Holiday insanity has returned to the Disneyland Resort. The happiest season of all is also the most crowded at Disneyland, and this week drove that point home with packed conditions at the resort. There’s also some wacky news from the resort, where an expensive new preferred parking option has been rolled out, parade route pizza is now a thing and security procedures are about to expand.

Let’s take a jingle jangle look at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Disneyland

Holiday Heavyweight

Lots of parks do Christmas these days, but none I’ve seen do a better job than Disneyland. Decorations, holiday ride overlays, parades, fireworks, specialty foods and holiday music everywhere. It’s a magic time to be sure . . . if you don’t let the crowds get to you.

Disneyland Resort


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Mickey, in his holiday sweater, greeted guests on Main Street this week
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Good boy

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Even Merida was out and about this week. She stopped to chat near the castle wishing well.

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Mele Kalikimaka

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The Fantasmic stage on Tom Sawyer Island continues its reworking for a big summer debut.

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The sailing ship Columbia is being transformed for the new Fantasmic. Disney is rumored to be replacing the Peter Pan segment with Pirates of the Caribbean.

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On a Wednesday afternoon, sections of the park were gridlocked.

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this poster on the construction wall near Hungry Bear hints at things to come. We’ll see the rock work construction shots in just a bit.

And here’s what the Star Wars construction shots look like from Critter Country:

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The nice thing about Splash Mountain at this time of year are the reasonable waits. Although most of the E-Tickets were sporting 60 minute (or longer) wait times, Splash barely had a line. Most folks are afraid of getting wet when it’s cold out (yes, we crazy Californians think 62° is cold).

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Walk right in, no line stretched around the mountain today.

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The lines were long at some of the better restaurants, so I decided to swing in to the good ol’ Hungry Bear in Critter Country. There were a few new-to-me items being featured.

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I ordered this and it was delish. I’m not a huge hotdog fan but the BBQ pork was great.

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Over at the Winnie the Pooh meet and greet Santa has taken over.

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He sees you when you’re sleeping . . .
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It’s mid-December. Time for Fall colors in SoCal.


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Back behind Big Thunder Mountain, you’ll see all sorts of rock work going up for the River Redo and Train re-route. The most interesting things we can see right now are the large rocks seen from the train. Could these be an homage to Nature’s Wonderland?  In any case, they are quite large and impressive. Photo_6840

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No real news here. I just liked the golden lighting on the Golden Horseshoe. 😉

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These ornaments that look like clothes are so clever.

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The Gingerbread Cookies are absolutely delicious. The are soft and wonderful.

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Also delicious . . . the new doughnuts at the cart in the central hub.  They run out almost every day, but restock around 5pm. Photo_6941

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Photo_6940                             Parade Route Pizza . . .  We learned this week that Disneyland has begun selling pizza from a cart which travels down the parade route before show time.  Guests can expect to pay about $9 per slice or $45 for a whole pizza     

   

Disney California Adventure

 

The Festival of Holidays Continues

While I’m still really sad to see Tower of Terror go, there’s a great festival going on right now at DCA. I can’t shake the feeling that they are ramping up the holidays at DCA so they can add an up-charge Christmas event at Disneyland next year. Photo_6744

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Have you been naughty or nice?

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  The festival food is fantastic . . . BUT . . . the pricing is outrageous. They are charging entree prices for sample sized portions. I hope they can play around with the prices a bit before the next food festival. Photo_6739

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Liver Lips!

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  I heard that they added a Christmas song to the loop at Luigi’s, let’s investigate.  Photo_6735

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Back behind Grizzly River Rapids, in the trail that is usually a smoking area, is an AP appreciation section. Show your pass and get a free pin and/or other goodies.  Photo_6718

  It’s essentially just buttons and a coloring table. Photo_6719

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  Santa is hanging out just down the road in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Photo_6716

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Warning, heartbreaking shots of Tower of Terror ahead as the entire ride is now covered in scaffolds and beige tarps.   Photo_7502

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Lines for the attraction are longer than they have ever been. Temporary queue lines have been set up to accommodate the demand. Also complicating matters is that not all three shafts have been operational every day.

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Downtown Disney/Parking

 

Preferred Parking

Did you notice the new parking option at Disneyland? You can now request a “Preferred Parking” spot for $35. That’s nearly double the price of regular parking. All that gets you is a spot closer to the escalators. That’s a lot of money just to save a few steps.

Securityland

Fast and furious changes have been occurring at the Disneyland Resort to create a larger security bubble which will cover Downtown Disney as well as the entrances to both theme parks. While these are clearly temporary structures, the rush seems to be to get them up and functional in time for the New Years Eve festivities.  Even for temporary facilities, this new security setup is quite ugly. Disney is fully capable of creating temporary venues which look quite nice (RunDisney and the various DCA festivals do it all the time). Hopefully a more elegant permanent solution won’t be too far behind. 04

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These tents are by the AMC theater and service guests staying at the hotels.

 

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Additional tents have been installed at the Downtown Disney parking lot. It appears that they have taken over the area previously used for the Valet parking.   06

 

 

 

Pandora Opens

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Sprinkles cupcakes recently opened in Downtown Disney. Now Pandora has opened as well. This store is in addition to the one in New Orleans Square.

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Sunglass icon

Sunglass Hut has partnered with Disney and Ray-Ban to create a limited edition Wayfarer design using a unique Mickey Mouse print on the temples.

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DIsneyland Hotel

Ongoing changes to the fall protection above all the canopy at the Disneyland Hotel still have not finished. The work we showed you previously seems to have been uninstalled and a vinyl wrap has gone back up for now. 01                                

   

MiceChat Events

 

 MiceChat New Year’s Eve

Is your Disneyland pass blocked out for NYE this year? Come join us at Knott’s Berry Farm for an evening of fun, entertainment, rides, fried chicken, ice shows, fireworks and more. Enter your email HERE for more information about the event. 

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Click HERE for more information

MiceChat Anniversary Weekend Jan 27-29

MiceChat Anniversary weekly is January 27th through 29th. We have all sorts of amazing things lined up for you, including a blockbuster panel featuring David Koenig!  Enter your email HERE for more information.

MiceChat-Anniversary-Logo-2017
Click HERE for more information

Get Disneyland Wait Times with Mouseaddict

Mouseaddict

Get Mouseaddict Here You can keep track of the wait times and even where in the park people are congregating by downloading the app (iPhone only at this time).      

Thank you !
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage with additional photo contributions from CakvalaSC.

Are you a member of the MiceChat Sunday Meet-up Facebook group? If you are interested in meeting up with fellow theme park lovers in the parks, please be sure to follow this group: MiceChat Sundays in the Park. And please follow the MiceChat Facebook Page for news and updates from the Disneyland Resort and beyond:  

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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]