBQ area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Billy Hill and the Holiday Hillbillies - the Country Bears Join the finale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Due to the weather Santa and Mrs. Claus were in the Cabin vs the Jamboree area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

A couple of clips of Olaf in action at the Frozen Meet and Greet in Fantasyland.

Dumbo has re-opened - it was operational last week I just did not make it over to get any pictures. Looks like just some general paintings, cleaning. Hard to tell with the rain though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Mad Tea Party is closed due to the rain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Back to DCA, Elias & Co window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Time for the Tree Lighting. The citizens, bell ringers, and characters all assemble at the tree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the tree lighting.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Oops the lower portion of the tree on the Pier was not lit fully.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Time for the Street Party at Viva Navidad!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the Street Party from last week in case you missed it.

Santa and his reindeer on Hollywood Blvd.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Mad T Party Band Performing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

A video clip from the holiday finale to the 6pm set - the T Party Band's version of "Sleigh Ride".

Another look at some of the new decorations on Hollywood Blvd this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


I had a little under an hour before the Wintertime Enchantement Castle Lighting so decided to do a very quick tour of the hotels.. The Grand Californian Hotel lobby decorations are up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Next up the Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

The Frontier Tower of the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Tangaroa Terrace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

A Marine Corps Ball going on in the main ballroom.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

I could not remember (and have not looked it up yet) but are these lights hanging down new this year?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

As you enter the Fantasy Tower Lobby there is a gingerbread Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Olaf's Ice Rink in the Winter Village at Downtown Disney

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

A quick look at the shops at the rink. I did not have time to go in and get closer pictures this trip.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Back to Disneyland in time for the Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting of Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the event.. these happen 2-3 times a night leading up to the snow fall. Usually around 7:30 and 8:30 and I think there is one in the 5:15 or 5:30 time frame.


Back to DCA...The tree in the Elysian Arcade opposite the Kingswell Camera Shop area

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


A holiday special at Clarabelle's

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13


Carthay Circle this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

There is a new game to entertain you while waiting for World of Color.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

You log onto the free wi-fi network and reach the website to play. The game is like Simon Says.. you watch the wheel then mimic the pattern on your device. The winner is based on accuracy and time and you get to control the lights on the wheel for a few moments then. The user interface to play.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Video of the game in action.

The 5 minute announcement for World of Color - Winter Dreams.

Show time. Note the Honor Choir is technically a preshow so it started about 3 minutes to the top of the hour.

The show reached this section of Glow, near the end, and the sound cut and video froze, they restarted after about ten minutes and the show froze in the same spot then they cancelled it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Here is video clip from last week of Glow (for more pictures & video check out my site or Jeanine's posting here on Allears).

Since there were no fireworks (due to weather) they ran another Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting segment then the White Christmas snowfall

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/22/13

Here is a video from 2011 of what happens if you are curious.


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 23, 2013

Holidaytime at the Disneyland Resort

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So now that Halloween is over, the Winter Holidays have taken over the Disneyland Resort with a vengeance.

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Some season offerings have continued on from the last holiday...

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Haunted Mansion Holiday

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...Some have returned from last season...

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"it's a small world" Holiday

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A Christmas Fantasy parade

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...and some are brand new for this year.

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Jingle Cruise is a new seasonal overlay for the Jungle Cruise attraction, in which the skippers bring a little holiday cheer to their tropical post. Consisting of new decorations in the queue and and some topical additions to the spiel, it's a nice change-up that refreshes the ride without completely altering its nature.

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Over in Fantasyland, the Tangled meet and greet has been changed over to Frozen, with Princess Anna and Queen Elsa holding court in a cottage decorated with an animatronic Olaf the Snowman perched on the roof.

Most of the brand new celebratory additions are over in Disney California Adventure, where Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is taking place for the first time at the Paradise Garden area of Paradise Pier. Celebrating the spirit of the Latino culture, it features meet and greets with the Three Caballeros; crafts and face painting; traditional music and menu items; and the high energy "Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party," which takes place several times a day.

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To best show the wide variety of holiday happenings around the resort, here's some video provided by Disney highlighting some of what's available:

With all the new things to see and do at the Disneyland Resort this season, it will surely be a cinch to turn any Scrooge to the holiday spirit! Be sure to catch all the festivities while they're here!

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November 13, 2013

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 8, 2013.

This posting takes a look at Disney California Adventure.

Time to visit DCA.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Buena Vista Street is all decorated and alive with Holiday cheer.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Too bad they did not switch out the Big Top Toys window.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

The Buena Vista Street tree.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Santa is back in Elias and Co. Of course he was taking a break when I walked by.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


The Animation Building lobby is still closed.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Noticed Olaf made the schedule of characters you can learn to draw at the Animation Academy.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Is this Santa and reindeer new? I did not remember them.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


The Flyers are still being worked on.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

The entrance to Fliks

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Some holiday merchandise in Cars Land.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


Waiting for the lights to come on.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Time for the lights to come on.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

This year I just enjoyed the show, but here is a video from last year to give you a sampling of the event.

Then I walked quickly to Buena Vista Street for the tree lighting. Since I was late I was not in a good spot.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Here is a video from last year, this year is the same more or less.


11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Was curious if the Mad T Party added any Christmas songs to the set, they had not yet.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Passed through Cars Land again.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

The blue cones are back again this season.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Santa Mater making his way to the Cozy Cone

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

The Wharf lights

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Paradise Park was nice and quiet.. only one World of Color at 9:45pm tonight and it was approaching 7.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Several large boxes are in the planters around the park for the upcoming World of Color Winter Dreams show that premieres Thursday.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Paradise Garden will be celebrating Viva Navidad this holiday season.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

The Paradise Grill has a new menu for the season, Greek is out, Mexican is in.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta also has special offerings.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


Screamin has received new lights for World of Color Winter Dreams, bringing back memories of Luminaria. This time around the lights look more substantial though.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

And they took the time to make them blend in.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


Some Holiday shirts at Sideshow Shirts

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Back from its renovation.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Stopped by Sarges

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

And Flos

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Missed Santa again.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

Walked through Elias and Company.

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure

11/08/13 - Disney California Adventure


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



December 24, 2012

A Star-Studded Christmas

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Happy Holidays!

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If you haven't had a chance to take a look at it already, AllEars put a slideshow out last week showcasing many of the beautiful seasonal sights around DCA.

For my Christmas offering this year, I'm presenting a handful of video clips of some of my favorite celebrities I've seen performing in the parks this season.

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First up is Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible, Harold & Kumar,) doing the introduction to the Candlelight Processional, as it is performed in EPCOT.

The next clip is a little bit of a departure, as it actually comes from Universal Studios Hollywood. As part of their "Grinchmas" celebration, they had different celebrities each day for their Grinchmas Tree lighting.

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The narrator here is Raphael Sbarge, who currently plays Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket on the Disney-owned hit series, Once Upon A Time.

Finally, we'll close with John Stamos (Full House, ER,) concluding his evening performance at Candlelight Processional, this time at Disneyland.

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As we cross the finish line this week into Christmas, I'll join my holiday wishes to Stamos'. From the West Coast to the East Coast, and all points within and without, the Merriest of Seasons, everyone.

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November 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trips to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012.

The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started Friday. In this part we take a look at Disney California Adventure and how Buena Vista Street and Cars Land are celebrating their first Christmas season. Plus a check in around the park.


Buena Vista Street is all decked out for the holidays.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Pluto with his holiday gear on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Made my way down to Cars Land next.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

When you walk through Cars Land be sure to really look at the decorations... they are all car-inspired of course.

A snow car out front. "Seasons Speedings!"

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Everything in Cars Land has been decorated.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's is a nice cross between Fourth of July and Christmas.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Thought all the air and oil filters on the garland were fun.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Mater out for pictures.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Over on Buena Vista Street the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers are performing for the season.

Afterwards the group posed for a picture.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Returned to Cars Land to continue my look around. The Christmas trees in front of the shops reflect each owner.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Flo's, Notice how the oil can is connected to the pole. Great detail.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The courthouse is all decked as is Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside Ramone's, the doorway to the expanded portion of the store looks ready to go.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

An oil can tree in front of Flo's.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A tree inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Bugs Land looks to be the same as the last several years with giant lights and ornaments.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


This year Santa is a department store Santa, sitting in Elias and Co.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The night before Christmas is told with a series of scenes ringing the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The stores have a nice set of decorations that work, even decorations up above.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the tree.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Los Feliz has a lot of garland inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The Men's room garland has no lights...

Disney California Adventure Christmas

But the Women's room does...

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Time to walk through the other side of the street now.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Trolley Treats features a lot of candy overhead.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the candy garland in Trolley Treats.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Clarabelle's has ice cream garland of course.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Phineas and Ferb feature a Holiday overlay.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Paradise Gardens features the same decorations as last year (as did the Mermaid building).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Donald is out on the Pier for pictures this year since Santa is on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Back to Buena Vista Street for the Tree Lighting.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Disney California Adventure Christmas


There was no show this evening, just a simple count down and lighting. The Cast Members said the show will start mid next week it looks like.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up walked through Cars Land. They are playing Winter Wonderland as the lights come on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

They had some light issues this evening so not everything came on as planned and many were still not lit later in the evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A short clip as I caught the end of the lighting event.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

Not all the lights were on. Notice the snow and winter sign.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

There's a gingerbread display inside the Cozy Cones office.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Christmas lights on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The windows of Elias & Co Window.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party has received some Holiday extras.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Here is a video of the opening.

