The holidays are now in full swing at the Disneyland Resort, and TPR was there with David and Spears to see all the seasonal offerings, including the world premiere of “World of Color - Winter Dreams” at California Adventure. Check out our full report below!
We’re at the Disneyland Resort to see all the 2013 holiday decorations, entertainment, and rides at Disneyland and DCA! First up is Disneyland...
We were greeted by Minnie Mouse in her holiday attire. She wished us and all the TPR readers a happy holiday season!
The huge Christmas tree is up on Main Street.
Famous Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter was recently honored with a window on Main Street over the Magic Shop. Here’s a picture of his window with some festive garland underneath.
Even the new Starbucks is decked out for the holidays.
We headed over to Innoventions in Tomorrowland to take a look at the new Thor: Treasures of Asgard meet-and-greet. (Not holiday related per se, but it’s new - so we wanted to be sure to cover it!)
From the balcony of Innoventions you get a good look at the Rudolf Rods and the Matter-Horn.
Here’s the small queue area outside the Thor meet-and-greet.
There are several treasures on display to keep you entertained while you wait.
Once inside, you are transported to Asgard to meet Thor. Obviously, this was a perfect opportunity to strike a manly pose.
Next we headed to It’s a Small World Holiday.
The holiday overlay of It’s a Small World has become a tradition at Disneyland. It’s well done, and returns pretty much unchanged this year. There’s also a new nighttime show projected on the ride’s facade using projection mapping technology that is probably worth checking out. (Due to our tight schedule, we didn’t get a chance to see the projection show).
Here’s a video of our full ride on It’s a Small World Holiday!
Merchandise from the new movie “Frozen” has arrived in the parks. This Olaf plush was for sale in the gift shop at the exit of It’s a Small World.
Speaking of Olaf, he now greets visitors at the new Frozen meet-and-greet in Fantasyland.
There’s a nice wooden sign outside the meet-and-greet that fits in perfectly in Fantasyland.
Inside there are some delicious looking treats.
And you get to meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen.
Look what we found sitting on a rock of the Matterhorn. Has Big Mike been here recently?
Even the ducks at the park seemed ready for the holidays.
Next we headed to the “Jingle Cruise,” the new-for-2013 holiday version of the Jungle Cruise.
The queue was nicely decorated, and the boats were each given holiday-themed names.
Some toys made out of supplies from the jungle were on display in the queue.
A bamboo Christmas tree.
Overall, the ride entrance, queue decorations, and boat theming all got us really excited for the ride. But unfortunately once you got onto the boat all the holiday theming stopped. The ride was pretty much a normal Jungle Cruise ride with a Christmas joke thrown in here and there. Jingle Cruise was a solid idea, but we felt it wasn’t executed to its fullest potential. I’d love to see this return next year with more holiday jokes and some holiday theming/music/lights throughout the attraction. It seems like it could be a hit with a little more work, but as it was it left us wanting more.
But don’t take our word for it, here’s a video of our full Jingle Cruise ride...
Next up, Haunted Mansion Holiday!
Perhaps the best holiday themed attraction in the world?
There were some small changes this year. In the stretching portrait gallery Jack’s head is now a projection rather than an actual figure. While there is more animation now, the effect feels “flat” since it’s just projected onto the flat ceiling. The changing portraits in the hallway have been improved though, adding a neat illusion where Zero flies from painting to painting.
The rest of the ride is mostly unchanged and is as good as ever!
Every year Disney makes a real gingerbread house for the ballroom scene. This year it’s enormous (13 feet tall) and really stunning. Every week they reveal a new Jack face, and apparently the yet-to-be-revealed face for the 13th week is extra special!
There are creepy toys all throughout the attic.
It wouldn’t be Haunted Mansion Holiday without Jack Skellington!
Singing pumpkins replace the singing busts.
Oogie Boogie says “Don’t miss Haunted Mansion Holiday!”
New Orleans Square is looking festive.
Beautiful holiday decorations line the balconies.
A lot of thought was put into these decorations!
Next we headed over to Main Street for the “A Christmas Fantasy Parade.” A special guest marching band kicked off the parade.
The parade features a mix of Disney and Christmas characters.
There are toy soldiers...
Winnie The Pooh and friends...
