When I think of my favorite places to celebrate the holidays, the Disneyland Resort always tops my list. Every year during the Holidays the resort undergoes a Winter transformation, adding tons of Holiday themed decorations, food, shows, and rides. This year there’s almost too much to list. Among this year’s offerings at the resort are Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink, Viva Navidad, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Small World Holiday, Jingle Cruise, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Believe... In Holiday Magic fireworks, and World of Color - Winter Dreams. And newly announced “Frozen Fun” will be bringing the Frozen movie to life, adding new experiences such as a “Freeze the Night” dance party (replacing the Mad T Party), “Olaf’s Snow Fest!” with real snow and a chance to meet Olaf, “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” and an all new Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet area at Disney California Adventure. The Disneyland Resort Holiday offerings run November 13 - January 6, and Frozen Fun opens at California Adventure on January 7 (with previews of most of the experiences beginning December 20th). Check out our trip report below to learn all about this year’s offerings!
Here's a video from our visit that tells you everything you need to know:
We’re at the Disneyland Resort where the holidays are now in full swing!
First up, Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink, where you can break out of the So Cal heat with some ice cold skating.
The ice rink is located in Downtown Disney between ESPN Zone and Earl of Sandwich.
Andrae Gill told us all about what Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and California Adventure have in store for us this Holiday Season. Be sure to watch the video at the top of this report to see the full interview!
You can do some Holiday shopping at the many little shops set up around the ice rink.
Next we headed to Disney California Adventure.
Here’s the Christmas Tree at DCA.
Carla Carlile told us all about Viva Navidad, a Latino-inspired Holiday celebration at DCA.
The Mariachi band then played “Feliz Navidad” for us!
I even got to go up on the float with the Three Caballeros. How fun!
The Three Caballeros say “Come check out Viva Navidad!”
Next we learned about the holiday food offerings with Christina Orejel.
She tested my on-camera cookie decorating skills.
I've seen worse!
Next up, Disneyland!
Main Street is looking very festive.
Poinsettias surround the Partners statue in front of the snow covered castle.
We got a peek at some of the Holiday merchandise. Look at all that awesome stuff! Something for everyone!
Lots of Xmas gift possibilities!
We then interviewed Kristen Lagerlof who told us all about Frozen Fun.
They surprised Spears and I with a photo op with Anna and Elsa!
Then we headed over to my absolute favorite holiday attraction in the entire world, Haunted Mansion Holiday!
Jack Skellington has decked the halls!
There’s spooky holiday decor all around the mansion.
Bows adorn the tombstones in the cemetery .
At night these jack-o-lanterns glow with candlelight.
Inside, the changing portraits are Nightmare Before Christmas themed.
Even the spiders are making Holiday themed webs these days.
Speaking of webs, do you think they ever have to remove spider webs from the spider webs? Just a thought.
This moving backdrop stands behind the boarding area.
Zero gets just what he wanted for Christmas!
Madame Leota floats in a large Christmas ornament.
Every year Disneyland makes an elaborate real gingerbread house for the table in the ballroom scene. This year’s may be their best ever!
Keep an eye out for Zero flying in the ballroom too!
The attic is filled with creepy toys that are on the attack!
It looks like Robb made the naughty list this year... again!
This glowing Jack-o-lantern covered mountain is stunning.
It wouldn’t be Haunted Mansion Holiday without Jack Skellington!
The singing busts are replaced with singing pumpkins.
Holiday decorations are everywhere!
Oogie Boogie offers up some Holiday Tricks and Treats.
Each “sleigh” gets its own trick or treat.
Watch our full Haunted Mansion POV below:
Next we headed to Main Street for A Christmas Fantasy Parade.
Before the parade, several high school marching bands marched by.
This must be such a neat experience for these kids, getting to march down Main Street at Disneyland!
Here comes the parade!
There are nutcrackers...
I love the “skiers.”
This parade is the perfect thing to get you in the holiday spirit!
After the parade, we checked out the Christmas tree on Main Street.
The only thing more impressive than the tree is Sleeping Beauty Castle covered in glowing snow!
We then headed to It’s a Small World Holiday.
The facade is covered in colored holiday lights.
Every 15 minutes a show is projected onto the facade.
The projection mapping effects are really neat!
Check out our video of the Small World projection show below:
And of course, don’t forget to don your holiday hats and ride Small World Holiday!
Back over to DCA, Carthay Circle is keeping it classy with a simple lighted wreath hung near the top of the theater.
Cars Land once again goes all-out for the Holidays.
There are Holiday lights and decorations all down Route 66.
Sarge’s Surplus Hut is covered in festive lights.
The Cozy Cone has a Conetastic tree out front.
The Holiday lights at Flo’s complement the gorgeous neon.
Stanley has a sack full of gifts.
Mater is totally ready for Christmas!
Everywhere you look there are decorations and little details.
There it is!
Finally, we rounded out our day with World of Color - Winter Dreams. This holiday version of World of Color is hosted by Olaf from Frozen.
Check out the video below to see some highlights from World of Color - Winter Dreams:
Thanks to Disney for inviting us to this great event, and thanks to you for checking out our report! In our opinion, Holidays at The Disneyland Resort is the best it has ever been... There’s no better time to check it out! And we can’t wait to experience Frozen Fun beginning January 7th!
Last edited by ILoveRides on Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:02 am.
Hhappy wrote:Dang, That looks pretty awesome. One day i'll do a Disney Christmas around the world trip (or maybe a park a year?) Should be fun
That would be very cool, indeed. I spent a few days at DLR over Christmas last year and really enjoyed it. Cars Land in particular looked great for the holidays; It's a Small World Holiday was good; and the Haunted Mansion's "Nightmare Before Christmas" overlay is very well done.
Park looks good for the holidays. I wish the Nightmare before Christmas Haunted Mansion was still going to be open in the end of January, when I'm going. Still haven't ridden it, though I love the original.
^I think it's alright, and I'm not here to start a debate, but I think normal Mansion is a ton better than nightare Mansion. I think it's impressive how much the ride transforms, but that being said, I'm not really impressed with what it transforms into.
WFChris wrote:^I think it's alright, and I'm not here to start a debate, but I think normal Mansion is a ton better than nightare Mansion. I think it's impressive how much the ride transforms, but that being said, I'm not really impressed with what it transforms into.
This is pretty much exactly the reason why WDW will never get the Nightmare layover. There are just too many people who come to the WDW Resort who are visiting for their first time, or their first time in many years that want to experience the "original" Haunted Mansion. At Disneyland, since such a high percentage of guests are locals, even if you're not a fan of it, you just come back again when it's back to the normal Mansion.
Personally, I'd love to see WDW get the layover, because I love Nightmare, but I fully respect the reasons why it never will. There just is something to be said about the original version of Haunted Mansion.
Last edited by robbalvey on Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:15 pm.
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