The projections on Monsters now feature snow flakes and every now and then Santa flying by.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party band.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The first 2/3 of the set are their regular songs. Then the finale features the Unbirthday Song as well as a couple Christmas ones.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Video of the Christmas additions.


World of Color features the Prep and Landing preshow segment now. It appeared to be the same as last year, nothing different jumped out to me.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Brave segment has remained in the show.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

On Monday I made a second night time pass through Disney California Adventure, below are some pictures from this brief trip.

The garland was lit this evening at DCA (also noticed the flag was still up).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside the main lounge of the Carthay Circle restaurant is a gingerbread dwarfs cottage.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Some garland lines the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A look at the tree on the way out.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up a stroll through Cars Land. Snowy is out front to greet you.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's trees were on this evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The tree made out of oil cans at the entrance to Flo's has garland now (guess they are still putting finishing touches on since Friday).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 16, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disneyland Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012..

The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started the Friday before. In this posting we take a look at Downtown Disney then into Disneyland to see the new Jingle Jangle Jamboree.

Earl of Sandwich has opened since my last visit and it was crowded.

Disneyland Christmas

The line stretched out the door.

Disneyland Christmas

The banners have gone back to the Cars Land ones. Guessing Christmas will go up next week.

Disneyland Christmas

One of the World of Disney Christmas windows.

Disneyland Christmas

In the evening I made a quick pass through Disneyland.

Disneyland Christmas

Main Street is only partially decorated, they still have some garland to go and some was not lit yet.

The castle icicle lights were not on this evening either.

Disneyland Christmas

Small World Holiday is open. The line was longer than the time I had so no ride through this evening.

Disneyland Christmas

Toontown is decked out for the season (no cab yet)

Disneyland Christmas

The painting of the Goofy Gas station is done. The Christmas decorations are not up on it.

Disneyland Christmas

Most important the Goofy Water is not back yet either.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Still working near Minnies

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Pirates League is long gone and the Christmas gift shop is back in the courtyard.

Disneyland Christmas

Caught the opening of Soundsational, the parade runs till Sunday then Monday Christmas Fantasy starts.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


Mickey with his holiday sweater on.

Disneyland Christmas

Time for Believe in Holiday Magic.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


Noticed they had not switched out the tram stop billboards to Christmas yet even though today was the official start.

Disneyland Christmas

Working on the tile on the third floor of the garage.

Disneyland Christmas

First stop today, Disneyland!

Disneyland Christmas

The Holiday park guides.

Disneyland Christmas

Thought this was bad show.. first thing you saw today was a closed pop corn cart.

Disneyland Christmas

A quick look around Town Square on this peaceful afternoon.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Donald and Goofy out in Town Square.

Disneyland Christmas

Pluto with his star and hat for the season.

Disneyland Christmas

Mickey was near by too.

Disneyland Christmas

The garland has not been strung yet.. but the cables are up so probably by the time you read this it will be up.

Disneyland Christmas

Main Street transportation was in full swing this afternoon.

Disneyland Christmas

The castle is all decked out now.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


A check of the Fantasy Faire progress.

The facades are really taking shape.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Not much visible progress on the theater.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Stopped by Toontown. Still no cab.

Disneyland Christmas

Some random shots from around Toontown.

Disneyland Christmas

No decorations on the Goofy Gas station yet.

Disneyland Christmas

Curious if they are done or if there is more to come.. for example the Powerhouse does not have its power inspired garland.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


The Goofy Water fountains are back but still being finished up.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

The Holiday popcorn bucket for this year.

Disneyland Christmas

Never know who you will end up walking behind when you roam around Disneyland.

Disneyland Christmas

Next stop the Jingle Jangle Jamboreer at the Big Thunder Ranch.

Disneyland Christmas

No turkeys this year... just a donkey out front.

Disneyland Christmas

Santa has moved from the cabin to the Jamboree so its nice and quiet inside.

Disneyland Christmas

While I was taking pictures had three different families come in and ask me where Santa was.

Disneyland Christmas

No reindeer this year either.. instead Christmas goats.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


The Jamboree was alive with activity this afternoon.

Disneyland Christmas

To the left when you enter is an area for Reindeer Games.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


Nice to see they re-used some of the decorations that used to line the reindeer area.

Disneyland Christmas


Pluto trying out the games.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

In the center of the area was Mrs Claus Tasty Treats.

A look at some of the food.

Disneyland Christmas

And cookies to decorate too.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Santa is out in the far left corner as you enter. This is the queue for him.

Disneyland Christmas

Here he is...

Disneyland Christmas

The far side was set up for Holiday crafts.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Time for the Billies.

A video clip of the Orange Blossom Special Holiday Edition

They did a fun Beatles holiday tribute.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

A video clip of the Beatles medley.

To close the show they did a sing along and the a couple of the Country Bears joined in.

Disneyland Christmas

Video of the Country Bears and sing a long.

A new popcorn bucket this year... Santa Mickey (last year was a snowman).

Disneyland Christmas

The Holiday cups are out (the napkins are still plain, wonder if that is a sign they will not be adding a design anytime soon, it has been a while now).

Disneyland Christmas


The Holiday Season officially kicked off with a lighting ceremony at Small World. Jeanine is posting a full recap of the event, but here is a quick video and a couple pictures.


Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


The 1st Christmas Fantasy Parade of the season making its way toward Small World.

Nothing drastically different jumped out at me this year. So the next several pages are just some random pictures from the parade.

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas


Caught the 6:30 Wintertime Enchantment (snow fall moment).

Disneyland Christmas

Disneyland Christmas

Then made my way to the castle for some pictures.

Disneyland Christmas



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



November 15, 2012

The Holidays come to Disneyland!

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Now that Halloween's out of the way, the Disneyland Resort has begun its full swing into the Christmas Holidays.

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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.

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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.

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The garlands on the buildings are brand-new cedar garlands they had made for them, with a seven year life expectancy.

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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.

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One particularly cute display series shows Silly Symphony scenes in a pop-up book fashion.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Inside Carthay Circle, a miniature Seven Dwarves gingerbread cottage sits inconspicuously in the lounge area.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Over at the Cozy Cones, Sally has a whole gingerbread replica of the Cozy Cones Motel inside the lobby...

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...While Flo decorates the stacks of oil cans she stocks for hungry cars.

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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.

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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.

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December 29, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 23, 2011.


They were directing ECVs to an open gate on the far side of the entrance area. I thought they should also be directing strollers down there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A lot more crowded than last week but not holiday gridlock yet...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Only a few more weeks before the Bakery is slated to close.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The new bakery has no real visible changes from last week. But a banner is up saying it is coming soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 11:45am

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Caught the 12:20pm Toy Soldier Jam Session in the Small World Mall. This brief show happens several times a day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Here is a video of the performance.


A couple of temporary carts in the Esplanade selling tickets. The line at the booths was short too as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Next up DCA. Buena Vista Street is moving along with a lot of visible progress. The framing of the facades is moving quickly.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is the west side facade over the restroom/locker building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


More tarps and scaffolding are down on the Carthay Circle Theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The West side of the street, this is where the train used to be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Checking out the east side of the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to the west side. Notice the large tree that is now in place.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The walls have been pushed back and the queue for Disney Jr is now usable. The planters have been reconfigured and some new light. What a difference a few changes make to the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It allows for a different view of the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


They were doing some landscaping this afternoon. Always fun to watch a tree fly through the air..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A look down Route 66 reveals work crews have taken over the street with trucks, dumpsters, and port-a-potties.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Upon closer inspection noted new signs down the block.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Several tractors out on Maters for testing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Thought this was interesting. There was a table out front of Paradise Gardens advertising what is available at the grill and they had some free samples.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It seemed awkward to me and gave me a Costco vibe.. did not really work in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Some shots of Cars Land from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

More trees going in and being moved around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A better view of several tractors at Maters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The Carthay is a nice addition to the skyline.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Most of the scaffolding on the far wall is down. Only a few more stories to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another view of the new signs on Route 66.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another flying tree..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Rumor is some work will be done to these stores early next year... will not believe it till I see it since I have heard this before.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Christmas tree shot..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

No line for Santa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Holiday inspired sour dough bread.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Wow that is a lot of trees now as you look into Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


With the trees moved you can get a clear shot of Maters sign now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Stopped by the Disney Gallery and walked through to the Opera House Lobby. Seems time to update the display case.. tomorrow is now today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

I do not think I ever took a picture of Walt in the castle model...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some of the current mouse ear options.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 4:30pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Castle shot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The wheel chair boats are back in use at Small World, I remember reading a while ago they were pulled offline for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Small World Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is interesting.. Tointown? Guessing this is from the wind or could it be a prank?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


A couple pictures from the Wintertime Enchantment

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the event.

(Laura's note: Put your mouse cursor on the video and click on the snowflake icon on the youtube toolbar!)