Poor Eeyore, his sled flipped :(
There are skiers...
Of course Mickey Mouse makes an appearance...
Woody rides in on a horse...
There are reindeer...
And it wouldn’t be a Christmas parade without Santa!
The decorations on Main Street and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle really come to life when night falls and they light up. Here’s the big Christmas tree all lit up.
A look down Main Street at night.
And here’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The castle gets even more spectacular after the fireworks when lighted snow and icicles appear all over it.
Now lets head over to California Adventure!
Not to be outdone by Disneyland, DCA also has a huge Christmas Tree.
These Santa decorations line the Hollywood Backlot.
Reindeers pull Santa and his sleigh in front of the large backdrop.
We stopped in at Off The Page to see what Christmas goodies they had for sale.
The Mickey nutcrackers were especially neat.
Over in Cars Land we tried to hitch a ride.
Disney goes all out theming Cars Land for the holidays.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree sports a Santa hat and some festive garland.
Many of the holiday decorations in Cars Land are car themed. These garlands are made of car air filters.
The Cozy Cone is getting into the holiday spirit with a cone tree.
Stanley carries his large sack of presents in front of a tree covered in hubcap ornaments.
After Cars Land we headed to Paradise Pier for the world premiere of World of Color - Winter Dreams. Everyone was given a pair of Glow With the Show ears then Actor Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in “Frozen,” and Steve Davison, Vice President of Parades and Spectaculars at The Walt Disney Company and World of Color creator, introduced the show.
The show starts off with the World of Color Honor Choir, a group of singers from all 50 states, singing “Glow,” a song written just for the show.
Olaf is the main character of the show and makes many appearances throughout.
The famous scene from Bambi where Bambi tries to walk on ice is brought to life on the water screens.
There’s a neat 3d snowflake effect.
There were also hundreds of vibrant color changing lights added to the California Screamin’ supports. They add a lot to the show.
Glow With the Show ears make the show so magical when everyone around you has them. It’s a shame the audience doesn’t always look like this!
I love how the ears make the show happen all around you.
There was also a new snowflake effect that didn’t work properly during our show, but should work in the future. I took this picture later in the night when they were testing the effect. 3d printed bubble snowflakes will fill the sky during the show.
So that’s World of Color - Winter Dreams. Personally, I thought the show was great! If you like World of Color, you will almost certainly like World of Color - Winter Dreams.
After the show there was a media reception at ¡Viva Navidad! , a new Latin inspired Christmas celebration located at Paradise Garden in DCA.
There was all sorts of food...
And an open bar!
We hung out with characters in festive costumes.
Spears learned to dance!
Go Spears go!
And we even met World of Color creator Steve Davison!
So there it is! The Disneyland resort is completely decked out from top to bottom for the holidays. With all sorts of new and returning holiday themed decorations, entertainment, and rides, there’s no better place to get into the holiday spirit. Thanks to Disney for inviting us to attend such a fun event, and thanks to you for checking out our report. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Last edited by ILoveRides on Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:11 pm.
Great photos as always. I always enjoy reading your reports. I like seeing Tony's window that is well deserved. One of these years, I will hopefully make it to see the Haunted Mansion Holiday version. I just missed it this year. I've seen Frozen at a preview and I enjoyed it. I forget that Olaf was a big part of the World of Color Winter Dreams.
Thanks for the TR and pictures, really liked the illuminated ears. But Christmas decorations, people in shorts and no snow just doesn't look or feel right to me. Then again, I am biased (and a little jealous) due to living in the Great White North.
If you like World of Color, you will almost certainly like World of Color - Winter Dreams.
Well I guess that answers my question...
Seriously great coverage guys! One of these days I'll be able to get back out to California for the holidays to experience all of this for myself. Until that time I'll continue to live vicariously through your awesome reports!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Awesome pictures guys! When I was a kid and lived in So Cal, we visited Disneyland every year during the Holiday season. To me, that was always a special time to visit the park. I know it doesn't get much love but I really like New Orleans Square all decked out for the holidays. Amazing stuff! I haven't visited DCA yet during this time of year so hopefully one day I'll make it back there.
Jimmy "Shorts in winter Spears?!?!?!" Bo
Do not believe this post!
90% of the time, I am sarcastic all the time...it's science!
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.