It’s that time of year again. I know that the Walt Disney World Resort has the Osborn Family Spectacle of Lights and that huge gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. However, from what I’ve observed over the years, there is nothing like the Disneyland Resort at Christmastime.
Disneyland is so magical at the holidays. We’ve got special holiday overlays on popular attractions that make them even more merry and magical. First up, we have the Nightmare Before Christmas holiday overlay on the Haunted Mansion that is used for both the Christmas and the Halloween celebrations at Disneyland. I love this different version of the Haunted Mansion even better than the original. So, whenever my wife and I are at Disneyland from October through January, we always make sure to hit up this attraction. I’m looking forward to seeing the different things they’ve done this year in person. Check out the video from this year. It’s the 13th year of this very popular overlay. So, they’ve done some extra special additions…
For Christmastime, Disneyland also features a different overlay for It’s A Small World. Much like the Haunted Mansion holiday overlay, this is hugely popular. So, if you go prepare to wait in long lines. I recommend going to this attraction after dark. After all, check out what you get to see while waiting in line…
Here is a great video shot at nighttime. Although, once you’re inside it really doesn’t matter what time of day you go on the attraction, I still prefer the night because of how amazing the exterior of It’s A Small World is at night. The downside of going after dark is that they do close the attraction down around the fireworks. So, if you don’t time it right, you may have to wait for the fireworks before riding.
While I prefer It’s A Small World at night, I prefer watching A Christmas Fantasy Parade in the day. Over the years, this parade has changed, of course. However, it’s still a fun Christmas parade. When I was in college, I auditioned to be one of the Toy Soldier Trumpet players. True story. The first year, there were 30 people auditioning. Of those, 15 had already done the Toy Soldiers before. Since Disney prefers those that have already performed with them, it was a competition of 15 people for 2 spots (they hire 17 players). So, I didn’t make it. Then, the next year, they changed the parade and eliminated all of the union musicians from the parade except for the Toy Soldiers. I auditioned and would have made it. My trumpet teacher was the teacher for the guy who was in charge of the Toy Soldiers. However, the week after the auditions, the union called and demanded to make the Toy Soldiers a union position. Since I was still in college and doing lots of non-union playing, my trumpet teacher recommended that I not join the union. So, I didn’t get to be apart of this parade. However, I came oh so close.
Next up, the lighting of Sleeping Beauty’s castle is always a magical moment. Don’t you think? The castle looks amazing at night all lit up. Some have complained that the lights aren’t so spectacular during the daylight. I appreciate both for what they are. The nighttime is better and to get that amazing show at night, the lights have to be there during the day. Besides, the only time you even notice the lights during the day is when you’re up close to the castle. From far away, they are hardly noticeable and the snow on the castle tops glistens in the daylight.
No day at Disneyland would be complete without watching the fireworks. I love the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks show. At the conclusion of the show, there’s even show! Okay, it’s not the real snow. However, with a little Disney magic, it snows on Main Street U.S.A. at the conclusion of the fireworks. Additionally, the snow falls in an area of Fantasyland around It’s a Small World.
Yes, even a stroll up Main Street U.S.A. is extra magical at Christmastime. One of the features Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland that is not at Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom is the Mickey Mouse Ears Christmas Wreaths. In Florida, the wreaths are just round. At Disneyland, they are Mickey Mouse Ears shaped.
Next Thursday, I have the dress rehearsal for the Disneyland Candlelight Processional. I can’t wait to get into the park and see it all decorated up again! Less than 7 days until I get to go back to the Merriest Place on Earth! I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday and that y’all have a wonderful holiday season!
Have you ever been to Disneyland at Christmas time? Walt Disney World? What is your favorite part of being at the Disney parks at Christmastime?