The wait times around 7:40pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to DCA.. the new gas pumps in Condor Flats after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


ElecTRONica was not too busy this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some pictures from ILLUMINATE performing. This group was on America's Got Talent.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of their performance plus some techno remixes of Christmas songs. The video quality of the performance is pretty bad, but you can probably get the drift of the show from it.

The new lights were on near the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Cars Land appeared to have some show lighting tests going on. The lighting was not the usual bright white work lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Over to Disneyland a look at some of the Emporium windows.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Waiting for the snow fall... Believe had already been cancelled for the evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the Believe replacement - a second performance of Wintertime Enchantment plus the White Christmas snowfall finale.

That wraps up this trip. Hope everyone has a great holiday season!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



December 19, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 16, 2011. The main focus of Part 1 is to check in on the progress of Cars Land as well as Buena Vista Street. Part 2 will feature Disneyland and some of the holiday festivities.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort right as the afternoon winds were kicking up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Heading to DCA first to check out the construction progress. The facades on the West side of the street are slowly taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

More framing going up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The backside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

There were posted warnings that if the winds continue World of Color may be cancelled (it was not). Also surprising they were still passing out Fastpasses in the Yellow section for the first show, an indication that the park was not too crowded yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Everything looks so peaceful from this shot. (the winds were really howling at this point).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


They were keeping everyone clear of the Christmas tree due to the winds.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Thanks to the winds it was fairly clear as you looked around from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


A wider shot of the Radiator Springs Racers area.. wow is it impressive!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The base of the radiator cap is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The RS can be seen now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The arch by the Wharf is just about painted. Also there is now a tree there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The Curios store signage is up now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The courthouse/firehouse looks great!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Over to the Flying Tires area. Looks like the lights are going in (you can see them strung in the background as well as the lifts).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Ramone's sign is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The Cozy Cones are inching along. Also the backstage fence behind them looks to have been painted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Behind the cones it is hard to tell what is going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


A look at Mater's, notice there is a tractor out (about the middle of the shot). Also more props near the shack.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The rock work makes a great backdrop for the Wharf. What a difference!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

They were painting the underside of the archway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Filmore's windmill was going full speed thanks to the wind. Here is a riveting video of the windmill in action from two angles for those who are interested.

Sarge's has received the first layer of its roof.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The sign for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Not sure what to call it but something else out in from of Filmore's.. guess it is a windmill of sorts?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

A wider shot of the area. The trees do look great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The most exciting change... Route 66 has received its blacktop. It is really moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Cannot wait to see this at night!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

More details emerging.. notice the lamp post by Filmore's

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

A look down Route 66. Stanley's base is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Over to Mater's. More props installed around the shack.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


In Flik's Fun Fair, Flik's Flyers were closed temporarily.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

As were the fountains.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The walls were down around the Red Car stop near Tower of Terror.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Only visible change to me was this strip under where it will stop. Guessing this is a sensor of some kind. Wonder if it is for charging too?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Much of the scaffolding on the Carthay Circle Theater is now down. And the details are starting to emerge.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Moving on. Here is the East side of the street. Scaffolding up around the old Candy store sign and the Elias and Company facade steel is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The West side (where the train used to be)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The palm trees have been opened up, just in time for the winds to give them a work out.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Bright new gas pumps in Condor Flats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



November 14, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com visited Disneyland on 11/11/11, the first day of the 2011 holiday season. Here in Part 2 are photos from Disney California Adventure, including the holiday decorations, the new Prep and Landing intro to World of Color and a construction update, as well as a look at the progress at the Disneyland Hotel.

Some holiday cheer on the new DCA entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The framing is moving along slowly on Buena Vista Street

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


A couple of trees outside of Guest Relations trailer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The concrete for the new rock face is moving along. Looks like only one more section to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Santa as well as the tree are back in the same location as last year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Duffy and his meet-and-greet area are ready for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


From the Fun Wheel, a look at the construction area for Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Still no paint on this rock face, but it looks to be ready.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The scaffolding is almost all gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The outdoor seating area for Flo's is really taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looks like they are working on the signage for the store.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Wires up on Maters

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A wide shot of the racers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The court house has its first exterior coat on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A closer look at the new rock face

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Carthay Circle Theater is looking more complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Mermaid Building has some Christmas decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Taking a look around the rest of Paradise Pier - Holiday decorations at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill restaurants.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A closer look at the Mermaid Building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Holiday garland for the Pacific Wharf.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Christmas lights in the Wharf

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A look towards Cars Land from the Blue Sky Cellar patio area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


You can see the tower of tires at Luigi's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looking down Route 66

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The shack for Mater's is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

On Buena Vista Street the steel just keeps growing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Pump House is out from behind construction walls, and for the moment there is a small information center there. It is supposed to eventually be a Red Trolley Car stop also.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The area in front of the pump house looks great. Weird to see curbs and trees...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A couple of guest relations CMs out to answer questions

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2
Looks like this facade is staying. Just will be re-branded.
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Left DCA through the Grand Californian entrance. The Grand Californian is not decorated yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The Muppets are watching over Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


At the Disneyland Hotel, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto hanging out by the pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

All the construction walls are down, just barriers up now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Goofy, Chip and Dale hanging out next to the pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The new E-ticket pool is filled and ready to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The new front desk area is now done and looks much more open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

No signage on the gift shop yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The walls around the fountain area are down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The new facade for Goofy's Kitchen and The Coffee House.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Wow what a difference!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Heading toward the bridge which now is open. it crossed the pool area between Tangaroa Terrace and Goofy's Kitchen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looking over the new pool area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The tower signs were going up Friday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The crew was working on the Adventure Tower sign

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Working on the lighting for the sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Some holiday treats at Marceline's in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Back at DCA in the evening: the garland on the entrance was not lit up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Lights on the Little Mermaid building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

For the holiday season there is a new intro to World of Color, featuring the elves from Prep and Landing. These photos and video were taken from the Blue Section.

(Laura's note: I thought this was very cute and clever, but people who haven't seen the Prep and Landing show might not get it.)


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2



Nighttime holiday lights around Paradise Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



November 13, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com visited the parks on Friday, November 11, 2011, the first day of the 2011 holiday season. Part 1 features photos from Disneyland, including special Veterans Day events, holiday decorations, and "it's a small world" Holiday.

The tram stop signs have been switched to Christmas.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

New holiday banners and signs in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

An interesting comparison.. here is the entrance to DCA...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

And the entrance to Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Holiday decor at the Main Street train station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Cast members at the turnstiles have new costumes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The tunnel poster has been updated for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Mickey's Soundsational Parade is running through Sunday then "A Christmas Fantasy" starts on Monday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

"Snow" on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

New Orleans Square is very festive.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Blue Bayou and Pirates of the Caribbean are still closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Moving over to The Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Golden Horseshoe tree.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Even with the garland the new railings still look off to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Some of the other Frontierland decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Christmas tree in Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

In celebration of Veterans Day there was an expanded Flag Retreat. An honor guard with members representing all the services led the procession.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Cast Member Veterans followed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band was a special participant.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Cast Members lined up on either side of the Train Station

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The Dapper Dans in their patriotic outfits.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

As the anthem for each service was played the Cast Members paraded in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The flag is lowered.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Folding the flags

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The band did a great drill to turn around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


(Laura's note: If you'd like to see the ceremony, Jason has posted a video to youtube: http://youtu.be/mOo9WfG7Ssg)

Some lights on Sleeping Beauty Castle, but the full "Winter Castle" show doesn't start until November 14.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

"it's a small world" Holiday is open for the season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Elvis is back.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Looks like the floor in the toy store next to "it's a small world" was redone

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


New trees in Toontown (I read they came from Florida). I was not impressed by them - I thought the old ones were better.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Oops.. one of the Os is missing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


The Marine band was also doing a pre-parade set.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Nighttime holiday lights on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

The gallery was closed preparing for a new exhibit - Trains of Disney - that opened on Saturday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 1


Part 2 will include photos from Disney California Adventure and the Disneyland Hotel. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



December 30, 2010

Followup: A Little Disney in Your Decorating

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A while ago I shared some of my Disney holiday decorations, and invited you to share yours. Disney is popular with a lot of you! Here's what you sent.

Mary Virginia wrote:

Disney Christmas ornaments are my favorite way to incorporate my two favorites: Disney & Christmas!

As a young child (5 years old, actually), I apparently begged enough that my mother bought.my brother and I each an ornament. His was Mickey and some presents stuffed in a stocking. Mine was Tinkerbell. Every year, these were my favorite ornaments to find on the Christmas tree.

Sadly, those ornaments are no more (thanks Katrina). However, I went to WDW last Christmas, and bought a new special ornament: a glass ball shaped like Mickey with a bride Minnie and a groom Mickey. It says "Just Married" and I got it personalized with our wedding date. It doesn't match ANY of my other ornaments, but I don't care! It is my new favorite. Who knows what kind of ornament I'll come home with this year!

From Melissa:

Most years, I just love to put out the monorail and circle it around the tree. We also have the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary where the monorail circles, and right in the middle in front of the tree.... Why, Cinderella's castle of course! The Christmas tree varies from year to year, but my favorite is the theme of magenta, teal, and purple!

