Last Thursday, the Disneyland Resort launched their 2014 holiday season with lots of returning favorites and some new experiences that guests can enjoy until January 6, 2015.
We were there to cover the ceremonial event that officially kicks off the season – the lighting of ‘it’s a small world holiday’! This yearly event had select media down to witness a special family to flip the ceremonial switch that turned on the 50,000 lights that get placed on the facade of the attraction. This year’s family was the Gallardo family from La Habra, California whose Christmas wish was “to be at Disneyland for the holidays”!
Their wish is the wish of many, possibly including you! If that’s the case, this post is for you as we wanted to bring the magic of #DisneyHolidays to where you are, no matter what time of day. Below you’ll find a special gallery of photos we took while at the lighting event in hopes it’ll bring you some Christmas cheer, as well as show you the highlights of the offerings that the Resort.
As a special early Christmas gift to you too, you’ll find a full list of offerings after the break.
At Disneyland Park
At Disneyland Park, holiday traditions include the popular “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year by welcoming Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” into the cast. They are among the 100-plus parade performers, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, other Disney characters and Santa Claus, making a special appearance from the North Pole.
When Santa isn’t appearing in “A Christmas Fantasy,” he and Mrs. Claus are greeting guests and listening to holiday wishes at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland. Jingle Jangle Jamboree comes to life with Disney characters, music, games, cookie decorating, crafts and seasonal entertainment. New this year on the Jamboree stage is a comedy and music show that invites guests to laugh and sing along in a wacky tale of Christmas in the West.
Additional beloved holiday traditions at Disneyland include:
- Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle – A sensational holiday lighting and special-effects show carries the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the 60-foot tall Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square. The finale of the show includes the legendary “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show, ending with a touching rendition of “White Christmas” and a climactic snowfall swirling upon Main Street, U.S.A., “it’s a small world” Mall and New Orleans Square.
- “it’s a small world” Holiday becomes a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than 300,000 glittering lights on its façade and, inside, the children of many nations in their holiday attire. After dark, the smiling clock at the front of “it’s a small world” reveals a sparkling projection show. On every quarter hour, the façade of the attraction is transformed into an enormous clockwork mechanism with advanced 3D-projection technology. The gears and springs pull back to reveal a world of holiday wonders hidden behind the clock.
- Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a madcap celebration as the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has come to Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays, including the newest version of the Haunted Mansion gingerbread house.
- The skippers of “Jingle Cruise” bring holiday fun to a seasonal version of the celebrated Adventureland attraction – and it’s newly enhanced this year.
- Special holiday food items include Walt’s favorite gingerbread cookies at Jolly Holiday Bakery and Café and holiday tamale plates at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante. Elf Mickey premium popcorn buckets and drink steins are available in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
- Guests may book the seasonal favorite “Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort” guided tour which provides entry (subject to availability) into “it’s a small world” Holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Jingle Cruise along with reserved seating and a holiday treat while enjoying “A Christmas Fantasy” parade. The tour also includes viewing of the holiday décor in Disney California Adventure, a keepsake remembrance and entertaining information about Disneyland holiday traditions. For information and reservations guests may visit any Disneyland Resort Guest Relations location or call (714) 781-TOUR (781-8687).
At Disney California Adventure Park
After its successful 2013 debut, “World of Color − Winter Dreams” returns to Disney California Adventure with several “Frozen” songs in the show, including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Love is an Open Door.” Also returning to the nighttime spectacular is Olaf the snowman from “Frozen.” The holiday version of the popular “World of Color” show features classic winter scenes from such beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar films as “Bambi,” “Toy Story” and, of course, “Frozen.”
“Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure is a daily celebration inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of Latino culture and holiday traditions, with festive music and dancing, vibrant colors, delicious food, Disney character appearances and the lively “Disney Viva Navidad! Street Party.” “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” will conclude with a five-day celebration of the traditional Three Kings Day, Friday through Tuesday, Jan. 2 through 6, 2015.
Additional holiday highlights at Disney California Adventure include:
- As part of the park’s seasonal makeover, a whimsical “snowcar” (the Radiator Springs version of a snowman) stands at the entrance to Cars Land, and each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more – features holiday décor that reflects the personality of the “Cars” character who lives there.
- A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments.
- Children of all ages may visit a classic department store Santa at Elias & Co., the main department store along Buena Vista Street.
- Wintertime fun rocks the night at “Mad T Party” as Alice and the Mad Hatter add their own brand of off-kilter holiday spirit to the nighttime celebration in Hollywood Land.
- “a bug’s land” transforms as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.
- Special holiday food items include sourdough bread in holiday shapes at Boudin’s and homemade turkey pot pie soup in a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café. Elf Mickey premium popcorn buckets and drink steins are available in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Downtown Disney District and Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
In the Downtown Disney District, guests may take a break from their holiday shopping and dining to go skating on “Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink.” The rink opens for 60-minute skating sessions from 3 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. This year, the Downtown Disney Winter Village around Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink is bigger than ever, offering shoppers holiday gift items such as “Frozen” plush toys, holiday crystal from Arribas Brothers, art works, clothing and accessories, all sold from the windows of the charming village houses. Hot chocolate from Ghirardelli along with coffee, sweets and baked goods from La Brea Bakery are also available at the Downtown Disney Winter Village.
The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus. The six-foot-high gingerbread house in the spacious lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is large enough for hot chocolate to be sold from its window. Guests also will enjoy new and favorite menu items at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and at Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel, which recently debuted a seasonal Chef’s Tasting Menu.
One of the many benefits of staying at one of the hotels of the Disneyland Resort is Extra Magic Hour,* an early admission option available to registered hotel guests every day of their hotel stay. Extra Magic Hour offers admission prior to park opening to select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in Disneyland Park (currently Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and Disney California Adventure Park, including Cars Land (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays). Extra Magic Hour is only available for guests who book and stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, and each registered hotel guest (ages 3 and older) must have a valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key card.*
Guests wishing to stay in one of the Disneyland Resort hotels will enjoy a special hotel offer** during the holiday season. When guests book through Nov. 19, they may save up to 20 percent on premium rooms Sunday through Thursday nights through Dec. 18, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.** Weekend discounts are not available and discounts are not available Nov. 13 through 16, and Nov. 21 through Dec. 13. To book, call 714-520-6425 or visit www.disneyland.com/offers.
For more details about Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.