The Disneyland Resort is celebrating refurbishmas.  No, perhaps Halloween. Wait, there are lights and Christmas decorations up. I’ve got it, it must be that beloved holiday . . . Christmaween.  We are now in that strange transitional period where it’s technically still Halloween, but Christmas is slowly moving in.  It’s also the time when the fall refurbishments are rounding the bend and heading closer to completion in time for the busy holiday season. There are a lot of ongoing projects including Storybookland Canal Boats, Indiana Jones, Casey Jr. Circus Train,  Fantasy Faire Village and some facade refurbishments. And not to worry, we have a delicious update on Earl of Sandwich and the Downtown Disney district too.

As stated at the beginning, we are now between Halloween’s farewell and the arrival of Christmas. The park is taking on a clashing of holidays that is normally reserved for Haunted Mansion Holiday.  Disneyland seems taken over by Jack Skellington himself.

 Snow on the castle, pumpkins in the hub.

For Halloween fans it is always a downer to see their favorite holiday go out with a whimper rather than a bang.  But with two wildly popular holidays back to back it is the simple reality of an operating theme park.

Over in New Orleans Square Christmas is progressing even faster.  The normal, ornate garland and ornaments are already up.  In fact, you can even get your holiday plush Donald just in time for Halloween.

Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice. But Christmas before October 31st just feels wrong. What do you think? Can’t Christmas be scheduled to wait until at least November 1st?

City Hall continues its extensive refurbishment of the facade and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile the Fantasy Faire village is a tangle of metal framing and construction scaffolding.

it’s a small world holiday
The classic attraction, it’s a small world, is currently closed until Friday, November 9th, in order to install the holiday overlay.  The Holiday season doesn’t technically begin at the resort until Monday, November 12th.  So, that gives you a few extra days before the madness to get a few rides in before the huge crowds start showing up.

Ooooooo change! – but not the change you’re looking for. Move along.

While the two classic attractions, Casey Jr. Circus Train and the Storybookland Canal Boats are set to return on Friday November 16th, there is still plenty of work to be done.  Monstro is slowly coming out from behind the scaffolds and is looking great.  But inside the bridges above the canals are still stripped down to the framing.

Toontown continues to languish, even as some enhancements are going on.  Minnie’s house, while open, is still getting some yard work done, though the hills behind her house are still peeling. The restrooms are currently having the exteriors touched up, and Bennie the Cab is still missing from the entry of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.  You know, if he had GPS he might be able to find his way back.

Another indication that the performance space will soon be returning comes with the appearance of construction on a projection/control booth for the theatre.


It seems that Critter Country has gotten a lot sunnier.  There were several large trees, some behind the gift shop, some near Splash Mountain, that have been removed.

With very little fanfare, Disneyland hosted the arrival of the Stanley Cup.  In a quick photo op held in front of the Castle the trophy was toted out, held aloft then whisked away to the Harbor gate near the casting office where Cast Members got a close up look at it.  The appearance was strangely unnanounced and hardly publicized.


Venturing over to California Adventure, we spy some rebar and more construction peaking from behind the last remaining construction walls at the front of the park.

The new entry planter on the West side is finally taking shape.

work continues in front of the Carthay Circle Theater for replacement of the terrazzo floor entrance.


In front of Radiator Springs Racers, the beautiful neon Fast Pass sign was removed due to the expansion of Ramone’s body shop.  A sad goodbye to a lovely piece of neon, but it was out of place in the reconfigured area.  What is strange is the awkward “Entry” sign that replaced it.  The hastily installed red arrow feels tacked on and is likely a temporary installation.

The entry into the expanded floorspace is being built now.

The temporary carpet has been installed in the lobby of the Grand California Hotel.

It wouldn’t be In the Parks without a tantalizing update on the Earl of Sandwhich restaurant in Downtown Disney.  The paint job is mostly done and suddenly the progress has picked up.  Patio heaters and string lights have been installed on the canopy in front of the store and it seems that they could open within the month to take advantage of the busy holiday season.

Don’t forget, the ice skating rink is now open in Downtown Disney.  For the absurd price of $15 dollars for yourself and $12 for your toddler (do toddlers even skate?) you can ice skate on the commercial for the new direct to DVD Tinkerbelle release.  Skates are $3 extra.

Finally they have decided what to do with those abandoned old information booths that were closed way back in 2001.  It appears that the Disney Vacation Club is taking them over and will now begin their trademark, no-pressure sales push as you enter either side of the esplanade.

Prepare to be smiled at as you enter the parks!