We got married one year ago this weekend, and I am planning on getting at least one Disney Christmas ornament each year. Our first one was the Bride & Groom Mickey & Minnie sitting in a ring, and for this year, I have these adorable snowglobe ornaments!

As you can probably tell, we love Disney and I cherish each and every time we go, which is at least once a month!

Emma, all the way from Surrey, England, writes:

Nearly all of our tree decorations are Disney-related! We have a Mickey & Minnie tree-topper rather than a star or angel; I have bought sets of baubles from the Disney Store - and each trip to WDW we buy one more decoration for our tree :)

Happy Holidays!

Dale Knight says:

We have an Alice in Wonderland themed Christmas Tree. It's upside down and has a tea party set up underneath of it. We also put a "hidden mickey" on each of our six themed Christmas trees.

(I'd love to see a picture of that one! :-) )


From Pat:

A little late, but here is my Disney Decorating:

I have a beautiful Mickey & Minnie Tree Skirt, my tree is about 3/4 Disney ornaments(Characters). The rest are some old family and some of my favorites that came from EPCOT's Germany. My DD stocking is Mickey, I have a singing Tigger & Roo in a rocking chair, and don't forget the Mickey Shape hanging door bells. We have cookie cutters in Mickey Shapes for our butter cookies and I always have Disney wrapping paper for some gifts.

Merry Mickey Christmas to all.

From Lauren:

We don't have a separate "Disney Tree" but I'd say about 40% of our ornaments are Disney, all pretty much by accident. Whenever we travel we always pick up an ornament (or 2 or 5!) and it seems that Disney ornaments have prevailed over every other vacation we've taken!! Other than that, we have a small Disney themed train and a plush Eeyore we picked up a couple years ago who likes to sit in front of our fireplace. Thankfully our pets never thought he was a toy and accepted him into our home!

Damico writes:

My wife Karin & I are long time Disneyworld enthusiasts (my first visit was one week after opening). We decorate our entire 8 foot tree with Disney ornaments of every type that we've collected over the last twelve years. We generally add 4-5 ornaments a year and are getting to the point have having to pick and choose what will fit !!! Every visit (usually 4-5 times per year) we hit the Christmas store in the Marketplace to see what's new. In addition we have a niche in one of our living room walls that I use to build a Disney Christmas village every year using pieces bought over the years. Everything goes up Thanksgiving weekend and comes down after New Years so we celebrate a month Of Disney Christmas.

(Sounds like it's time to get a bigger tree! :-) )

Thanks to all of you for sharing your Disney decorating tips.

Have a very Disney New Year!



December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays!

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So the year's winding down to a close, but the holidays at Disneyland continue in full swing.

Had you been able to make D23's November tweet-meet at the Plaza Gardens, you might have found, among the decorations, a Disney Geek.

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Jeffrey Epstein was there, asking trivia, answering questions, and giving out long-sleeve D23 t-shirts to members who showed up--a nice Christmas present.

Otherwise, the resort is all decked out in its usual Christmas decor, with Haunted Mansion and It's a Small World enjoying their seasonal overlays. On looking over Disneyland, it's interesting that most of the decorations center around New Orleans Square and Main Street--apparently in The Future, we don't celebrate that much.

Anyway, here's a slideshow I put together of some of the holiday accents to be found around the resort this season. Despite what the soundtrack says, this is Disneyland in Anaheim, not Tokyo--I just liked the music.

From over here on the West Coast--wherever you are, and whatever you celebrate--Happy Holidays!

December 5, 2010

Santa's Reindeer Roundup

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During the holiday season, Santa's Reindeer Roundup comes to Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests in the nearby cabin, while Santa's reindeer, all eight of them, live in the corral area.

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I recently had the opportunity to speak to Maggie Gitchen, Guest Service Manager at the Circle D, who oversees all of the animal areas at the park. Her charges include horses, goats, sheep, cows, donkeys, cockatoos, three pardoned turkeys, and, at this time of year, Santa's reindeer.

Laura Gilbreath: How long have you been working with the reindeer?

Maggie Gitchen: I've been working with the reindeer for five years. It's challenging, but it's a lot of fun.

LG: What's your favorite thing about the reindeer?

MG: I think they have the softest looking noses I've ever seen on an animal. They look like velvet. They're different in personality than any of the other animals I've worked with. They're a little skittish, but very pretty.

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LG: You mentioned they are skittish - how do they react with guests around them all day?

MG: They're skittish in that we can't walk up to them and handle them or lead them anywhere. So we have to learn how to move around them and do it safely without exciting them or chasing them. We go through a special training with new people so they learn how to be around them and not excite them. You never trap them in a corner - you always give them a space to move away from you.

LG: We had some really hot weather here in November - how did they handle that?

MG: Actually, they have a special [lining] in their nose, and they breathe heavy and it exchanges the heat so the heat is blown out with their breath. It really helps them deal with the heat when their bodies are ready for winter. And we make sure they have lots of water.

LG: Does Santa come by every once in a while and make sure things are all right?

MG: He's right next door in the little cabin all season, and then on Christmas Eve he harnesses up the reindeer and takes off back to the North Pole, loads up everything and takes off for the night. In the morning he lands them back, puts them back in the pen and then walks around the area in a smoking jacket, all relaxed since his job is done for the year.

The reindeer are pretty tired, but we make sure they have lots to eat to build their energy back up and we make sure they are healthy.

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LG: What do the reindeer eat?

MG: They have a special reindeer feed - a ground-up grain which is specifically made for reindeer. And we have a grass cage that they eat all day long. That's what they do in the wild, so it's best to have food constantly available to them. You know they're happy when they're laying down chewing their cud.

LG: Do they have any special treats, like apples or even candy canes?

MG: The night that they go out for Christmas Eve they get some carrots and some apples.

LG: Other than the North Pole, where are reindeer found?

MG: They are found in the northern areas of most [northern] countries. Reindeer are actually a breed of caribou that came from the Laplands [in northern Finland, most of it above the Arctic Circle]. They are smaller than the caribou found in North America, but these are the ones that were actually used for harness work and they pulled sleds in the snow. They have been used as domestic animals but they are not totally tame.

LG: What little known facts can you tell us about reindeer?

MG: They have a big round hoof - they call them "shovel feet". It gives them traction on the snow and ice, so when they get running and they take off and they fly it gives them traction to get going. It also helps when they drink water - if there's ice on the water they use their hoof to break through the ice.

Their antlers are shed every year. They grow out in the spring and will shed late in the winter. The antlers are actually alive when they have their velvet on the outside and then they will start to die and the velvet starts to peel off and and they rub them to get that off. Then they have hard antlers, which they need for protection. The moms use them to protect the babies, and then the males use them [during mating season] when they fight for the females.

LG: I know our time is up, but one last question - the thing that we all want to know: How do reindeer really fly?

MG: How do they fly? Magic.


November 28, 2010

Little Bit of Disney in Your Decorating

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It's that time of year...the days are shorter, the nights are colder, and mailboxes are filled with catalogs and sale ads. When the President starts pardoning turkeys we know it's time to start rooting around in our closets, attics, and storage units and pulling out the holiday decorations.

I have a lot of Disney-themed decorations...my favorite character is Tigger, so I have Tigger stockings (and stocking holder), stuffed holiday-themed Tiggers of mulltiple sizes, Tigger Christmas tree ornaments, etc. It's hard to pick a favorite, but if I HAD to (and for this blog, I do have to), I'd have to say it's an "animated plush". It's Tigger and Pooh in a red sleigh, and when you turn it on, they bounce and move from side-to-side as they sing "Jingle Bells". It always makes me smile.

What about the rest of you? I'm sure some of you have entire rooms and/or Christmas trees with a Disney holiday theme. How do you bring Disney into your holiday decorating? What are some of your favorite Disney decorations? I'll share your favorites and holiday ideas in a future blog.

(When you send your comments, be sure to enter the word 'blog' in the box provided - that's something we've had to put in place to try to foil the spammers.)



November 14, 2010

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2010

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"It's the most wonderful time of the year..." Or so the song goes - and I have to say that it really is a wonderful time of the year at Disneyland!

The 2010 holiday season started at Disneyland on Friday, November 12 and runs through January 2, 2011. The weather wasn't very "holiday" like, being sunny and 80 degrees, but unfortunately the crowds were - the parks were very busy like you'd expect during the holidays instead of what you expect on a normal Friday afternoon. (A lot of school kids had the day off.) But if the decorations inside Disneyland aren't enough to get you into the spirit of the season, then "Bah, Humbug!" to you. :-) From Main Street to Toontown to Critter Country and New Orleans Square, just about every land had decked its halls for the holidays.

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"it's a small world" Holiday opened for the season, but I did not get a chance to ride it, since the line was always at least 60 minutes every time I went by. Did I mention the parks were crazy busy? Yesterday the queue for "small world" was starting at the end of the terraced area closest to the Matterhorn, rather than up near the attraction itself - they had it fairly well marked, and cast members were asking guests as they went by if they were looking for the "small world" queue. I don't know if that is a change for the season or just the day, but something to be aware of if you go.

