Welcome to your Cyber Monday Disneyland Photo Update. With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is now in full swing. I’d like to take you with me on a journey through the resort as we march toward Christmas.
|“Tis the Season”|
The holiday parades, fireworks, and shows of Disneyland Resort really set it apart from the competition. Let’s take a look.
A Christmas Fantasy Parade
The 22 year-old Christmas parade makes its return. The Frozen unit in the parade still feels more appropriate here then elsewhere throughout the resort (I’m looking at you Hollywoodland).
Elena of Avalor
Have you met Elena? She’s Disney’s newest princess. Elena’s arrival ceremony made its debut this year to popular demand, as the young ones really seem to love this new princess and her Disney Channel show. Apparently, Elena was imprisoned in an amulet by an evil sorceress, and once freed from her prison was able to save her kingdom and gain the crown.
Over in California Adventure, Viva Navidad has returned with as much energy and enthusiasm as in years past. It’s a FANTASTIC show. One thing to note is that the character designs have not been update to the new heads as they have been in Walt Disney World’s Christmas shows.
World of Color: Season of Light
The newest Holiday show, Season of Light, is quite a departure from the previous Holiday show. The production does not open or close with the World of Color song, nor does it have a story line or narrative. Season of Light is mostly a jukebox of Christmas songs with Disney animation layered on top. You won’t find songs from Frozen or marketing for other Disney properties. This is a true attempt to honor the holidays.
What do you think of the new World of Color?
Paint the Night
The dazzling parade from Disneyland’s 60th has returned for a short run this holiday season. The original Main Street Electrical Parade will return in January when Paint the Night returns to a long refurbishment.
Believe…In Holiday Magic
The 16 year old holiday show returns after a one year hiatus due to Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary. The show has been enhanced with projections on the castle using the leftover infrastructure from the Disneyland Forever fireworks show.
Disneyland reached peak attendance this past week. The upcoming few weeks should prove interesting as we expect some slow weekdays and extremely busy weekends. Then the big AP Blackouts take place about three weeks from now, shutting all but the Signature Plus passes out of the park. While the last three weeks of the year are traditionally insanely busy, that could all change this year.
New Orleans Square
Star Wars Land Construction and Electrical Parade Refurbishment Tent
The massive construction site for Star Wars and Frontierland is under a rapid pace of change. The River/Railroad project in particular is seeing rapid advances.
The exciting return of the Electrical Parade is just over a month away. Work is being conducted in a big white tent to completely refurbish the parade which has been poorly maintained by Walt Disney World.
If you missed our update last week, you may have missed hearing about the new Fuel Rod system which has popped up at the Disneyland Resort. The system allows you to buy a fully charged cell phone battery charging stick and swap it for another fully charged stick as often as you’d like. The machines where you can buy or swap the fuel rods are located throughout the resort.
- Disneyland Park: Main Street Locker Rental & Storage, Starcade (near ATM), “it’s a small world” Toy Shop, Hungry Bear (lower level)
- Disney California Adventure Park: Kingswell Camera, Treasures in Paradise
- Downtown Disney District: ESPN Zone
- Disneyland Hotel: Outside Business Center (Fantasy Tower)
- Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa: Convention Area
- Paradise Pier Hotel: Hotel Lobby Area
Each portable charging battery set costs $30 and comes with the following:
- One (1) portable charging battery
- One (1) 6” USB Type-A to micro-USB cable (for most Android devices)
- One (1) Apple 30-pin to USB cable (for iPod, iPhone 1-4)
- One (1) Apple Lightning to USB cable (for iPhone 5 and up)
Here is the unpacking:
They are $30 if you buy them at the parks or $20 (+$5 shipping) on the company’s site (not an affiliate link). They say:
Each FuelRod Includes:
- A ready to use FuelRod to power your devices.
- Adapters for both Android and Apple devices that are yours to keep, at no additional charge.
- The ability to be refueled (recharged) in any standard wall outlet.
- The ability to be swapped (traded) for a fully fueled unit at little to no additional cost at any FuelRod SwapBox. (The Disney swaps are free as of publish date)
FuelRod currently ships inside the U.S. only. I was able to purchase mine in the park for $25 by finding a promotional code on the company website.
Exchanging the rod was easier than purchasing it and I will continuing to use the product while in the park and when I return to WDW, as long as Disney does set a charge to swap the rod.
One final note: Just fond these cupcakes at Jolly Holiday Bakery…BEST CUPCAKE EVER! Try one!
|Disney California Adventure|
Now let’s turn to the park that still cannot grasp it’s identity and keeps falling back to it original short-sited side.
Buena Vista Street
Christmas is everywhere on Buena Vista Street. Unfortunately, there has been no sign of the Bell Rin
Judy and Nick from Zootopia have been moving around Hollywood Land, this week they were hiding over in front of Stage 17.
Over at Sunset Showcase, a Doctor Strange preview has moved to the regions beyond and the live-action Beauty and the Beast is shown to move in this Spring leaving the theater empty for couple months.
Also this week the construction walls were taken down around what used to be the center stage of Mad T Party show. Sadly, the Mickey fountain was not restored and has been removed entirely.
Tower construction continues as more scaffolding has been installed on the opposite side of the building.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail continues to bring guest in to see Santa and the holiday decor.
No sign of progress on the new fastpass system being added to Midway Mania this week. Rollout was widely expected to be this wee, but. Castmembers at the attraction have claimed that they are nowhere near ready and to look for the new system in the new year.
|Downtown Disney and Resort Area|
The new security area in West Downtown Disney continues to move forward as Disneyland Security pushes the barrier to be the edge of Downtown Disney and to include the Mickey and Friends Tram (more on that later).
Tis the Season to Spend as today we celebrate the fact you can stay home or shop from work to buy stuff online. Let’s take a run through Disneyland’s shopping district.
There is no Holiday Village as in previous years due to the new security construction. The tree has been moved to the area next to AMC Theater and across from Rainforest Cafe.
Some new decorations have been added to the mix this year.
Walls now surround the old House of Blues building.
Sprinkles Cupcakes has opened in the old Something Silver space. They are famous for their Madagascar Vanilla cupcake for good reason. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Pandora signage has appeared on the second space next to Curl Surf that was previously occupied by Quicksilver.
Moana merchandise has popped up inside World of Disney. The new movie was top of the box office for Thanksgiving weekend with a take of over 80 million dollars.
I’d never been inside, so I thought I’d take a few photos for you of Anna & Elsa’s Boutique.
Mickey and Friends Parking Structure
Work continues on adding a security check area to the tram route.
Disneyland has introduced premium parking and it doesn’t seem like many folks are willing to pay for it.
Disneyland Main Transportation Center and Harbor Skyway Bridge
To wrap up this week’s update, let’s look at Disney’s newest construction site…
No visible signs of work yet except new temporary fences have been install along Manchester Blvd.
Looking at the front of the site we see the Carousel has not be demolished yet as they look to be stripping down the inside first. The Pizza Press continues to operate during the season.
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|Thank you !|
|All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Each week we’ll feature different photographers and commentators (often more than one). Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Brian Pinsky|
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That’s it for this week’s Update. Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]