And that is all we have here for you today from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.  We bid a fond farewell to Halloween, say hello to Christmas and patiently wait for all of the projects to conclude.  Well folks, are you ready for Christmas? Because a lot of it has already been installed.

  • jcruise86

    When the Earl of Sandwich opens, please devote the entire update that week to it just so I can read the reactions. 🙂

    While I don’t want to sound like Scrooge (“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”) I do think that the ones ultimately responsible for topping the castle with Christmas snow in October ought to be punished. Maybe make them watch Dean Martin’s Christmas Special at Sea World three times. It just seems wrong and unsettling.

    • hollyannheck

      If snow in October seems wrong and unsettling to you, you should be mighty glad you don’t live in Colorado. 🙂 I do find the actual Christmas-y things up this early to be slightly off-putting, but if there had been snow on that castle when I was visiting over Gay Days, it would not have even crossed my mind to be unsettled by it, since it was snowing at home while I was there. 😀

    • LOL. We might dedicate the whole month to Earl of Sandwich! The MiceChat Oralndo Parks Awards last year awarded Earl of Sandwich the best counter service restaurant. It won in a landslide. I think folks will really be pleased with the Anaheim version when it’s complete.

      And I agree with the flogging of whomever is responsible for snow on the castle in October. It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong!

      Great update Fishy!

    • BC_DisneyGeek

      I agree on the castle snow. Decorating New Orleans Square, which is sort of out-of-the-way, is one thing, but can they really not wait until Nov 01 to stick the snow on the castle?

      I think an update devoted to the Earl opening would be great, I’ll pencil March 08 2013 in my calendar for that one ;).

      • Gregg Condon

        I saw a Target Xmas commercial on TV last night so Disney isn’t the only one.

  • Gregg Condon

    Wow, usually there isn’t much change in between the Monday/Friday Disneyland updates but there sure was this week.

    Thanks for the update. Too bad we likely won’t get to the park until January (maybe NYE).

  • skoolpsyk

    “But Christmas before October 31st just feels wrong. What do you think? ”

    Christmas before Thanksgiving just feels wrong! 🙂

  • WRDup

    Can someone please call/text/fax me when the Earl opens? I’ll need a sandwich ASAP.

  • SoCalFan

    Seeing that the Christmas parade taping is 3 days after Halloween this year, I think it’s just a necessity to have the snow up on time and make sure everything is ready for the cameras (since they’ll also put up some temporary decorations of castle with snow for filming). The castle is not only a backdrop for the parade but also the concert.

  • Professortango

    The Christmas decorations get a complaint from me every year. I didn’t mind so much when they ignored Halloween, but if you’re selling me a Halloween themed park, don’t short change me by putting up Christmas early. Do folks who pay extra for the Halloween Treat parties receive a discount for the second half of the month?

    If Knott’s and Universal can take down scare zones and mazes and still manage to do fine Christmas displays, then surely Disney can figure it out too.

  • eicarr

    I hope the Sandwich Chain Store stays open longer than its old quickly shuttered California location so I can at least see it once. I’m paying money to be inside the park a very short distance away to enjoy the rich Disney atmosphere while enjoying great sandwiches for a good value at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, Carnation Cafe, and Fifer & Practical Café. Sitting down looking out at a Paul Pressler corporate disney strip mall, knowing I was not in the park after paying $90 for a ticket for the day would be too upsetting for me to actually eat there.

    • LOL. Totally agreed on the uninspired Paul Pressler strip mall. Amazing how much lasting damage he did to the resort. Amazingly, there are still people in the company who defend him. If you ask me, that’s grounds for immeadiate termination. 😉

  • bayouguy

    We’ll miss the rest of Halloween and its decorations, and hope to see the nice Christmas decorations withing the next few weeks, perhaps on Thanksgiving. I think Disneyland handles its holiday creep well though.

  • bearride

    Anyone remember when Disney put up the Christmas tree in Town Square before Halloween? I don’t thing xmas should go up before Thanksgiving, but I guess I’m old school… 🙂

  • Trevor

    A touch of snow on the ground for Halloween? Looks like a Canadian Christmas to me. 🙂

  • Spongeocto4

    Thanks for the update!

  • DisneyDylan

    I think it’s important to not how long it takes to “put christmas up” every year. I’m glad they start early instead of quickly tacking it on last minute. Many people seem to have a problem with the Castle snow (most notably the Icicles) during the day. Could you image how it would look if they waited to do it quickly??

    I do however, believe they need to add more to the Halloween Time festivities, and revamp a couple of things.. only time will tell!