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There were many cast members and characters out in their holiday best:

The Disneyland Band, in their red/green/gold-braided uniforms, were performing just inside the park when I arrived.

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And the Dapper Dans looked a bit like singing candy canes.

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This Dickens'-themed band was performing holiday music outside the Refreshment Corner.

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Many of the characters (like Dale) were out in the morning greeting guests in Town Square.

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Over in Frontierland, Santa and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer have taken up temporary residence at Santa's Reindeer Roundup. Though the reindeer really weren't enjoying our beautiful southern California weather - they're used to ice and snow!

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Mrs. Claus was out mingling with guests - she looked like she was having much more fun than Santa, who was stuck greeting people inside the cabin.

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The snow and icicle-covered Sleeping Beauty Castle continued to defy the elements.

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Over at Disney California Adventure...well, it really wasn't very Christmasy over there. The candy cane-striped CALIFORNIA letters are back (and this will be the last year for those, since they are not part of the park's new look - I will miss them).

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The wreath and garland is on the Golden Gate Bridge (also going away).

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The tree and Santa Claus greeting area are near Ariel's Grotto - but that was the only part of Paradise Pier that was decorated.

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And there's the usual over-sized decorations in Flik's Fun Fair.

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I've enjoyed the "city sidewalks" decorations in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot in the past - but those are gone, probably because they don't fit in with the ElecTRONica look.

And speaking of TRON...the lightcycle that we saw at last year's D23 Expo is on exhibit outside the TRON 3D preview theater. Looks pretty cool.

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What used to be Sunshine Plaza is behind construction walls, so the characters, in their California-themed holiday attire, are doing meet and greets in the old Fastpass area next to "It's Tough to Be a Bug". It's a little out of the way, though there are a lot of people going by there since that's the only way to get to the Hyperion Theater and Tower of Terror now.

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I liked Pluto's holiday "star".

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Anyway...as far as the holidays go DCA was pretty disappointing - hopefully it'll get a little more of a holiday makeover in the future when there isn't so much construction going on. (I think the Imagineers will have a lot of fun coming up with holiday decorations for Cars Land!)

Back over at Disneyland for some of the holiday events...

Starting with the lighting of "it's a small world" Holiday. There was a special lighting ceremony for this first night of the holiday season. Adela Jauregui and Mickey Mouse flipped the switch to light up "it's small world". Adela, an 8-year-old who is a patient at CHOC Children's, was joined by her parents Jesus and Norma, and her sister Olivia. They were the Grand Marshals of the "A Christmas Fantasy" Parade earlier in the day.

(The "it's a small world" projection sequence at the end is one of my holiday favorites - I think it looks crisper and better than ever.)

I also saw the A Christmas Fantasy Parade. The last few years there have been some new parade elements each year - no new floats this year, but the music/choreography was a bit different: for example the gingerbread men and Clarabelle Cow do a "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" number - I thought it was really fun.

For some reason they don't put the time of the castle lighting sequences on the Times Guide that is available at the park, but it's on the on-line schedule - though it was running late yesterday (but just about everything was running late yesterday). It's only a few minutes long, but I enjoy seeing the castle transform so that it appears to be covered in shimmering ice.

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The Believe...in Holiday Magic fireworks are back for the season, though they were at a new time: 8:40 p.m. instead of the traditional 9:25. Check the time on-line before you visit the park - most nights they will be at 8:40, but at 7:30 on some week nights, and they are at 9:30 on December 3 and 4 (probably because of the Candlelight Processional on those evenings).

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Whew! Busy day, and I still have lots more photos - I'll probably put them into a photo gallery on AllEars as I have time.



November 10, 2010

Disneyland New and Upcoming Events

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First the bad news...as announced November 3 on the Disney Parks Blog, there will be no Disney's California Food and Wine Festival in 2011 or 2012. The wording was such that some speculated that it just wouldn't be at DCA, but AllEars has verified with a Disney representative that there will be NO Festival.

I'm very disappointed, since this is one of my favorite events, but I can understand that the construction at DCA would make it difficult - some of the areas they have used in the past for the Festival will not be available. I'm still bummed, though.

Some things that are relatively new at the parks...

The Duffy the Disney Bear Meet and Greet location in Paradise Pier, next to Treasures in Paradise. Jeanine wrote about that in this blog entry. Those who visit the area get an "I Just Hugged Duffy" sticker.

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The Tangled Meet and Greet area is located in Fantasyland next to Pinocchio's Daring Journey. Guests can meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.

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The new Disney Dance Crew show debuted on October 22 at DCA's Hollywood Pictures Backlot theater, replacing the Drawn to the Magic show. The show features the new talking Mickey Mouse character, who can move his mouth and blink his eyes. This Mickey also has all the moves, as he brings together two rival dance crews. They perform to modern versions of classic Disney tunes - some of them rather surprising - like "A Pirate's Life for Me". After the show Mickey comes out to meet and greet guests - but this character is not the talking Mickey. Same costume, different head (and I'm guessing a different person inside, too!).

One fun thing I noticed - take a look at the glowing logo on the cover of the DJ's laptop. :-)

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The Disney Channel Rocks! show, which premiered in Florida on October 22 (see the AllEars page HERE, has been postponed until November 26. The new show, featuring music from the Disney Channel's "High School Musical" series, "Camp Rock" and "StarStruck" will be performed on the Palisades Stage in Paradise Park next to Paradise Bay in the morning and early afternoon.

In anticipation of the upcoming TRON: Legacy movie, opening in theaters December 17, there are several tie-ins at Disney California Adventure. ElecTRONica brings the world of TRON to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot Friday-Sunday nights (it will run nightly from December 17-January 2). In addition to the techno dance party in the streets, guests can view a 9-minute 3D preview of the movie in the MuppetVision theater, experience the LASERMAN show, or enjoy a "Glowjito" or "Digitini" at theEnd of Line Club. (For the true TRON geeks: I still have a computer system that displays "END OF LINE" on my screen when I log off.) And for a real blast from the past there's Flynn's Arcade, which has quite a selection of 1980s video games - everything from Air Hockey to Pac-man to, yes, the TRON game. One cool thing: the game tokens (25 cents each) actually are custom "Flynn's Arcade" tokens!

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According to a recent Disneyland press release, ElecTRONica will continue into spring, 2011.

There's also a new TRON: Legacy encore to World of Color - the very first one. We were told that adding encores was something they planned to do with World of Color, so it's great to see that we got one this soon after the show opened! The encore runs at the end of each World of Color show as that pesky Master Control Program manages to take control of the show for a while. Disney has stated that the encore will run for several months, so while there is no official end date, it will definitely be with us through the holidays and for some time beyond.

And speaking of the holidays...the Disneyland Resort's holiday celebration begins on Friday, November 12. At Disneyland this includes favorites like the "A Christmas Fantasy" parade, Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle, Santa's Reindeer Round-up, "it's a small world" Holiday, and the "Believe...in Holiday Magic" fireworks. Over at DCA the familiar candy cane-striped letters of "CALIFORNIA" will be back, as well as the over-sized ornaments and decorations at Flik's Fun Fair. Santa Claus will greet guests at Paradise Pier.

See the Holidays at Disneyland page for more information and photos.




August 18, 2010

Disneyland Upcoming Events

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Just thought I'd post a list of some upcoming events at Disneyland:

September 3-5 - Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. Events include the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, the Family Fun Run 5K and Kids Races on Saturday, and then the Half Marathon on Sunday. All Ears Team members Deb Wills, Cathy Bock, and Lee and I will all be participating in the half marathon. There will be a meet and greet on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. - see http://allears.net/btp/teammeets.htm for more information - hope to see you there!

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September 17 to October 31, 2010 - Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. I have to say this is one of my favorite times of year - the parks are really festive with lots of pumpkins and decor in autumn colors. New this year, the hard-ticketed Halloween party moves from DCA to Disneyland, where it also gets a new name: Mickey's Halloween Party. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday return to Disneyland, and at DCA's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror guests might encounter some new "phantom patrons" of the hotel.

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September 24-26 - D23's Destination D Event and Scavenger Hunt - Destination D takes place Friday and Saturday at the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. And the Scavenger Hunt on Sunday? Who knows! Sounds like it'll take us all over the resort! Deb Wills, Jeanine Yamanaka, Lee and I will comprise the All Ears Team for that event. There will be two Meet and Greets - one on Thursday afternoon and one on Saturday morning. Again, see the see All Ears Team Meets page for more information.

October 15 - Rapunzel, from the upcoming animated feature Tangled, will begin greetings guests in the Fantasyland location formerly occupied by Gepetto's Sweet Shoppe.

November 12-January 2 - Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, including all of the perennial favorites: Holiday "it's a small world", A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Santa's Reindeer Roundup, Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle, and the magical Believe...in Holiday Magic fireworks show. And it's also fun to see what special holiday food treats the Disneyland chefs will come up with!

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April 29 - June 11, 2011 - Disney's California Food and Wine Festival returns for the sixth annual festival. (Another of my favorite events!) If you're a DVC member like me and want to stay in the Villas at the Grand Californian during your visit to the Festival, starting thinking about your booking dates!

