Seasons change rather quickly at any of the Disney Parks and we don’t mean just the weather! We’re talking about the decor and park-wide themes that seem to perfectly match that weather or holiday. We just saw the end of Halloween Time at our favorite Disney theme parks in Anaheim and in just a few days, we’ll see “The Happiest Place on Earth” go from just getting spookier to just getting merrier!
Yes indeed folks, Christmastime (or Holidays) at the Disneyland Resort will be returning with much fanfare, snow, and lights this year and in addition to all the returning experiences, there is also a whole bunch of new experiences that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. This post will compile all the noteworthy things that will be a part of the Disneyland Resort’s merriment transformation set to begin on Friday, November 15, so here’s hoping this gets your excited for what’s to come (just like expecting a great gift on Christmas morning)!
The 2013 Christmas (Holiday) Season at the Disneyland Resort will include:
Disneyland is continuing its celebration of different cultures and places with a festive celebration centered around how hispanics celebrate this time of year! ¡Viva Navidad! will feature festive music, vibrant colors, jubilant dancing, and delicious foods that makes this season so special for millions of hispanics around the world.
You can also expect Donald Duck and the rest of the Three Caballeros to make appearances for a high-energy street party complete with mariachi musicians and carnaval dancers. Santa and Mrs. Claus are sure to join in the holiday fun as well when all this starts in the Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure Park on November 15!
World of Color: Winter Dreams
We know that most of you have seen World of Color many times since its debut back in 2010, which is why we were so excited to hear that the show would indeed be changing in its entirety for the winter season! World of Color – Winter Dreams is a whole new experience using the same high-tech water technology that has amazed us with its effects tied together with classic Disney music and animations.
The new show will feature your favorite classic Disney characters in their holiday finest, as well as new Disney characters who will join you along for the show including Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Disney’s upcoming animated feature film “Frozen” due out November 27. With a whole new score (including a choral song by famed composer Eric Whitacre) and new water effects, this is sure to warm your hearts this holiday season!
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UPDATE 11/15: Here’s our wrap-up report on the world premiere of the show, including some of the new things that are at the Resort for this holiday season!
The Jingle Cruise
This has to one of the most unique experiences coming this holiday season. After a few days of speculation, Disneyland has confirmed that the world-famous Jungle Cruise in Adventureland will be getting a holiday overlay itself. Being called the “Jingle Cruise,” the attraction’s storyline will slightly change as the Jungle Cruise skippers start to feel homesick during the holidays. The attraction’s queue and even their boats will be decorated with decorations that they’ve created and some that have been sent from their families at home.
You can also bet that the skipper’s jokes during your voyage will have some merriment in them, as well as some holiday name changes and audio broadcast aboard the boats themselves. We’re excited for this new journey aboard this historic and indeed world-famous Disneyland attraction and it’s our hope that it’s a success. We’ll find out for sure when the Jingle Cruises start sailing in just a few weeks beginning Tuesday, November 12!
This offering isn’t new at all, but a returning favorite that plays a historical role in Disneyland history! The Candlelight Processional and Ceremony is a beautiful concert featuring a mass choir and live orchestra that, with the help of celebrity guest narrator, retells the first story of Christmas – the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Candlelight has been happening every year at Disneyland Park since Walt Disney himself started it as an event to thank special groups and individuals that contributed to the Park throughout the year.
For the past 55 years, Candlelight has continued to delight audiences with angelic music and renewed hope in Christ the Lord – the reason why we celebrate this season in the first place. This year’s Candlelight Processional will take place on its traditional two night schedule – Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8. The venue will once again be Town Square off Main Street USA and will proceed only if the weather permits. Although the seating for the ceremony is for invited guests only, standing room will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. We certainly hope that all of you can at least see one of those showings – you won’t regret it.
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*UPDATE 11/25 – We can confirm that this year’s narrators include Blair Underwood on December 7 and Kurt Russell (December 8)!