    Thanks for the update!

  • So let’s settle on a name for this mishmash of holidays:
    – Christmasween
    – Christmaween
    – Hallowchristmas
    – Hallowmas
    – Pumpkintree

    Any others?

  • WesternMouse

    Snow is due here in Germany this weekend.

  • Fantasmic4

    Halloween and Christmas, Disneyland is so Tacky. We pay a premium for quality experiences. Benny the cab has GPS but must be using Apple Maps and drove into the Submarine Lagoon.

  • HMF

    “Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice. But Christmas before October 31st just feels wrong.”
    Christmas before Thanksgiving feels wrong to me.

  • Rex Dopey24

    i love seeing christmas stuff. i dont mind seeing some stuff there at all.

  • redrocker

    you guys make it sound like it can all just go up in one day. maybe if you know the complexity of the install, how many actual hours it takes after hours to do this, all the man power to install it, plus have it complete in time for the Christmas film shoot among other film shoots occurring..all the while the same after hours work of the park has to happen., then maybe you can cut some slack. Trust me when i say the night of Halloween after the park closes is going to be a madhouse

  • DisneyDrums

    I know, Christmas is popping up quite early… but it seems to taking a lot longer to get everything in place…….. or maybe they don’t have enough cast members to put eveything in place starting 11/1/12…

  • disneychrista

    Other than the too early parade taping is there any reason why they can’t take down Halloween & put up Christmas, so that transition is complete for Thanksgiving?

  • SuburbanGiant

    Well, I work at Home Depot, and we started putting up Christmas sets 3 weeks ago, so Disney is far from the first ones. They are all trying to extend the lucrative Christmas shopping season, and with the spending dollars at stake, who can blame them.

  • Barbossa

    I want Mike Bolt’s job, taking the Stanley Cup to Disneyland (he’s one of the cup keepers). Met Mike a few years back. Great guy. Had some great stories to tell about his travels around the world with the trophy. And yes, I got to hold the cup! 🙂

  • Tinkbelle

    I’m just sad about less shade in Critter Country :(. I’ve always appreciated all the tall trees and shade on the west end of the park. I wonder if the trees were dying or why they decided to remove them.

  • judearmstrong

    Earl of sandwich opens Friday the 2nd!

  • Professortango

    I think we all understand how much work it is to put up Christmas, but every year Universal takes down far more extensive Halloween mazes and decorations and puts up some large detailed displays. Tape the parade a week later or don’t sell me tickets to Halloweentime then give me Christmas instead. I’m sure people would be quite angry if they came to the park on Dec 19th and found Valentine’s day decorations in prominent locations.

  • Fukai

    You don’t see this type of baloney at the Tokyo Disney Resort: all the Halloween decorations stay up until Oct.31, then are replaced over the following week or two by the Christmas decorations. If the Oriental Land Company can manage the transition without a collision and premature Christmas exposure, why can’t the Walt Disney Company?

  • whamo

    One of my Disney AP friends loves the landscaping at Disneyland. So do I. But I have to wonder what is going on when I see dying trees and such. An update documenting the neglected landscaping might motivate Disney to take care of one of their best assets. Disneyland is a special place. The Corporation should keep it that way.

  • JMazz

    I don’t see Xmassween in any photo. There is snow on a castle with pumpkins in the foreground.
    As for NOS, the early xmas decor seems natural since just to the north sits a house where the two holidays collide. If they can bang those decorations out, then it is one less area that needs the man power for the rest of the park in early Nov.

    Too many comparisons to Knotts/USH/SW. They don’t have nearly as much seasonal decor as DLR. So far, Disney hasn’t committed a holiday faux pas!

  • Gullywhumper

    I saw Christmas trees and decorations for sale at Target over Labor Day Weekend …

  • darkamor

    My thoughts on putting up Xmas Decor before Halloween is here @ a Theme Park are as frowned upon as seeing shops put Xmas Merchandise on shelves for sale @ the beginning of October vs the beginning of November (why, oh why, can’t this wait until after All Saint’s Day?) …

    I blame the cramming of Holiday Seasonal Decor before they truly need to be scene in theme parks on the fact shops start putting out Seasonal Merchandise months earlier then before (back in the day, I never ever saw Halloween items in shops until the end of September – now I see it in the beginning of August ! & again, seeing Xmas items in shops at the beginning of October? It’s just so tacky that if Mr Blackwell was still alive? Why, he would have a hissy fit!) …

    Team Disney Anaheim can sure be chinzy some times

    C J