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Also coming up next year, we have the opening of Star Tours - The Adventures Continue at Disneyland, and The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure, at DCA.

This isn't specifically Disneyland, but the Disney Wonder will move to its new home at the port of Los Angeles in January, where it will be be sailing to the Mexican Riviera, and later to Alaska. A number of All Ears Team Members and readers will be on the Inaugural Alaska cruise which begins on May 3 in Vancouver. If you'd like to join us, there's more information HERE.

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December 19, 2009

Disneyland's Candlelight Processional

Alpha Gollihugh attended Disneyland's Candlelight Processional on December 4 and brings us this guest blog.

"Beautiful, Outstanding, and just plain Awesome!"

These are some of the words we heard after the first performance of the 2009 Candlelight Processional at Disneyland, last night. The first weekend in December each year, the train station steps at Disneyland are transformed into a stage for a huge choir, orchestra, trumpeters, and a select few soloists and speakers. Choir members are drawn from local high schools, colleges and Disney cast members. At 5:30 and 8:00 each evening the lights are dimmed and the choir comes down Main Street in only candlelight, and files onto the huge structure fixed for them each year by Disney magicians. Those with dinner packages and other groups like D23 are given seats in the area from the base of the stage and extending into the central park. The rest of us are left to stand in all the rest of the park area,side walks and extending down Main Street. Some wait as long as 3 hours before the performance, standing, so they can be the first behind the seating area. But it IS worth it !!!!

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Here is some of the crowd waiting and the empty stage 1 hour prior to performance. Then the orchestra begins to play and from the far end of Main Street you begin to hear voices singing:

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It takes a while, for there are probably 1000 voices. At least it looked that way to me. When everyone is finally in, the Disneyland Herald Trumpets hails the beginning of the music. The special speaker this year was Jon Voight. He was wonderful and added much to the evening.

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In the center of the stage is the Living Christmas tree, formed by Disney Cast Members, willing to give many extra hours to present this wonderful gift.

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The speaker reads the Christmas story from the Bible and each section is interspersed with Christmas songs, in wonderful harmony and power.

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The performance is a bit over an hour, but the time flies! A few well chosen soloists add to the show as do 2 wonderful bell choirs.

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When the story is complete, and most of the music, the speaker reads "One Solitary Life" which tells more about the life of the Christmas babe. Finally the Choir, orchestra and other specialists perform the Hallelujah Chorus. The last song is all the voices, and those watching, joining in singing,"Silent Night". You are just lifted to heaven! I have seen and enjoyed this performance at WDW too, but there is nothing like seeing it where it has been done for 54 years, Disneyland.

December 7, 2009

Disneyland Holiday Interviews

Lee and I attended a press event at Disneyland on Friday, where we had the opportunity to interview several Disneyland spokespersons about various elements of the holidays at Disneyland, including decorating the parks, special holiday events, holiday merchandise, and the upcoming Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program.

In this clip, David Caranci and Minnie Mouse discuss making your own themed Pirate or Princess tree.

Lee and Disneyland Resort Ambassador Danielle DuBois talk about the upcoming Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program. More information on signing up for the program is available HERE.

There's always new holiday merchandise - Marianne Sharpe shows some of the newest and most popular items for this year's holiday season, and also talks about upcoming merchandise for Disneyland's 55th birthday celebration, The Happiest Memories on Earth, coming up in 2010.

Lee and Eddy Collins talk about all of the special holiday events at Disneyland, including some trivia about the hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion, and how many lights decorate Holiday "it's a small world".

We're heading off to celebrate the holidays at Walt Disney World, so look for my live blogs this week!

December 3, 2009

Disneyland Holiday Videos

Lee has put together several youtube videos of footage he shot during our visit to Disneyland recently - hope you enjoy these glimpses of the holiday offerings at Disneyland.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade - Part 1:


A Christmas Fantasy Parade - Part 2:


The castle lighting ceremony and most of the Believe....in Holiday Magic fireworks show:


November 27, 2009

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

The holiday season began a little earlier at the Disneyland Resort this year than it has for the past couple of years - it began on November 13 and runs through January 3, 2010.

Lee and I visited on Friday, November 20 and managed to catch most of the special holiday events. If you're familiar with Disneyland's holiday activities, then really, not much has changed this year.

DCA still has pretty minimal holiday decorations. With all of the construction they have moved the Christmas tree from the entrance to Paradise Pier to the boardwalk area next to Ariel's Grotto. Santa has a little holiday gazebo there where he does meet and greets.

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There's still oversized holiday decorations at Flik's Fun Fair:

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And the city sidewalks in the Hollywood Studios Backlot are decorated in tinsel - what else would you expect from Tinseltown?

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it would be really cool if they put a big Santa hat on Grizzly Peak???

There's a big Christmas tree at the end of Downtown Disney, but otherwise it didn't seem very festive to me.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

It looked like the front of the tree was a nice place for a holiday family photo-op, though:

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

The shops had some holiday merchandise, though - of course World of Disney had a pretty good selection, but there is also holiday merchandise at Build-a-Bear, Basin and Marceline's Confectionary. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen has a gingerbread house decorating workshop with sessions on December 12, 13, 19, and 20. Though maybe more geared towards kids it still sounds like a lot of fun to me - if any of you have done it, let me know what you thought of it!

Though Downtown Disney and DCA seem a little under-decorated, of course there's still lots of decorations at Disneyland! Snowflakes over the entrance turnstiles, a big Santa floral Mickey just inside, and the "can't-miss-it" Christmas tree in Town Square.

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We watched the A Christmas Fantasy parade from the hub - where the parade turns left onto Main Street after coming out of Fantasyland. Nice spot, since the parade was coming straight towards us before turning, so we had an excellent view of the floats.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

New this year were the sleds that Pooh and Tigger were riding (and driving!) - they replaced the sleigh with Genie, Aladdin, and Jasmine.

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And Eeyore also got a new sled...but his got overturned and he has to pull it along himself! Poor Eeyore. :-(

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Lee and I both commented on the snowmen - they have fixed expressions, and are so roly-poly they can't move much, but even so, they manage to display a lot of personality - you can tell who is flirtatious and who is a little shy.

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Over at Santa's Reindeer Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch they have had to squeeze things together since the Celebration BBQ takes up half of the space. The reindeer still inhabit the corral, though - at least until Christmas Eve when they will have other work to do, I suppose! There is a small area next to the cabin with several tables set up where kids can do crafts - either coloring or making some reindeer finger puppets.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

Santa and Mrs. Claus were both posing for pictures when we were there - I don't remember seeing Mrs. Claus before. Santa was inside the cabin, and Mrs. Claus was sitting on a bench outside. When Santa went for a cookie break he took a brief moment to sit with the Mrs. and pose for this picture.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

When we left Big Thunder Ranch it was about 4:45 - and there was a veritable gauntlet of characters all along the Big Thunder Trail from the ranch entrance back to the Fantasyland exit. There must have been at least 20 characters - I don't remember them all, but we saw Brer Fox and Brer Bear, Woody, Jessie, Friar Tuck and Little John (from Robin Hood), Meeko, four or five of the Country Bears, Koda and Kenai, and four penguins from Mary Poppins. Quite an opportunity for those interested in seeing the less common characters (I don't think I've ever seen Friar Tuck before!) - I have no idea if that's something they do every day, or if we were just in the right place at the right time.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

The Castle lighting was supposed to start around 5:00, but it was almost 5:30 when it finally did its little show. It's very sparkly and shiny! :-) While we were waiting, we noticed the wonderful soundtrack of holiday music that plays on Main Street during the holidays - with some less-well-known songs like The Christmas Waltz, Caroling, Caroling (Christmas Bells are Ringing) and I'll Be Home for Christmas.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

Holiday "it's a small world" is a little different this year. For the past few years they had been using the projectors that they use during the fireworks show to do an animated holiday sequence on the facade every 15 minutes after dark...but they aren't doing that this year. :-( Though just the "normal" lights are beautiful, too.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

It's a little different inside, too - some of the Disney characters that they added early this year have been a bit dressed up for the holidays. There's Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella wearing holiday aprons:

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The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

In the Africa scene, there's a nice gift of bugs from Simba to Pumba.

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

My favorite, though, is the new "America", scene, where the pop-up prairie dogs are wearing Santa hats. :-)

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

The Believe...in Holiday Magic fireworks show is unchanged as far as I could tell. On the night we saw it there was almost NO wind, so the smoke wasn't getting blown away and it actually obscured some of the fireworks!

The Holidays at Disneyland - 2009

Everything seemed to be running 15-20 minutes late that evening - I mentioned the castle lighting. Fantasmic! also started about 20 minutes late, and so did the fireworks. Did someone forget to wind the clocks???

We had a great day, though unfortunately I didn't get a chance to research/sample any of the special holiday treats that are available at this time of year. I saw the seasonal krispie treats and the Mickey-eared gingerbread men, but that's all - I know there are others!

July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

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54 years young!

This year we've already seen the opening of the updated "it's a small world" attraction, the new Celebrate! A Street Party, the Celebration Round-up and BBQ dining experience, and the new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Over at DCA, the Food and Wine Festival returned for a 4th year, Cocina Cucamonga moved to a new location with an expanded menu, Mickey's Fun Wheel opened, and the Blue Sky Cellar preview center just re-opened with updated exhibits on what we can expect in DCA's continuing expansion.