New Disney Christmas Sweaters (and Sweater Shirts)
The chill is already in the air. Winter wouldn’t be winter without a need for some winter clothing and our friends at Disney have designed a new set of Christmas sweaters sporting some of your favorite Disney characters! These beautiful wool sweaters will accompany any outfit on any Disney fan. It’ll also keep you warm and fuzzy, of course.
These sweaters are new for this year and are available now in limited amounts at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. From what we hear, these are already a popular item, so be sure to stop by either Disney resort to get your favorite design and size!
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UPDATE 12/17: For those who don’t need sweaters, Disney Parks has released 4 new “sweater t-shirts” that have the same type of ugly-but-not-really Disney Christmas sweater designs! They’re available now at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for $24.95.
Deck The Halls
In addition to these new and returning favorites, you can also look forward to the same great Christmas decorations that’ll deck every inch of the Disneyland Resort.
Guests can expect the return of the iconic Christmas trees including the tall Main Street USA tree in Town Square, as well as merry garland, bows, and mistletoe that’ll hang around Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park. You’ll also be seeing the return of everyone’s new favorite Cars Land Christmas!
Downtown Disney Winter Village
Lace up those skates and bring on the coats as Downtown Disney’s Winter Village will be returning this year complete with the large ice skating rink! The Winter Village will return to the same place where it was last year in front of our Partners at Earl of Sandwich.
In the Village, you’ll be able to visit some quaint holiday cottages, shop in the various boutiques, and even stare at the new 30-foot Christmas tree that’ll be the centerpiece to this experience…if the ice skating rink doesn’t take the spotlight. Themed from Disney’s upcoming “Frozen” animate film, Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink will be available to guests with lockers and skates available to rent. Be sure to stop by and skate, shop, or stare at everything when the Winter Village opens on Thursday, November 14!
“Frozen” With Characters
As if the newest Walt Disney Animated feature film won’t be marketed heavily enough through many of the holiday offerings at Disneyland, Disney’s “Frozen” will also get an experience of their own. A meet-and-greet to be exact!
Beginning in November as well, the main characters (or new Disney princesses) will be calling Fantasyland at Disneyland Park home when they turn the current “Tangled” meet-and-greet facility into their own complete with all things frozen (see what we did there?)! Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna will be available for picture taking and friendly chatting about their new film during this Disney holiday season, so be sure to visit them before the blizzard blows them away…
Perhaps you didn’t get a peppermint stick from ‘ol Saint Nick…but you really want one! Well, Disneyland Resort has got you covered and although St. Nick won’t be the one giving it to you, the equally sweet and skilled candy makers who work at the Resort will! For over 35 years, Disneyland has made it a point to make candy canes from scratch and they will continue this tradition again this year at the Candy Palace in Disneyland Park and Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure Park.
These candy canes are made by hand in a 90-100 degree kitchen using very special equipment and old-fashioned muscle. Since the process is rather lengthy, only 3 batches of 40-45 candy canes are made on select days. With such a limited supply and what seems to be an unlimited demand, Disney will once again use wristbands given out at park opening during those select days!
One wristband = one candy cane (120 wristbands will be distributed) and the cost will be $12.99 (no discounts can be applied). Here’s a list of where and what days the candy canes will be made:
Candy Palace at Disneyland
- Friday, November 29
- Tuesday, December 3
- Friday, December 6
- Tuesday, December 10
- Friday, December 13
- Tuesday, December 17
- Friday, December 20
- Sunday, December 22
- Tuesday, December 24
Trolley Treats at Disney California Adventure
- Saturday, November 30
- Monday, December 2
- Saturday, December 7
- Monday, December 9
- Saturday, December 14
- Monday, December 16
- Saturday, December 21
- Monday, December 23
- Wednesday, December 25
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We’ll continue to update this post when and if we get more information on this year’s holiday festivities! Are you excited for another winter wonderland coming to Walt’s original Magic Kingdom? What’s your favorite thing about Disney holidays at Disney Parks? Let us know in the comments!