I think Disneyland received some of its birthday presents early this year with the premiere of the new Summer Nightastic! event, featuring the return of revamped favorites like Disney's Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!, and the new TLT Dance Club, Pixie Hollow Enchantment, and the all new fireworks show, Magical, where Dumbo flies around the castle.

The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend returns Labor Day weekend, with events Friday-Sunday - Lee and I will be running the half marathon on Sunday. And the very first D23 Expo takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center September 10-13.

Disney's HalloweenTime returns on September 25, including the popular Haunted Mansion Holiday and the return of Mickey's Trick or Treat Party at DCA on selected nights in October.

Also this fall, the very first DVC resort in California, The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Resort & Spa opens its doors.

The holidays return to Disneyland in November as Disneyland is transformed into the "Merriest Place on Earth", with all of the special decorations, parade and fireworks that go with it.

Next spring the new Disney's World of Color nighttime spectacular opens in DCA and who knows what else Disney might have planned?

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

AllEars pages on some of the events and attractions mentioned above:
"it's a small world"
Celebrate! A Street Party
Celebration Roundup and BBQ
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Disney's California Food and Wine Festival
Mickey's Fun Wheel
Summer Nightastic!
Disney's Electrical Parade
Fantasmic!
Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
Mickey's Trick or Treat Party

December 16, 2008

Holidaze at WDW - Day 5

Monday - Studios Day for the RADP group - most of my AllEars team mates have left or are going home today. Jack's still around though, since he's very involved in the RADP community, too.

I actually got a full night's sleep (which I really needed!) last night and got up around 8:00. Had a quick breakfast in the room (granola bar, tangerine, and tea that I brought with me from home), and then walked the half mile or so to the Studios. There's some advantage at least to being on this end of the Boardwalk Villas. :-)

There was quite a long line to get into the Studios, but the streets didn't seem as crowded as when I was here at park opening in October. I went back to Toy Story Mania to get a Fastpass to use later - the return time was 10:25 when I got in line and 10:50 when I got my Fastpass! I found Kevin (and Leonard) there and we walked over to Rock'N'Roller Coaster for the first RADP meet of the day.

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It took a while to get all of us assembled - the 9:30 start time became more like 10:00. Our new friend Steve came back to join us again today...when he saw the events on today's schedule he decided he really wasn't feeling well enough to go to work. :-) When it came time for the group photos there was a wonderful Photopass photographer there who arranged us all and took pictures with her camera, and then with about 7 of ours.

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There were 28 of us that went on RnRC - the "limo" holds 24 so 4 went in a separate car. It was a fun ride, though we had a premature stop before the end, and then we got held for several minutes before we finally pulled into the unloading area. During the wait you could hear shouts of "Are we there yet?", "I have to go...", "Well, you should've done that before we left!" and other such things. :-) The delay meant that our photos were no longer up on the monitor, but we could go to the counter and view them. Jack was my ride partner again. (Judy, I kept much better tabs on him today than I did yesterday! :-) )

It was a good thing we rode that when we did because the line was 50 minutes by the time we got done.

From there we went over to the Tower of Terror where we had about as short a wait as possible - pretty much walked right in the Library (Leonard Loves Libraries), and then right onto the elevator! There were 21 of us riding, so we had a whole elevator to ourselves. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to ride ToT with an elevator full of RADPers...it's a blast. Kevin and I were both sitting on the aisle in the front row, and we each held one of Leonard's arms during the ride - Leonard did a lot of levitating. :-) After the ride ended, but just before the doors opened someone said "scream!", and so we all screamed at the CM as the doors opened. She didn't seem too perturbed by it, though.

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Next on the agenda was a picture of the group with Mickey Mouse. Unfortunately this hadn't been on the meet schedule so a lot of people who would have participated had gone elsewhere. There were 9 of us who went to meet Sorcerer Mickey in the Animation Building, though.

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It was lunch time by then. I went to the 50s Prime Time Cafe with Sean, Pamela, our new friend Steve, Jack, Bruce, Marta, Catherine, Carol, and a friend of Carol's. I'd never eaten there before, believe it or not. We had a pretty good server - she quickly realized that Catherine (who couldn't seem to keep her elbows off the table) was going to be a troublemaker.

I had one of the famous chocolate milk shakes - it was huge and I couldn't finish it. Since I had started with that, I opted for a salad and a side of mashed potatoes for lunch, though the pot pies and fried chicken and grilled chicken sandwiches that my tablemates were having looked good, too. We were doing good on time until it was time to pay the bill...which we wanted to split in multiple ways. And even though a Tables in Wonderland card is good for 10 people, it's not good across multiple bills. It took a long time to get that straightened out, but I must say I felt rather sorry for the server in having to deal with that - I wish everyone had come prepared to pay cash!

Jack was very nice and bought my lunch for me - he can be very sweet - at times. :-) It was very funny listening to the banter between him and Catherine - they seem to bring out the worst in each other. :-)

Next up was the Great Movie Ride meet at 2:00. The half of our group who went to Mama Melrose ended up being 15-20 minutes late - shame on them! While we were waiting we looked around at the various foot and hand prints - and Leonard had to pose with the one of Leonard Nimoy. :-)

We shanghaied one of the "doormen" to take our group photo - I think we might have set a camera record for this one. And then we went on the ride. There were hmm...30 of us for this one, I think? We had a short wait - I had a very nice chat with Lindsey while we were in line. This was her first Mousefest and her first experience with RADP - she enjoyed our group, too. (And who wouldn't? We're a lot of fun!)

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For the Great Movie Ride we got the cowboy side - yay!!!! In all the times I've ridden this, I think it's only the third time I've gotten the cowboy side. Our narrator was Kayla, and we had her laughing so hard that she forgot her lines. :-) When we went into the mummy room, where she is the robed figure standing there we started chanting: "Kayla, Kayla, Kayla" and she started shaking with laughter. The short break from us had helped were regain her composure, though, and she was fine for the rest of the ride. It was a lot of fun.

Next up was the "Betty White Bash". I don't know what inspired Kevin to come up with this one. I think the main idea was to watch the Block Party Bash from the Hall of Fame area (where the busts of various actors are), but it took on a life of its own. Catherine had made a mask with Betty White's face on both sides and put it on a stick, and Kevin wanted pictures of each of us posing with the bust of Betty White and the mask. Which of course some people hammed up a lot more than others. As the parade passed by a lot of the Cast Members saw the mask that Catherine was holding up and a number of them made fun comments about it. It was probably one of those "you had to be there" things, but it was really a lot of fun.

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After the parade passed we got a CM to take a group photo of us around Betty's statue.

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And then we did *another* photo under the arch that says "Disney's Hollywood Studios". This one was like herding cats, though - people kept disappearing and then coming back, but in the meantime one or two others had disappeared. We had a really fun Fastpass photographer named Gary who helped us with this one - he was a riot.

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It was time for the Toy Story Mania Meet - all those of us who had gotten Fastpasses earlier in the day were ready to use them. I think there were 27 of us this time. Jack and I rode together and I beat him (he told me that I was going to put that in the blog) but not by that much. I really like that ride, but my arm is so tired by the end!!!

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I headed to Epcot after that since I wanted to see a few of the holiday storytellers plus sit and enjoy the Lights of Winter.

First was the Tres Reyes Magos in Mexico - their story hasn't changed much since the last time I saw them.

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Next was one of my favorites - Norway. It was a little different this year, though - instead of just Julenissen, it was called Sigrid and Julenissen. A girl in a lovely Norwegian costume came out and started to tell us about holiday customs in Norway, but she was soon joined by a mischievous gnome - a gnome that she couldn't see since she didn't believe in gnomes. But he had the power to freeze her in place and perform small acts of mischief like placing a bell in her hand or getting us to do something when she "woke" up. And of course by the end she had become a believer and could see him, too. It was cute, though I thought Julenissen by himself has put on a fine show in the past.

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Next was Helga in Germany - this one also seemed updated to me. She talked about the Christmas Market and spiced wine and the history of the Christmas tree and the nutcracker - and then she was joined on stage by a giant nutcracker.

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I went towards the front of the park to sit and watch the Lights of Winter for awhile - it's one of my very favorite things at WDW during the holidays, and this is the first chance I've had to do that. In addition to the lights dancing to music, the fountain was dancing constantly as well, instead of every 15 minutes like it usually does. The music repeats after about 20 minutes - I heard pretty close to a full set, I think.

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Walked back to the Boardwalk with a stop at the Bakery to pick up a sandwich for dinner, and then work on this blog entry for a while before I went to the final RADP Meet - the Winter/Summerland Mini Golf event.

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There were 25 of us playing - quite a good turnout! Normally they send out foursomes, but we went in groups of 5. We all played the Snow course. Kenny, Jack, Catherine, Marta and I were one group, and we had a very good time. Jack kicked our butts - he scored 39 on the par 56 course. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves - but Tiger Woods has nothing to worry about. :-)

There were a lot of places to take some fun photos on the course.

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It was hard saying goodbye to everyone - I had so much fun playing with them these last few days! And I probably won't see some of them for a couple of years - though I keep trying to convince them that we need to have a meet at DisneyLAND. :-)

I'll have a little bit of park time tomorrow before I have to go to the airport.

December 10, 2008

Disneyland Holiday Activities

Now that the holidays are back at Disneyland there are many holiday activities available to guests at Disneyland Park - not so many at Disney's California Adventure, unfortunately. So I'll start with DCA first.

At the park entrance the "CALIFORNIA" letters have their seasonal candy cane stripes. And figures of Mickey and Goofy adorn the first and last letters, respectively. It's a very popular photo opportunity.

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No Santa's Beach Blast in Sunshine Plaza this year, but the characters in their holiday attire make frequent appearances there during the day.

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Other photo ops include the oversized ornaments and other decorations in Flik's Fun Fair, and the glittering Christmas tree just outside Paradise Pier.

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Over in Disneyland...

The huge Christmas tree dominates Town Square, and wreaths and garlands decorate all of Main Street. This is the best place to find the Disney characters in their holiday outfits, though you'll also find some of them back in Toontown, and the Pooh characters are usually back in Critter Country.

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There is a nightly tree lighting ceremony, usually at 5:00.

Sleeping Beauty Castle wears icicles and a dusting of snow during the day, and comes alive with a glittering covering of ice at night. There are at least two brief castle lighting shows where the lights are turned off and then gradually come on in shimmering animation - these are typically at 5:30 and 7:30.

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Santa's Reindeer Roundup has returned to Big Thunder Ranch, and there are a variety of activities for kids there. Craft tables are set up where kids can color using the crayons and coloring pages provided (no charge). Or, at Mrs Claus' Cookie Kitchen, boxed cookie kits, complete with frosting and decorations are available for $6. There are Christmas trees, snowmen and gingerbread me available.

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Entertainment, such as a magician, takes place on the stage about every hour. The audience is encouraged to participate.

The corral is home to Santa's reindeer - all eight of them. Guests may not go inside their corral, but from the outside can take photos and watch the reindeer peacefully eating their hay.

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Visits with Santa Claus are available in the cabin next to the reindeer corral - the line to see him is usually fairly lengthy, though.

New Orleans Square is festively decorated for the holidays, with lots of beads and lights and other glittery stuff. The major holiday attraction in that area, of course, is Haunted Mansion Holiday - this is the 8th year that Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas gang have brought their own kind of magic and mayhem to the Haunted Mansion. It's one of my favorites every year!

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Over in Toontown the Disney characters have seemingly gone all out to decorate their homes. The decorations there feature lots of bright kid-friendly colors. I have seen Santa Goofy greeting guests in the gazebo.

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Perhaps one of Disneyland's most beloved holiday traditions is the holiday edition of "it's a small world". After taking a ride through there getting a glimpse of the holiday traditions celebrated by children in some of the rest of the world, I'm not sure how you can't be smiling at the end. The attraction just reopened at the end of November after an extensive rehab, and it looks better than ever. There are a few new things inside, though as far as the holiday decorations go one of the biggest changes I saw was outside, where the topiaries now feature colored lights at night in addition to the white ones.

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At night the "it's a small world" facade is lit up with thousands of colored lights - all of the lights come on nightly in a special lighting moment that takes place around 5:00. About 20 minutes later, and every 15 minutes after that, there's a special light show, where holiday-themed projections, choreographed to holiday music, are projected on the facade in a short show.

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And of course there's the A Christmas Fantasy parade, shown twice daily. The first parade runs from "it's a small world" to Town Square, the second one does the reverse. Where else can you see a toy soldier marching band, dancing reindeer, and skating snowflakes - not to mention Santa Claus himself! There's a new version of the Toy Factory float this year.

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To finish out the day Disneyland offers the nightly Believe...in Holiday Magic fireworks show. The show can be viewed from Main Street, New Orleans Square, and the "it's a small world" mall, and at the end "snow" falls in all of those areas. It's really quite lovely!

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If all that isn't enough, there's also holiday shopping (hats, shirts, Christmas tree ornaments, etc.) or trying out the variety of holiday treats (peppermint or eggnog fudge, tamales, various krispie treats and cookies, and so on). Yum!

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November 23, 2008

The Holidays are back at Disneyland!

The holiday season at Disneyland officially began Friday, November 21, and my friend Kristin(e) and I spent the day there seeing what was new and different - and what was missing. Of course the major "new" thing was the reopening of "it's a small world" after a very lengthy rehab that started in late January. The holiday season at Disneyland usually starts a week to 10 days earlier than it did this year - my theory is that the opening of "small world" delayed it this year.

I took tons of photos, and could write in a lot more detail but I'm only going to hit the highlights here - hopefully I'll have time to do some more in-depth reviews later.

There's new snowflake designs over the entrance turnstiles - they look even better at night.

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First thing we did at park opening, of course, was hot foot it back to "it's a small world". There was a short line, but we didn't wait long. It really does look shiny and new!

Here's one of the new boats - I think they are narrower than the old ones. The rows seat 2-3 maximum - the older boats could get 4 in the middle rows.

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From what I could tell the attraction, at least in its holiday configuration, hasn't changed very much. The Disney characters have not yet been added - I think that is supposed to take place after the holidays. There are a number of small changes throughout, but maybe I'll get to that in a later blog.

I only noticed two big changes:

The first was in the Hawaii/Polynesia/Australia room, where the rainforest scene has been added to the end. This link will take you to a larger picture.

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The second was in the final room, where there's a huge sun at the end of the room.

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When we exited, the line was still fairly short, so we went again - we knew it would just get longer as the day went on! The clock went off while we were waiting in line the second time - wow. The figures look brand new - so bright and shiny!

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They seemed to be having a slight problem with the water flow - at the same point in both of our rides (going into the last room, I think?) we really slowed down to a crawl - and neither of our boats was overloaded at all.

And then we continued on our holiday tour around the rest of the park...Toontown is once again decorated for the holidays.

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And Santa's Reindeer Roundup is back at Big Thunder Ranch. The reindeer (all 8 of them!) were looking groomed and beautiful. We arrived during a performance of a magic show in the stage and watched the rest of that - lots of sleight of hand and prestidigitation. A number of audience members, both kids and adults, were called on stage to participate. It was a lot of fun.

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The decorations are up in New Orleans Square also - that's always one of my favorites. And of course Haunted Mansion Holiday is still running - we took a ride on that.

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Critter Country is also looking its usual festive self - I'm always a little surprised they do as much decorating there as they do, since it's not as popular as most other areas of the park. We stopped into Pooh Corner to see what kind of holiday treats they might have there - really not too much, actually. A candy apple snowman and chocolate-covered snowman marshmallow on a stick was about it.

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The castle has its icicles and dusting of snow - never mind that it was almost 80 degrees. :-)

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We headed over to DCA for a while. The candy-cane striped "California" letters are back in front of the entrance, and the wreaths and garland adorn the Golden Gate Bridge. But what happened to Santa's Beach Blast??? Sunshine Plaza looks strangely bereft and unadorned. That wasn't the only thing missing - the garlands that normally adorns P.T. Flea and the Farmer's Market was also gone, as was any kind of decoration on the buildings in the San Francisco area, though the building-formerly-known-as-Golden-Dreams was decorated.

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The tree is in its usual spot near the entrance to Paradise Pier.

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The city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, were dressed in holiday style in the Hollywood Studios area.

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And Flik's Fun Fair had the normal oversized ornaments and lights, though the Santa "pencil eraser" was gone.

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We went back over to Disneyland to see the first showing of the Christmas Fantasy parade - got a nice spot on the curb in Town Square, where we were almost at the end of the parade route. It's pretty much the same, though there's a new Toy Factory float this year, replacing the previous one. It goes along with the building block theme they have for Buzz and Woody's floats.

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The Times Guide, which covers Friday through next Thursday, actually has NO times listed for the castle lighting, tree lighting, or "it's a small world" lighting. We asked a Cast Member, who had times in his guide for the "small world" lighting (4:57 p.m.) and the tree lighting (5:00), but nothing for the castle. Hmmm. We went back to "small world" for its lighting ceremony - there was an annoucement on the street and a short countdown, and all of the lights went on. Ooooh...ahhhhhh. :-)

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I think the colored lights on the topiary animals are new - or at least I'd never notice them before.

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We waited there another 20 minutes to see the holiday projection sequence - the first one of those was about 5:20 - they take place about 5 minutes after the clock chimes each quarter hour.

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We went back to Main Street to see if the castle was lighted yet - nope. Asked another CM, who thought it might not be until after the fireworks (which started at 9:25), but then we heard a passing guest say 5:30. So we waited a few more minutes, and sure enough - the lights started twinkling and coming on at 5:30. There was a very short soundtrack that went with it - a conversation between a mother and child about snow. It's still really beautiful this year! I think there are some additional effects on the buildings on Main Street, but we didn't see those - did see the trees behind us in the hub light up, though.

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That was the end of our day and we headed home. It was another great day!

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About Christmas Holidays

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Christmas Holidays category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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